Celebrating inclusive businesses
Celebrating inclusive businesses
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Sheridan Surgical
WNY Consortium ACCES-VR Luncheon
Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time, each October, to highlight the contributions of American workers with disabilities and to celebrate the experiences of local workers. This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” Join us throughout the year to recognize workers of all abilities and the inclusive businesses, who make their important contributions possible!

People Inc. provides opportunities for people to explore their interests, develop their skills and find meaningful employment throughout the community. Dedicated staff members help make these connections possible – guiding people through job exploration and training, building connections with area businesses and more. In forging these relationships, we’ve partnered with some incredible businesses who believe in the importance of equitable hiring and providing opportunities.
Our agency is proud to connect local businesses with dedicated workers. One example is Sheridan Surgical, Inc. in Amherst, where two employees are valued members of their team! Learn more from a news story by WKBW-TV Channel 7.

One of the ways to honor many inclusive companies is through an annual luncheon held by WNY Employment Consortium & Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), held on Thursday, October 6. Among the business leaders recognized were Dr. Christian Duquin of Duquin Family Chiropractic, LCC and Kathy and Kevin Sheedy of Chick-Fil-A in Cheektowaga, who were nominated by People Inc. Learn more on how these companies are making a lasting difference.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be an incredible asset to the local workforce. WKBW-TV Channel 7 highlighted several training centers that allow people to explore numerous career paths. Our own James Scutt of Vocational Services shared that such programs are vital to helping us understand people of all abilities.

If you manage a business, consider the many benefits of bringing a person with disabilities onto your team! People Inc. has a number of services that can connect your company with qualified employees and provide ongoing support. To learn more, check out our website, contact James Scutt at businesssolutions@people-inc.org or call 716.817.5750.

An Opportunity to Grow at the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls
People Inc. Employment Specialist Amy Allen loves to see people happy and successful. She plays an important role in helping people with disabilities focus on what they are interested in, assess what skills they already have and learn how to build on what they are passionate about to find a position.

When Amy met Brenda Morgan, Brenda was looking for a new opportunity to use her housekeeping experience at a business near her home. Amy reached out to Ken Kirisits, the general manager at the Courtyard by Marriott in Niagara Falls to explore a placement for Brenda. Some of the skills that Amy has helped Brenda work on include navigating transportation and communicating with coworkers.

Having been there only a short time, Brenda has become a valuable member of the team. Ken remarked that, “Brenda is like any other employee. Sometimes she just needs a little extra training, but she accepts every new task and responsibility eagerly, is respected by the hotel staff, takes pride in her work and is a joy to be around.”

Brenda shared, “It is very important that guests have a clean and happy stay here and I like being a part of that. I have a great trainer, Angel Lopez, and a great boss in Ken, who helps me to work at my own pace. I had so much fun meeting all of the hotel staff during the recent employee appreciation week.”

Ken offers this advice to other businesses thinking about getting involved with the various Vocational Services offered through People Inc., “Take a chance, these workers are ready and willing to work, always on time and it is easy to work with People Inc. The employment specialist offers assistance, insights and bridges the communication between employer and staff – which is so helpful, especially in the beginning.”

Throwback to Rhonda Frederick’s TEDxBuffalo Presentation
As part of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, it’s a great time to look back at People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick’s 2015 presentation for TEDxBuffalo, “Differently Abled: Employing the Next FDR.” Check it out on YouTube!

DSP of the Year Awards
Introducing our Direct Support Professional of the Year Award Winners!
At People Inc., our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) make all the difference. With care and guidance from DSPs, people we support with developmental and intellectual disabilities are able to connect with their communities. They’re able to enjoy the comfort and safety of their own homes. They can explore unique interests and build important life skills. And, above all, each person is able to live life to their fullest potential!

This past summer, we accepted nominations for our Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards, recognizing our DSPs’ leadership, selflessness and compassion. We are proud to announce the winners – 30 in all! Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and helped recognize our incredible team members.
Fantasy casino event sponsors
The Deal was Fun and Raising Funds at
Fantasy Casino Event

