Awareness wins, register for book event on March 29!
Awareness wins, register for book event on March 29!
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Mike Shultz on the medal podium with his silver medal.
The cover of Mike Shultz's book
From Injury to Paralympics Champion: Meet Athlete and Author Mike Schultz
“Monster” Mike Schultz is an athlete, innovator, speaker, author and Paralympic gold and two-time silver medalist! People Inc. is pleased to host Schultz for a presentation and book signing on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 p.m. The event will be held at our People Inc. Rehabilitative Services, at 800 Hertel Avenue, Suite 101, Buffalo, NY. Schultz just finished competing in the Beijing 2022 Paralympics and we’re thrilled to welcome him to Western New York! He won gold and silver medals in snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, as well as numerous X Games medals in motocross, snocross, snowbike and snowboarding. Schultz is the founder of BioDapt, Inc., engineering durable and versatile prostheses for athletes and military veterans around the world.
Schultz is not one to give up and let an injury be the end of his competitive career. When a life-changing event happened, he set out to design and build prosthetic equipment that could withstand the rigors of his sports. Little did he know then, he would be helping others do the same. For the Beijing Paralympic Games, 26 athletes from 11 countries wore equipment that Schultz built, including the athlete who won gold. Co-author of Driven to Ride: The True Story of an Elite Athlete Who Rebuilt His Leg, His Life, and His Career, Schultz will share his story with event attendees.

The book covers sports, business, Schultz’s experiences with injury, recovery and triumph, as well as working together as a team with his wife Sara. Driven to Ride is co-authored by Matt Higgins, a Western New York native, who has written for the New York Times, The Village Voice, Popular Mechanics, Outside and

Books will be for sale during the presentation, with an opportunity for autographs.
Registration is required, as space is limited. To RSVP, contact Lois Crane at
or call 716.817.7411
Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
March is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! People Inc. recognizes the many achievements and contributions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We encourage everyone to celebrate and recognize ability, not disability, all month and year-round!
“Inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life – from where they live and work, to educational and recreational opportunities – is part of our agency mission,” said Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. president and CEO. “We encourage community members and businesses to show acceptance and form diverse neighborhoods.”

Here’s how you can get involved:

1. Reach out. Our agency offers a wide variety of person-centered supports for yourself, a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability or for someone you assist. For more info, contact our Admission and Referral Services Department at 716.880.3700 (Western New York) or 585.441.9300 (Greater Rochester region) or by email at

2. Learn. Our website,, has a wealth of information – check out various agency supports under the Programs and Services section.

3. Practice inclusion. Be a friend, a listener, a teammate, welcome someone to your activities. This year, Spread the Word: Inclusion, a national organization in partnership with the Special Olympics and Best Buddies, focuses on young people and grassroots leaders who have persevered to create positive change and build a more inclusive future for all. Promote inclusion by signing a pledge.

4. Become an inclusive employer. People Inc. is seeking new businesses to employ people with disabilities year-round. Our agency assists companies to create jobs around a person’s talents and interests. To learn more about how to get employed through the People Inc. Supported Employment Program or to become a business partner, contact James Scutt at or call 716.817.5750.

5. Share your story. Spread awareness on social media using the hashtag #DDawareness2022.
Thankful for the People Inc. Social Work Team
March is National Social Work Month! We’re grateful for the passionate and dedicated social workers of our People Inc. Rehabilitative Health Services and Social Work Team, who strive to help build stronger people and communities. They provide individual, group and family therapy, treating a variety of needs. The team provides supports at our new People Inc. Health Services Building, located at 800 Hertel Avenue, Suite 101, Buffalo, NY. To learn more, go to or call 716.566.5050.

People Inc. Featured in Bee Publications
Last month, our agency was featured in all nine editions of the Bee Publications Lifestyles section! The story includes information about our agency supports, working for People Inc. and why it’s important to hire someone with a disability. People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick shares her insight about joining our team and why having an inclusive workforce is important.

David Wantuck and Stacy Blair posing with their awards.
Buffalo Business First IDEA Awards Recognizes People Inc. and David Wantuck
Annually, Buffalo Business First celebrates companies and people in Western New York who prioritize the importance of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA).We’re pleased to share that People Inc. was recognized with a Buffalo Business First 2022 IDEA Award during an event on February 17. Stacy Blair, People Inc. vice president, accepted the award on behalf of our agency. David Wantuck, community engagement specialist/ASL coordinator of Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., was also named an IDEA Award recipient.

Our vision is to work toward a future where all persons whose needs limit their integration into the community can reach their highest level of human potential as responsible members of society. As part of this commitment, an agency DEI committee has been established to help unite communities and create a better future for all, while creating a working environment that honors DEI beliefs.

