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Dear Friends & Advocates:

Effective January 1, 2016
Olmsted's 2-1-1 Western New York will be the contracted provider for after hours Emergency Shelter placement from Erie County Department of Social Services.

Any Erie County resident requiring assistance with an emergency shelter placement as of midnight on January 1st 2016 should be directed to contact 211 for assistance, or call 1-888-696-9211

Please share this update with your staff, community advocates, service providers, social workers, and anyone you know who currently helps people by making referrals for shelter.

Please also feel free to share the above graphic on social media.

Have a Happy Holiday Season & a Happy New Year

-Department of Social Services Staff



















This group is open to all women who care for a child with special needs. The group is facilitated by the Bornhava Social Worker (a LCSW). This group meets one time a month, on a Thursday evening during the school-year at 6:30 p.m. (usually the first Thursday of the month). If you have any questions about this Women Caregivers・ Group, please contact Ann at Bornhava (839-1655 ext. 309).

To receive notices on upcoming meetings, please complete the information below and either send the form to Bornhava, c/o WOW MOMs, 25 Chateau Terrace, Amherst, NY 14226, or give to a Bornhava staff person.

There is no cost or fee to participate in the group. Attendance is not required monthly・ participants may attend when they are able. Childcare is offered. 

25 Chateau Terrace

Amherst, NY 14226

(716) 839-1655

Fax (716) 839-1656





A place for male caregivers of children with special needs


This group has ongoing discussions about coping as a male caregiver facing so many additional challenges or obstacles in today's world.  The group is also a great place to share the rewards of being a father/male caregiver of a child with special needs.

Contact E. Crawford

25 Chateau Terrace

Amherst, NY 14226

716-839-1655 ext. 303


 Meets one Tuesday each month at 7:30pm.


 Diabetes Self-Management Workshops Coming to Erie County

Starting in September, Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL) is offering a six  session  FREE “Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes” workshop in Erie County, one in Buffalo and another in Clarence.  This is a peer-led health education program for people dealing with Type 2 Diabetes, (once known as “adult-onset”).  Workshops are designed to complement the participants’ existing health care regimens.  Specific program content includes: decision making and problem-solving skills; developing and maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program; preventing complications; dealing with anger, depression and difficult emotions; communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals; using prescribed medication appropriately; healthy eating; monitoring blood sugar levels; skin and foot care; and planning for future health care.

  • In Clarence, the workshop will take place at The Claremount, a Senior Residence at  10338 Main Street 14031, east of Strickler Road, from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM on Sept. 16 and 25, Oct. 1, 7, 15, and  21, 2015.
  • In Buffalo, the workshop will be held at the Salvation Army of Buffalo, 960 Main Street  14202, north of Allen Street, from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM on  Sept. 28,  Oct. 6, 14, 19, 26,  and  Nov. 2, 2015.

Participants in the free workshops are required to pre-register by calling Patricia McAllister at (716) 836-0822, ext. 402.


The Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.--

Ernest K. Churchwell
Public Information Officer-Writer
Office of Community Engagement
Western New York Independent Living
3108 Main Street
Buffalo, New York  14214
716-836-0822, ext. 181
visit our website at:  www.wnyil.org
Last year, the WNYIL Family of Agencies' work in assisting individuals to leave or avoid institutionalization saved New York State taxpayers over $60 million, for a two-year total of over $80 million.

Information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to
which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged
material.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or
taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or
entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.  If you received
this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any

**SCENT-FREE POLICY:  WNY Independent Living, Inc. respects the health and
safety of persons with chemical sensitivities.  The ingredients in many
fragrances and scents are known to irritate the respiratory tract, nervous
system, and eyes; lower immunity to disease; and trigger allergies and other
severe health reactions.  In the case of asthma and epilepsy, reactions
triggered by exposure to scented products can be life-threatening.  Thank
you for your consideration of others in providing an environment in which
everyone can feel safe and comfortable by not wearing such products.



 New on Disability.Blog:


By Guest Blogger Marcie Roth, Director, Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Every day has the potential to bring the unexpected. That’s why it’s critical to raise awareness about the importance of being prepared for emergencies. 

I’m delighted to share that as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FEMA’s Ready Campaign and The Ad Council partnered on a public service announcement (PSA) titled We Prepare Every Day. The PSA shows people, including those with disabilities, preparing themselves, their family and their community for emergencies by assembling a disaster supply kit that meets their specific needs, making a communication plan to stay connected to family and friends following a disaster, and taking steps to help their community prepare to accommodate the access and functional needs of the whole community. The video provides equal access and includes open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.




Statler Center is a New York State proprietary business school, certified by the state department of education and a program of the Olmsted Center for Sight.

 Who we serve...

