Under the guidance of the Erie County Department of Health and the Center for Learning’s Safety Plan, we have determined that our School Aged and On-Site Preschool will transition to remote learning. The families and caregivers of our students have been contacted. Additionally, teachers and therapists have followed up with their individual students.
The building will also be undergoing a deep cleaning. We are scheduled to return to in-person classes on Oct. 19th. The Center for Learning Safety Plan can be viewed on www.aspirewny.org.
Aspire of Western New York has released its Safety and Reopening Plan for Saturday Respite Programs. Access the plan at the link below.
Saturday Programs Safety & Reopening Plan
In honor of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, Sept. 13 to Sept. 19, Aspire of WNY President & CEO Renee Filip has a message to all DSPs who work with Aspire.
Watch the video below to see more.
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 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
Mall Blvd Day Habilitation
Aspire Owned Vehicles and Transportation
In preparation for the reopening of Aspire Center for Learning, the Leadership Team of Aspire of WNY has compiled an Education Reopening Plan.
Download the plan and related attachments by clicking the links below.
Aspire Education Reopening Plan
School Reopening Plan Attachments
Demetrius Brooks, Associate Director of Residential Opportunities
“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.”