THE NEW YORK POST
TIME TO FINALLY REMOVE THE STIGMA FROM THE INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED
By Betsy McCaughey
July 26, 2015 | 8:00pm First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles. Photo: WireImage
Good news. The R word — “retarded” — is being relegated to the trash can, just like the N word. A new national poll, commissioned by the Shriver Report, shows that nearly nine out of every 10 people consider “retard” as a boorish, cruel word that simply shouldn’t be used.
The medical establishment agrees. The newest edition of the handbook of mental disorders replaces “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability.” Part of the credit for this increasing civility and acceptance goes to the Kennedy clan and their cause, the Special Olympics. Anyone who has attended a Special Olympics comes away moved by the dignity and perseverance of these athletes.
You’ll get your chance this week to watch the World Summer Games, which launched Saturday in Los Angeles. This is the largest ever event of its kind, with 7,000 athletes from 177 countries (even our new best ally, Iran) competing in Olympic-style events including cycling, aquatics and weightlifting. The Special Olympics was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was saddened that her own disabled sister Rose had been shut away for life beginning at age 23.
In 1963, Rose’s brother, President John F. Kennedy, called for a new approach, moving the mentally ill and intellectually disabled out of state hospitals into small group homes and their local communities. Though well-intentioned, it was an impractical idea for dealing with the severely mentally ill. Many released from state hospitals now languish in jail cells instead.
But deinstitutionalization has been a huge success for the intellectually disabled. Since Kennedy’s time, there’s been a 98 percent drop in children in state institutions. Now the intellectually disabled can live in more normal circumstances and acquire a measure of independence, instead of being warehoused behind locked doors.
Even so, it’s still a mixed picture for them and their families. Breaking into the workplace isn’t easy. Only 34 percent of the intellectually disabled work, mostly in what are called “sheltered workshops” that pay below minimum wage and still keep them apart from other employees. Advocates are pressuring state lawmakers to end these government-subsidized workshops and require employers to pay at least minimum wage.
Looming ahead is the problem of who will take care of the intellectually disabled — including those with Down syndrome, autism and low IQs — when their parents or other caregivers die. Some 730,000 people with ID depend on a caregiver over age 60.
Considering these challenges, which can outlast a parent’s own life, 67 percent of American women who find themselves pregnant with a Down-syndrome baby abort. That rate is even higher — a staggering 92 percent — in Europe. Behind these statistics are the emotionally wrenching decisions of prospective parents who can’t imagine taking on this task.
In the United States, routine screening for Down syndrome began about a decade ago, and the resulting abortions have caused the American population with Down syndrome to plummet 30 percent since then. For parents who didn’t make the decision to abort and are dealing with the daily challenges and triumphs of the condition, watching the Special Olympics will be especially joyful.
The Games show what’s possible, and the courage and determination innate to all humans, regardless of their IQ.
Take heed, ObamaCare architect Ezekiel Emanuel. He’s argued that organ transplants and other scarce resources shouldn’t go to the mentally disabled, who are “irreversiblly prevented” from contributing fully to society. Fortunately, 87 percent of Americans disagree with that cold calculation, according to the new national poll, and want the intellectually disabled to have access
to organ transplants.
It’s a sign that Americans are becoming ready to embrace the humanity of the intellectually disabled. One reason for that generosity of spirit will be evident when you tune into the Special Olympics. The games are doing a lot to remove the stigma from intellectual disability, though the race is far from won.
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and author of “Beating Obamacare.”
25 years after landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, efforts to aid the disabled continue
Changes sought in employment, independent living
July 21, 2015
ERIE COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE DISABLED, PARTNERS TO CELEBRATE
25th ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
Landmark 1990 Legislation Extended Civil Rights Protections to Disabled Individuals
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Office for the Disabled will join numerous partners on Sunday, July 26 at Canalside in Buffalo to participate in nationwide celebrations centered on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which prohibited discrimination against individuals with disabilities and also assured them equal opportunities. Signed on July 26, 1990 the ADA brought individuals with disabilities into mainstream American life by creating community standards for disability-accessible design, encoding protections for the rights of the disabled, and guaranteeing that disabled individuals were entitled to the same employment considerations as those without disabilities.