Blind and Visually Impaired Adults

Physically Disabled



 *On-going admissions and application process for our programs which are run three times a year in Buffalo, NY - Winter, Spring and Fall

 *Classes are limited to 15 students; because of this and because we are drawing applicants from all fifty states we must operate on a first come, first served basis.

*Statler offers a comprehensive curriculum adapted for persons with disabilities, industry specific software and presenters, a modern instructional facility with state of the art tech and hands on real life experience

Our Programs:

Business Fundamentals (five weeks)

Builds upon computer literacy

Incorporates the use of adaptive technology if needed

 Enhances skills in regards to written and electronic communication

Assists with the development and creation of Employment documents

Develops the ability to search job opportunities and build their professional network

using web based programs

Instructs on how to exude confidence on job interviews

Reviews business math to prepare people for assessments administered during the job search process


Contact Call Center (four weeks)

 Instructs telephone courtesy and techniques

Technology: multi-line phone systems, note taking, multi-tasking,

incoming/outgoing calls with a variety of contact center contracts

Ability to utilize Assistive/adaptive software including dual headsets if applicable

Industry presenters


Hospitality (five weeks)

Standards of the hospitality industry

Front and back of the house service and operations

Exposure to property management software

Industry presenters

Conflict Management

Externships at local hotels

Our job doesn’t end when the program does: Placement Assistance Post Graduation

82% placement rate

Placement Contracts

Placement assistance- job leads, assistance completing applications if needed, resume and Cover letter retrieval

Job development


For more information:

Elizabeth Schmidt, Admission Coordinator

Phone: (716)888-4638

Email: eschmidt@statlercenter.org

Website: www.olmstedcenter.org

Address: 1170 Main St

Buffalo, NY 14209



25 years after landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, efforts to aid the disabled continue

Changes sought in employment, independent living





Families in Crisis/Residential Needs. 





Afterschool Care

Designed for Young People with Developmental Disabilities

Now Accepting Participants!

Western New York’s leading organization helping individuals with developmental disabilities and special needs lead more heathy, independent and productive lives currently has openings for its afterschool respite programs in Buffalo.

The Programs

  • For young people, ages 4 to 21
  • Free to families, pending eligibility

Great Activities

After the Belle Program

104 Maryland Street

Buffalo Afternoon Respite

2635 Delaware Avenue

  • Assistance with homework
  • Arts and crafts
  • Peer socialization
  • Community outings

To enroll or for more information, call 716.817.9215



Looking for a job you’ll love?




What is Afternoon Respite?


After school care for young people with developmental disabilities, ages 5 to 21.


Program instructors assist with a number of enriching activities, such as homework, arts and crafts, peer socialization, community outings and more!


Western NY's leading human services agency is now seeking program instructors for our Southtowns Afternoon Respite program!


Apply today at www.people-inc.org  


Job Requirements


• At least 18 years of age

• High school diploma or GED 


• NYS driver’s license that meets agency policy 


• Pre-employment drug test 



Special Needs Parent 

Support Group 

Gather with other moms and dads who understand what you’re experiencing, regardless of your child’s diagnosis. We’ll support and encourage one another as we pray together and share resources. We’ll also look at what the Bible has to say about our kids and our role in their lives. 


2nd Thursday every month, 6:15 - 7:45 pm 


Kenmore Alliance Church, Room 303, 175 Bonnett Ave.,Tonawanda, NY 14150 

For information, contact: 

Phil & Shannon Welty at 417-3042 (text/call) or e-mail smwelty@gmail.com


 Be Part of an Exciting NEW Project!

 **   Family Driven Planning   *** 

Collaboration of Hillside Family of Agencies & School of Social Work,

University at Buffalo 

      Do you have a child with a developmental/intellectual disability? 

      Do you feel like you or your child could use more support? 

Family Driven Planning is to help increase the support network for children and youth with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.  Hillside staff have been doing Family Driven Planning with youth to:

(1)      strengthen their circle of support

(2)      identify & engage family members/other caring adults to increase support to the youth and their caregivers

(3)      increase youth’s quality of life, support their interests and dreams 

The project is for children and youth who:

  • Have a developmental or intellectual disability
  • Currently eligible for but not yet receiving residential services
  • Between the ages of 8 to 25 years
  • Receive Medicaid or are eligible for Medicaid 

The first 35 youth/families to enroll will participate in the Family Driven Planning with Hillside.  The next 35 will be placed on a waiting list to be a comparison group for the project.  A representative from the School of Social Work will talk with participants about relationships, quality of life, and Medicaid services at the start of Family Driven Planning and again 6 months later in a location convenient to the family.  Youth will receive $5 gift cards at both times and there is no cost to the family.   

Interested?  Questions?   

