January 2019  

Brock's World raises money for Cerebral Palsy Foundation
Brock Yarnes (right) poses while signing autographs at the Brock's World fundraiser
with Christina Paliotta, his employee through AIM's Community Habilitation Program, and his friend Jordan (left). The event raised $2,000 for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. 
Brock and his mom, Tammy, at the Brock's World fundraiser.
Brock Yarnes raised big bucks at his blowout birthday bash, and now he's planning a trip to the Big Apple to donate the money.

Brock, an Elmira resident who has cerebral palsy and receives support services through AIM, turned his 21 st birthday party into a fundraiser, dubbed "Brock's World," for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

The event, held at Lando's in Corning on Jan. 3, raised about $2,000. Brock is now planning a trip to New York City in late January, where he'll visit the headquarters of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and present the staff with a check.

Planning for Brock's World began last summer, after Brock met Richie Wagner, aka DJ DopeOne. Wagner is a DJ at Lando's, and arranged for the Bridge Street nightclub to host Brock's party.

Wagner planned the party with Christina Paliotta, who works for Brock through AIM's Community Habilitation Program. Her role includes taking Brock out for activities in the community, as well as helping him build social skills and independent living skills.

They set up a Brock's World page on Facebook, and made posters and T-shirts. 

A local Allstate insurance agent, Eric Nichols, donated $10 for every insurance quote in the month of December.  Brock got to drop the puck at an Elmira Enforcers game over the holidays. He was interviewed by Nikita Ramos of WETM Channel 18 News, who aired a feature story on the fundraiser.

Brock's World certainly lived up to the hype.

"It was insane craziness," Brock said, grinning.

The night of the party, Brock was shocked when a limousine donated by Uptown Limousine Service picked him up at his apartment and took him to Mooney's in Corning for dinner with his friends.  When the limo arrived at Lando's, there were people on the sidewalk out front, cheering, holding up signs and taking pictures, like "my paparazzi," Brock said. 

Yarnes doesn't drink, but anybody who wanted to buy him a drink for his 21 st could make a donation at the bar to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. He was presented with a game puck and autographed stick from the Elmira Enforcers game. Five DJs performed. There was a slide show of 'Brock's World' photos and video clips, and everybody sang along to a clip of his favorite singer, Ariana Grande, performing "Happy Birthday."

Brock is looking forward to his trip to New York City to make the donation to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, but he's got bigger plans. He graduated from the special education program in the Elmira City School District in June, and he recently got a job as a shoe salesman at Finish Line in the Arnot Mall.

Right now, he shares his apartment with his mom, Tammy, but he plans to begin living on his own soon. A ramp was recently built for the apartment, and he hopes to have the bathroom made fully accessible. Paliotta has been working with him on laundry, cooking and money management to get him ready to live independently.

Brock also receives care coordination and fiscal intermediary services through AIM.
Community Living Skills 
workshop begins Feb. 7
AIM will present Community Living Skills, a 10-session multi-media workshop on independent living skills for adults with disabilities, beginning Thursday, Feb. 7.

The workshop is free and open to the community, and will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursdays at the Corning AIM office, 271 E. First St. Gift cards will be given to participants.

Topics include disability identity, peer support, self-advocacy, self-care, housing, technology skills, budgeting and finance, healthy relationships, transportation and time management. There will be facilitated discussions, fun activities, information videos and useful information.

For more information and to register, contact Ileya Heins at or 962-8225, ext. 115.

The workshop is part of the Healthy Community Living program, developed and funded by the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural). The program consists of two workshops.

Participants will be invited to return for the second workshop, called Living Well in the Community, which will follow in spring/summer. The dates have not been set.

Living Well in the Community focuses on health and well-being.
American Sign Language
classes begin in late January 
AIM will offer a series of American Sign Language classes in 2019 which are open to the community.
AIM offers three levels of American Sign Language courses  -  ASL  I, ASL II and ASL III - which build on each other. The instructor is Sin Yi Ko. 

ASL I is offered twice.

The eight-week courses will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Corning AIM office, located at 271 E. First St. 

The courses are offered separately and there is no commitment to enroll in the series. The fee is $80 for each course. 

Participants should register online at the links below and mail a check made out to Sin Yi Ko to: 

AIM Independent Living Center
271 E. First St.
Corning, N.Y. 14830
Attn: Cindy Hamilton

Registration is not complete until the check has been received.

The schedule and links to register:

ASL I: Jan. 23-March 13  Register

ASL I: March 27-May 15  Register

ASL II: July 10-Aug. 28  Register

ASL III: Sept. 11-Oct. 30  Register

For more information, contact Cindy Hamilton at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 130.
Housing for people with I/DD
available at Maple Avenue Apartments 
There are apartments available for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities at the newly opened Maple Avenue Apartments in Elmira.

The 50-unit senior housing community includes 10 one-bedroom apartments for people age 18 or older with I/DD. A housing subsidy is available through the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), and AIM can provide support services for residents.

Residents must have eligibility for services through OPWDD; AIM can help people apply for eligibility.

Maple Avenue Apartments features lounges, a community room, fitness center, computer stations, and laundry rooms on each floor. The apartments have universal design features, and fully accessible units may be available. The apartments are served by public transportation.

For more information or to apply, contact AIM's Amber Mulhollen at 962-8225, ext. 113.
Service coordinator Tracie Johnson
honored as Employee of the Month 
Congratulations to Tracie Johnson, who was selected as AIM's Employee of the Month for January.

She is a service coordinator for AIM's Medicaid waiver programs, Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

These programs allow Medicaid-eligible people with disabilities to receive home- and community-based services rather than institutional care.

Johnson was nominated by multiple co-workers who cited her willingness to go above and beyond to help her consumers move out of nursing homes or continue to live independently by coordinating services for them.

"Tracie is one of the most compassionate people I know. Beneath her 'tough' exterior is a heart of gold which reaches out to anyone she comes in contact with. She is forever helping those in need," one person who nominated her wrote.

Johnson helps organize a Christmas toy drive for children, and volunteers at AIM's dances and parties for youths with disabilities. She also runs a Special Olympics bowling program at Crystal Lanes.

New hires

- Brandy Reynolds, Quality Assurance and Corporate Compliance Coordinator
- Kristen Spaulding, Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID) Coordinator 
- Taylor Tompkins, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Specialist
- Angela Winslow, Fiscal Intermediary Specialist


- Ileya Heins, OPWDD Community Habilitation Coordinator

Job openings

- Substance Abuse Support Navigator (OASAS)
- Service Coordinator (NHTD/TBI)
- Community Integration Counselor (NHTD/TBI)
- Positive Behavioral Intervention Specialist (NHTD)
- Self-Hire Staff (OPWDD)
- Direct Support Professional (OPWDD)
- Home Care Specialist (CDPAS)
- Consumer-Directed Personal Care Assistants (CDPAS)

View job descriptions and apply online  here
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