“This celebration affirms the rightful place of people with disabilities in our country, underscores the importance of protecting the rights of all citizens, and provides an opportunity to see the many ways that disabled individuals contribute and give back to our community,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “We have come a long way in just 25 years to ensure equal opportunity for the disabled, but there is more to do. I thank Executive Director Cammarata from the Office for the Disabled for constantly advocating for those with disabilities and keeping issues affecting people with disabilities at the forefront.”
The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.
Executive Director of the Erie County Office for the Disabled Frank Cammarata III added, “The ADA continues to change life for millions of Americans and has made our country more inclusive. Today we are celebrating the achievements of the past 25 years and making a pledge to another 25 years of advocating for equality for all people, including those with disabilities.”
Free celebrations in Buffalo at Canalside and Wilkeson Pointe will be held from 2 PM until dusk in conjunction with similar events happening nationwide, and will include youth events, educational offerings, music, dance, adaptive water sports, zumba, yoga, food, entertainment, and more.
Along with the Erie County Office for the Disabled, organizational partners for the ADA 25th Anniversary celebration include WNY Independent Living, Inc.; Autism Services Inc.; Independent Living of Niagara County; Mental Health Peer Connection; OAHIIO; Independent Living of Genesee Region; Self Advocacy Association of New York State; Deaf Access Services; Parent to Parent; the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities; Explore and More Children’s Museum; WNY Adaptive Water Sports; Learning Disabilities Association; the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation; Disability Education and Advocacy Network (“DEAN”); Canalside; Accessibility Resources of University at Buffalo; and the Center for Self Advocacy and Parent Network of WNY.
Members of the DDAWNY Family Committee have been working with Scott Brown (Channel 2 - WGRZ) to develop a news segment addressing the critical issues that affect many families seeking residential supports and services.
Families in Crisis/Residential Needs.
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.
- For young people, ages 4 to 21
- Free to families, pending eligibility
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
• At least 18 years of age
• High school diploma or GED
• NYS driver’s license that meets agency policy
• Pre-employment drug test
EARLY CHILDHOOD DIRECTION CENTER Summer Camps in WNY!
Academy of Theatre Arts: Newest summer program is a half-day, one-week camp where children will explore different aspects of theatre with a final performance based on a favorite children's book. (3 & 4 year olds)
Achievers-n-Believers: Summer Science Program July 6-August 28th. Children learn about science while having fun.
American Academy of Ballet (Williamsville): Princess Camp
Artpark Camp Offerings: Art Camp, Theatre Camp and Rock Camp
Aurora Waldorf (West Falls): Early Childhood Camp for ages 2-6 and Day Camp for ages 6-12
Bead Creative (Williamsville): Summer Bead Camp for ages 6-12 and 13-18
Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo: exciting summer themes!
Bricks 4 Kidz (Southtowns): Themes include- Mining and Crafting, Angry Birds/Bad Piglets, Comic Creator Camp and more.
Buffalo Museum of Science: An assortment of Discovery Camps offered for children ages 3-15.
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens: Half day art and botany camps may be combined for a full day camp option. Most camps for ages 5-12 with one advanced week-long camp for ages 10-16.
Buffalo Equestrian Center: 5 weekly sessions beginning July 7 for ages 6-adult
Buffalo Seminary: over 12 NEW classes this year
Camp Centerland (Getzville): for children ages 4-15
Camp Cherith of WNY: Quality Christian Camping in WNY
Camp Hickory Hill: Full week and half week Christian camps in Varysburg, NY.
Camp Mercy: Girls only
Camp Turner: Overnight camping for boys and girls in a Catholic environment located in Allegany State Park.
