on October 29, 2014 - 7:15 PM
Tim Carter of Cheektowaga is looking for a job. He says he is a hard worker, a fast learner and good with customers.
He also has an attention deficit disorder and mild Tourette’s syndrome, and, like many people with disabilities, he does not want that to be a barrier to being employed.
“I’d like to find something that feels like it could turn into a career,” Carter said Wednesday during a job fair at the Central Library in downtown Buffalo. “I could start at entry level, but in other jobs you get the feeling that you will never go anywhere – there’s no future – and it hurts.”
Carter has had temporary jobs – he worked for the U.S. Census Bureau – and has done kitchen work. But now, at age 24, he wants something more permanent.
“I’m wanting to try my hand at customer service. It seems like something I could get into. I have no trouble talking to people, talking to strangers, when you know what they want, what to ask and how to help,” he said.
He also knows that finding a career-track job won’t be easy. The employment numbers for adults with disabilities can be discouraging: In New York State, according to the Governor’s Office, the employment rate for people ages 18 to 64 with a disability is about 31 percent, compared with 72 percent employment for all other adults.
And those who are not working pay the price. The state poverty rate for unemployed disabled adults is more than 28 percent, compared with 12.3 percent for people without disabilities.
Wednesday’s Autumn Diversity Career Fair was part of a continuing effort to change those numbers.
“The gap between people with disabilities who are employed and those who could be employed has been too wide for years,” said Dennis Martinez, an employment specialist with the state’s ACCES-VR training and placement program. “People with disabilities can do almost any job. There is no job that is completely unattainable.”
His optimism was embodied by some of the employed workers who shared their stories with the job-seekers Wednesday.
Abu Musa spoke passionately about the challenges he faced when he arrived here from Liberia in 2001, widowed with three children and no idea what to do next. He kept his empty right jacket sleeve tucked into his coat pocket while talking about his journey, which led him to a 10-year career at Wegmans.
“When I came here, my first barrier was English,” Musa said, calling that even more of a problem than the loss of his arm.
“It was so hard,” he said. But he said Andrea Todaro of Innovative Placements kept telling him, “You are going to get a job.”
And she was right, he said.
He started at Wegmans as a cashier. While also earning a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s at SUNY Buffalo State, he worked his way up to coordinator of knowledge-based customer service.
Wegmans is among several local employers who work closely with agencies to hire people with disabilities. Eric Hetzelt, 36, is another who found a place there, starting at the supermarket nearly 15 years ago, after studying culinary arts in high school.
“I had my People Inc. job coach help me through their supportive employment program,” said Hetzelt, who has Down syndrome.
“I slice cold cuts. I wait on customers. My job coach still comes to visit me at work sometimes, and checks in with my bosses.”
But like many people with disabilities, Hetzelt is able to work only part time.
According to information provided by People Inc., employees here who have cognitive disabilities had a mean annual income of $5,233, and, on a national level, such employees averaged 22 hours of work each week, lower even than people with other physical disabilities, who work an average of 31 hours a week.
Combine that with the Buffalo Niagara region’s overall unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, and the job search can be especially tough – made worse by the fact that only 45 percent of students with a disability get their high school diplomas, according to 2012 numbers from New York’s Commission of Education.
Despite the odds, the Buffalo office of ACCES-VR, serving the eight Western New York counties, reports that it helped about 1,200 people with disabilities find jobs in the last fiscal year.
Home Depot is one of the larger employers. Joel Feuerman, a human resources manager for the store in Lockport, made it clear that it is not merely a charitable gesture.
“As an employer, if you are able to hire a person with a developmental disability, you are hiring someone who already has problem-solving skills, commitment and innovative thought processes,” he said. “When you bring them into your organization, they bring those same problem-solving skills with them, which is a great help to our customers.”
For smaller employers, there can be other incentives. Martinez, of ACCES-VR, said the agency helps clients with training and gives employers financial assistance, including paying up to 100 percent of a worker’s wages through a tryout period of several weeks.