Please contact:

Annette Semanchin Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo

716-645-1862 or amsemanc@buffalo.edu 

For more information on Family Driven Planning at Hillside:

Michelle Belge, Director of Hillside Institute for Family Connections, 315-935-6701 or

Dan Lesinski, Hillside’s Director of Disability Services at 585-654-1465 

Thank you for your time and consideration! 

Ruth Malinowski

Early Childhood Direction Center

Special Needs Outreach Liaison

716 880-3881

716 880-3875 ( main number)


Please like us on facebook www.facebook.com/ECDCWNY1

Join our email list  ecdc@kaleidahealth.org 

Vickie Rubin, M.S. Ed.  Phone - 716-880-3880 

Early Childhood Direction Center
3131 SHERIDAN DRIVE, People Inc Building
The only acceptable R-word is “respect”. 


7 Things Parents of a Child with Special Needs Should Know


The Learning Disabilities Association of WNY (LDA of WNY) provides support for parents and guardians who need assistance in getting the right services to help their child and pave their way for future success.

If your child is struggling in school it can be extremely stressful. The special education process can be a very trying time, because it may be unfamiliar to you. There may be things you are unaware of and school districts don’t always provide this information.

The LDA of WNY offers the following information to help you gain a basic understanding of what is involved in the special education process:

1) As a resident of a school district, your child is entitled to be evaluated at the school district’s expense and receive services at no additional cost to you. This is due to Federal laws that all school districts are bound under called FAPE and IDEA, which stand for Free and Public Education and the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. These laws have existed since 1975.

2) It is important to request to have your child evaluated in writing to your school district’s Committee on Special Education (not the principal) and state the reason why you would like to have your child evaluated. The Committee on Special Education (CSE) office or Pupil Services office will reply to your correspondence and request that you sign a consent form giving them permission to evaluate your child.
TIP: It is a good idea to start a folder for your child beginning with a copy of your letter (referral) and the consent form. Once this consent form is received by the school district, they have 60 school days to complete a psychological evaluation, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy testing and hold a CSE (committee on special education) meeting.

3) You are a very important member of the CSE meeting. The district may have gotten to know your child through the evaluations, but you spend valuable time and know your child best. You are the one who can provide the information on your child’s likes and dislikes, how your child reacts to and completes homework, how they handle school projects. This information is valuable to your child’s success in school.

4) Not all children evaluated will be found to need special education. Upon evaluation, your child may only need few accommodations to succeed. This may fall under the category of 504. Maybe your child is having a lot of difficulty in math and the evaluation determines your child would benefit from extended time on tests and a smaller location to take tests in. These accommodations can be fulfilled with a 504 plan.

6) If your child is found eligible for special education, an IEP (individualized education plan) will be developed. To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, and other school staff must come together to look closely at the student’s unique needs. The purpose of your child having an IEP is to give your child a “level playing field” in the educational arena. There are a couple of things about this statement that deserve specific attention. First of all, the CSE is only concerned with the things that affect your child at school. Maybe your child’s bedroom is a disaster; this does not affect the school. However, if your child’s desk is just as disorganized as their bedroom, this becomes a school problem. The inability to be organized is having a negative effect on your child’s education. Secondly, the plan needs to be individualized to your child. Your child may have similar needs and may have an accommodation that is the same as another child; however their IEP should not look the same as someone else’s. The reward for turning in their homework needs to be something that motivates your child personally. Passing the class may be enough for some, other children may need something additional. Lastly, the IEP is not meant to allow your child to do better than the other children. What an IEP is meant to do is give your child as much of a chance as the other children in their class or grade. If your child is receiving a sticker for turning in their homework, the rest of the class probably is not. Chances are this is only a short-term solution for your child, but will be in place long enough for your child to complete their homework and remember to turn it in. The reinforcement of this behavior will slowly be phased out until the sticker is no longer needed and the IEP can be amended.

7) Whatever is determined necessary for your child to succeed and is written in the IEP has to be done. An IEP is a legally binding contract that must be upheld by the teachers and the school. Things put in writing to assist your child need to be completed. Even when there is substitute teacher, the IEP needs to be followed. The IEP cannot be changed without the parents’ consent and the parent does have the right to disagree. The parent is an equal member of the IEP team. The information provided here is only meant to give you an idea of your rights as a parent. If you would like more information, please contact LDA at 716-874-7200 and request the educational advocacy department.

In today’s technological society we like to think we have all the answers at our fingertips. The truth is, sometimes it takes another person to see us through a stressful situation. The LDA of WNY educational advocacy team is available to assist you in the special education process. They will listen to your concerns and provide suggestions as to what may help in the future. There is no charge for this service.

