Category Archives: Services/Care

Independent Living to hold six workshops in Wyoming County on living with chronic conditions

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Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be holding a series of FREE Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops for the community in Warsaw, New York, beginning October 5th, 2016. Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns. Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep, and relationship communication skills.

The workshop information is relevant for those experiencing chronic conditions such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Eating Disorders. The workshops are taking place at Crestview Terrace Apartments, 32 Salina Street, Warsaw, NY 14569, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM over six Wednesdays; the actual dates are October 5th , 12th, 19th, and 26th; and November 2nd and 9th.

Registration priority is given to Medicaid recipients, but is not mandated for attendance. Pre-registration by September 28, 2016 is required. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops by contacting Jennifer Siano at (585) 815-8501, ext. 412, or Donna Becker at extension 411. Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested!

New Support Group for Late-Deafened Adults in Lockport

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Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC), which has considerable experience with social and self-help activities for Deaf citizens, as well as instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), will be staring a new group for individuals who are abruptly experiencing severe hearing loss in their mature years. The new Support Group for Late-Deafened Adults will be held in ILNC’s Outreach Office in the Lock City, located in Christ Community Church at 140 Genesee Street at Pine Street in Lockport, NY 14094. Experienced ASL teacher Jeanette Grimaldi will facilitate the group, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Tuesdays, beginning on September 20th. To get more information, call Jeanette at (716) 402-5508 or e-mail her at JGrimaldi@wnyil.org.

Unlike those who were born Deaf or experienced severe hearing loss as infants, and grew up using sign language or received cochlear implants, late-deafened adults have a steep learning curve. They need to avoid circumstances that could further damage their hearing, and develop strategies to continue verbal communication in the workplace and elsewhere, even if they cannot hear themselves speak, including choosing areas with appropriate lighting and few distractions for these efforts. Those with some residual hearing could benefit from appropriate hearing aids.

One can lose one’s hearing in the later years from various causes: physical injury to the eardrum, ear canal, auditory nerve or middle-ear bones; exposure to extremely loud sound; as a side-effect of medications for some severe illnesses; due to tumors; or it may be a result of many diseases, such as spinal meningitis, measles, mumps, diabetes, strokes, neurofibromatosis, Meniere’s Disease, or Cogan’s Syndrome.

URGENT — PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY — ADVISORY!

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Disability Rights advocates to hold street demonstration in Buffalo to protest Uber tactic

The Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies (WNYIL) is calling out the network transportation company Uber for its cynical attempt to bribe the public to ignore the hard-won rights of citizens with disabilities. While it is not authorized to carry passengers in the Empire State outside of New York City, for a four-hour period today, July 15th, Uber’s otherwise idle drivers in Buffalo, Albany and Utica are carrying stocked cooler chests and responding to “Ice Cream” hails on its smart phone app by delivering up to three free ice cream bars. The firm’s management claims it is just part of a 400-city-wide early celebration of National Ice Cream Day, July 17th; but the Associated Press observed that the stunt was part of Uber’s ploy to continue pursuing its so-far “failed…bid to expand into Upstate New York.”

WNYIL’s advocates will further expose this “promotion” as an attempt to distract the public from Uber’s cavalier disregard of the needs of citizens with disabilities at a Press Conference, to be held TODAY, Friday July 15th at 1:00 PM, in front of its 3108 Main Street office, by Highgate Avenue, in Buffalo’s University District. Any community leaders who share our concerns for their constituents with disabilities are invited to sign up to speak by calling Todd Vaarwerk at (716) 836-0822, ext. 101.

We look to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination by commercial enterprises — such as on-demand transportation services. Our advocates would not be opposed to the entry of Uber, nor its competitor Lyft, into Upstate New York IF they would provide legally enforceable guarantees that the needs of all riders with disabilities were met. We have reason to doubt their intent, as the legislation they first promoted expressly excluded the accommodation of customers with disabilities, a loophole that was removed in negotiations with lawmakers. Where it currently operates in New York City, there are no accessible Uber cars. Unless the passenger can get his or her own equipment into the vehicle’s trunk, they are told to find rides elsewhere. Also, there have been instances of consumers with service animals – required by law to be allowed in any public or commercial area — who were refused rides, as Uber drivers use their personal vehicles.

The New York State Legislature ended its 2015-2016 session without the Senate and Assembly reaching an accord on the details of insurance coverage required in order to permit network transportation companies to serve Upstate New York. However, there is strong support in Albany to allow their operation beyond New York City. We feel the ice cream promotion is a calculated strategy to induce the public to pressure their legislators, and get them to concur on Upstate expansion, without regard for the needs of their fellow citizens with disabilities.

We advocates ask you: please don’t fall for it — don’t sell out our access for ice cream!

Accessible Housing and Disability Resources Site

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WNY Independent Living’s BIP Innovation Team and Independent Living Centers of Erie, Niagara and Genesee Regions
would like to present accessible housing information and resources for people with disabilities throughout Western New York!

Housing Lists include: Lockport Area, Niagara Falls Area (Niagara County, North Tonawanda Area and many more!

Click HERE for more information!!

WNY Independent Living, Inc. Family of Agencies

Visit us online:
www.wnyil.org
WNY Independent Living, Inc.
3108 Main St. Buffalo, New York 14214
716-836-0822

ILGR helps Batavia couple with disabilities to replace a bad roof section by securing a grant from Home Depot

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Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is delighted to have played a role in replacing a portion of a residential roof whose leaks had caused heavy damage to the home’s kitchen, its furnishings, floor and electrical system, and created a mold problem. The potential ultimate consequence could have been the collapse of that part of the home. Wishing to remain anonymous, both the husband, a US Military Veteran, and his wife, who volunteers at ILGR, have disabilities that prevent their working, and left them without means to repair it themselves.