The state also offers a Workers with Developmental Disabilities Tax Credit, worth up to $5,000 to businesses for full-time employees and $2,5000 for part-timers who are on the job for more than six months.
In September, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo established the Employment First Commission with the goal of simultaneously increasing employment for people with disabilities and reducing their poverty rate. The commission also will register businesses with specific policies to hire people with disabilities.
Darlella Wiggins of the City of Tonawanda is hoping that more businesses take notice. She has a slight learning disability and has been looking for a job for about a year, getting help from a People Inc. counselor.
“My coach is working with me on trying to find a job and on keeping that job,” Wiggins said. She is 28, has culinary training and would like to work in a restaurant or in retail.
“My disability hasn’t hurt my ability to work – not at all,” she said. “If I have hands-on training, I can learn in a couple of days what might take other people more than a week to learn.”
Wiggins is hopeful that a recent application at a local store could work out. A manager told her that she was among those in the “yes” pile for consideration.
“I might hear in a couple of weeks. Until then, I’ll keep looking,” she said. “As long as you have the right motivation, you can’t get discouraged.”
NFTA RIDER ALERT
For additional information call:
855-7211 Erie County 285-9319 Niagara County
TTY/Relay 711 or 1-800-662-1220
For accessible formats or accommodations please call 716-855-7286
Post Immediately Remove 11/17/14
full service starts
Friday, Oct. 31.
•No transfers at Church St.
•10 minutes between trains -
weekday mornings and afternoons.
•12 minutes between trains -
•15 minutes between trains -
NEW HOT ALERT - SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
DOJ ISSUES NEW TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE ON VOTING RIGHTS
FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Justice Department announced on 9/30/2014 it has published a new technical assistance publication
about federal laws that protect the rights of voters with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities
Act, the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the Help America Vote Act. The publication,
"The Americans with Disabilities Act & Other Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities,"
is intended to help election officials, poll workers and voters understand how the ADA and other federal laws
ensure equality in the voting process for people with disabilities. Complete .pdf guideline is available at
The age of a home can lead to high maintenance demands and is associated with risk factors such as exposures to lead, asthma triggers, safety hazards and mental health stressors.
A program designed by Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc. and Learning Disabilities Association of WNY, was established to respond to this situation. It provides individuals with developmental disabilities, who are at a high-risk of being negatively affected by health hazards in their home, with grants for necessary home improvements and repairs to ensure that their home remains healthy and sustainable.
Please contact Jennifer Steimer of Learning Disabilities Associates at (716)874-7200, ext. 159 for more information.
BORNHAVA MEN’S FORUM
The men’s forum is open to fathers and male caregivers of children with special needs. The forum meets in the evening once a month throughout the school calendar year at Bornhava, 25 Chateau Terrace, Amherst, New York.
The group has been meeting monthly for several years. Approximately twelve fathers have participated in the group, with an average attendance of seven or eight men, fathers of birth to five year olds. It has been a great success. There are ongoing discussions about coping with the handicapping conditions – the stresses, challenges, and rewards of being a father/male caregiver of a child with special needs. There are also many practical discussions about what people are doing for their kids and how to access additional services.
The group is facilitated by a licensed psychologist, Donald Crawford, PhD.
Contact: Ellen Crawford @ 839-1655
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 email@example.com and ask for the TRAID-IN Equipment Exchange Program to list, at no cost, devices being sought or devices that are available.
SAVE THE DATES:
Connecting professionals and families of young children with special needs
to services and resources
in Western New York.
CENTER FOR DISABILITY STUDIES
Blinded By Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind
Osagie K. Obasogie, Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings
Wednesday, November 5, 3-5pm, Baldy Center, UB
Colorblindness has become an integral part of the national conversation on race in America. Given the assumptions behind this influential metaphor--that being blind to race will lead to racial equality--it's curious that, until now, we have not considered if or how the blind "see" race. In Blinded by Sight, Obsagie argues that rather than being visually obvious, both blind and sighted people are socialized to see race in particular ways, even to a point where blind people "see"race. So what does this mean for how we live and the laws that govern our society?
