Chapel Haven Unique Integration of Social Communication + Independent Livng Mon, 08 Feb 2016 15:44:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chapel Haven announces two open houses coming up at New Haven, CT campus Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:07:01 +0000 REACH Grads 2015

Think Spring!
Chapel Haven Open House.

Sure, it may be chilly outside but it’s never too early to start planning the next step of the journey toward adult independence!

Chapel Haven has been helping adults with a variety of disabilities gain independent and happy lives since 1972! Chapel Haven’s open houses are an ideal way to explore the next step for the young adult in your life.

Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 10 am to noon
Chapel Haven, 1040 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut
Light breakfast, overview of Chapel Haven, student panels and a tour of Chapel Haven’s REACH and Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition programs.
Pre-registration required.
Register here for February 27 Open House in New Haven, CT

Can’t make it in February? You can also register for our evening open house April 12.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 5 to 7 pm
Chapel Haven, 1040 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut
Join us for a light dinner, program overview, student panels and a chance to see life skills in action in our apartment setting!
Pre-registration required, click here:

Founded in 1972, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education school with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives.
Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older)
in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH,
Asperger Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ).

For more Information:
Christy Chandler
Chapel Haven Office of Admissions
203) 397-1714, x185

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News from ASAT Mon, 18 Jan 2016 19:34:44 +0000 Jennica linkedin photoAwesome new job for Jennica!

Congratulations to Chapel Haven ASAT graduate and current community member Jennica Harris, who has a new job in Wallingford as a tax preparer for a law firm, which specializes in foreign tax issues.

“My day to day responsibilities are analyzing statements for foreign bank accounts and other documents from the clients and entering the information into the tax software to complete a corrected or original tax return. I also research tax forms and tax issues if I have a question about how an item is treated on a tax return,” Jennica said.

“I love this job, because there’s always more to learn, I like knowing that I am helping clients comply with tax laws by reporting their income and assets correctly, my co-workers are always willing to help me if I have questions, and I am continually increasing my proficiency and confidence with tax return preparation.”

Jennica continues, “My biggest accomplishment so far was organizing information for a client with almost 80 foreign bank accounts. I used a spreadsheet to keep track of all the account numbers and interest amounts, and I created page reference numbers so I would remember where I found each piece of information. My supervisor complimented me on how organized I was with the project.”

Jennica came to the ASAT program from her home in Santa Barbara, CA. After enrolling in the residential program, she is now living independently in the community and is doing well.

Asked for any tips she might have for others, she shares: “My advice for people looking for a job is don’t give up. When I first graduated from the ASAT program, I spent 8 months applying for jobs and interviewing. I found a job with a CPA firm and worked there for 7 months before I was one of a few people laid off after the busy season. I went right back to job searching. I got hired for my current job after 4 months of active job searching. If you are able to maintain a positive attitude and keep submitting those applications and practicing your interview skills, you will find a great job!”

Congrats, Jennica, we are proud of you!

Giving back with gifts of fleece blankets at Mary Wade Home

ASAT and Mary Wade blankets
Thumbs up to ASAT students and teacher Alicia Prigodich, who led a class in how to make beautiful, handmade fleece blankets and donated them to the elderly residents of the Mary Wade Home in New Haven. The students received a big thank you from Executive Director David Hunter, who even gave them a shout out on Facebook. Nice job to everybody!

ASAT Amity Food Drive 2015Thumbs up to ASAT students and staffer Carolyn Gorman for giving up a Sunday to collect food and cash to benefit the CT Food Bank. Students and staff collected money and non perishables at the Amity Stop & Shop to go toward the Connecticut Food Bank and the “Super Size Me” drive organized each by Chapel Haven community member James Trimble. The crew collected two full grocery carts worth of non perishable goods, plus $330 in cash. Thanks to Carolyn Gorman, who coordinates postsecondary and career education for the ASAT program, and the students for doing such an awesome job! Giving back, especially during the holidays, is important to Chapel Haven and its students!

Spenser and Kameron with 3DASAT Productions
A popular core class in the ASAT program is called ASAT Productions. Led by Carolyn Gorman, this class gives students immersion in a variety of digital media skills while simulating a work-like experience, where they can safely receive constructive feedback with practice and coaching in order to ready them for competitive employment. The class includes a Social Communicative Competency component taught by Sarah Davison with coaching in the soft skills necessary to communicate successfully in the workplace. The students then are observed as they go through the “work day”‘ putting the strategies into effect.

