Having Fun While Connecting the People We Support with the Resources They Need–Meet AOCI!
Here at Aspire of WNY, each employee works in a collaborative process that ensures we can provide the best support possible to the 3,500+ individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities we serve in Western New York. Playing a key role in this process is the Agency Outreach and Central Intake (AOCI) department, a part of the agency’s Communications division.
The Agency Outreach and Central Intake department at Aspire of WNY offers a single point of contact for individuals, their families, and circles of support seeking services from our agency. “From answering calls, emails, and face-to-face needs, we are providing information to individuals, families, and other businesses about services to help support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” explains Jenna Astridge, Director of Agency Outreach and Central Intake.
Although the process of seeking services could sometimes seem overwhelming at first, the Agency Outreach and Central Intake department makes every effort to help guide everyone through this journey as smoothly as possible. “Although each path is different, we help them understand that they are not alone. “We want families to know that they can turn to us,” says Kelly Blake, one of the team’s Intake and Outreach Specialists. “We can help guide the way to services and information that they were unaware they were even missing.”
Kelsey Travers, another of the team’s Intake and Outreach Specialists, understands how critical it is to connect families to the right resources. “It’s extremely important for families to know how to connect with Doctors, Educators, support groups, and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD),” says Kelsey.
The Agency Outreach and Central Intake Department is continuously looking for new ways to connect not only individuals, families, and circles of support to resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities but also within the broader community. “We stop into local communication hubs such as libraries, other community service providers, and with families that we have the pleasure of interacting with on the day-to-day,” says Tracy Flagella, Intake and Outreach Coordinator at Aspire of WNY. “People might not know what they are missing until they are informed, so we’re always looking to make connections with people who may not know about the services we provide,” Tracy explains.
“The Agency Outreach and Central Intake department is such a binding force within our agency. From creating new connections to supporting the journeys that families take here at our agency and at the state level, we’re proud that our team can provide the resources and support every step of the way,” explains Renee Filip, President and CEO at Aspire of WNY. “The impact that we are able to make here at Aspire of WNY would not be possible without everything that is accomplished through our Agency Outreach and Central Intake department,” says Renee.
Whether you’re a family member or an individual who receives services or a Care Coordinator, chances are that you’ve interacted with the Agency Outreach and Central Intake department along your journey.
“Our team has an incredible wealth of knowledge to help families and loved ones navigate the extremely complex world of intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Megan Rechin, Vice President of Communications and Growth Opportunities. “They take care to spend time understanding the intricacies of everyone’s personal situation, offering resources, advice, and alignment of opportunities. They are an incredible asset to our agency, and I love being a part of their team!”
If you have any questions about Aspire of WNY, our programs, services, or opportunities, be sure to contact the Agency Outreach and Central Intake department in the Communications division today! They’ll be sure to get you started in the right direction, no matter what type of journey lies ahead.