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Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY 

Family Committee





Dear Family Members:

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on the international human rights treaty known as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). If ratified, this treaty would protect the rights of all people living with disabilities, in the United States and around the world.

Advocates throughout the country are calling their U.S. senators and asking them to vote in support of this treaty. Our goal is to generate 500 calls in the next three days in support of CRPD. Please participate - call your U.S. senators today!

1. Call the U.S. Senate to voice your support for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

1-202-224-6545 for Senator Schumer

1-716-314-0301 for Senator Gillibrand

2. When a staff member from your senator's office answers the phone, please say the following:

"Hi, I'm [name], and I live in New York. I support swift U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We urgently need the protections for people living with disabilities to be supported and extended throughout the world. Please vote to support this treaty."

3. That's all you need to say! If you would like additional information, it is available at uusc.org/crpd.

We are asking you to make telephone calls if possible (rather than send e-mails) because we believe that phone calls from constituents to their senators will make the greatest impact at this crucial moment.

When CRPD came to a vote in 2012, it nearly passed. In the end, it was defeated by only five votes. Every senator's vote counts.

There is strong support for this treaty because it aligns with respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This treaty is modeled on the Americans with Disabilities Act. It would bring greater legal protections to persons living with disabilities, including children, people who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and others whose rights are currently being denied.



The Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) is a collaborative group of member voluntary agencies that provide services to people with developmental disabilities.  

While honoring individual agency missions, it is the intent of the Alliance to assist agencies to develop relationships, promote unified strategies and share risks for the mutual gain with and for the benefit of people with developmental disabilities.




New Store Item: Shot Glass Features Richardson Towers
The Museum of disABILITY History Store is excited to announce its newest collector’s item that you won’t want to pass up! We now have a unique shot glass that features a historic image of the Richardson Complex.
The H.H. Richardson Complex, also known as The Buffalo Psychiatric Center, was built in 1871. It still exists today, however only one building continues to operate as an in-house mental health assisted living center. It was abandoned for a while and is currently being considered for a massive remodel which includes a hotel. At the reasonable price of $4.95, this shot glass is available for purchase in the Museum of disABILITY History or online at store.museumofdisability.org!


The West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. is looking for visually and hearing impaired tenants for their rebuilt, historic, apartments located at:  WHITE'S LIVERY APARTMENTS, 428 Jersey St., Buffalo, NY  14213.

If interested, please call (716) 885-2344 ext. 21 or email:  whiteslivery@wsnhs.org

Also, you may scroll to bottom of this page and click on brochure and application.


Hello All,

Miniature Golf in a wheelchair?? - yes you can!

See attached!

Contact Chris at 685-3976 for more details. Registrations & Information will be posted on our website soon. Check out our facebook page for more info! 

First Event Sunday July 13th   location and time to be announced.

 Participants:   You can play!

If you would like to play miniature golf using the pvc putter register below and mail in the form with your payment. Each participant needs to purchase a putter to play.  Putters will cost $20 each. You keep the putter and can use it anytime you like, anyplace you like!

 We will need your wheelchair height to make the putter to your specs!

 You will be added to an e-mail list so you will be notified when we have PVC Putter Events.

 Anyone can play PVC Putting! You can use one putter per family!

 You line the putter up with the hole and plunge the ball out!  All PVC Putter events will be held in parking lots or gyms for total accessibility! 

Businesses, Families, Companies, Groups:   You can help!

You are invited to sign up for our PVC Putter Events and agree to build a hole!  Each group will sign up for a hole – there are 12 available.  You will build a miniature golf hole using our guidelines.  Guidelines will include but are not limited to: must be transportable, must be able to be set up on a parking lot, must be accessible for wheelchair use. You can make the hole to represent your company, use anything you like to make it fun, have giveaways for hole in one! Whatever you can create! Someone from your group (or your whole group if you like) must represent your hole at the event. 


We are looking for a team of handymen to help build the putters. If you are interested in volunteering your time  - (we will provide all materials)

                              please contact Chris at 685-3976.

We look forward to a family fun event with lots of new ways

to participate in a favorite summer sport!


Christine Muller

The Independence Foundation

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world......Anne Frank





We have begun scheduling. Attached please find a flyer for Excalibur Leisure Skills Center. Any agency questions, we can be reached at 716-831-3188 or you can visit our website and reach us via email. 

This year marks thirty years of programming for Excalibur. If you haven't had the opportunity to use our program before, then 2014 might be the right time for you to try it. Come and celebrate with us. 

Best Regards,

Catherine Catalano



90 North Drive

Buffalo, NY 14216 

Program Site:

NFTA Boat Harbour

1111 Fuhrmann Blvd.

Buffalo, NY 14203

Public Wheelchair Access Dock




In-Home Clinical Services 

For Children with Autism Living at Home with their Families 

About the service
Autism Services, Inc. has recently redesigned their in-home clinical services program to focus strictly on behavior support and interventions. Although other clinical services are extremely beneficial to children on the spectrum, we have found that behavior services are what families truly need in the home environment.  Through this program, a behavior clinician will come to the home to work with the parent and child on how to deal with difficult behaviors.  Visits will take place at times that are most convenient for the family.  Scheduling is flexible as we offer evenings and Saturday hours to meet the needs of the family. 

The first appointment will be held with the parent or primary caregiver. At this time, the behavior clinician will gather information on the behaviors, discuss the expectations of the program, and answer any questions the family may have. The next two to three appointments will be the behavior clinician observing the child in their natural setting and gathering data on the problem behaviors. After the observations are complete, the clinician will give a recommendation to the family on the amount and duration of appointments that will be most beneficial for the child (for example, 3X per week, 2 hours per appointment). The visits will gradually fade as families begin to utilize new approaches to improve behaviors at home.  Typically the service is provided for 6 months depending on need. 