This year, Chapel Haven purchased a 3-D printer for the course and the students had the chance to make and print usable items, including holiday decorations. “Tthe 3D printed ornaments were quickly sold out, as ASAT staff purchased them all as soon as we completed packaging them,” Carolyn noted. “The class also completed an online newsletter for the Chapel Haven Wellness Program, and photographed the artwork of several UArts artists to be used in an upcoming greeting card project. We will be continuing the class through the coming semesters and will be continuing our line of 3D printed ornaments, as well as producing other salable items.”

The students also are learning to use video equipment anconducted several on-campus interviews for Chapel Haven President Michael Storz, to be used as part of Chapel Haven’s planned giving campaign.

Community Service Exploration
Another busy class in the ASAT curriculum is called Community Service Exploration. Students are out and about doing a variety of volunteer tasks for local agencies. So far this year, their activities have included making a meal for the Ronald McDonald House, sorting clothing for Goodwill, delivering donations to the CT Foodbank, creating a care package that was mailed to active U.S. Troops overseas, trailblazing the Pond Lily Trail for the New Haven Land Trust, making and delivering fleece blankets for the Mary Wade Home Holiday Bazaar, planting and transplanting plants at Edgerton Community Garden, cleaning at All Pets Club, helping clean and remove litter during a Westville Beautification Walk, and making Bookmarks for the Yale New Haven Hospital Book Cart.

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Chapel Haven West Open House and Lunch on the Town Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:57:55 +0000 CHW at U of A gameTUCSON, AZ – Families of young adults with autism spectrum disorders and social disabilities are cordially invited to attend an open house at Chapel Haven West to learn more about how this award-winning agency can lead to a happy and productive adult life.

Please join us Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, 10 to noon at Chapel Haven West (MST) for a light breakfast, program overview, a tour, and the chance to talk with staff and students about the path to independent living. As an added bonus, your son/daughter is cordially invited to join our current students and recreation staff for lunch out on the town in sunny, Tucson AZ.

Registration is required online using this link: Register for Feb. 27 Open House Questions? Please call the Chapel Haven Office of Admissions at (203) 397-1714, ext. 148 for more details. Request a brochure by sending an email to

Chapel Haven West in Tucson, AZ provides residential transition and lifelong supports for adults 18+ with autism spectrum disorders and related social disabilities. This 24-month transition program focuses in four key areas: social communicative competency; independent living, self-determination, and college/vocational exploration. Students live in an apartment complex within walking distance a few blocks from the University of Arizona. They learn apartment management skills along with cooking, budgeting, grocery shopping and doing laundry while also gaining confidence in social communication. The program’s close proximity to the University of Arizona provides a rich array of benefits for Chapel Haven West students, including college classes, recreation and job shadowing opportunities.
Chapel Haven West is a satellite program of Chapel Haven Inc., founded in New Haven, Conn. in 1972 and dedicated to providing a lifelong program of individualized support services for adults with cognitive and social disabilities, enabling them to live independent and productive lives. The agency is celebrating its 44rd anniversary.

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The 31 Days of January Contest: Chapel Haven Resolutions for a New Year Wed, 30 Dec 2015 16:20:23 +0000 Attention Chapel Haven students, community members, staff and families: Do you have a habit you will try to kick in 2016? Or something funny at Chapel Haven that you would like to change? Consider entering the 31 Days of January New Year Resolution contest. Email your resolution and a photo of yourself to, or allow us to take one. Winning entries will be featured on our Facebook and in our newsletter and you may win a $25 gift card to Amazon or your choice from Chapel Haven’s new spirit wear collection! You must “like” Chapel Haven’s Facebook page to be eligible. All entries due by Jan. 15!

To start us off thinking about this, Chapel Haven President Michael Storz offers us this New Year’s Resolution:
mike-cropped-photo-2To eat healthier this year. That means no more morning hash browns from the Chapel Haven Cafe, Rich!

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Save the Date: Family Weekend Brunch Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:05:07 +0000 ANthony's

Happy Holidays to all! It’s only November, but it’s never too early to mark your calendars! Chapel Haven’s Popular Family Weekend Brunch will take place Sunday, April 17, 2016. Save the date!

Brunch Details

Anthony’s Oceanview
Chapel Haven’s popular Family Weekend Brunch is set for:
Sunday, April 17th 2016.
Time: 11:00-2:00pm
Anthony’s Ocean View
450 Lighthouse Road
New Haven, CT 06512
(203) 469-9010

For directions and more information, click here: About Anthony’s Ocean View

Invites will go in the mail in 2016! For now, just save the date!

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Ski Trip to Crested Butte and other upcoming events from Chapel Haven’s Recreation Program Tue, 17 Nov 2015 16:10:29 +0000 The Chapel Haven Recreation Program has many exciting things planned this winter.