Canisius College Science Camp: for children entering grades 5, 6, 7 and 8
Cardinal O'Hara High School: For grades 5-8
CEPA: Summer Art Programs
Cheektowaga Day Camps:
Circle C Ranch: in Delevan NY
Clay Hands Pottery (Clarence): Details
Cradle Beach (Angola): We offer three unique programs that meet the educational, social, emotional and physical needs of each child while helping those children achieve their full potential in life
Creative Essence (Clarence): 3 days camps
Daemen College Summer Camps: students entering 6th grade for fall 2015. For registration info call: 716-839-8550
Dance Time (Williamsville/Clarence): Summer Fun Dance Camp
David Demarie Dance Studio (Clarence): 6-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds
Doodlebugs Childrens Centers: Various locations with fun summer camp themes.
Eastern Hills Next Gen Preschool Camp (Williamsville): May 26th-June 19th
Elite Heat All Stars: Cheer Camp, Adventure Camp, and Princess Camp. Sessions available for ages 3-18.
Elmwood Franklin: Sing, dance, build, swim, discover, solve, laugh, explore, compete, share, play and learn at Elmwood Franklin Summer Camp.
End of Summer Blast Camps (Williamsville): Grades 1-6!
Fencing Center of Buffalo (Cheektowaga): summer camps begins in July
Flips Gymnastics & Sports (Lockport): We'll offer your child excellent fitness programs where they can have fun and still receive an educational experience.
Forrestel Horseback Riding Camp (Medina): Forrestel is special because of our small size. With an average
3:1 camper to staff ratio
, children don't get lost in the crowdFrank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex
(Buffalo): Architecture camp for grades 3-8 and grades 7-10
Genesee Country Village & Museum: Summer camps available with both historical and outdoor themes. Ages 4 and up.
Greater Buffalo Gymnastics & Fitness Center (Amherst:) starts July 6th!
Greendale Farm (Holland/East Aurora):
Guitar Factory: Summer Rock Camp for budding musicians from ages 8-18.
Happyland Day Camp (Amherst): Where Kids have Fun! ( pre-k through 11)
Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum (North Tonawanda): Summer camp sessions for grades K-2 and 3-5 in North Tonawanda.
Hoffman School of Dance (Southtowns)
Holiday and Leisure Rinks: from beginner through advanced hockey camps
Hyatt's All Things Creative: starts June 29th. Age groups are 5-8, 9-12 and 13-17
Italian Camp (Daemen College): Monday, August 3, through Friday, August 7, 2015 (9:30am - 3:30pm)
Jindo Martial Arts (Tonawanda): ages 5 and older
Just For Kids: Summer camps offered at both Grand Island and Williamsville locations for full days, with breakfast, lunch and snack provided.
Kelkenberg Farm of Clarence: Young Farmer's Program in its 30th year, for ages 6-10.
Kelkenberg Farm of Akron: Summer Farm Program includes "pony rides, baking, crafts, games, hiking, swimming and more." For ages 5-11.
Kenmore/Tonawanda Schools Day Camp: Swim lessons, Golf lessons, Tennis lessons and more!
7 Kids Play (East Amherst): Healthy Starts Camps, Mindful Kids Yoga Camp and TheraPlay Kids Motor Camp .
Legacy Equestrian Center (East Amherst): Tuesday through Friday camps
Master Chong's Summer Camps for Kids: Games, arts and crafts, sports, and martial arts instruction (no experience necessary)
Mavypoppins Literature Camp: for ages 3-8 at 7Kids Play
Microsoft Youth Sparks Camp: details on this FREE camp
Monkey See, Monkey Do...Children's Bookstore (Clarence): camp brochure here
Mt St. Mary Day Care (Tonawanda): June 29-Sept 4, 2015
Neglia Conservatory of Ballet (Buffalo): Neglia Ballet's Storytime Explorers is a creative arts summer camp (ages 4-8) where children are the story keepers and their imagination the storyteller. August Camps only.
Niagara County Community College: various
Niagara Falls Culinary Institute: Kids ages 8-18
Northtown Boys & Girls Clubs: Camp Spirit all day camps available
Orchard Park Recreation: for ages 3-16 open to all children from all areas
Page 1 Preschool:
The Park School (Snyder): Park's summer day camp is an exciting and fun way for children from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade to enjoy a safe, challenging, and stimulating summer day camp experience
Pinot's Palett Art Camp: July 13-17 AND August 3-7
Power Station Volleyball Camps: takes place at select high schools
Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve: Experience "Kids in the Woods," a week-long summer program at Reinstein Woods that gets kids outside and connects them with nature!
