September 2018  
AIM consumer launches photography business
Scott Stewart , a consumer in AIM's Traumatic Brain Injury program, launched
a photography business after issues related to his TBI prevented him from working full-time.
A photo by Scott Stewart of firefighters battling a fire in Elmira.
Dealing with the effects of a traumatic brain injury that has limited his ability to work in recent years, Scott Stewart has turned a longtime passion into a new profession.

Stewart, 44, of Elmira, receives service coordination, community integration counseling and independent living skills training through AIM's Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Medicaid waiver program. He also serves as a consumer advisor, giving input to help AIM with its programming.

Stewart recently launched Fire Haus Photography, the name inspired by his 23 years of service as a volunteer firefighter.

His first gigs have included shooting group photos and training drills at firefighter certification classes. But he also dabbles in nature and wildlife photos, as well. He has a website and his work is on display at Franklin Street Gallery in Watkins Glen.

A Marine Corps veteran, Stewart was severely injured in January 1998 while serving as a volunteer firefighter in New Alexandria, Pa. He was on his way to the fire station after hearing an emergency call when he hit a patch of black ice, spun out and hit a telephone pole. He was ejected in the crash and thrown against the telephone pole.

Stewart spent months in a coma, then had a long stint in a rehab center, relearning how to walk, talk and other basic skills. He later entered a facility in Pittsburgh that specializes in TBIs.

But he was determined to get back to work and get on with life. He reapplied for a driver's license and got a job as a cook at a restaurant, then later worked at a bakery.

"I didn't like sitting around, I wanted to work and be productive," he said.

Stewart met his wife, Sandra, online about two years after his accident and moved to Elmira in 2000 to be with her. They married and had two daughters, Victoria and Veronica, now teenagers. The family has been "amazing" in their support, Stewart says.

After moving to Elmira, Stewart returned to firefighting, joining the Southport Volunteer Fire Department. He owned a bakery in Pine City. He later worked for a security company. He earned an associate's degree from Corning Community College.

However, about three years ago, Stewart's symptoms worsened. He began having hemiplegic migraines, a type of migraine so severe it has symptoms similar to a stroke. He can't work full-time and had to retire from firefighting.

But starting Fire Haus Photography allows him to work part-time, because there's flexibility in when he can shoot and edit his work. He has an impressive array of lenses and camera gear at the ready. To contact Stewart, go to, email or call (607) 398-8955.
Allies at the Alley, a Halloween-themed bowling party, is AIM's fall fundraiser
Allies at the Alley is AIM Independent Living Center's fall fundraiser for 2018.

This family-friendly, Halloween-themed bowling party will be held from noon-2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Crystal Lanes, located at 11749 East Corning Road, Corning.

The entry fee is $15 per person, which includes two games, bowling shoes and goodie bags. There will be a 50/50 raffle to benefit AIM, and prizes for best Halloween costumes.

The snack counter at Crystal Lanes will be open with burgers, pizza, wings and other items; and the lounge will be open with big-screen TVs and a game room.

Please register here or by contacting Derrick Ek at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 134.

Proceeds support AIM's programs and services for people with disabilities. We hope our allies in the community will join us!
AIM to offer Social Skill Clubs
this fall for tweens, teens and young adults

AIM will host Social Skill Clubs for youths with developmental disabilities this fall.

These free programs focus on building social skills and communication skills, and will be offered in two age groups at both the Elmira and Corning AIM offices.

Youth Social Skill Club, for those ages 14-21, will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays on Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 at the Elmira AIM office, 350 W. Church St. Another session will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays on Oct. 9, Oct. 16, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 at the Corning AIM office, 271 E. First St.

Tween Social Skill Club, for children ages 9-13, will be 4-6 p.m. Thursdays on Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 at the Elmira AIM office. Another session will be held from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays on Oct. 11, Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 at the Corning AIM office.

Participants must live at home and have eligibility for services with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). These programs are partly funded by OPWDD Family Support Services.

Participants should be independent with personal care needs or escorted by a caregiver or self-directed staff; be without history of flight or aggressive behavior; and have transportation to and from classes.

For more information or to register, contact AIM's OPWDD Youth Specialist Amanda Gitchell at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 210.
New members sought for board of directors
AIM Independent Living Center is seeking people - particularly those with disabilities - to serve on its board of directors.

AIM's goal is to maintain a board that has diverse experiences, perspectives, connections and skills. By law, a majority of AIM's board members must have a disability. This ensures our mission and programming are developed from a peer perspective.

Board members must be a resident of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben or Allegany counties. The board meets every other month. Board members, who serve two-year terms, can expect to devote four hours per month to the organization.

Anyone who would like to join AIM's board of directors should contact Executive Director René Snyder at (607) 962-8225, ext. 117, or
 Allen named Employee of the Month
Finance Director Kristine Allen is AIM's Employee of the Month for September.
Kristine Allen has been selected as AIM's Employee of the Month for September.

Allen is the director of finance.  She manages AIM's accounting and finance operations, and serves as a senior fiscal adviser to the agency's executive director and board of directors.

Allen "roots for her team, applauding their success, and supports the changes that are needed with role modeling," one person who nominated her wrote.

Welcome to our recent new hires:

- Mandy Mase-Collier, Incident Investigator
- Samantha Clark, OASAS Family Support Navigator

Our current job openings:

- Veterans Advocate
- OPWDD Care Manager 
OPWDD Housing Service Coordinator 
- OPWDD Direct Support Professionals  
- OPWDD Self-Hire Staff
- NHTD/TBI Community Integration Counselor
- NHTD/TBI Service Coordinator
CDPAS Personal Care Assistants 

View job descriptions and apply online here
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