Program participant earns award, register your business
Program participant earns award, register your business
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AGENCY NEWS
From L-R: James Wityk and Chris Volino.
Price Rite Recognizes
James Wityk as
“Team Member of the Year”

James Wityk is one positive example of the many participants that People Inc.’s Supported Employment Program assists. With the assistance of Job Coach Rob Barlow, James obtained a job at Price Rite in Cheektowaga, NY. A motivated employee, James has exceled within the company and enjoys his duties stocking in the meat department, along with various other tasks. In June, he will celebrate his seventh year at Price Rite.
This past January, James was nominated by his home store to be “Team Member of the Year,” out of over 500 candidates. James is now in the running for “Regional Team Member of Year!”
Chris Volino, James’s supervisor and store owner, had great things to say about James and stated it was an easy decision, nominating him for this award. “James goes above and beyond, taking on lots of different duties,” said Chris. “He is one of the hardest working and dedicated employees I have ever worked with and is NEVER late.”
James expressed that he loves his job, his job coach and coworkers. He added that Price Rite “treats him very good and they are flexible with my schedule.” When asked about his job coach, James shared, “He comes in to check up on me. We have been working together for over ten years and he knows me pretty good.”
Best wishes to James in his running for regional team member of the year! Thank you to Job Coach Rob Barlow for his ongoing support and to Chris and the Price Rite company for highlighting James.
Volunteers Needed to Assist Older Adults
The time and skills of volunteers are vital for two of our programs that assist and advocate for older adults. The following programs are in need of volunteers year-round:
  • The People Inc. Senior Companion Program supports older adults, 55 and up and living in Erie County, who need assistance with daily living tasks. Companion volunteers assist participating seniors with grocery shopping, going for walks, light cooking and housekeeping, while providing a break for caregivers. Program volunteers must be age 55 or over, live in Erie County and meet income guidelines. They earn a stipend, mileage and meal reimbursement, as well as receive training. To volunteer or learn about upcoming trainings, call 716.768.2381.
  • Do you have problem-solving skills and a passion to help older adults? Volunteers are needed to advocate for them through the People Inc., New York State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and Center for Elder Law & Justice. Volunteers called ombudsmen, promote the rights of residents who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Ombudsmen bring problem-solving skills as they visit long-term care facilities to help residents resolve complaints.
Ombudsman volunteer opportunities are available for those who work in professional fields, such as paralegals, human service staff, social workers and business professionals. Many volunteers are also recent retirees, ranging from those who have worked within education systems, administration or engineering fields. Schedules are flexible with a minimum of two hours per week. Volunteers are trained to properly listen to, investigate and help resolve concerns on behalf of long-term care residents. The program is currently screening interested candidates for its upcoming planning training sessions in Jamestown: June 25, 26, and 27 and July 9, 10, and 11; all from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information or to be screened, call 716.817.9222 or 1.844.527.5509.
To learn about other volunteer opportunities throughout the agency and for requirements, email volunteer@people-inc.org or call 716.322.7050.
Earth Day Brings People Together
Planting a tree was a way two of our programs connected to celebrate Earth Day! Participants of our Young Adult Life Transitions Program of Niagara County Community College got out their shovels to plant a tree at People Inc. Pine Senior Living in Lockport, NY. It was planted across from a tenant Karen’s window, so she can watch it grow. Great job everyone!
Register Your Business Today for a Great Cause
On Monday, August 12, People Inc. will host its 18th Annual Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament and Auction at the Orchard Park Country Club. Companies are invited to sponsor a golf team as a way to network and reward their customers and staff. All teams are treated to complimentary gourmet food and beverages, a unique gift, golf cart for the day and advertising.
This fundraiser has been a huge success thanks to our sponsors. Proceeds benefit more than 12,000 people with developmental disabilities, special needs and older adults that People Inc. serves.
To register, go to people-inc.org/golf. For more information, contact Melanie Brown at mbrown@people-inc.org or 716.817.7450. We hope to see YOU on the greens!
Rhonda Frederick Featured in Book of Influential Women
This past March and in honor of Women’s History Month, Suneel’s Light Foundation, a charitable organization that was established to raise awareness and fund critical research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, released Women in the City of Good Neighbors. This unique coffee table-style book showcases 42 remarkable women who are dedicated to making Western New York a better place to live. Among them is our very own People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick! Inclusion in the book was extremely competitive and was determined by an independent and diverse committee of women. People Inc. is pleased to support Suneel’s Light Foundation, which works closely with our affiliate, People First Mobility. We’re so proud of Rhonda for being chosen for this great honor. If interested, books may be purchased at suneelslight.org or by calling 716.243.0882.