David has been a valuable member of the People Inc. DEI committee and works continuously toward advocating for a Western New York that is fully accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing people. He strives to continue training and educating organizations and businesses on what inclusion, diversity, equity and access mean for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

People Inc. is proud of our guiding agency principles: Diversity is our strength, equity our virtue, inclusion is our passion.
Career Spotlight: RNs for People Certified Home Health
People Certified Home Health,  an affiliate of People Inc., for those with short-term health needs, is focused on providing high-quality and individualized patient care for people with and without developmental disabilities. We are seeking motivated RN professionals to join our team! The ideal candidates will have good assessment and critical thinking skills, compassion and attention to detail and are self-starters. In these vital positions, you ensure that people with long-term care needs receive the right care, within the right setting, and at the right time. Applicants must have a current license and be registered to practice in New York State as a professional nurse, possess a valid NYS driver’s license and an operational motor vehicle. See job postings for full qualifications and responsibilities.
  • RN-Certified Home Health, part time: Home Health Care experience preferred; and/or one-year of Medical/Surgical experience.
  • RN-Certified Home Health Case Manager, full time: This position will have occasional on-call and weekend responsibilities. Home Health Care experience preferred; one-year Medical/Surgical experience or equivalent required.
Our employees are our most valuable resource and we are committed to their ongoing personal and professional growth; including providing outstanding benefits. There is a place for YOU on our TEAM of essential employees – join our nearly 4,000 staff members and make an impact today. Apply online.
Tribute Gifts Welcome
You can help support People Inc. by honoring a loved one who has passed away, celebrating an occasion or recognizing someone special with a Tribute Gift. You could even make a Tribute Gift to recognize March being National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Tribute Gifts can be made at any time throughout the year to benefit the People Inc. Foundation, supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and older adults.

In Memory of: A gift in memory of someone is a thoughtful way to memorialize the life of a loved one, while continuing to support a mission you or they cared deeply about.

In Honor of: Celebrations, such as birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, awards, weddings or any occasion that brings joy.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated! Tribute Gifts can be made online or if you have any questions, contact Christine Melchiorre at or 716.817.7269.
Virtual Training for Care Coordinators and Healthcare Professionals
Topic: Environmental Modifications (E-Mods)
The popular People Inc. Lunch and Learn series is continuing throughout 2022! Interested care coordinators and healthcare professionals are invited to join us virtually on Thursday, March 24, from noon to 1 p.m., as we host our monthly “Lunch and Learn” workshop, “An Overview of Environmental Modifications (E-Mods),” by Casey J. Moore, People Inc. project manager. The session will include:
  • What is an E-Mod and how can it benefit the people I work with?
  • What qualifies for an E-Mod?
  • How do I apply for an E-mod and what is the process?
Registration is required. To register, contact Chip McDaniel at or 585.719.3413 by Tuesday, March 22. You will then receive the link for the training by email.
Rhonda Frederick Named #20 on Buffalo Business First’s Power 250
Buffalo Business First recently released their Power 250 annual list. We’re proud to share that People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick was ranked #20. Power 250 recognizes the most influential people in Western New York. Congratulations, Rhonda!
Kerri Neifeld
Kerri Neifeld Named Commissioner of OPWDD
It was announced that Kerri Neifeld was confirmed to serve as commissioner of the New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). People Inc. is excited to continue working together
in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
Get Social with Us!
There’s a lot going on within our agency – our goal is to make sure you’re caught up! A great way to stay updated is through our social media channels. We will deliver agency news, updates about our supports, career opportunities and fun photos, plus info about our affiliates. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
COVID-19 Updates
COVID-19 Resources
The People Inc. team operates in a proactive, precautionary manner, with a primary goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both the people we support and our staff throughout the global pandemic. For ongoing agency updates, refer to the Coronavirus section of our website.
The following resources are available:
  • Families are welcome to call group homes and programs with specific questions.
  • A special Coronavirus Phone Line is available for families to call at 716.817.7445.
  • An afterhours Coronavirus hotline is available for families and people enrolled in our Day Habilitation Programs and Vocational Services to share questions. The number is 716.529.6505.
  • To have COVID-19 concerns addressed, contact us at
  • The People Inc. Advocacy Department continues to help people who receive supports to
    stay connected and informed through Zoom video and phone conferences. Our Advocacy Phone Line is available for people we support to ask non-emergency questions by calling 716.322.7070.
Want a Career Where You are Valued?
People Inc. is the Answer!