Professor Obasogie's research attempts to bridge the conceptual and methodological gaps between empirical and doctrinal scholarship on race. Professer Obasogie's research attempts to bridge the conceptual and methodological gaps between empirical and doctrinal scholarship on meanings and explaining racial disparities. In addition to his work at Hastings, Professor Obasogie has a joint appointment with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society.
This event is cosponsored by the UB Center for Disability Studies, the Humanities Institute Disability Studies Research Workshop English Department and Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy.
In Search Of Clues…
“ Once Upon a Time…Using Stories and Visual Techniques So Children Can Live Happily Ever After”
…Solving the Mysteries of Serving Young Children with Developmental Disabilities in Child Care Community Settings
"Once Upon a Time...Using Stories and Visual Techniques So Children Can Live Happily Ever After"
...Solving the Mysteries of Serving Young Children with Developmental Disabilities in Child Care Community Settings
This FREE workshop is designed for community childcare staff, parents and other service providers working with young children.
Many children are visual learners, so we want to share accommodations that help insure their success in your program. This workshop will feature the following:
* How to use visual schedules and pictures to help children be successful
* Learn about different APPS and websites that can serve as resources in the development of visual tools for use in your classroom
* How to use visual cues to reinforce program routines and maintain organization within the classroom
* What is a social story™? Learn why, how and when to use them
* Make and take your own social story™ back to your program
***This workshop meets the OCFS training requirements of: Principles of Childhood Development, Child Day Care Program Development
WHEN: November 6, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Temple Beth Zion Play and Learn School
7000 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, New York 14226
Margie Loomis, Principal, Baker Victory Early Childhood Program
Jamie Miller, General Education Teacher, Monarch Little Learners Academy
Lori Potteiger, Special Education Teacher, Monarch Little Learners Academy A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
This FREE workshop is made possible by the collaboration between the Early Childhood Inclusion Committee of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY, and theEarlyChildhoodDirectionCenter.
To register for the workshop or for more information, please call:
Early Childhood Direction Center or Kathy Coe@
880-3875 or 819-2408, Erie County Medical Center
When registering, please give your name and phone number in case we need to contact you.
Each center attending will receive a FREE copy of “Working with Young Children with Special Needs:
A Resource Directory”, a guide to the systems and service linkages available in our community.
Please feel free to duplicate this announcement for distribution to parents and staff.
This training is made possible through funding from the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) and Kaleida Health
Native American Cultural Competency
November 5-6-7, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Traditional Teachings for the People"
Learn some basic elements of Traditional Haudenosaunee Culture & Knowledge
Why is culture so important for many Native People?
"The Impact of Historical Trauma & Related Factors"
What can explain the significant health disparities in many Native communities?
Many peoples have trauma
Why is this so critical?
"Clearing the Path for the Seventh Generation"
Does history dictate Native people’s destiny?
Learn & help develop specific approaches & initiatives designed to help nurture and support a healthier community
Who should attend: prevention services, social services, community members, health services, family support,education, law enforcement, elected officials, elders services, outreach workers, mental health, policy makers, faith based, & all those who work for the community are welcome to attend At Native American Community Services, 1005 Grant Street, Buffalo NY 14207
Previous training participants have stated:
"This training was tremendously helpful. I had never heard of the [issues discussed] before. Everything I learned was eye-opening."
[This training is] "crucial to understand our audi-ence when working out in our communities. This training has created a great awareness ."
"I feel like I am taking a lot from this training that will help me with my job and my work with Native American students. The topics discussed were not easy topics and brought up a lot of feelings, but was done in a way that was respectful to all, and con-scious of the feelings these topics would arise in peo-ple."
"Thank you for making this training available. It’s extremely helpful and powerful!"
"Great info overall!"