People Inc. was excited to host our Annual Fall 2022 Fantasy Casino Event, at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens on Thursday, October 20. The fun evening featured food stations, full open bar, raffles and an auction, plus blackjack, roulette and craps. Our Direct Support Professional of the Year Award winners from 2020 through 2022 were recognized, with four of the honorees sharing their own stories of a day in the life of helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The event was held in conjunction with our People Inc. and Southeast Foundations. A huge thank you to our Blackjack Sponsors: The Vera B. Arrison Foundation, M&T Bank and Savarino Companies. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible, especially to all of our generous Blackjack, Poker, Craps and Slots sponsors, as well as in-kind donors, staff and volunteers! Check out the event photos on our Facebook photo album!
Attendees enjoy fantasy casino games Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY Attendees mingle during the fantasy casino event Direct Support Professionals in attendance at the fantasy casino event
Joe Cecconi's Donation to People Inc.
Joe Cecconi's Chrysler Complex Gives Back to People Inc.
We’re so grateful to Joe Cecconi's Chrysler Complex for a $5,250 donation to People Inc. Their team raffled off a Buffalo Bills Josh Allen autographed jersey, plus the dealership matched the amount raised. Thank you to Alex Rubin, Mike Jensen, Paul Schirca and the entire dealership for their incredible generosity and support!
People Inc. Willow Senior Living in Wheatfield (located on the border of North Tonawanda) had a fun afternoon with a visit from House of Munch food truck
People Inc. Staff Share Expertise on Senior Radio Buffalo
People Inc. is continuing our featured segments on Aging Gracefully, an educational mini-series from Senior Radio Buffalo! Our segment, that aired Saturday, October 22, will be added to Senior Radio’s Listen On Demand website section, which featured Tracie Howard (left) and Sharon Plant (right), who represent our Affordable Apartments, with Linda Pellegrino, host of Senior Radio Buffalo. The show is designed to educate the 55+ senior community, airing on WBEN-AM 930.

In the Community
We are pleased to participate in community events that allow our agency to connect with those around us and build new relationships throughout the region. Here’s a recap of recent happenings:
HOME Annual Dinner
  • On Friday, October 14, People Inc. Ambassadors celebrated 59 years of civil rights against housing discrimination at HOME, Inc.'s annual dinner. Jessica Milano of People Inc. was dinner chairperson and serves on the HOME board as secretary.
Deaf Expo
  • People Inc. Rochester team members Kayla Sucy and Chip McDaniel joined Kelly Morgan of Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., for DeafNation Expo at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) on Saturday, October 1. DeafNation Expo, is the foremost touring trade show for, by, and about people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
  • People Inc. was honored to join our friends from the Resource Council of WNY & Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. for their gala on Saturday, October 1. People Inc. is a proud supporter of these organizations, whose work provides services and hope to people and families across the region.
  • Earlier in October, Kevin Horrigan of People Inc. joined advocates and staff of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul in Albany for the first Disability Rights and Employment Awareness Month (DREAM) celebration.
  • People Inc. was pleased to attend the Buffalo Niagara Partnership ’s “Hidden Barrier” event on Thursday, September 29. The presentation provided insights on how companies can make economic mobility possible. Scott Bieler, president and CEO of West Herr Auto Group, provided opening remarks.
Lockport YALT Seneca Caz Bills
We Bill-eve in our Hometown Team
The people we support and our staff love cheering for the Buffalo Bills! Our Young Adult Life Transitions (YALT) Program in Lockport is full of Buffalo Bills spirit! Last month, the group enjoyed fun football-themed activities and attended a community tailgate party held in Lockport. Plus, a group of tenants from our People Inc. Seneca Cazenovia Senior Living Apartments in South Buffalo recently had fun celebrating the Buffalo Bills with a tailgate party. Go Bills!
People Inc. CEO Rhonda Frederick Earns Multiple Awards
Over the last month, our leader, People Inc. President and CEO Rhonda Frederick, has earned multiple awards from esteemed businesses:
Rhonda Frederick
  • The Amherst Chamber of Commerce honored Rhonda with its 2022 Woman of Distinction Award on Monday, October 24. The award recognizes a professional who has excelled in her field and continues to provide the region with leadership, professionalism and community engagement.

  • On Thursday, October 13, Rhonda was inducted into the Buffalo Business First Hall of Fame, which recognizes the entrepreneurs, executives, inventors and visionaries, who have had an indelible impact on the growth of Buffalo and the surrounding eight-county region.

  • The Canisius College Wehle School of Business presented Rhonda with the Dr. Bernard L. Martin Award on Tuesday, October 11. Established in 1976 by the Board of Directors of the Canisius College Masters Alumni Association (MBAA), the award recognizes a distinguished alumnus/ae of the college’s graduate business programs who has excelled professionally and provided significant service to the community.
Through Rhonda’s leadership, People Inc. is poised to learn from each other’s strengths – including people of all abilities and ages who our agency supports – and our employees.
YOU Can Make an Impact
Is making an impact important to you? If so, People Inc. has career opportunities that offer amazing flexibility, lots of variety and the ability to work with people one-on-one. Plus, our full or part time positions include outstanding benefits, like mileage reimbursement, career development and tuition reimbursement.

Join us! You can make an impact as a direct support professional in our Community Habilitation and In-Home Respite Programs located across Wester New York. Our staff work specifically with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities living independently in the community. There are no overnights, holidays or weekends for this role.

