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Posts Tagged ‘Developmental Disabilities Chautauqua County’

Passion, Inspiration, and Connection | A Busy Week for Aspire!

What a wonderful week for everyone in the Aspire of WNY family! Here is a recap of what happened all around Western New York.

June 22- Aspire Center for Learning Graduation Ceremony

A lifetime of memories were made at the Center for Learning, when 26 students and their proud families were able to celebrate all of their hard work and dedication at the graduation ceremony. Two graduates received their diplomas and everyone participated in a program which highlighted the successes of students. Oh, and of course there was cake!

developmentally disabled graduation

Job Opening – Center for Learning – Art Teacher – Summer Session

June 23- Aspire Teams Up for Chase Corporate Challenge

Aspire of WNY continued its regular participation in the Chase Corporate Challenge and does so as part of its comprehensive Corporate Wellness program. Over 30 Aspire employees chose to run/walk in this year’s event held at Delaware Park.

Aspire joined staff from People Inc. and The Summit Center to collectively educate the community on “Disabling the Label” seeking to end any derogatory terms when referencing the developmental disability community. Kudos to all participants!

aspire of wny corporate challenge team

June 24- 5th iXpress Annual Art at the Athenaeum

Aspire of WNY and its iXpress program held the 5th annual Art at the Athenaeum at the Chautauqua Institution last Friday. The annual event is an opportunity to showcase paintings from iXpress artists and to make the art and related products available for sale. A beautiful evening in a beautiful setting.

developmentally disabled allegheny county art show

June 29th- iXpress Gallery Opening at SUNY Fredonia Incubator Gallery

Individuals, staff, families and friends celebrated wonderful collection of artistic expression. Aspire of WNY is proud to announce that members of iXpress were honored with an extensive exhibition at the Fredonia Technology Incubator. 29 artists blessed with unbridled creativity share a multitude of drawings and paintings with the public.

Untitled-2

What a wonderful week of celebration of individuals making the most of their opportunity all over the region! This busy week is but one representation of just how much passion, inspiration, and connection being brought together by everyone affiliated with Aspire of WNY. From Allegany County, to Chautauqua County up to Niagara County, the difference can be felt all over Western New York! Stay Tuned to the Aspire of WNY blog for continuous stories of inspiration and connection, & stay tuned to our Facebook page, which has updates each and every day!

7 Stars of “Bachelor Pad” Shine | Aspire of WNY Home Featured on Channel 4 & The Buffalo News

Three years ago, a group of friends took a major step and were able to live independently for the first time. The best part? They were able to move into their own place, all under one roof. Last week, the seven young men from Western New were the stars of a heartwarming story of friendship, togetherness, and freedom. You may have seen the video via WIVB Buffalo, or read about it in the Buffalo News.

David, Jared, Jeff, Patrick, Craig, William, & Michael have always been close. For years, their families’ hoped that they could get their own place, but with such a large amount of people on the New York State list, it was a pleasant surprise for everyone.

It was a winding journey for the families of the 7 bachelors, which started about seven years ago. Much like any other mid-to-upper 20’s guy, they each wanted to branch out and have their own life, but thoughts of isolation or lack of assistance is the fear for any parent of an individual with a developmental disability. After looking at over 20 properties, everything took a positive turn when they, along with Aspire, were able to meet with state developmental disability officials to seek approval of the “non-certified residence” on Main St. & Eggert Rd. 

With each of the guys all standing in each meeting to show state officials that this was their choice, the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities approved the budget, Aspire bought the house, and the bachelor pad was born.

‘Bachelor pad’ offers independence for seven men with Down syndrome | The Buffalo News

Today the “bachelor pad” offers the guys’ the freedom to live a fulfilling, independent life while providing peace of mind for their families. Despite the fact that each of the guys’ have down syndrome, this household isn’t much different than other male millennials,

“You walk in the house, a couple of guys will be sitting on the couch with their iPads, someone will be in his room listening to music, someone else doing laundry or playing board games,” said Fred Suchman, one of the staff members from ASPIRE of WNY. “It’s a normal house.” Buffalo News

Each of the housemates meet weekly to discuss chores, scheduling, and when the next Bills or Sabres game is on. They frequently watch the games together on their flat screen televisions, talk a little smack over a game of billiards, and they each have their own certain amount of money through their jobs and social security.