The behavior clinician will then develop an appropriate behavior plan with the family to use at home to better manage difficult behaviors. The clinician will assist the parents and caregivers with the implementation and modification of plans as needed.

In order for behavior modification to be successful, it is imperative that a team approach is taken. The behavior clinician will work with and gather information from the following:

 The Child: The behavior clinician will take time in the beginning to get to know the child.  This helps in developing appropriate behavior plans that will be most effective.  One-on-one time spent together may include playing, talking, and/or engaging in activities based on the current behavior that is challenging. 

 Family Members: The more effort parents and caregivers put into this service, the more effective the interventions will be.  The behavior clinician will work directly with family members to give them the tools they need to make changes at home.

 The Child’s Providers:  The behavior clinician will maintain communication with the child’s providers as needed and/or requested.  These may include the child’s physician, psychologist, service coordinator, teacher, or any other individual that may help contribute to behavior plans. 

 If you have any questions, would like additional information, or if you have a family who would benefit from the service, please contact:

 Elizabeth Blinkoff

 In-Home Clinical Support Coordinator

Autism Services, Inc.

716-631-5777 ext 330


For Referral for In-Home Clinical Support Services form, (to be completed by Service Coordinator), scroll down to bottom. 




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.




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 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


Autism Services is a NYSED approved provider of training in the needs of students with autism. Effective with applications submitted after September 1, 2009, all candidates for a Classroom Teaching certificate in all areas of Special Education are required to complete coursework or training from a State Education Department approved provider of such training.  For more information about this new requirement or other NYSED Office of Teaching Certification Requirements, please visit their website at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/autism.html

We are excited to share our unique and extensive experience by offering training to education professionals throughout the year. This course will be offered through our Autism Center for Learning located at our main school and administrative site at 4444 Bryant and Stratton Way, Williamsville, NY  14221.

 Our 2014 Training Schedule & Registration Form is attached in PDF format to this e-mail.  Our next NYSED 3 Hour Autism Course will be held on Monday, August 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Registration is available by mail or online via PayPal at http://friendsofasi.org/autism-center-for-learning/.   Please note that payment must be included with your registration form, and you must be pre-registered to attend the training.  For more information regarding trainings through the Autism Center for Learning, please call (716) 631-5777, ext. 328 or e-mail tpanzarella@autism-services-inc.org.  We look forward to seeing you there!  Thank you. 


Tracy A. Panzarella, M.A./CCC-SLP/L

Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist/TSHH

Director of Clinical Services

Autism Services, Inc.

4444 Bryant Stratton Way

Williamsville, NY  14221

Phone: (716) 631-5777, ext. 328

Fax: (716 ) 631-9234




AUTISM SERVICES, INC., in collaboration with the institute for autism research (iar), is pleased to offer SummerMAX.  SummerMax is a summer social development program developed and empirically-validated by researchers at the iar to maximize the social competencies of 7-12 year old children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders.

Focus:  Social skills, interest expansion, interpretation of non-literal language (idioms), and face and emotion recognition.

Treatment:  Each day consists of five or six 70-minute treatment cycles that include:  Instruction, role play and modeling Therapeutic activities to practice skills. 

Dates and Time of Program:  Children will be randomly assigned to participate in one of two sessions in the summer of 2014:

June 30th-August 1st OR July 28-August 21st.  Each session runs Monday-Friday, 7.5-8 hours/day.

Cost:  $400 (Financial assistance available, if necessary).




Autism Services, Inc., Referral for In-Home Clinical Support Services Form24.16 KB
AUTISM SERVICES, INC. Referral for Social Skills Program Form12.61 KB
ABOUT AUTISM & WANDERING: THE BIG RED SAFETY TOOLKIT, Presented by the National Autism Assoc.6.03 MB
2014 Group Meetings for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be held on 4th Tues. of each month @ Parent Network of WNY 466.32 KB
2014 Group Meetings for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be held on 1st Monday of each month @ Wheatfield Community Center, NIAGARA CO. 415.01 KB
Referral Form for Social Skills Program @ Autism Services, Inc.12.61 KB
Time to schedule-Excalibur Leisure Skills Center-Accessible Boating Program534.76 KB
Miniature Golf From a Wheelchair - PVC Putting494.67 KB
PVC Putting Registration Form.169.83 KB
Sat., 9/20 - Adaptive Recreation Conference @ Buffalo Niagara Court Center, West Seneca. 256.98 KB
NYS Office of Mental Health - Early Recognition Intervention Program Screening for children between 30 months to 18 years720.99 KB
FAMILY HELP CENTER DAYCARE, A Children's Center for Success, 60 Dingens St., Buffalo1.33 MB
Au-Some Swimmers -Learn to Swim Program for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders - Starts 7/1 & 7/12 103.96 KB
Au-some evenings at Explore & More Children's Museum, from July to December, 2014425.35 KB
White's Livery Apartments brochure1.46 MB
Whites Livery Apartments application1.4 MB
Sat., 8/9 - Annual Disability Picnic @ St. Bernadette Parish974.89 KB
Do you still need health insurance?232.26 KB
Deaf Access Services invites you to learn the American Sign Language, classes beginning July 15 and ending 8/19.222.06 KB
NFTA Rider Alert - E.C. Fair Service August 8th-17th 58.39 KB
WNY Adaptive Summer Water Sports 2014 Programs and Activities410.04 KB
2014 Autism 3 Hour Course Registration Form98.09 KB