 Learning Disabilities
Association of WNY
2555 Elmwood Avenue
Kenmore, NY 14217
1-888-250-5031 Outside of Erie County



Looking for support? There's help available! Our group is dual-purposed, and serves as both a parent/guardian support group in addition to a child play group. Children with visual impairments ages birth - 5 are who our group primarily serves, however; this group also welcomes children with any developmental delays or disabilities in that age range. We meet once a month to talk about concerns, obstacles, and successes you may be encountering with your child, in addition to allowing free play time for our children. The overall purpose of this group is to provide support and allow for new connections to be fostered among a community of parents, caregivers, and children


You can contact ECDC Staff at ECDC@kaleidahealth.org 

telephone 1-800-462-7853




Creating a Sensory Friendly Home Environment for Children on the Autism Spectrum - National Autism Network


Individuals with autism often experience sensory difficulties that can make everyday interaction painstaking. Noises that typically go without notice to the general public can be a huge challenge for an individual with autism, and prevent them from being able to focus on a given task or possibly even lead to a meltdown.  

Although not considered core features of autism, sensory issues, which can impact all 5 senses, have been found to affect nearly 90 percent of children on the spectrum in some way or another. While it is impossible to control others out in public, there are steps you can take as parents to make your home more sensory-friendly for your child. A child's sensory needs could involve the reduction of stimuli or an increase of stimulation depending on the situation.2 This article will discuss features you can add in your home to make it more comfortable for your child experiencing sensory sensitivities.  

Children with autism have sensory needs that may be viewed as odd to the layman individual unfamiliar with the disorder. Actions like lining objects in a row or stimming can seem peculiar, but may offer therapeutic value for that individual. Below are some examples of household features that can assist these sensory needs as well as items that can transform your home into a living space that is more sensory friendly:  

Design: When planning a sensory-friendly environment it is important to envision how the design or the layout of the area will affect the child's abilities. You are going to want to design a room to be sensory-friendly by constructing it so that it cuts down on outside stimuli, is organized (and can be easily reorganized).  Plan as much out in the design phase as possible including furniture arrangement, color schemes, child's needs, how much sunlight is getting in, the type of theme you desire, if any, outlet placement, what your budget is, the types of sensory devices/activities you would like to include, etc.   This is most important in rooms in where your child spends the majority of their time, such as their room, the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.   

Color: Colors have the power to incite specific emotions and feelings inside of us. For example, red, which triggers stimulation, appetite, and hunger, and yellow, which triggers feelings of happiness and friendliness, are often used by fast food companies to get you to subconsciously desire their food. 

When it comes to colors for children on the autism spectrum, less is more, as some research has found that children with autism see color more intensely than their neurotypical peers.  

One of the cornerstones of making a room sensory-friendly is to cut down on overstimulation. To stay true to this concept, colors should be low-toned, or muted, patterns should be minimal, and colors should be chosen wisely. For example, blue has been found to be the most calming, while reds were found to be the most arousing in children with autism. No matter how you plan your room's colors, you can always add sensory stimuli to them according to your child's needs.  

Lighting: This is where you get to really be creative, especially for your child's room. A calming environment will naturally be void of intense lighting from fluorescent bulbs, but in their place a number of different lighting techniques can be used. Bright or fluorescent lights can be disorienting for those on the spectrum, causing them to seek refuge or isolate themselves in a more controlled environment.  Every room in your house should have a dimmer switch so that the lighting can be adjusted according to your child's needs. For your child's room, you can introduce lighting in a variety of ways. Black lights, Christmas lights, bubble tubes, projectors, LED lights, fiber optics, night lights etc. are all viable ways to provide lighting in your child's room.  Putting a piece of fabric safely around a lighting fixture can also reduce light. While there is a consensus within the autism community that fluorescent lighting should be avoided, the jury is still out on natural light. Some argue that natural light aids cognitive abilities and overall health. However, there are others who believe that natural lighting is detrimental to an individual with autism because distractions like glare, shifting sunlight patterns, and outside visual stimuli are too great. However, for a home setting natural light is encouraged, and there is nothing stopping you from drawing a curtain if it becomes too big of a distraction. Blackout curtains can be helpful, especially for children who often experience sleep issues.  

Organization/Structure: Let's face it, kids will be kids, and that means they will be messy. However, keeping rooms structured and organized is important for maintaining routine. Play things do not only need to be organized in a logical manner, but able to be easily accessed by your child whenever he/she pleases. Of the utmost importance is safety. Be sure to arrange furniture and your electronic devices so that there aren't any exposed wiring or outlet holes. Your structure and organization doesn't need to end in your child's room or even have to involve their possessions.  Other organization tips include a toy bin on wheels, a sensory "sweet spot" full of pillows and other sensory-friendly items, simple routines, and anything that will make your child feel more comfortable.  

