Community and Independent Living Support
Aspire of WNY CILS Division supports people with developmental disabilities living in the community with family, friends, on their own, or in a certified setting like an IRA or family care. We assist with the exploration, planning and delivery of needed community based supports. Aspire is at the forefront in developing individualized supports and Community Based opportunities. Building partnerships with you and your community is a key element and outcome of our community based supports.
- Community Habilitation Services
- Respite Services
- Self-Directed Services
- Vocational Services
- Environmental Modifications (EMODs) & Assitive Technology
- Individual Support Services (ISS)
This service provides personally designed community connection opportunities for (with) people with developmental disabilities living at home with families, independently in the community or in a certified setting (in lieu of Traditional Day Habilitation activities). Community Support Professionals provide supports in the home and/or the community to assist in developing skills and strategies to achieve maximum independence and satisfaction. Supports may include, but are not limited to: household skills, (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.) safety skills, shopping skills, managing finances support, community connections, and building Self-Directed opportunities to gain further independence and control. Community Habilitation can become a bridge to Self-Directed and Pre Vocational services if desired.
- How much does the person want to be involved in their service delivery?
Direct Provider Purchased
- The person decides to let Aspire manage the staff and services. They will be assigned a Community Support Leader (CSL) who will coordinate and manage the staff. They will let the CSL know what the preferred hours are, depending on the approval from OPWDD, and the CSL will work on finding Community Support Associates to provide the services. The CSL will also write the Staff Action Plan to direct the staff based from the Life Plan.
Agency Supported Self-Directed
- The person agrees to partner with Aspire to co-manage the staff and services. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed outlining the person’s role and Aspire’s role with the co-managed responsibilities (employer authority). The Community Supports Leader will work with the person we support for staffing options and to create the Staff Action Plan based on the MOU. This level of support can become a bridge to Self-Directed Services.
Certified Living Situation
- Community Habilitation can be provided to someone living in an IRA or family care home. (Generally in lieu of a Traditional Day Program). This is an option for 1:1 staffing to help the person we support personalize their supports to achieve goals. Certain limitations with times, schedules, and locations of service delivery are applicable. Limitations are reviewed prior to service delivery.
*Aspire of WNY offers a variety of Respite Services to families of children and adults with developmental disabilities. The person receiving Respite must live at home with family. Respite is intended to provide temporary relief from the demands of caregiving, which helps reduce overall caregiving stress. Aspire offers a variety of Respite options to best meet the Respite needs of families.
- An Aspire Direct Support Professional will come to your home and provide supervision and oversight of the person with a developmental disability, while family members take time out to perform necessary errands or tasks that give them a break. Supports are limited to the family member with a disability. Other family members cannot be cared for by Aspire staff.
Direct Provider Purchased
- The person decides to let Aspire manage the staff and services. They will be assigned a Community Support Leader (CSL) who will coordinate and manage the staff. They will let the CSL know what the preferred hours are, depending on the approval from OPWDD, and the CSL will work on finding Community Support Associates to provide the services. The CSL will also write the Safeguards to direct the staff based from the Life Plan.
Agency Supported Self-Directed
- The person we support agrees to partner with Aspire to co-manage the staff and services. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed outlining the person’s role and Aspire’s role with the co-managed responsibilities (employer authority). The Community Supports Leader will work with the person we support for staffing options and to create the Safeguards based on the Life Plan and MOU. This level of support can become a bridge to Self-Directed Services (employer and budget authority).
After School Respite (Cheektowaga)
- This program focuses on leisure and social activities for eligible participants grades K – 12. Activities include arts/crafts, baking, motor skill games, and free play opportunities. It is only operated on days schools are in session.
Saturday Respite (Cheektowaga/Fredonia)
- This is a small group Respite Program that is offered several Saturday’s a month. Participants who are 15 – 60 and still living at home are eligible to attend. Activities are social/recreational in nature and are a mixture of both site based and community activities. Participant interest surveys and group discussions help determine activities of interest as a part of the scheduling process. Participants responsible for their own activity fees and meals.
People wishing to Self-Direct their services will find Aspire of WNY offers an array of supports that can be combined to create a comprehensive plan for service implementation. Aspire offers supports to the person and their team, from the beginning to the end of the budget development process, to understand the services available and explore how these can help to address their needs as well as short and long term goals. Assistance is provided to manage employer and budget authority while also ensuring safeguards are in place. The services available to those that choose to Self-Direct are:
Fiscal Intermediary (FI)
- Services that act as the Employer of Record, performing background checks and fingerprinting for all staff; implementation and execution of a budget and all related expenses. FI is responsible to maintain all required documentation. FI can assist as needed with recruiting, interviewing, and supervising staff.
- A broker will develop and maintain the supports and services plan and budget. The broker will create the budget with the person and maintain their circle of support. A broker monitors expenditures for consistency and irregularity oversight while performing periodic reviews and updates to the Staff Action Plan as needed.