Road Less Traveled Productions (Buffalo): Summer Institute for ages 11-23
Rolly Pollies: AM Camp and PM (afternoon) Camp available
Roots of the Future Montessori: August 3-7 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. 8970 Main Street Clarence, NY
Rosebud Equestrian Adventures (Arcade): We welcome horseback riders of all levels - whether you are a experienced competitive rider, recreational rider, or a beginner rider who so far has only been able to dream about being on a horse - we have something for all ages.
Sherry Martin Dance (Williamsville): Summer Dance Programs
Skibbereen Farm (Orchard Park): Weekly camps July through August
SCB Performing Arts (Depew): View registration and camp details
The Summit Center: The Summit Center operates two camps for children ages 5-17 with high functioning autism and attention deficit disorder
Tifft Nature Preserve (Buffalo): Discovery Camps run during July and August for children ages 4-11.
Tumble Bee Gym (Hamburg): Summer Gymnastics Camp
University at Buffalo: Youth Camps and Programs
West Side Rowing Club (Buffalo): Boys and Girls ages 12-15
Willowbrook Junior Golf Program: a six week program of instruction and play for ages 7 thru 16 taught by a PGA Head Professional.
World of Discovery Summer Camp (Williamsville): Camp themes include - Let's go to the Beach, Let's go to the Castle, Let's go to the Jungle, Let's go to the Moon and more!
Wyomoco Summer Camp: Quality, Affordable Summer Camp in Varysburg, NY
YMCA Buffalo Niagara: Camps for ages 3-16 at numerous locations throughout the Buffalo Niagara area.
YWCA of Niagara (North Tonawanda): For ages 5-12 and begins June 29th
Special Needs Parent
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Annette Semanchin Jones, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo
716-645-1862 or email@example.com
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!
Early Childhood Direction Center
Special Needs Outreach Liaison
716 880-3875 ( main number)
Please like us on facebook www.facebook.com/ECDCWNY1
Join our email list firstname.lastname@example.org
Vickie Rubin, M.S. Ed. Phone - 716-880-3880
Early Childhood Direction Center
3131 SHERIDAN DRIVE, People Inc Building
AMHERST, NEW YORK 14226
(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.
Association of WNY
2555 Elmwood Avenue
Kenmore, NY 14217
1-888-250-5031 Outside of Erie County
AUTISM Syracuse ECDC Spring bulletin! A lot of great info
As Autism Awareness month draws to a close, we would like to share our latest ECDC bulletin on Autism. We designed this bulletin to provide a brief overview of Autism and the process to having an evaluation and possible services for young children. We hope that this introductory information will help parents/caregivers to answer some of their questions and alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding such a diagnosis for their child. We certainly could not answer everything in such a brief resource. As always, parents are encouraged to reach out for assistance and support for further information. Links to local support groups are included. Please visit the link to the bulletin on our website:
As always, we appreciate when you let us know when you will be sharing our resources with others and how many that you plan to share.
Maria Gill, Interim Director
Mid-State Early Childhood Direction Center
805 S. Crouse Ave
Syracuse, NY 13244-2280
315-807-8580 – cell
315-443-4352 – office
315-443-4338 – fax
New club looks to include people with disabilities in WNY races
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Rollin’ Athletic Club Inclusion Network, or RACIN, is giving the opportunity to people with disabilities to participate in running events around the community, including 5K races.
The organization started with BJ Stasio who has cerebral palsy. He wanted to join in on a 5K event with his work, but was told he could not participate because he is in a wheelchair. Stasio then teamed up with a few of his co-workers and Buffalo Racin was started. Now, the group assists people with both developmental and physical disabilities participate in race events around WNY.
Buffalo Racin is teaming up with the Heritage Centers for their annual 5K run/walk.
Jennifer Battisti of the Heritage Centers said the partnership is natural because both organizations have similar missions. The event will be this Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m and registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
The course takes participants around downtown Buffalo and along the waterfront.