Furniture: The type of furniture you have in your house can go a long way to providing structure and organization, as well as ensuring your child's safety. Children tend to be rough on furniture, especially their own, so make sure to purchase durable items. In the dining room, cushioned, heavy chairs with long backs provide the most support and security. For children who have poor motor skills, a low-rise table may be suitable to prevent from tipping or falling out of chairs.  

In their room, arrange furniture so your child can easily transition from activity to activity without breaking routine. Also, arrange the furniture in such a way that they are away from shelves or other places where the child may climb. It is also important to keep in mind that doorknobs and hooks can be viewed as invitations for climbing in the eyes of a child who views the entire world as their personal play palace. For children who have the motor skills and the desire, there are sensory room designs that include rock climbing walls.  Labels on the furniture can be helpful at not only assisting a child with identifying an object, but also its purpose. For example, if you label a bed as "for sleeping", then your child will be less likely to use it as a trampoline. Your furniture can take on the same principles of other sensory items, and that is to either calm or stimulate the senses depending on the situation.  

Sensory Items: While it may seem impractical to introduce some of the items you might see at an Occupational Therapy session, such as a ball pit (although, one can be easily created using an empty child's pool and plastic balls) , many of the therapeutic tools utilized during OT can be affordable and easily applied in the home. Big pillows, rope ladders, tactile paths/discs, OT therapy tunnels, swings, and many other variations on these themes are essential for enhancing and calming your child's sensory needs. Your child's mattress is another item that warrants careful consideration as sleeping problems are common for children with autism, not to mention potential bed wetting scenarios. Like the rest of the furniture your child uses, your bed frame should be heavy and durable. Weighted blankets, although not entirely without controversy, have been used by some to help children with autism conquer sleep issues or for the calming effect.   As for the mattress itself, you want it to be firm, soft, and durable, which is why memory foam or latex mattresses work best, but take your child to the store for a test drive, if possible. For themed rooms, your child's bed frame can make bedtime feel like more of an adventure than a chore. Some families have installed curtain rods in the ceiling above the bed so the child can block out excess light and have more privacy.  

Shelves: This may seem like a small feature to be given its own section, but shelf placement and use can help keep your child engaged. First of all, arrange shelves horizontally as to suppress any notion of climbing. Secondly, children with autism tend have a proclivity for lining things up or stacking items (the latter of which can come in handy when deciding upon organizational tactics). According to The Sensory Hippo, which provides idea for sensory living, "creating a play space in your home that appeals to their desire to line things up can be calming for them."  

These long shelves should be placed just below eye level and be installed in multiple rooms in the house.  These shelves can be therapeutic as a calming strategy, but can also work as a new coping strategy. For example, if a child with autism isolates themselves when strangers come over, then you can give them a new toy or special item they find comforting for them to line up and play with in the living room or family room. The new coping strategy can work to help get them through the visit as opposed to running into their room. 

Bathroom: The bathroom is likely anything but a haven for your child on the autism spectrum. The bathroom can cause a number of sensory sensitivities such as the ringing of echoes on tile surfaces, cold floors, hard/cold toilet seats, loud toilets, running water, and bright lights reflected on mirrors can all be disorienting for individuals on the spectrum. 

The first thing you should consider when trying to make your bathroom more sensory-friendly is safety. Some safety issues to install would be a bath rail and a rail next to the toilet, a toilet lock, non-slip surfaces on tiles and in the tub, non-slip stools, etc.  In terms of comfort, non-slip rugs and mats next to the tub and sink, cushioned potty cover, shelves and hooks for towels to decrease the echoes in the room, night lights over bright lights (natural lighting during the day if possible), and a towel warmer to cut down on the anxiety shivering can cause children. Other features you may want to consider is a removable, handheld shower head, a shower head with LED lights, portable bath jets that can reduce pain and induce relaxation through massage, a waterproof pillow, bath toys (naturally), music in the bathroom, and be sure to utilize non-toxic cleaners. Glass mirrors frequently used by your child should be replaced with a reflective acrylic surface to avoid breaking. 


There are infinite possibilities out there when it comes to constructing a more sensory-friendly environment in your home that cover a wide range of expenses. You do not have to break the bank to create an effective sensory-friendly environment and some sensory items you can even create myself. Include your child in the planning, decision making, and creation process as much as possible. Tailor their sensory-friendly environments to their favorite subjects because after all they will be spending a lot of time there. Have fun with the process and remember it doesn't have to be perfect.  

We would love to hear about some sensory activities or objects you have installed in your home in the comment section below. We have also included some resources relating to sensory-friendly environments below. 