Rochester
Staff Member Recognized
with Rising Star Award
Jaymie Eden, a People Inc. care manager for our Rochester, NY programs, was recently recognized with the 2019 Rising Star Award from Starbridge. The Rochester-based organization partners with people who have disabilities, their families and those who support them. The award acknowledges a human service professional’s achievements early in their career and recognizes their bright future empowering people with disabilities.
Within just one year of working at People Inc., Jaymie has been a shining example of positivity and support. People Inc. Children’s Services and Admissions Supervisor Brittany Richards nominated Jaymie and shared: “Jaymie is constantly thinking of new ways to help people, devising innovative methods to create independence and assist them where they are in their lives to help them get where they want to be.”
Jamie is pictured in the center with two other award recipients. Great job, Jaymie!
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Access to Home Program Assists People with Disabilities and Older Adults
Through an Erie County grant, People Inc.’s Access to Home Program provides financial assistance that allows those with disabilities and older adults who have low and moderate incomes to continue to live safely in their own residences.
Funds are granted for accessibility updates, including wheelchair ramps and lifts, ceiling tracks, door widening, kitchen adaptations and bathroom modifications.
Applicants do not need to receive services from People Inc. to be eligible for funds. To apply for assistance, applicants need to live in Erie County and meet income guidelines. To learn more about eligibility for yourself or a family member, email seniorinfo@erie.gov or call 716.858.8526.
People Inc. Senior Living is in YOUR Neighborhood
People Inc. Senior Living accepts apartment applications year-round for all of its locations, including these areas: Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Cheektowaga, Gowanda, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield.
Two benefits of People Inc. Senior Living are the affordability and safety features. Apartments are for independent older adults age 62 and over who are income eligible. As an added cost savings, some utilities are included. The apartments include a kitchen with appliances. Safety features include stove fire prevention devices, grab bars in the bathroom, emergency pull-cords and a secure entrance. The apartment building includes a furnished community room, laundry facilities and a 24-hour response system. Tenants are welcome to have one small pet. Amenities vary.
If you’re 62 or over and looking to downsize to safe, affordable living or helping a family member do the same, call us today at 716.817.9090 to learn more about eligibility and for an apartment application.
Register for Choose Healthy Western New York Workshops
Through a partnership with the Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative (WNYICC), People Inc. is pleased to present a series of health and wellness workshops. The classes, known as Choose Healthy Western New York Workshops, span a number of topics, from chronic disease to diabetes self-management.
The workshop curriculum was developed and tested by Stanford University and is an evidence-based program that's taught by four certified People Inc. staff members. Each workshop is six weeks long, meeting once a week for two and a half hours. Upcoming courses include:
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program at People Inc. Orchard Senior Living, 276 Waverly Street, Springville, NY, every Friday from May 24 through June 7, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program at People Inc. Marigold Senior Living, 3026 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY,
    every Saturday from July 27 through August 310, 8:30 a.m.
    to 11 a.m.
For more information or to register, go to wnyicc.org or call Becky Orton, manager of People Inc. Marigold Senior Living and lead program coordinator, at 716.773.0907.
NEWS FROM THE MUSEUM OF disABILITY HISTORY
Secret Path, Animated Film Adaptation of Gord Downie’s Album, to be Featured at Museum of disABILITY History Film and Speaker Series
The Museum of disABILITY History Film and Speaker Series will present Secret Path on Friday, May 3, with two showings at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. A reception with refreshments and speakers will be at 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Secret Path is comprised of ten poems inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who ran away from Cecilia Residential School in Kenora, Ontario, in an attempt to get to his family, nearly 400 miles away. The film is a powerful visual representation of the life of Chanie.
The lead singer of the band Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, along with comic artist, Jeff Lemire, helped bring Secret Path and its message to so many across the world through their beautiful and heartbreaking music.
The event’s reception will include a question and answer session with two speakers, John Volpe and Michael Bastine, who will discuss their community connection to Secret Path.
The film may contain mature subject matter; viewer discretion is advised. While the film is animated, it deals directly with the abuses of facilities like this one.
Refreshments available. Although the event is free, registration is recommended. To register or for more information, email Alex Jusko at ajusko@people-inc.org or call 716.629.3626.