April 8, 2015
POLONCARZ, GLASCOTT INTRODUCE “TEXT TO 9-1-1” TO ERIE COUNTY
New Service to Benefit Residents with Speech, Hearing Impairments; Traditional Telephone Calls to 911 System Still Preferred Communication Method
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott, Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth, Jr., and Executive Director of the Erie County Office for the Disabled Frank Cammarata to announce that “text to 9-1-1” is now available to Erie County residents seeking assistance during an emergency. While traditional telephone calls to the system remain the preferred method of communication in an emergency, the alternative “texting” form of communication will be beneficial to individuals with speech or hearing impairments, as well as for use in situations where a telephone call is not possible such as when a crime is in progress or when the caller is facing domestic violence or abuse.
“Adding a texting component to the 9-1-1 system allows individuals who may not be able to speak into a telephone for whatever reason to access emergency help when it is needed, without ever speaking a word. In accidents with injuries, in domestic violence situations, or whenever a person can’t speak but needs help, a text to 9-1-1 will get assistance on the way,” said Poloncarz. “However, everyone should be aware that use of the text to 9-1-1 service carries the same responsibilities as the traditional phone 9-1-1 system, and that this is not something to be abused. This is a life-saving resource, and frivolous or non-serious usage of the system could result in critical resources being diverted away from an individual who really needs help. The system is there to be used when it is needed, and as with the traditional 9-1-1 phone system, abuse of the system carries penalties.”
Over the past several months, Erie County’s E-9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center received major equipment upgrades to provide these enhanced 9-1-1 capabilities. Text messages to 9-1-1 follow the same parameters as other texted wireless messages; callers are limited to 160 characters and reception and service will be limited if cell phone service is interrupted.
“We have been working with the mobile carriers in the area such as Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to make sure this system is operational for our citizens,” said Erie County Central Police Services Commissioner John Glascott. “All of the public safety telecommunicator call takers at the 9-1-1 center have been trained to respond to text-to-9-1-1 calls. After a vigorous testing period we are pleased to activate it and offer it as another life-saving tool for the public.””
“This system provides better access to the 9-1-1 system for the deaf and hard of hearing community and will also help people who may be non-verbal,” added Executive Director Cammarata. “Assistive technologies for people with a disability have greatly increased in the past few years, allowing them greater access to services. This is another terrific and helpful example.”
“Erie County will be one of the few counties in Western New York capable of handling text-to-9-1-1 calls,” said Michelle Kerr, Erie County’s Deputy Director of Law Enforcement Communications. “The 9-1-1 text message rings in similar to a normal phone call. The incoming text message will appear on all of our equipment. Once we answer the call, a text screen will open, at which point text dialogue with the caller can begin.”
In most cases Erie County’s equipment will be able to see the general location of the caller/texter. If for some reason text to 9-1-1 service is found to be unavailable, the caller will receive a text message instructing them to make a phone call because there is no text service available to 9-1-1 at that time. When the call is over, the caller will receive a text message confirming that the dialogue has closed.
County officials remind everyone that calling 9-1-1 remains the fastest and most efficient way to communicate with emergency personnel.
The following steps must be taken in order to text to 9-1-1 during an emergency:
• Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field.
• The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help that is needed.
• Push the “send” button.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow all instructions.
• Text in simple words and do not use abbreviations.
Below are a few things to know about the text to 9-1-1 service:
• Text location information may not be equal to current location technology.
• As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order, or may not be received.
• Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
• A text plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
• If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
• Photos and videos can’t be sent to 9-1-1.
• Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send an emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
• Don’t text and drive.
Families needed for interview with physician assistant students- can you help?
Professor Erica Newsome from Daemen contacted me hoping we can help connect the Physician Assistant students to family's with a child at home who has a developmental disability. The interview will take about half an hour and can be conducted at a mutual date. The children must also be of school age and under 18.
As part of the physician assistance program at Daemen College students need to conduct a mini survey with families who have a child under the age of 18 with a developmental disability.