Best Buddies Night at TGI Friday

Chapel Haven’s Best Buddies program in collaboration with TGI Friday’s of Hamden will be holding a Fundraiser on
Wednesday, Nov 18th. Ten percent of the proceeds collected that evening will go toward our Best Buddies program! If you are looking for a great place to eat while at the same time contributing to this very popular program at Chapel Haven, please stop by TGI Friday’s at
2335 Dixwell Ave in Hamden. Students attending are asked to bring a minimum of $25 with them to cover their food, drink, & tip. Funds raised will help go toward special events that Best Buddies implements with our current students who participate in this program (theme nights, etc)

special o another group shot
Special Olympics Basketball Sign-Ups!

The Recreation Department will be holding Special Olympic basketball sign-ups from Tues, Dec 1-Friday Dec 11. We cannot accept any registrations after Dec 11! Cost is $110 to participate (checks made payable to Chapel Haven). REACH students should speak with their teachers if they would like to sign up. Community Members should call/see Mike V directly to sign up. Practices are schedules to begin on Sunday Jan 10th. We will leave Chapel Haven at 6:10 pm and walk over to Sheridan gym (down the street from CH). Practices will run until 8:30 pm.

Questions? Contact Mike V. at

Crested Butte Chapel Haven delegation
Ski Trip to Crested Butte Feb. 29-March 5, 2016!

Chapel Haven enjoyed a fun time skiing in beautiful Crested Butte, CO last year.

Chapel Haven enjoyed a fun time skiing in beautiful Crested Butte, CO last year.

Come spend a week in Colorado hitting the slopes! Whether you’ve skied before or this is your first time, you will spend a week that is sure to be a memorable one! Each participant will have their own personal “guide” who will be with you the duration of the trip, ensuring you get the most out of your skiing experience! Cost for this trip is $3100. Trip is on a first-come/first serve basis and is based on 4 participants.
This includes:
Round trip airfare
Round trip transportation to the airport and to the slopes once at Crested Butte
Two Chapel Haven Staff to accompany you on the trip
One-to-one Ski instruction from the Adaptive Sports Center at Crested Butte
All meals (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) each day
Ski equipment
Deposit for this trip in the amount of $1500 is due by Mon, Dec 28th Checks can be made out to “Chapel Haven” and given to Jeanne Jamieson in the accounting department. Once we receive your deposit, participants will be given a packing list and other important information about this exciting trip!

Questions? Contact Mike Verzella at (203) 397-1714, ext. 129, or

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Chapel Haven artists recreate a classic painting with crayons and imagination Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:52:10 +0000 For three weeks Chapel Haven Out to Art students, along with teachers, met to create this fabulous poster for the Connecticut Art Docent Network Symposium, “Art For All.”

The project was led by Jaime Ursic; Assistant Curator of Education at Yale Center for British Art, using George Stubbs’s “Zebra” as a model.

Chapel Haven's "zebra" version of a classicYCBA Zebra with Tina

The group peeled hundreds of crayons to create layers of color hot-glued together. Silhouettes of people were superimposed over the painting to create the effect of art lovers viewing it.

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Chapel Haven “Chargers” Capture #1 spot in Special Olympics Softball Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:31:48 +0000 Chapel Haven Chargers Take #1!

Softball big group

The Chapel Haven softball team, which was made up of 16 students competed at the North Branford Sportsplex in the softball comSpecial O softball grouppetition for Special Olympics on September 12, 2015.

Even though the competition was tough, the athletes and coaches did a wonderful job and were able to place 1st in their division! Students also took place in a “skills” competition held at Kennedy Memorial Park in East Haven. Eight students tested their ability to throw, run, hit, and catch…..skills all needed in the game of softball! They did a wonderful job competing and all came home with an award!


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Chapel Haven receives prestigious 2015 Workplace Wellness Award Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:57:35 +0000 Chapel Haven is already known as a happy place for its employers and the adults we serve. Our staff turnover rate is an enviable 6 percent in a field where the rate is often 50 percent or higher, meaning staff like what they are doing and they stay with it!

wellness glass awardBut things have gotten even better with a Chapel Haven Wellness program implemented by fitness-minded President Michael Storz and recognized statewide with the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Workplace Wellness Award. Along with Easter Seals, Elim Park and Shubert Theatre, Chapel Haven was recognized by the chamber’s Health Care Council June 9 during a packed ceremony at Masonicare in Wallingford. Read more below about all we are doing on our campus.