Applicants must be adults with a valid driver’s license and the ability to transport people supported in a personal vehicle that meets agency requirements. If you love to be on the go and enjoy working independently, apply at people-inc.org/careers.
Staff Share Services with Care Coordinators
People Inc. hosted a “Care and Learn” event for care coordinators and healthcare professionals on Friday, October 14. The open house-style event was held at our Health Services Building at 800 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo. The informative event featured representatives from our numerous agency supports, who shared their expertise. Plus, wellness stations were available so attendees could feel relaxed and restored. It was a fun, successful opportunity to share the many services People Inc. offers. If you’re interested in receiving support from People Inc. for yourself, a loved one or someone you assist, get in touch with our Admissions Team at admissions@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3700 (Western New York) or 585.441.9300 (Greater Rochester Region).
Emods team Certified Home Health
Senior Living Room
Multiple Apartment Options Accepting Applications
Your New Apartment Awaits!
People Inc. provides a wide-variety of apartment options across Western New York that are accepting applications year-round. Here’s the latest news that may benefit you, a loved one or someone you support:

Are you or someone you know in need of an affordable and safe senior apartment? Consider our beautifully maintained apartments for yourself or a loved one! People Inc. Senior Living apartments are for independent older adults, age 62 and over who are income-eligible. Apartment units include kitchen appliances and safety features. They are also pet-friendly! Applications are now being accepted for our HUD approved, one-bedroom apartments, including locations in Amherst, Angola, Blasdell, Gowanda, Grand Island, Lackawanna, Lockport, South Buffalo, Springville and Wheatfield. People Inc. Senior Living includes 20 locations throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. To learn more or for an application to be added to our wait list, call 716.880.3890. For more info and to check out apartment photos, visit: people-inc.org/seniorliving

People Inc. offers a variety of apartment options for the Western New York community – open to the general public, who meet age and income requirements. Each location through People Inc. Affordable Apartments include units with a refrigerator and stove. Plus, the apartments have safety features, AC, are pet-friendly and tenants have the ease of using the building laundry facilities. Rental vouchers accepted. Contact us today to learn more and complete an application: Email housing@people-inc.org or call 716.880.3890.

Here’s the latest info about People Inc. Affordable Apartments:
  • People Inc. Folwell Senior Apartments, under construction at 140 Hodge Street, Buffalo, NY: The new apartment building is for older adults 62+. This four-story apartment building has 40 one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments with seven units reserved for frail elderly/homeless. The building is slated to open for occupancy in spring of 2023. Applications will be mailed to those interested and are due back by February 1, 2023, opened by lottery at People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, on Monday, February 13, 2023, at 10 a.m.

  • People Inc. Oakwood Senior Apartments, 15 Oakwood Avenue in Blasdell, NY: One- and two-bedroom units available. This brand NEW apartment complex is for people 55+, income-eligible. There are also seven furnished set-aside apartments for people 55+ who are income-eligible and are frail elderly homeless individuals.

  • People Inc. Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments, 637 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY: Age 55+ and income-eligible.

  • People Inc. Grant Street Apartments, 25 Grant Street, North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible or who has an intellectual or developmental disability.

  • People Inc. Highland School Apartments, 105 Highland Avenue, Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible; have a traumatic brain injury or an intellectual/developmental disability.

  • Locations for the Olmsted Apartments, managed by People Inc., are located in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lockport and North Tonawanda, NY: Age 18+ and income-eligible. Preferences for people with physical disabilities or vision impairments are provided.
News from Deaf Access Services
Thank You for Another Successful Deaf Awareness Week
This year, Deaf Awareness Week took place from September 16 through 25. Deaf Access Services, an affiliate of People Inc., helped coordinate many events beginning with a flag-raising ceremony alongside Erie County Executive Poloncarz. Additional activities included interpreted educational sessions at the Aquarium of Niagara, a Buffalo Bisons baseball game, the annual Walk for Hearing and various community events, such as an ice cream social at PJ Cools.

Thank you to everyone who took part in Deaf Awareness Week 2022, plus a special thanks to all of the local business and organizations who helped make each event a success. Check out photos from Deaf Awareness Week on the news section of the Deaf Access Services website or Facebook page.
News from Headway of WNY
Headway Logo
Headway Moved
Headway of WNY has Moved!
Headway of Western New York, an affiliate of People Inc., has moved offices from 2635 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo to Tri-Main Center, 2495 Main Street, Suite 446, Buffalo, NY 14214. The phone and fax numbers remain the same: Phone: 716.408.3120, Fax: 716.882.128.

Headway of Western New York is a support and advocacy agency for persons with brain injuries and other disabilities. The agency is the Regional Resource Center/Single Point of Entry for the Department of Health's Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver. Stay up-to-date with the latest happenings on Facebook and Instagram.

Lothlorien Logo

News from Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center
The Whinny
Newsletter Now Available
Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, an affiliate of People Inc., has had a very busy year! Check out their latest news and happenings in their Fall 2022 Whinny Newsletter. For the latest news, be sure to “Like” Lothlorien’s Facebook page.

Located in East Aurora, NY, Lothlorien provides horsemanship and horseback riding opportunities for people of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional and learning disabilities.

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