Jeffrey’s father had this to say about his son’s lifestyle.

“He’s so independent that he blows me off when I have a barbecue or something, he says, ‘Sorry, I’m busy, Dad.’ ”

Although the house is staffed 24 hours a day by Aspire, the guys live very independent lives. They all have their own jobs and six of them skate for SABAH, another organization that aims to enrich the lives of individuals challenged by physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities.  SABAH executive Director Sheila O’Brien told the News how the guys have matured since moving in together.

“I can see over the last two or three years, they take things more seriously and they watch out for each other more. They’ve grown up.”

Living together, living independently, living safely. The seven stars of the story don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

7 Stars of “Bachelor Pad” Shine | Aspire of WNY Home Featured on Channel 4 & The Buffalo News

Three years ago, a group of friends took a major step and were able to live independently for the first time. The best part? They were able to move into their own place, all under one roof. Last week, the seven young men from Western New were the stars of a heartwarming story of friendship, togetherness, and freedom. You may have seen the video via WIVB Buffalo, or read about it in the Buffalo News.

David, Jared, Jeff, Patrick, Craig, William, & Michael have always been close. For years, their families’ hoped that they could get their own place, but with such a large amount of people on the New York State list, it was a pleasant surprise for everyone.

It was a winding journey for the families of the 7 bachelors, which started about seven years ago. Much like any other mid-to-upper 20’s guy, they each wanted to branch out and have their own life, but thoughts of isolation or lack of assistance is the fear for any parent of an individual with a developmental disability. After looking at over 20 properties, everything took a positive turn when they, along with Aspire, were able to meet with state developmental disability officials to seek approval of the “non-certified residence” on Main St. & Eggert Rd. 

With each of the guys all standing in each meeting to show state officials that this was their choice, the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities approved the budget, Aspire bought the house, and the bachelor pad was born.

‘Bachelor pad’ offers independence for seven men with Down syndrome | The Buffalo News

Today the “bachelor pad” offers the guys’ the freedom to live a fulfilling, independent life while providing peace of mind for their families. Despite the fact that each of the guys’ have down syndrome, this household isn’t much different than other male millennials,

“You walk in the house, a couple of guys will be sitting on the couch with their iPads, someone will be in his room listening to music, someone else doing laundry or playing board games,” said Fred Suchman, one of the staff members from ASPIRE of WNY. “It’s a normal house.” Buffalo News

Each of the housemates meet weekly to discuss chores, scheduling, and when the next Bills or Sabres game is on. They frequently watch the games together on their flat screen televisions, talk a little smack over a game of billiards, and they each have their own certain amount of money through their jobs and social security.

Jeffrey’s father had this to say about his son’s lifestyle.

“He’s so independent that he blows me off when I have a barbecue or something, he says, ‘Sorry, I’m busy, Dad.’ ”

Although the house is staffed 24 hours a day by Aspire, the guys live very independent lives. They all have their own jobs and six of them skate for SABAH, another organization that aims to enrich the lives of individuals challenged by physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities.  SABAH executive Director Sheila O’Brien told the News how the guys have matured since moving in together.

“I can see over the last two or three years, they take things more seriously and they watch out for each other more. They’ve grown up.”

Living together, living independently, living safely. The seven stars of the story don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

March is Developmental Disabilities Month!

“Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1987 as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. I invite all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. I urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.”

 

28 years of raising awareness for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. This is the proclamation from President Reagan in 1987.

Aspire of WNY has been working for and alongside individuals with developmental disabilities around Buffalo since first creating the Cerebral Palsy Association of Western New York in 1947. In March of 2003, the organization became known as Aspire of Western New York.

Today we stand stronger than ever, serving individuals and families in Erie County, Niagara County, Chautauqua County, and Cattaraugus County. We celebrate the reality that those with disabilities not only possess the ability to be a functioning, constructive member of society, but deserve to.

We will continue to strive for the advancement and betterment of the lives of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities all over Western New York because that’s what we are here to do.

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This March, take notice of someone you may know or not know who was born a little different. Contact Us about job opportunities, volunteering, or if you know someone who could benefit from any of our programs.

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