Self-Hire Community Habilitation
- Facilitator of Life Choices will provide supports in the person’s home or the community to assist in developing skills and strategies to achieve maximum independence. A MOU will be created to outline the individual’s role and Aspire’s role of managing responsibilities.
- Respite Specialist will provide temporary relief from the demands of caregiving, which helps reduce overall caregiving stress. A MOU will be created to outline the person’s role and Aspire’s role of managing responsibilities.
Individual Goods and Services (IDGS)
- Funding that can assist with services, not otherwise provided through Medicaid or other OPWDD’s waiver services. For example: Paid Neighbor, community classes, organizational memberships, transportation, camp, and clinician services.
Other than Personal Services (OTPS)
- 100% state funding for items that are not Medicaid fundable. For example: cell phone, internet, personal transportation, health and safety, food, clothing and staff activity fees.
- Supports the person to live independently in the community by helping with housing costs.
Live in Caregiver (LIC)
- A person living independently in the community may choose to have a roommate that is responsible for the provision of physical, social, or emotional support needs. The roommate, who fulfills the role of live in caregiver cannot be related to the person by blood or marriage. This service reimbursement can be provided to the person for the additional room and board expenses generated by the live in caregiver.
Family Reimbursed Respite (FRR)
- A reimbursement to families for expenses paid for caregiver relief.
Family Support Services (FSS)
- Funding for a variety of OPWDD approved programs that provide supports and services to you if you are living at home with your families.
Community Transition Services (CTS)
- Funding for non-recurring set up expenses when you are moving from an OPWDD certified setting, state funded residential school or other Medicaid funded institutional placement to a non-certified community setting where you are responsible for your own living expenses.
Aspire of WNY is committed to developing a Person Centered Vocational Plan that is tailored to a person’s abilities, strengths and interests. Our Team will maintain an ongoing presence in the professional life of the people we support, offering vocational training, job development, job site accommodations, professional development, job coaching, adaptive technology assistance, and ongoing support as needed. Vocational Services are offered to people eligible, age 18 and over who have graduated High School.
Community Based Pre-Vocational Services
This service is offered through funding supported by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) that will assist with soft skill training, career exploration and assessment. The people we support will develop a Person Centered Plan alongside an Employment Specialist and our Team that will assist with identifying a career path!
- Soft Skill/Work Readiness Instruction to increase employability
- Career Exploration through unpaid work experiences in your community
- Pre-Vocational Assessment to assist with identifying Career Goals
This service is offered through funding supported by Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (ACCES-VR) in order to obtain and maintain employment. Ongoing supports are also provided through ACCES-VR Extended Supported and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
- Supported Employment Milestones to obtain and stabilize in a chosen career through ACCES-VR in Job development, placement and retention
- Pre-Employment Assessment to confirm the chosen career goal through unpaid work experience
- Personalized job coaching supports to maintain employment
- Continued Career Advancement
Employment Training Program
This service is offered through funding supported by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This service will provide a detailed view of a person’s supports while providing Career Discovery and assessment. Our Team will provide additional training supports alongside becoming a paid intern to hire at a local business identified through the Discovery process upon approval from OPWDD.
- Career Discovery through observation, interviews and assessment
- Work Readiness Classes to increase employability
- Paid internships at local businesses to obtain and maintain employment
Additional services to increase or maintain employability supported through funding provided by ACCESS-VR:
- Work Readiness Instruction 1-3
- Benefits Advisement
- Self-Advocacy in the Workplace
The Environmental Modification & Assistive Technology (EMODS) team provides assistance to obtain funding for environmental modifications and adaptive technologies to ensure that a person’s health, safety, independence and well-being are met through necessary modifications or devices. This ensures a person can maintain the ability to live at home and in the community.
Examples of EMODS and Adaptive Technologies
- Coordinate the installation of a wheelchair ramp or lift
- Accessible bathroom modifications
- Assist with making the kitchen and living space accessible and safe
- Vehicle modification
Find Assistance and Support
To begin a referral, please call 716.838.0047, option 1, or or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all questions related to Environmental Modifications, Vehicle Modifications and Adaptive Technology:
In Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties, please contact Jon Lundmark (716) 456-3113 or email@example.com
Aspire of WNY participates fully in the Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).
Assisting Independent Living
ISS assists adults with developmental disabilities to live independently by providing funds as a monthly rental subsidy to assist with paying rent in community-based apartments. ISS can also provide a one-time only transition stipend to individuals moving out on their own for the first time to assist with purchasing allowable necessary items such as furniture, utensils bedding and bath linens for their independent living setting. ISS is only available to individuals living independently. Individuals must be eligible for services with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to receive ISS.
For more information on ISS in Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus or Chautauqua County, please contact Jon Lundmark by calling 716.456.3113 or by email at Jon.Lundmark@aspirewny.org.