January 2020  

AIM headed to Albany as  2020 budget talks begin 
A group from AIM will be heading to Albany in a few weeks to advocate for independent living priorities as the 2020 budget session gets underway in the state Legislature.

A rally, organized by the New York State Association on Independent Living (NYAIL), will be held on Monday, Feb. 10 in the Legislative Office Building adjacent to the New York State Capitol. 

Afterward, advocates from independent living centers across the state will be meeting with legislators. AIM will meet with our area's representatives, including Sen. Tom O'Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and Assemblyman Chris Friend.

NYAIL's top priorities this year will include ensuring adequate funding for Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA), a home care program which allows Medicaid recipients with disabilities to hire personal assistants of their choosing, and to direct their own care.

AIM and some other independent living centers are among the roughly 500 organizations statewide that serve as fiscal intermediaries, providing a wide array of administrative support that enables this program to operate.

The state is facing a $6 billion budget deficit driven largely by Medicaid spending, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce a plan to contain Medicaid costs in his budget proposal next week. 

The services provided by independent living centers save Medicaid dollars by avoiding costly institutionalizations. AIM's programs saved $10.2 million in institutional costs in the 2018-2019 reporting year.
Healthy Community Living
workshops begin this week
We still have a few openings for our Healthy Community Living workshops for people with disabilities, which begin Thursday.

The two workshops are free and open to anyone in the community age 18 or older, with any type of disability. They will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Thursdays at AIM's Elmira office, 350 W. Church St.

The first workshop, Community Living Skills, focuses on independent living skills. The second workshop, Living Well in the Community, focuses on health and well-being. Both will include discussions, fun activities and informative videos.

AIM is piloting these workshops under a grant from the Research and Training Institute on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural), which developed the workshops. Participants receive $80 in stipends. They are asked to complete feedback surveys.

For more information or to register, contact Ryanne Michaels at or 962-8225, ext. 215.
American Sign Language
classes begin January 22
AIM is hosting community American Sign Language classes in 2020, and the first class begins Wednesday, Jan. 22.

We offer three levels. ASL I will begin Jan. 22, and there are still a few openings left. We'll offer ASL I again beginning March 18. Then, those who are interesting in continuing can take ASL II beginning Aug. 19 and ASL III beginning Oct. 14.

These eight-week, immersive classes are instructed by SinYi Ko and held at our Corning office from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. They are limited to 12 participants, and the fee is $80 per class which goes directly to the instructor.
Register online here

For more information, contact Erin Morseman at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 146.
Dates set for summer day camps
in Schuyler, Steuben and Chemung
AIM has set the dates for its summer day camps for youths with developmental disabilities.

These week-long camps feature many fun and educational activities in the community, including career exploration. They build social skills and independent living skills. The camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and include lunch and snacks. At the end of each camp, there is a picnic with games.

We offer camps in three locations for youths ages 14-21. The Schuyler County camp will be held June 22-26, the Steuben County camp is July 13-17, and the Chemung County camp is July 27-31. We also offer one camp for ages 9-13, which will be Aug. 17-21 in Chemung County.

These camps are open to youths who live at home and have eligibility for services with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Amanda Gitchell at or 962-8225, ext. 210.
Community members sought to
serve on AIM's Board of Directors 
We are seeking community members, particularly people with disabilities, to serve on our Board of Directors. We want people with diverse experiences, perspectives, skills and connections.

By law, a majority of our board members must have a disability, which helps to ensure that our mission and programming are developed from a peer perspective.

Board members must reside in Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben or Allegany counties, our primary service area. 

The board typically meets every other month, and members serve two-year terms. If you're interested, please contact  AIM's Chief Executive Officer Ren é Snyder at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 117.
Schoonover honored as
January's Employee of the Month 
Casey Schoonover
Congratulations to Casey Schoonover, who was named AIM's Employee of the Month for January 2020.

Schoonover is an employment specialist in our Supported Employment Program, which prepares people with disabilities for employment, connects them with area employers, and provides job coaching services.

Schoonover took on a significantly increased caseload in the fall due to staffing fluctuations, which she adeptly handled, her nomination letter stated. She has also built relationships with area employers including Arnot Ogden Medical Center, WETM, the Clemens Center and Old Navy.

"This opens up amazing opportunities for those we serve," the letter stated. "Casey has definitely gone above and beyond."


- Jessica Farin, ACCES-VR Peer Integration Project Coordinator

Job openings:

- Quality Assurance and Compliance Coordinator
- Director of Community Based Home Care Services
- Community Based Home Care Specialist 
- Disability Advocate
- Community Transition Specialist   
- OPWDD Direct Support Professionals
- OPWDD Self-Hire Staff
- Consumer Directed Personal Assistants

To view job descriptions and apply, click  here
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