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Press Releases

  • May 30, 2020

    $2.25 Million Grant to Assist WNY Dental Patients with Special Needs

    Higgins Announces $2.25 Million for Erie County Medical Center to Assist WNY Dental Patients with Special Needs Expanded Services Made Possible Through Collaborative Effort with People Inc. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the award of a 5-year federal grant totaling $2.25 million through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) for expansion of their Special Needs Dentistry program. The Special Needs Dentistry program at Erie County Medical Center plans to use this federal funding to create a state-of-the-art dental center dedicated to the unique needs of adult patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Collaborating with People Inc., ECMC plans to outfit the center with specialized dental equipment, as well as support faculty and staff dedicated to treating this underserved population. The funding will also be used to train dental providers so that they may pursue careers in the community with the necessary skills to treat adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Part of this award will be devoted to improving the training of dental residents, students and assistants both chairside and in the operating room. “For residents of Western New York, ECMC and People Inc. are trusted providers of quality services and care and this initiative takes the incredible work they do one step further,” said Congressman Higgins. “This federal grant supports an exciting partnership that will strengthen and grow opportunities to better serve and improve the health of people with special needs.” Elizabeth B. Kapral MS, DDS, Attending Dentist, Oral Oncology & Maxillofacial Prosthetics, Erie County Medical Center said, "Alongside my incredible colleagues at ECMC, I have worked diligently over the past 5 years to improve dental care for adults with special healthcare needs, and to train the next generation of dentists to feel confident in doing the same throughout their careers. When I began my tenure at ECMC, our department identified this great need in the community, and worked tirelessly to address that need. We were thrilled that People Inc. approached us with this opportunity, but quickly realized the need for grant funding to make this dream possible. I am immensely grateful to my colleagues and administrators at ECMC who afforded us this opportunity to work with People Inc. and the population they serve. We could not be more thrilled." Rhonda Frederick, President and CEO of People Inc said, “To tackle big issues, it’s all about collaboration. People Inc. and our Elmwood Health Center are very happy to work with ECMC on establishing a Dental Clinic as part of overall plan for the new Health Center under construction now. Dr. Kapral’s passion and expertise are incredible assets to this team effort. Best of all, the dental needs of our special population are going to be met in a quality manner in a convenient and familiar setting!” This federal funding was awarded under the HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants for General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry, the purpose of which is to improve access to dentistry services, particularly to low income, underserved, uninsured, underrepresented minority, health disparity, and rural populations.

  • Sep 29, 2008

    2008 NYS Disability History Week!

    People Inc. and the Museum of disABILITY History are pleased to announce the second annual celebration of New York State Disability History Week October 19th-25th. A resolution earmarking the third week in October was passed again in the 2008 legislative session. This week provides an opportunity t

  • May 13, 2009

    2009 Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament

    The 8th Annual People Inc. Foundation Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament will be Monday, August 24, 2009 at the East Aurora Country Club. Space is still available for golfers and sponsorship opportunities. There will be great prizes, a vacation raffle, and complimentary golfer gifts. In-kind d

  • Aug 18, 2010

    2010-2011 CAMPAIGN...Creating the Strongest Link

    Our fundraising campaign is officially underway, under the leadership of Diana and Ronald Papa and Foundation Board. Our goal is to raise $250,000 in one-time gifts and two year pledges toward renovation costs for the new Training Center for Human Service Excellence and Museum of disABILITY History. Thousands of direct care staff will be trained through this Center, and we all know that they are the strongest link in providing quality care. To learn more, contact Denise Paszkiewicz, Foundation Director at 817.7470 or . Click here to review our campaign booklet  and our pledge form .

  • Nov 29, 2013

    2013 DDAWNY Family Committee Legislative Breakfast and Panel Presentation

    “Still waiting?” Tell your story! Parents and caregivers are invited to attend:   2013 DDAWNY Family Committee Legislative Breakfast and Panel Presentation Friday, December 6, from 8:30am-10am Millennium Hotel Buffalo 2040 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY 14225  