Native American Cultural Competency
November 5-6-7, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Native American Community Services
of Erie & Niagara Counties, Inc.
Thirty-Nine Years in a Tradition of Caring"
Native American Community Services
of Erie & Niagara Counties, Inc.
Community & Cultural Services
Health & Wellness
1005 Grant St. 1522 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14207 Niagara Falls NY 14305
Ph: (716) 874-4460 (716) 299-0914
Fax: (716) 874-1874 (716) 299-0903
NACS is funded by: Erie County Department of Social Services, New York State Office of Children & Family Services, NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, NYS Dept. of Health/Family Health; Niagara County Youth Bureau, NYS Education Dept., NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, Niagara Co. Dept. of Social Services; Niagara Co. Office of the Aging, US Dept. of Labor, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, US Dept. of Health & Human Services/Administration for Native Americans, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and the Peter & Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc.,_
for TRAINING CONTENT information, please contact:
Pete Hill, C.P.P. Health & Wellness Director, (716) 874-2797 ext. 309, firstname.lastname@example.org
For REGISTRATION information, please contact:
Laurel Mark, Stages of Life Empowerment (SOLE) Program Planning Specialist, (716) 874-2797, ext. 334, email@example.com
CENTER FOR DISABILITIES STUDIES
Friday, November 14, 3-5pm
"Over There" to "Over Here": Tracing the Impact of World War I on American Society through its Veterans
Disabled War Vets Will Present Show
Stephen R. Ortiz, Associate Professor of History, Binghamton University (SUNY) , 532 Park Hall
Exploring American veterans of World War I offers a unique way to investigate many of the larger cultural and political changes experienced by the United States as a result of the war.
This talk will discuss the impact of WWI on the American healthcare system and understandings of disability and government dependency, as well as the contours of the political debates over US international relations, and the national, economy in which veterans groups participated.
Stephen R. Ortiz is an associate professor of history at Binghamton University (SUNY). He is the author of Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill: How Veteran Politics Shaped the New Deal Era (NYU Press, 2010) and editor of Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics: New Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States (University Press of Florida, 2012). He is working on a new book titled, Comrades in Arms: Veterans Organizations and the Politics of National Security, 1919--‐1961.
This event is cosponsored by the UB Center for Disability Studies, the Humanities Institute Disability Studies Research Workshop, and the History Department.
“An Afternoon with Franklin D. Roosevelt”
Who: The Buffalo Implant Group (B.I.G.) is hosting a performance by a local actor, Albert McFadyen
What: This special program will bring American History to life in word and song as the audience takes a trip down America’s Memory Lane reliving all of the major events of the Great Depression and World War II years through the eyes of FDR. McFadyen is credited as the voice of FDR in Ken Burn’s PBS documentary, The National Parks, America’s Best Idea, and a contributor to Mr. Burns 2014 PBS documentary. The Roosevelts, is a one of a kind show that provides an unusual glimpse of both the serious and humorous sides of America’s greatest modern president.
Where: St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Main Building Assembly Hall, 2253 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14214
When: Saturday November 15th 2014, doors open at 1:30 show time 2:00-4:00pm
Why: Albert McFadyen’s sister, Margie Fitchlee, is a Cochlear Implant recipient who actively participates on the Buffalo Implant Group board. Albert desires to use his talents to entertain people in the community as well as raise money for a great cause. All proceeds from the show will go directly to B.I.G. which is a non-for profit organization supporting and educating individuals with hearing loss in the community for over 25 years.
*Tickets: $10 each available by mail or will call
Checks payable to: The Buffalo Implant Group
Include: Your name, address, email/phone number,
Please state if you would like the tickets mailed to you or if you prefer will call
Will call will open at 1:30pm day of the performance
Mail to: Lisa Hill Nowicki, 1 Robert Rich Way, Buffalo, NY 14213
Contact: Lisa (716) 878-8202 or LHill@RICH.com
*Sign Language Interpreter will be available*