We value what’s important to you – a rewarding career, continuous training, supportive team members and valuable benefits. People Inc. is hiring compassionate, energetic and creative people for full and part time positions across Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. If you value rewarding experiences and want to make a difference with your career, apply today! We have a place for people of all skill levels – from entry level to many years of experience. Direct support professionals, nursing, clinical, children’s care manager and behavioral staff are needed to help people with disabilities achieve their goals! People Inc. offers paid comprehensive training and a wide variety of flexible and consistent schedules, which are great for college students to gain hands-on experience and for people returning to the workforce. Staff earn generous PTO and PTO buyback is offered. Some of the other  great benefits  provided by People Inc. include affordable health insurances and tuition assistance. A sign-on bonus of $750 is now offered for some designated full time direct support positions and a $375 sign-on bonus for part time. For the group home in Springville, ONLY – Behavior Technicians are NOW eligible for a sign-on bonus of $1,000 for full time and $500 for part time. (Note: The sign-on bonus is subject to change and/or may be discontinued at any time). Take your career to the next step!
View People Inc. employment openings at  or call 716.322.7050 for more information.
Multiple Apartment Options Accepting Applications
People Inc. provides a wide-variety of apartment options across Western New York that are accepting applications. Here’s the latest news that may benefit you, a loved one or someone you support:
A Kitchen at Oakwood Senior Apartments.
People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments: Located at 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY, one- and two-bedroom units are available. This brand NEW apartment complex is for people 55+ years, income-eligible. Additionally, there are seven furnished set-aside apartments for people 55+ who are income-eligible and are frail elderly homeless individuals. Section 8 vouchers accepted. The apartment units include a refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, plus safety features and building laundry facilities. Tenants may have one small pet. People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments are near a major bus route, as well as within blocks of restaurants and shopping.
A tenant in her kitchen at Linwood Lafayette.
People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments: Located at 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY (corner of Linwood and Lafayette Avenues), the apartments are for people age 55+ and income-eligible. A one-bedroom market rate unit is available with rent at $1,077 per month with a minimum income of $28,500 and the maximum income of $45,600. The maintenance-free apartments include a refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, plus there are safety features, on-site laundry facilities, pet-friendly and AC.

People Inc. Senior Living: Multiple maintenance-free one-bedroom apartment locations throughout Erie and Niagara Counties are for independent older adults age 62 and up who are income-eligible. Many locations are accepting applications, including Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Buffalo, South Buffalo, Gowanda, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, Springville and Wheatfield. Two benefits of People Inc. Senior Living are affordable rent based on income and safety features. (*Our Gowanda location provides HUD Section 202 Affordable Housing and NYS Tax Credit apartments for seniors age 62+. Accessible unit available. Amenities vary. TTD/TTY: 1.800.662.1220).

Amenities vary. Staff members are available to provide age and income eligibility details for
any of our apartments. For more info or an application, email or call 716.880.3890.
News from Deaf Access Services
Support Deaf Access Services
An upcoming fundraiser for Deaf Access Services, “Deafinitely BBQ Season,” includes two great ways to support this affiliate of People Inc. that works to bridge gaps between the Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing communities throughout Western New York.
From April 15 to 22, an online auction will be open for supporters to bid on unique items. The auction closes on Friday, April 22, at 9 p.m.
Additionally, barbecue dinners will be available for purchase from BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue on Thursday, April 21, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the People Inc. Administrative Offices, 1219 North Forest Road, Williamsville, NY. Meals can be ordered online in advance or on the day of the event, while supplies last. This is a drive-thru event only. Purchase tickets and view meal selections.

Learn American Sign Language
Deaf Access Services is hosting classes in American Sign Language (ASL) this spring for people in the Buffalo area. The 10-week, $135 course takes place from Tuesday, April 19 to Thursday, June 23. A range of experience levels are available; space is limited. Reserve your spot today! Register online or by emailing, through Sunday, April 17. Check out the flyer for additional details.
NEWS from Headway of WNY

Brain Injury Awareness Month
In addition to various awareness topics, March is also Brain Injury Awareness Month. As reported in the news recently about the recent death of actor Bob Saget, Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People Inc., reminds everyone of the seriousness of brain injury. It is advised to see a health professional if you hit your head, particularly in a fall, which is the second leading cause of brain injury for individuals in all age groups. Learn more from the Brain Injury Association of America.

Headway of Western New York assists people and families with traumatic brain injury (TBI), other cognitive conditions, seniors and veterans. Support Groups are also provided.

News from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Three horses running in a corral at Lothlorien.
Registration Open at Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
Do you know someone who could benefit from therapeutic horseback riding? Registration is now open for 2022 sessions at Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc.! All sessions are four weeks in length. Days and times vary with group, private and semi-private options available. All lessons are conducted by a trained instructor with trained volunteers. Participants ages three and up are welcome, regardless of diagnosis. Learn more and call 716.949.3551 to register.

Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. is a non-profit, therapeutic horseback riding facility providing horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities. Located outside the Village of East Aurora, NY, Lothlorien is the longest-running therapeutic program in Western New York, serving ages three and up. Follow Lothlorien on Facebook.
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