“Our goal has been to promote a culture of health and fitness at every level,” Mike said. “I have been so happy to see our employees taking time to work out and get healthy. ”

Chapel Haven’s wellness program gained momentum  with an award-winning partnership with the Cornell Scott Hill Health Center entitled, “The Weigh to Live,” a unique classroom-style curriculum which is teaching our adults with a variety of disabilities how to live healthier lives. Since then, Chapel Haven has spearheaded a variety of incentives offered free or with considerable subsidies from the agency to make it easy and affordable for employees to take time from the work day to exercise and lead a healthier and less stressful lifestyle. Those initiatives include:

Left to right, Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, Einera Beauvais, Michael Storz, Jeannie Jamieson, Jayson Leydon of Crossfit Milford and Jill Meyerhoff, Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center, were at the award ceremony.

Left to right, Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo, Einera Beauvais, Michael Storz, Jeannie Jamieson, Jason Leydon of Crossfit Milford and Jill Meyerhoff, Cornell-Scott Hill Health Center, were at the award ceremony.

  • Chapel Haven for two years has offered Weight Watchers at Work – open to all employees, facilitated by a Weight Watchers leader who comes from Orange, CT to our campus every Friday. Chapel Haven paid half the cost for each employee who joined, and also paid for free Active Links for each employee. Incentives are offered to keep employees enrolled. This spring, over a period of 10 weeks, employees collectively lost 91 pounds!

Crossfit of Milford – Chapel Haven is subsidizing the cost for a Crossfit program that occurs twice a week, right at Chapel Haven for all interested employees. Trainer Jason Leydon is our facilitator and he is fantastic!

Chapel Haven has its own Fitness Center on the lower level of our community center and just this year, used the proceeds from the Chapel Haven Bowlathon to completely revamp the fitness center. It is now equipped with approximately $8,000 in new equipment, including Crossfit rowers, ellipticals, treadmills and weight lifting equipment. An experienced trainer works with Chapel Haven clients each day on fitness and weight-loss goals.

  • Free classes in Zumba and yoga are being introduced and made available to all staff.
  • Staff fill out raffle tickets for every wellness activity they do during the work day and prizes are allotted, including Fit bracelets, Weight Watchers incentive products, etc.

Our Wellness Program is probably one of the best received new initiatives we have done to date and employees are continuously stopping into our President’s office, either to thank him or to suggest another class we can offer on campus!

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Chapel Haven to participate in CT Open Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:47:48 +0000 The 2015 CT Tennis Open is coming Aug. 21-29 and will feature some of the biggest stars in women’s tennis, along with food, activities and…Chapel Haven!

Chapel Haven is a tournament sponsor. Stop by our booth during the open to win some cool giveaways and learn more about our award-winning agency. Also, book your tickets now for the 7th Annual Adaptive Tennis Day at the CT OpeCT Open 50/50 Projectn, a day of fun and activities, including the chance to meet professional tennis players, frolic in the Aetna Fitzone and experience world-class tennis matches. More details below!

In addition, you can buy your tournament tickets and support Chapel Haven. You can catch all the excitement and help raise money for Chapel Haven by purchasing tickets for the 2015 Connecticut Open and 50% of your total net purchase will go back to Chapel Haven. It’s that easy!

How to purchase your tickets:

Visit and select daily tickets from the Tickets and Travel drop down menu.

Select your session of choice and enter code CO15CH. You must use this code in order for Chapel Haven to receive 50% of your order.

To purchase your tickets by phone or for questions, please contact Jessica Malinconico at (203) 776-7331, ext. 5872.

About the 7th Annual Adaptive Tennis Day, Wednesday, Aug. 26:

Chapel Haven parent and tennis instructor-extraordinaire Jerry Weil will lead an adaptive tennis clinic in the Aetna FitZone on Aug. 26 at the CT Open.

Chapel Haven parent and tennis instructor-extraordinaire Jerry Weil will lead an adaptive tennis clinic in the Aetna FitZone on Aug. 26 at the CT Open.

Chapel Haven will host a booth at the tennis open and is also a sponsor of the 7th Annual Adaptive Tennis Day at the CT Open on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the event will include an Adaptive Tennis Clinic in the Aetna Fitzone facilitated by our own Chapel Haven parent and tennis instructor par-excellence Jerry Weil! The day also includes a private meet-and-greet session with a women’s tour player, wheelchair exhibition matches in grandstand, a Connecticut Hornets Found Robin wheelchair tennis match ad fun activities in the Aena Fitzone. Stop by the Chapel Haven booth during the CT Open to win some neat give-aways and to learn more about our award-winning agency!

Tickets to the Adaptive Tennis Day are only $18 for juniors and $35 for adults. For more information, call Christie Cole at CT Open, (203) 776-7331 ext. 5811 or



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