one-of-a kind services for one-of-a kind people

email: covid19@aspirewny.org

Aspire of WNY Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Voting Rights for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has released a memorandum on voting rights for persons with developmental disabilities. Read the full release below, or visit the OPWDD website for more.    

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (also known as “The Motor Voter Act”) made it easier for all Americans, regardless of ability, to exercise their fundamental right to vote. The Motor Voter Act requires all offices of State-funded programs that are primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities to provide all program applicants with voter registration forms and to assist in their completion and submission.

OPWDD is committed to ensuring that voting rights are upheld for the people we serve, and that every person is given the opportunity to register to vote. Every effort should be made to discuss with individuals their right to vote and to encourage and assist with any interest in doing so.

This year’s general election will be held: Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

In NYS, the deadline to register to vote is: Friday, October 9th, 2020, and it can be done online, in person or by mail.

Additionally, if registered to vote, mail-in ballots can be requested by Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Several early voting days will be available, beginning October 24th.  

A safe way to vote must be discussed with every individual seeking to exercise this right.

Mental Hygiene Law 33.01 provides for equal provision of civil rights to persons with developmental disabilities and specifically includes the right to register for and to vote in elections “if in all other respects qualified and eligible.” New York State Election Law sets forth the qualifications for eligible voter participation. Section 5-106 prohibits those who have been convicted of a felony and those who “have been adjudged incompetent by order of a court of competent judicial authority” from voting. Interpretation, implementation and monitoring of eligibility criteria is left to the Local Boards of Elections and questions regarding specific individuals’ eligibility and registration statuses should be directed to the Local Boards of Election.

Counsel’s Office Bureau of Service Delivery may be contacted at (518) 474-7700 with additional questions.

Aspire Reopening Safety Plans

Aspire of Western New York invites you to review the following Safety and Reopening Plans.

Free Standing Respite

Community Based PreVoc Programs

Community Based Supports- Community Habilitation and In-Home Respite (Self-Directed and Traditional), Community Pre-Vocation, SEMP

CFL – Center For Learning

Safety Plans below are for Day Hab, SVLE and Co-Op Tech Buffalo in Erie and Chautauqua Counties:

7 Community Drive Habilitation 

Brock

Co-Op. Tech 

Hamburg 

Mall Blvd Day Habilitation

SVLE Central 

SVLE Erie

SVLE South

Tech

Aspire Owned Vehicles and Transportation 

 

 
Demetrius Brooks

Aspire Announces Appointment of Chairperson to Quality Partnership on Diversity & Inclusion

Demetrius Brooks, Associate Director of Residential Opportunities

Demetrius Brooks

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin

Demetrius began his career at Aspire in 2011 as a Direct Support Professional in residential.  Demetrius joined Aspire while he was pursuing a Master’s Degree of Science and Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College.  He felt Aspire’s Mission aligned with his own, protecting and serving people who have been marginalized.  In 2012, he was promoted to Team Coordinator at the Borden IRA.  He was promoted again to Program Coordinator in 2015.  When the Agency reorganized in 2018, he was promoted once again to his current position, Associate Director of Residential Opportunities.  Demetrius also graduated from Leadership Buffalo’s Rising Leader Program in 2018, where he made community connections and developed his leadership skills.

In addition to the positive contributions Demetrius lends every day to his division, he is an agency investigator and Co-chairs a Quality Partnership focused on program planning and implementation. Demetrius exemplifies the best of us by supporting and empowering our workforce and the individuals we support to create opportunities for success.  He listens, values, and respects others and through his actions and communications, we are a better organization.

When asked why the Quality Partnership on Diversity and Inclusion was important to him, Demetrius shared “I have been discriminated against and judged for the color of my skin and other personal traits/characteristics on countless occasions, yet I have not let that stop me from trying to overcome obstacles and work towards success. My personal experience has only heightened my passion to fight against social and racial injustice, whenever and wherever I may. Change is needed and I want to be a part of that change here at Aspire – no matter how big or small.”