NEWS FROM HEADWAY OF WNY
“The Roaring Twenties” Gala Event Admission Now on Sale
Headway of WNY, an affiliate of People Inc., is excited to host its 20th Annual Spring Gala, “The Roaring Twenties,” on Thursday, May 16! The event will be held The Atrium @ Rich’s in Buffalo, NY. Attendees are encouraged to dress as they choose in their favorite outfit or in attire from the era, whether it is a flapper dress, accessories, suit, pinstripes, bowtie, screen star or a literary personality.
The 1920s-themed event will feature live music by the Bobby Militello Quartet, basket raffle, silent auction, food stations, two-hour open bar and a costume contest.
Pre-sale admission may be purchased online for $65 per person, which ends at midnight on May 14. Admission may be purchased at the event for $70 per person. Sponsorship opportunities are available and auctions items are needed prior to the event.
Event proceeds benefit Headway of WNY to ensure that people in Western New York with brain injuries and other disabilities have access to advocacy, resources and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible.
For more information about event admissions, to become a
sponsor or to donate items, contact Christine Melchiorre at cmelchiorre@people-inc.org or call 716.408.3117. Information is also available on the Headway of WNY website, headwayofwny.org.

CAREERS AT
PEOPLE INC.
Featured Job of the Month: Children’s Services Care Manager
People Inc. is seeking a Children’s Services Care Manager and a Children’s Services Bilingual Care Manager in the Rochester and Buffalo areas. In this role, the care manager assures the provision of high-quality, person-centered service that is in accordance with agency, county, Health Home and the NYS Department of Health standards. The care manager assists families in advancing the physical and emotional health care status of children eligible for Early Intervention and/or Health Home services, as well as provides outreach and enrollment services to children presumed to meet eligibility requirements for NYS’s Children’s Health Home Program. Requirements include: Bachelor’s of Science/Arts degree with two years of relevant experience or a license as a registered nurse with two years of relevant experience or a master’s degree with one year of relevant experience; and a NYS driver’s license that meets agency policy. To apply or to view all of our openings, click here.
SUPPORT US
Purchase a New Spring Embrace the Difference Bracelet
If you are looking for a beautiful piece of jewelry for someone special this Mother’s Day or to complement your spring outfits, check out the new Embrace the Difference® wrap and stretch bracelets with a silver-tone butterfly charm. For $30, you can choose from three styles: A four-row wrap-style bracelet featuring pink, blue and purple jewel tone and gold beads; a three-row wrap-style bracelet with different-sized blue, grey and silver glass beads; and a stretch bracelet with pink, silver and white mother of pearl matte coated pearls. Order your bracelet today to be shipped or picked up at 1219 North Forest Road., Williamsville, NY. Proceeds benefit the People Inc. Foundation. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson at jrobinson@people-inc.org or call 716.817.7269.
COMMUNITY EVENTS
Register for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day
People Inc. is a proud supporter of the 31st Annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day, which will be held on Thursday, May 30, at the Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, NY. The convention, commonly known as DD Day, brings together local and regional agencies, industry-connected vendors and suppliers, direct support professionals, families and the people that all of these groups support.
Sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York, the keynote speaker is Gaelynn Lea, a classically-trained violinist and songwriter whose work most recently won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. Living with a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease, Gaelynn uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and promote positive social change.
The conference hosts a vendor fair, which includes representation of many of People Inc.’s programs. Workshop sessions will also be held throughout the day, with several of them conducted by our agency staff. To purchase tickets or to learn more, go to ddday.org or the conference’s Facebook page.
PEOPLE INC.
IN THE NEWS

Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.
“TCIE’s Lean program changing the culture at People Inc.:” Agency information included. University at Buffalo News Center, April 4, 2019.
“People Inc. Senior Living: Celebrating 25 years, apartment locations accepting applications:” People Inc. Senior Living featured. Dale Association, Power Up Newsletter: March/April 2019, page 20.
“A local mom shares her family’s experience” and “A physician’s experience:” Both articles written by Nicole Forgione, assistant director for Marketing Communications, People Inc. WNY Family Magazine, The Special Needs Child (pull-out section), April 2019.
LOCAL AND WORLD STORIES
The Buffalo News: For Couple with Down Syndrome, Farewell in Unforgettable Story
“Instead, Paul lived a monumental life, and became part of a pioneering and important love story that attracted international attention.”
The Mighty: 43 Models with Down Syndrome
“How wonderful it will be when we get to a point when picking up a magazine or seeing another commercial for a fashion brand means we will see true diversity.”
NPR: How One Mother’s Battle is Changing Police Training on Disabilities
“Experts say people with intellectual disabilities may have trouble processing those orders. They may struggle to follow directions or manage emotions.”
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