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Allegany Arc Receives Accreditation for Excellence from the Council on Quality and Leadership

AllJeff,-Amy,-Corinna,-Fred-and-Joanneegany Arc was recently awarded a four-year Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. This award confirms that the organization shares CQL’s vision for person-centered solutions to improve the quality of life for people receiving supports.

CQL has been the preeminent organization for more than 40 years in defining, measuring and improving the quality of life for all people, including those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Organizations that are awarded accreditation by CQL meet a stringent set of criteria and demonstrate an on-going commitment to person-centered excellence. Only 36 agencies in New York State have received this prestigious accreditation.

“Our goal is to continually raise the bar for services we provide,” said Allegany Arc’s Executive Director Michael Damiano. “When we partnered with CQL to pursue accreditation, we undertook a rigorous review of our services and supports. The accreditation process provides Allegany Arc with the framework to continue to examine the quality of the lives of the people we support and improve the way we operate.”

A CQL two-person evaluation team spent five days on-site reviewing documents prepared by Allegany Arc and meeting with people involved in every facet of the agency. The evaluation team was comprised of Jeff Shoemaker of Colorado and Amy Price of Georgia, both Quality Enhancement Specialists with CQL.

CQL accreditation was awarded as a result of Allegany Arc demonstrating proficiency in the following areas: (1) Basic Assurances (ensuring fundamental safeguards related to health, safety and human security); (2) Personal Outcome Measures® (supporting and empowering people to achieve their goals and dreams); (3) Person-centered Excellence (demonstrating organizational commitment to continued enhancement of systems directly related to person-centered services).

“The CQL accreditation process was an important way for Allegany Arc to reaffirm our commitment to continuously improve the quality of our supports and services,” says Joanne LaForge, Allegany Arc’s Chief Quality Officer. “The strategic plan that we have created through this process will help guide us into the future as we determine the ways in which we support the people we serve. During our four-year accreditation, we will continue to evaluate our services and supports as we implement practices geared towards fulfilling our mission of providing the highest quality opportunities for people with special needs and their families.”

“This process has been a true group effort lead by our well-respected Chief Quality Officer, Joanne LaForge,” said Damiano. “Employees from all levels of the agency were joined by Board members, the people we support, community partners and family members in making this accreditation a reality. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of Allegany Arc’s employees who work hard every day to ensure that each person’s vision and dreams for how they want to live their lives are supported.”

The Council on Quality and Leadership was founded in 1969. In addition to the United States, CQL accredits or provides training at agencies and organizations in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.

Founded in 1961, Allegany Arc is the leading provider for services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Allegany County. Allegany Arc is one of 55 chapters of NYSARC, Inc. and an affiliated chapter of The Arc of the United States. For more information, please visit


Caption: (left to right back row) Corinna McKnight- Allegany Arc’s Chief Operations Officer, Fred Dannheim – Allegany Arc’s Associate Executive Director, Joanne LaForge – Allegany Arc’s Chief Compliance Officer (left to right front row) Amy Price – CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist and Jeff Shoemaker – CQL Quality Enhancement Specialist pose for a picture after receiving CQL accreditation.

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