The Learning Center (TLC) has open spots for Adult Education classes for adults with a learning disability. TLC provides individualized educational instruction to adults who do not have a high school diploma. TLC offers small group instruction to those interested in obtaining their GED, as well as classes to improve basic literacy in reading, writing and math. For more information, contact the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY by emailing information@ldaofwny.org or calling (716) 874-7200.
Thank you! 

Parrish Gibbons

Director of Community Relations

Learning Disabilities Association of WNY

O: 716-874-7200

F: 716-874-7205

C: 716-390-9435



Family Support Services

Family Support Services Coordinators are available at each of OPWDD's Developmental Disabilities Regional Offices (DDROs) to help families access Family Support Services. Each DDRO also has a Family Support Services Advisory Council to represent the interests of family members and people with developmental disabilities. The councils work in partnership with the DDROs to make decisions supporting families and loved ones.

Family Support Services can help in times of crisis when a family member or loved one becomes ill, or when things get difficult at home for other reasons. With assistance and support, families can often work these situations out and stay together. Find out more information about these services and supports by calling the Family Support Services Coordinator at the DDRO representing the county in which the individual/family lives.

DDROs continually work with local community agencies to ensure that other family support services for people with developmental disabilities and their loved ones are available when and where they are needed. These family support services may include:

  • information and referral
  • family and individual counseling
  • family-member training
  • recreation
  • camps (Adult Overnight Summer Camp Information )
  • after-school programs
  • transportation
  • sibling services
  • support groups
  • service coordination

DDROs can also arrange for specialized equipment and home modifications.  For information about these types of FSS supports and services, please contact the Family Support Services Coordinators Listing of the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO) representing the county in which the individual/family lives.

 Vickie Rubin, M.S. Ed.  Phone - 716-880-3880 

Early Childhood Direction Center
3131 SHERIDAN DRIVE, People Inc Building
The only acceptable R-word is “respect”. 



 The TRAID-In Equipment Exchange Program is a statewide service that connects individuals with disabilities, searching for an affordable means to acquire needed devices, with people who have devices they wish to sell or donate. Call the NYS Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities at 800-624-4143 or email at webmaster@cqcapd.state.ny.us and ask for the TRAID-IN Equipment Exchange Program to list, at no cost, devices being sought or devices that are available. 


STARLIGHT STUDIO GIFT STORE-click on websitehttp://www.cafepress.com/starlightstudiogiftstore



BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids is made possible through generous sponsorship from Wegmans 

BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids!

BPO Kids is a classical concert series just for kids and a great way to introduce children to a lifelong love of music.  Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo has partnered with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to provide a special discount just to our families in hopes of making the concerts more accessible to all children! The hospital and BPO have worked together to provide families with a social narrative “Let’s go to the BPO” for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders; sound muffling headphones available at BPO coat check; preferred seating near exits (if desired) and access to a quiet space if a child needs a break. 

The Free, pre-concert activities start at 1:30 pm. Concerts start at 2:30 pm & last about 1 hour. 

Please visit our welcome table to sign in before each show. Quiet activities will be available downstairs.

 Sunday, February 28, 2:30 PM   Let's Go, Buffalo!  We've got lots of spirit - come and show us how you cheer for the best of Buffalo. Sabretooth will be there, as well as some real animals from the Buffalo Zoo. Visit famous Buffalo sites through music - the Erie Canal, Peace Bridge, Niagara Falls and the Underground Railroad. Learn why we have so much pride in our city! 

Sunday, April 17, 2:30 PM - Peter and the Wolf One of the most famous musical tales in the world. Meet the instruments of the orchestra as they represent each character in this thrilling story of Peter and his adventures to catch the wolf and make the meadow safe for his friends. Before the concert visit our Instrument Zoo! 

Sunday, May 15, 2:30 PM BPO Kids Take the Stage! Kids have so much talent; we decided to show off what YOU can do. From the smallest Suzuki performers to dancers, visual artists and more - this concert is for kids and by kids. You may even get the chance to conduct the BPO! 

Concerts take place at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201 Special Discounted Rate: $15 per family per concert (includes all members in household)

TO PURCHASE TICKETS: PHONE: (716) 885-5000 and please mention BPO Kids Exceptional Kids 

Parking: Is available in the lot for $10 per concert or on the street for free. The accessible entrance is on Porter Ave. Please e-mail Jana with any questions: jmertz@kaleidahealth 

BPO Kids for Exceptional Kids! – a partnership between BPO & Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo with generous sponsorship from Wegmans



Subject: Job Clubs  

Hello All – 

Just a reminder! 

