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Advocacy is the active involvement of all people to speak up for change, which starts in each of our homes and broadens out to our communities. Advocates promote the idea that people have rights, can make decisions for themselves, speak for themselves and can determine for themselves how to live as independently as possible. Advocates participate in advocacy groups, learn self-advocacy skills, attend conferences, lobby for policy changes, participate in agency committees and support each other when speaking about what is important.

Several groups are active across the region, including: Brothers and Sisters of Advocacy, Core Advocacy, Moving On Up, PrideAbility of WNY, STREAM, The Underground and United Voices for Change. The Advocacy Department provides a platform for people to share their experiences and promote positive change.

Information: 716.322.7070 or advocacydept@people-inc.org

A monthly calendar is produced by the People Inc. Advocacy department to share advocacy groups and related events with people the agency supports, families, employees, and the community.

Learn more

People Inc. Advocacy groups host and participate in a variety of local, regional and state-wide monthly advocacy meetings. Meetings may be offered in-person, hybrid (in-person/virtual) or only virtually. Below is a description of each group and their meeting times.

Note: All Meetings are held on Zoom (except STREAM) using the Meeting ID of 716 322 7070 and the Password of 12344.

Brothers & Sisters Advocacy

Meetings held on the third Monday each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. 

This group originated in Rochester, but now has members from across New York State who join virtually. This group’s passion is teaching others how to speak up for themselves. The group loves to give presentations. If you are looking to learn how to be a presenter…this is the group for you.

Light refreshments provided.

We will be meeting in-person and virtually. Meeting in-person at 1860 Buffalo Rd., Rochester NY 14624. Use the front door. (Hybrid)

Buffalo Regional

Meetings are held third Thursday of the month from 4-5:30 p.m. at Jericho Road Health Center, 1021 Broadway, Buffalo NY 14212.

This group is run by SANYS. Please contact Sophia Roberts at western@sanys.org to join.

Core Advocacy

Group focuses on reviewing changes in policy for both People Inc. and OPWDD. Group reviews best practices and offers feedback on issues that may have an impact on both an agency and state level when it comes to policy.

Meetings are on the third Wednesday each month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in person at 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14207. (Only in-person)

Family Advocacy

This group is for family members that would like to learn advocacy skills, educate themselves about People Inc., and give constructive feedback.

Light refreshments provided.

Meetings are on the second Monday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. at 1219 North Forest Road, Williamsville NY 14221. (In-person Only)

Finger Lakes Regional

Meetings are on the first Wednesday of each month and offered at two different times from 10:30-noon and 4-5:30 p.m. 

This group is facilitated by SANYS. Please contact Sue O’Hearn-Webb at sohearn@sanys.org to join. (Hybrid)

A Good Life

Meets the Second Monday of the month from 10-11 a.m. (Virtual only)

This group focuses on habits and ideas that can contribute to having a good life. We might share a recipe or a tip on moving our bodies more. We try to provide resources each month and celebrate what each of us considers a good life.

Moving on Up

Group focus – to support people who wish to move, and/or have already moved into their own apartments. Come celebrate the successes and problem-solve the challenges together.

Meetings held on the second Tuesday each month from 5-6 p.m. We will be meeting in-person and virtually. We will meet at 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207.

Light refreshments provided. (Hybrid)

Pride-Ability of WNY

Group focus -- people who are LGBTQ and developmentally disabled coming together to make friends, learn about resources in the gay community, and to increase advocacy skills.

Meetings held first Monday each month from 5-6 p.m. We will be meeting in-person and virtually. We will meet at 2128 Elmwood, Buffalo NY 14207.

Light refreshments provided. (Hybrid) 

NOTE: New York State PrideAbility Coalition to expand LGBTQIA advocacy meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday each month from 6-7 p.m. (Virtual only)

Social Opportunities

We use Zoom every day of the week to provide an opportunity to connect with other people.

Our meetings are Monday through Friday from 4-5 p.m.  Saturday and Sundays, the meetings are from 1-2:00 p.m.  On holidays, we provide one meeting from 10-11:00 a.m.

STREAM

This group works to use streaming media (audio and video) as a tool for advocacy. We discuss issues and events, conduct interviews, and film coverage of events to be released to the public. We teach and encourage our members to do their own thing using social media to spread their own word.

Meetings are held the third Monday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Virtual Only) Meeting ID 716 650 0697

Technology Advocacy

We provide a monthly opportunity to learn internet safety skills on the second Wednesday of each month from 5-6 p.m. both in-person and virtually.

Learn how to create a safe password or discuss what information can be shared safely on-line. Discussion on new technologies to live independently.

In-person location is at 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14207. (Hybrid)

Underground

Meetings held on the fourth Monday each month from 5-6 p.m. 

This group is committed to social justice topics. This is a safe space for people to chat about issues that affect a diverse community. Usually, a video is shown with a brief discussion following.

We will be meeting in-person and virtually. We will meet at 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207. Light refreshments provided. (Hybrid)

United Voices for Change

Group focus – to learn self-advocacy skills and develop the "Right of the Month" for the agency.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday each month from 5-6 p.m.

We will be meeting in-person and virtually. We will meet in-person at 2128 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207. Light refreshments provided. (Hybrid)