If you are willing to participate please provide the following information:
Email (if possible)
Age of child
Professor Newsom will then assign the students with a family. The students are responsible to reach out to the family and set up time to meet.
Thank you for your support.
Professor Erica A Newsom
Vickie Rubin, M.S. Ed. Phone - 716-880-3880
Early Childhood Direction Center
3131 SHERIDAN DRIVE, People Inc Building
AMHERST, NEW YORK 14226
(PEOPLE INC. BUILDING)
The only acceptable R-word is “respect”.
THE BUFFALO NEWS
Budd Bailey’s Running: Group puts focus on including the disabled
on February 14, 2015 - 7:22 PM, updated February 14, 2015 at 11:45 PM
A group of Western New Yorkers believe that as many people as possible should have the chance to be involved in local running events. During the past few months, they’ve tried to do something about it.
They formed the Rollin’ Athletic Club Inclusion Network, which shortens to “RACIN!”
“I work for the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Office as a psychologist,” Eric Frank said. “One of my colleagues, BJ Stasio, is in a wheelchair, and he was unable to enter the Corporate Challenge. We said, that’s not cool. We need to make sure people in wheelchairs, and those with developmental disabilities, can take part in local operations.”
Frank and the rest of the group contacted Frank Cammarata of the Erie County Office for the Disabled along with other groups in 2013 on what to do next. It should be noted that RACIN! is not a government program and received no funding from that source, and it’s also separate from Frank’s employer.
A committee was formed, monthly meetings were held, and an organization was formed. RACIN became a part of the Developmental Disability Alliance of WNY. All of that, naturally, was the easy part.
“Financially, it’s going to take a big effort,” Frank said. “We’ve been talking to people in the community. Our goal is to get people in the racing community on board. The goal is inclusion for people with disabilities. They haven’t been included in activities that are out there. We want to break through.”
There were a couple of obvious starting points. The group contacted race directors of 5-kilometer events around the area to see if they would be willing to accommodate such participants. They were.
Then RACIN! collected enough money to buy a racing chair. A basic chair costs about $2,300, while one that has extra stability built in goes for $3,400.
“In 2014, we were in five races – Linda Yalem Run, Breaking the Sound Barrier, Heritage Center, Dash for Diversity and Kidney Foundation,” Frank said. “This year, we’re slated to be in 10. About five races came up to us and said, ‘We’re inspired, we’re all about inclusion.’ ”
Sending one person out on a race course isn’t a small task under these circumstances. It takes a team of people to do it. Some of the assistants take turns pushing a person and the chair around the course.
“It’s an average of five people,” Frank said. “We’ve had a number of community members be pushers. If you talk to the pushers, they say it’s what Buffalo is all about, that it makes sense to break down barriers. ... They love it because they love running, and open it up to others. You run alongside and get to know the people in the chair a bit.
“We’ve had high school students on local race teams. We’ve had parents, fathers and mothers, who make up a core group that goes racing.”
Veteran runners who have taken part in many races know that street surfaces around Western New York can be on the bumpy side. What’s more, weather like this weekend’s certainly will ensure that “pothole season” will be with us for a long time in 2015.
Frank said his organization has tried to account for potential problems in that area.
“It’s been a concern,” he said. “We’ve looked for races with flat terrain. If it’s too hilly, it’s too much work for the pushers.
“Also, each group has a scout to ensure that the group goes in the right direction. We want to make sure it’s a smooth ride. We’ve done a good job of ensuring the safety of those in the chair and of the pushers.”
By the way, while wheelchair athletes are the most visible participants in some ways, RACIN! also has a goal of expanding past simply wheelchair athletes.
“We also want to get people with any disability walking or running with us,” Frank said. “We’re not limited by the chairs we have. We can get many people. What some people might see as a limitation, we’ll find a way to get as many people as possible involved.”
There’s a nice reward for those who are part of the program – the reaction to those who are aided as they travel the course.
“The people who have developmental disabilities – some are verbal, some are not verbal – they just light up,” Frank said. “They are lighting up right on the track.”
Additional information about the organization can be found at buffaloracin.org.