  • Laura Wozniak, manager from HR Partners Staffing, will be in the job clubs:
    • Tuesday, Jan 5 – BETC at 1pm
    • Wed, Jan 6 – Merriweather Library at 2:30pm
    • Thurs, Jan 14 – ECC One Stop at 1:30pm
    • Wed, Jan 27 – Central Library at 12pm
    • Mon, Feb 8 – ECC One Stop at 11am
      • She will be talking about the challenges mature workers face and about jobs they are looking to fill!! 

 Thanks - 

Shane E. Stephenson, MLIS 

Business Services Specialist 

Buff & Erie County Workforce Dev. Consortium 

Larkin @ Exchange, Suite 630


Please join us for an evening of Au-Some fun!  

On the second Friday of each month, Explore & More hosts Au-Some Evenings for children on the autism spectrum, parents, neighbors, friends, relatives, etc.  

 There is no admission or other cost to attend this event. Explore & More Children's Museum is located at 300 Gleed Street, East Aurora, NY, 14052, 716-655-5131 ext.3 

Au-Some Evenings run from 5:30-8:00 PM and include:

  • our own music therapist 
  • arts/crafts with OT students from UB
  • Augie or Igby, our therapy dogs
  • sensory and gross motor fun in the gym
  • interactive and interesting exhibits of all kinds within the Museum

Additionally, if you  would like an "ambassador" to help throughout the evening (one of my grad students), please email me privately at krdoody@buffalo.edu

Reservations are preferred but not required.

Reserve your spot today!

Visit http://tinyurl.com/ausomeevening

Hope to see you at the Museum!   

Dates are as follows:

  • January 8, 2016
  • February 12, 2016
  • March 11, 2016
  • April 8, 2016
  • May 13, 2016
  • June 10, 2016
  • July 8, 2016
  • August 12, 2016
  • September 9, 2016
  • October 14, 2016
  • November 11, 2016
  • December 9, 2016




Contact: Nicole Forgione, People Inc. Marketing Communications Manager     Direct Line: 716-817-7490,


Museum of disABILITY History to Host Workshop on Tourette Syndrome

Workshop to Focus on Methods of Managing Tourette Syndrome In and Outside of School 

January 13, 2016: The Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to host a unique workshop on Saturday, February 6, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo. The session, “Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders in the Classroom” (2016 session),” will be presented by President and Founder of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Greater New York State, Susan Conners, MEd. The workshop is held in association with Learning Partners. 

Focusing on topics such as methods of managing Tourette Syndrome (TS) and associated disorders in and outside of school, the workshop is ideal for parents, educators, and health and human service professionals. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available for those interested. 

The cost to register is $40 for adults (with an additional fee of $30 for those pursing CEU credit) and $10 for students. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Wi-Fi available.

It is advised to register early as the workshop will be limited to the first 60 participants. Registration and payment is due by January 29. Registration forms are available online at museumofdisability.org or call 716-629-3626 with payment information. 

The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts relating to the history of people with disabilities. The mission is to tell the story of the lives, triumphs, and struggles of people with disabilities as well as society’s reactions. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.


Independent Living of Niagara County

746 Portage Road • Niagara Falls, New York 14301

Phone (716) 284-4131 • Fax (585) 284-3230


Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Can Learn about Finding Accessible Housing at a Seminar in Lockport 

The legal rights of people with developmental disabilities who are seeking appropriate housing and some practical techniques to secure it will be explored in a FREE Accessible Housing Education Seminar.  It takes place on Thursday February 18, 2016, from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, at Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC)’s Lockport Outreach Office, located in Christ Community Church, 140 Genesee Street at Pine Street, Lockport, NY. 

In addition to explaining the Fair Housing Act and other measures that bar disability-based discrimination, presenters will provide information and resources for navigating a provided regional list of housing options and other opportunities, advocating for reasonable accommodations and environmental modifications, and securing referrals and promising locations.  Housing Specialist Desireé Wlodarek of ILNC, and Todd Vaarwerk, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at Western New York Independent Living, Inc., will make a PowerPoint presentation as part of the Seminar.

 Anyone who is interested in attending should register by calling Michelle at (716) 284-4131, ext. 214; or by email at mamini@wnyil.org. 

“Developmental disabilities” encompasses a number of central nervous system impairments that occur before age 22, including: cerebral palsy; epilepsy; autism; spinal cord injury; traumatic and acquired brain injury; learning disabilities such as dyslexia (reading disabilities), dysgraphia (writing disabilities), and visual tracking disorder; cognitive disabilities, Down Syndrome, and others.  

Independent Living of Niagara County is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives. 


Ernest K. Churchwell
Public Information Officer-Writer
Office of Community Engagement
Western New York Independent Living
3108 Main Street
Buffalo, New York  14214
716-836-0822, ext. 181
visit our website at:  www.wnyil.org
Last year, the WNYIL Family of Agencies' work in assisting individuals to leave or avoid institutionalization saved New York State taxpayers over $60 million, for a two-year total of over $80 million.