  • Sep 15, 2008

    4th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series

    Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., to host disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series BUFFALO, N.Y: The Museum of disABILITY History, will host the 4th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series October 17th (7 to 10 pm) and 18th (12:30 to 5 pm). The series will take place at the Market Arcade Theatre, 639 Main Street in Buffalo. Admission is $2 per person and free for students with proper I.D. The Film Festival targets students, educators, families, human service professionals, self advocates, and movie-goers. The goal is to provide entertainment and information while exploring issues faced by people with disabilities. The programs are intended to educate viewers about disabilities, challenge stereotypes, and celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities to popular culture. There will be a presentation and discussion by a variety of speakers following the showing of each film. For more information go to The Festival is also the unofficial start of New York State's second annual Disability History Week. The schedule of the films and speakers are as follows: October 17th (7:00 -10:00 pm): Mozart & The Whale (PG-13) The story of a developing romance between Donald (Josh Hartnett), a man who has Asperger's syndrome, and Isabelle (Rhada Mitchell), a woman who has autism. The film is based on the true story or Jerry and Mary Newport.  Running Time: 92 Minutes  Rating: PG-13 (Language)  Speaker: John Elder Robinson, author and New York Time's Best Seller. October 18th (12:30-2:30 pm): Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy. Two life long friends and disability advocates who are determined to live independently. This documentary moves beyond disabilities and activism, giving a rare portrait of a profound and symbolic friendship. Running Time: 40 Minutes  Rating: Unrated  Speakers: Diana Braun, President, People First and disability rights advocate, Kathy Conour, disability rights advocate and writer, and Alice Elliot, Director, Welcome Change Productions. October 18th (3:00-5:00 pm): The Collector of Bedford Street. Academy Award nominated documentary that takes and intimate look at Larry Selman, and activist and fundraiser who has a developmental disability. Larry's neighbor, filmmaker Alice Elliot captures Larry's persistence in overcoming obstacles and how he served as an inspiration to his community. Running Time: 34 Minutes  Rating: Unrated  Speakers: Larry Selman, advocate and fundraiser and Alice Elliot, Director, Welcome Change Productions. For more information, visit or call 716.817.7261. The Museum of disABILITY History advances the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. Its exhibits, collections, archives, and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. The Museum, located at 3826 Main Street in Amherst, is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment. Admission to the Museum of disABILITY History is free. For more information, call 716.629.3626 or visit

  • Oct 13, 2009

    5th Annual disABILITIES Film Fest & Speaker Series

    The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. are pleased to host the 5th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series. The goal is to provide entertainment and information while exploring issues faced by individuals with disabilities. The programs are intended to educate viewers, o

  • May 27, 2015

    6,000 Miles for the Change of a Lifetime

    Four individuals with developmental disabilities embark on an experiential learning cross country trip On May 30, four guys will begin their journey of traveling 6,000 miles – an experience that will change them for a lifetime. It may seem like just another cross-country road trip to the west coast, but it couldn’t be further from ordinary. These four guys are part of Guys Group, a social group for young men with developmental disabilities (DD). Developed by People Inc.’s Life Quality Coaching Department, the Guys Group helps participants discover and nurture their passions, build lasting friendships and develop important life skills so that they have increased opportunities to live and work independently. People Inc. is the leading non-profit human services agency in Western New York. With the assistance and support of two People Inc. life quality coaches, this trip is their chance to learn in action everything from planning and budgeting to safety and social skills – almost everything needed for an average tourism venture. One way the guys helped prepare for the trip was by making a check list. Twenty-two-year-old Aaron Hanson, a People Inc. Guys Group and trip participant who is autistic, said making the list helped him learn new organizational skills. “I have to make sure I have enough clothes for each portion of the trip,” he said. He also learned how to develop a budget and use his new bank card. But beyond the planning and preparation, Hanson can’t wait to see new parts of the country. “I want to learn about new places and take a lot of photos,” Hanson said. He hopes to take his picture in front of “Welcome to” signs to recap the many places he’ll visit on the trip. As Hanson and the other participants make their way across the country and see the likes of the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Hollywood, they will also visit other DD agencies to share the kids coaching philosophy and encourage them to create programs similar to People Inc.’s Guys Group. The agencies they plan to visit are Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Fort Collins, Colorado; Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, Nevada; TERI Inc. in Oceanside, California; and New Horizons in San Fernando Valley, California.  This trip is the first sponsored trip of its kind for People Inc. Their journey can be followed in real time on the Facebook page “Crossing Borders WNY.” The trip will be documented on film and combined with footage of the group preparing for the journey. People Inc. is a not-for-profit health and human services agency providing programs and services to more than 12,000 people with special needs, their families and seniors throughout Western New York. Since 1971, People Inc. has assisted individuals to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity.

  • Sep 23, 2010

    6th Annual disABILITIES Film Fest & Speaker Series

    The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. are pleased to host the 6th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series. The goal is to provide entertainment and information while exploring issues faced by individuals with disabilities. Join us in watching Profoundly Normal, with speakers