This year marks Patty Sprofera’s 50th anniversary at ADAPT Community Network. Patty has always been an advocate for people with disabilities. As a child, she attended events and programs held by ADAPT formerly, United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, and helped raise awareness and funding for the cause.
Before joining us in 1971, Patty worked as Assistant Secretary at Camp Jened, which is famous for its profile in the Netflix documentary Crip Camp: Disability Revolution. “UCP of NYC has always been a pioneer for hiring people with disabilities. After my role at Camp Jened, I thought about joining the convent, but this is my true calling, working and helping others with disabilities,” Patty says.
She recalls how technology and advocacy have improved the lives of people with disabilities tremendously over her lifetime. “As a child, I watched other kids in wheelchairs struggle to get in and out of a vehicle; now, there are lifts and technology to help people with disabilities gain independence,” she continues. “I think the one thing that has changed is the advocacy and awareness about disabilities. There are a lot of organizations and individuals that are creating a space for people with disabilities to feel welcome and heard like everyone else.”
Patty has worn many hats in the organization over the years as a secretary to numerous directors in various departments. Her personal experience as someone with a disability and professional expertise allows her to provide a wealth of information and perspectives on the services we provide to families and people with disabilities. “I had the honor of working with Patty on the My Child Without Limits national website. We wouldn’t have been able to provide as many resources as we did without her hard work and dedication,” says Laura Hickman, Senior Vice President of Marketing.
Patty currently works in the Family Reimbursement Department as one of the primary contacts for Case Managers and families applying for funding. She’s also a review committee member, reviewing applications for family reimbursements and selecting eligible applicants. “Patty has a great understanding of the needs of people with disabilities and uses her own life experiences and expertise to identify how much funds to allocate for the requests that we receive for reimbursement,” says Amy Bittinger, Director of Family Support. “She is always reasonable, fair, and tries to accommodate requests as much as possible.”
“We continue to receive great feedback from the families about the extraordinary work she’s doing to help them. Patty is highly informative about the program and incredibly patient with the families,” says Danielle Raymond, Director of Family Reimbursement. “She is a great asset, and this program wouldn’t run as smoothly without her help!”
“This experience has been paramount for me. As a person with a disability, I have also received help on numerous occasions,” Patty says. “I was able to benefit from the Access to Home service offered by ADAPT,” she recalls. As I got older, it became a struggle to go up and down the stairs in my home. I struggle to get approval from the board to install the stairlift but ADAPT stepped in a spoke on my behalf, and it was approved.”
“My association with the ADAPT remains and always has been my North Star,” Patty says. “My job is my joy because of the work that we do, because of my colleagues, senior staff, and the families we work with from long ago to the present day.”
Join us in congratulating Patty on 50 years at ADAPT Community Network!
ADAPT Community Network offers rewarding employment opportunities and a chance for you to work in a collaborative and inspiring team environment. Join our mission to create a more inclusive world for children and adults with disabilities by empowering people through innovative solutions, one person at a time. Please check out our job openings.