Information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.  If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer.

WNYIL Scent Free Policy: WNYIL maintains a scent-free environment. Office staff, consumers, volunteers, visitors, and board members are asked to refrain from wearing or using any chemical substances that are sensitive to others when at WNYIL facilities. This policy is to ensure equal access to all people with chemical sensitivity disabilities who wish to access WNYIL’S services and programs.

People wearing chemical substances that aggravate chemical sensitivities will not be allowed on the premises of the WNYIL office. Some of the substances include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Perfume or cologne; 2. Fragrances; 3. After shave; 4. Any types of Alcohol; 5. Cleaning products, 6. Air freshener; 7. Other scented products; 8. Smoking.

 WNYIL requests that all employees, board members, volunteers, visitors and consumers refrain from wearing or using any type of chemical substance at the offices and to adhere to the chemical substance policies. Any person not in compliance with this policy will be asked to leave the premises.


Peer Support Group for visually impaired at Olmsted  

Peer Support / Guest Speakers / Resources / Awareness  



TIME- 2:00 PM- 3:30PM 

DATE- Second Thursday of every month 

CONTACT- Linda Kaminiski (716) 856-2821 

Christopher Hock (716) 381-3751


 AlAlberti Center for Bullying Abuse Preventionerti Center f

2015-2016 Colloquium Series

Children of Substance Using Parents: Pathways to Risk and Resilience 

Rina D. Eiden, Ph.D.

 Senior Research Scientist | Research Institute on Addictions

University at Buffalo, State University of New York 

Children of substance abusing parents are at high risk for a multitude of problems throughout development. However, not all children exposed to the risk of parental substance abuse exhibit poor outcomes and there may be multiple pathways to risk and resilience among these children. Understanding these pathways and factors contributing to resilience among children exposed to the risk of parental substance abuse may be informative for timing and content of preventive interventions. These issues will be presented using data from an ongoing program of research on parental substance use beginning in pregnancy and ending in adolescence. The implications of these findings for preventive interventions at multiple levels (child, family, school) will be discussed. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

University at Buffalo | North Campus

Park Hall | Room 280

Brown bag lunch; light refreshments provided 

This is a free event, but registration is required by Friday, February 19 at gse.buffalo.edu/alberticenter/events/colloquium  




Attention Parents of Young Children!!


Help protect your child’s personal safety! 


The University at Buffalo is recruiting parents of children ages 3-11 years to evaluate family videos designed to promote child personal safety and family communication. 


The study involves viewing a series of short videos and participating in a focus group discussion. 

A focus group will be held at the UB Early Childhood Research Center (15 Baldy Hall)

March 8, 2016

6:00-8:00 PM


A focus group will be held at the Research Institute on Addictions 1021 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14203 March 9, 2016


5:30-7:30 PM 


Participants will be paid for their time!


If you have any questions or would like to see if you are eligible to participate in the Child Health and Safety Study, please call or e-mail us. 


Phone: 716-887-3346 or 1-877-309-0140


We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Email: childhealth@ria.buffalo.edu


group discussion. 

Focus groups will be held at the Olean YMCA

1101 Wayne St., Olean, NY  14760, Activity Room March 9, 2016

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Group 1) OR

5:30 PM-7:30 PM (Group 2)



 ventn Need Great Employees?

We would like to invite you to participate in our community 

               Job Fair


 Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016 


Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.


Location: 3108 Main Street., Buffalo, NY 14214


RSVP: If interested (which we hope you are!), please RSVP at (716) 836-0822 to Charles Lloyd ext.164 or Shannon Bond ext.170 


We look forward to seeing you there! 

Come and Meet others from the community



Music and Movement for the Young Child

PIONEERS - ages 6 to 24 months: SATURDAYS 9:30 4 10:00 A.M.

February 27, March 5, 12, 19, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

possible make-up day May 14

EXPLORERS -2 & 3 year olds: SATURDAYS 10:00 4 10:45 A.M.

February 27, March 5, 12, 19, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, May 7

possible make-up day May 14

ADVENTURERS 4 & 5 year olds: TUESDAYS 6:15 4 7:00 P.M.

February 23, March 1, 8, 15, 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3

possible make-up day May 10


Spring Classes start in February!

A Great Gift Idea!

Pathways to Music is a place for children and parents/grandparents/caregivers

to discover the joys of music while singing, moving, listening, dancing, and

playing together. Through the use of age-appropriate songs, finger plays,

dances, bouncing games, circle games, instrument exploration, lullabies and

more, children will gain a wide apprecia(on of music while developing

language, motor, crea(ve and social skills.

Details & registra(on online:


Questions? Call 673-3599