The couple had sought assistance from various programs, without being able to qualify for them. But ILGR staff connected them to the Community Impact Grant Program (CIGP) of the Home Depot Foundation, which helps improve existing homes or buildings, with the involvement of an IRS-registered tax-exempt public service organization, and with the actual work to be done by volunteers from the community. Once they were approved in December 2015, the Foundation provided a $2,000 gift card, which purchased materials for the highest priority repair, the roof, to stop the leaks and ongoing damage, and also some electrical wiring. The “sweat equity” was provided by relatives and friends of the family who had some skills in home building, and recently completed the roof work.

The family is looking into used cabinets and kitchen furnishings, and is saving up their limited funds for work on the next priorities, repairing the damaged floor and electrical system, and remediation of the mold. They are very grateful for the kindness of the Home Depot Foundation, the support of friends, and the initiative of the staff at ILGR, which enabled them to have a home that is becoming increasingly livable.

Independent Living to hold Six Workshops on Living with Chronic Conditions

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Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be holding a series of FREE Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops for the community beginning June 20th, 2016. Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns. Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep, and relationship communication skills.
The workshop information is relevant for those experiencing chronic conditions such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Eating Disorders. The workshops are taking place at the Independent Living of the Genesee Region, 113 Main Street, Suite 5, Batavia, New York from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM over six Mondays, but skipping the Independence Day holiday. The actual dates are June 20th and 27th; July 11th, 18th and 25th; and August 1st.

Registration priority is given to Medicaid recipients, but Medicaid eligibility is NOT required for attendance. Pre-registration IS required. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops by contacting Patricia McAllister at pmcallister@wnyil.org or (585) 815-8501, ext. 402. Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested!

FIVE MORE Independent Living “introductory Classes” on the benefits of Medicaid

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Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) has announced that the overwhelming success of its ‘Medicaid 101’ introductory seminars in May, and public demand for more, has prompted the Agency to hold additional sessions, monthly, from June to October. Once again, the general public is invited to attend any of the FREE hour-long seminars on the benefits, requirements and application procedures for health care assistance for low-income individuals from New York State Medicaid.

The classes will take place from 2:00 to 3:00 PM, on the first Tuesday of the month at ILGR’s office, 113 Main Street, Suite 5, Batavia, New York, starting June 7th. Those interested can receive more information, get a Resource Packet with Medicaid materials, and sign up for the seminars by calling David Dodge at (585) 815-8501, ext. 415. But please be sure to RSVP if you are interested! If no one signs up for a particular month’s seminar in advance, it will be cancelled!

The instructor, ILGR Facilitated Enroller David Dodge, has described the seminars: “Medicaid 101 will be a presentation designed to help the community better understand Medicaid and the benefits that come with Medicaid coverage. In addition, our Medicaid Application Assistance Program (MAAP) will be discussed, so participants can be informed about the option to have someone assist them with their application should they choose to apply.

“This would also be an opportunity for folks to schedule an appointment with me. However, we would not be providing actual Medicaid application assistance at this event, due to its public nature and our HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) government-mandated privacy obligations.”

Buffalo Agency to hold a Fair for job-seekers with disabilities, and others

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Mental Health PEER Connection (MHPC) is conducting a Community Job Fair as one of its proactive efforts to bring down the jobless rate of recipients of mental health services, which can reach 70%! A division of consumer-run Western New York Independent Living, Inc. (WNYIL), MHPC welcomes citizens with disabilities who WANT to work, and anyone else seeking employment. The Fair will be held from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Thursday June 9, 2016.

The Job Fair takes place in WNYIL’s fully accessible facility at 3108 Main Street, with its main entrance from the off-street parking lot behind the sandwich shop Jim’s Steakout, across from Highgate Avenue in Buffalo’s University District. Easily accessible by those who use public transportation, it’s about two blocks north of the LaSalle Metro Bus and Light Rail Station.

The coordinator of the event, PEER Connection Employment Specialist Charles Lloyd, encourages applicants to “dress for success”, and bring plenty of résumés and cover letters to leave with the firms, all of which are Equal Employment Opportunity companies. While the full list has not been finalized, the confirmed employers include (in alphabetical order):

Aries Transportation Services, Inc.
Buffalo Public Schools
C & R Housing, Inc.
Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled
Compass Group PLC (food service)
Dunn Tire LLC
Gateway Longview, Inc.
Home Depot Stores
iQor Buffalo Call Center
New York State Dept. of Transportation
Ted’s Hot Dogs
Time Warner Cable
Wegman’s Food Markets, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans

Anyone who wants to get further information, or to RSVP for the event, should call Charles Lloyd at (716) 836-0822, extension 164, or Shannon Bond at 716) 836-0822, extension 170.

Learn about Finding Accessible Housing at a Seminar in Buffalo

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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 Tuesday June 14, 2016, from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM, in the Job Club Room of Western New York Independent Living, Inc. at 3108 Main Street (near Highgate Avenue; enter from the off-street parking lot behind Jim’s Steakout), Buffalo, 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 The Balancing Incentive Program at Independent Living of Niagara County, 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 Desireé at (716) 284-4131, ext. 218; or by email at dwlodarek@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.

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