February 2019  

AIM group heading to Albany to make voices heard on funding, policy priorities  
Disability rights advocates from across the state will gather in Albany
on Monday to push lawmakers from more funding and discuss policy priorities. 
Budget season is underway in Albany, and a group from AIM Independent Living Center will be heading to the state capital on Monday, Feb. 11 to make our voices heard on funding and policy issues.

Budget Advocacy Day, organized by the New York Association on Independent Living, will begin with a rally in the Legislative Office Building featuring remarks by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera, chair of the Senate Health Committee, and Assemblyman Phil Steck, chair of the Assembly Task Force for People with Disabilities.

After that, the AIM group will meet with our representatives, including Sen. Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, to outline our priorities for people with disabilities and their service providers.

A top priority is a $5 million funding increase for the state's approximately 40 independent living centers. Our community-based services help people live independently, and are more cost-effective than institutional care. However, while demand for our services has risen sharply in recent years, funding has stayed flat.

We're also keeping an eye on proposed changes to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance program (CDPA). Other top priorities include higher wages for home care workers; legislation that would prevent landlords from discriminating against tenants on the source of their income; and more funding for programs that help pay for home renovations to improve accessibility. 
Valentines Dance for teens
set for Friday evening in Elmira
We're hosting a teen Valentines Dance from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8 at the Elmira AIM office, located at 350 West Church Street.

The dance is for youths ages 14 and older who live at home and have eligibility for services with the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. There will be a DJ, food and games, and festive decorations. The cost to attend is $3.

Please RSVP to OPWDD Youth Specialist Amanda Gitchell at or 962-8225, ext. 210.
Youth social skills programs
offered in Corning, Elmira 
AIM's Youth Social Skill Clubs and Tween Social Skill Clubs will be offered beginning in February.

These free, four-week programs improve social skills, communication, peer interaction, social appropriateness, and independent living skills for youths with developmental disabilities. They will be offered in Elmira and Corning.

Youth Social Skill Club is for ages 14-21 and will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays on Feb. 12, Feb. 19, Feb. 26 and March 5 at the Elmira AIM office, 350 W. Church St. A second session will be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays on March 12, March 19, March 26 and April 2 at the Corning AIM office, 271 E. First St.

Tween Social Skill Club is for ages 9-13 and will be held from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays on Feb. 14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7 at the Elmira AIM office. A second session will be held from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays on March 14, March 21, March 28 and April 4 at the Corning AIM office.

Participants must live at home and have OPWDD eligibility. These programs are partly funded by OPWDD Family Support Services.

For more information or to register, contact Amanda Gitchell at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 210.
Rockwell-Smith selected as
February's Employee of the Month
Congratulations to Sara Rockwell-Smith, who was named AIM's Employee of the Month for February.

Rockwell-Smith is the outreach and enrollment specialist for our Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS) program.

"She is a good advocate," one person who nominated her wrote. "Sara is kind, friendly and very knowledgeable."

Welcome new hires:

- Shannon Bates, OPWDD Medicaid Billing Coordinator
- Luchiana Buman, Human Resource Generalist
- Kertaya Dupree, NHTD/TBI Service Coordinator
- Mika Starks, Receptionist, Elmira office
- Edward Tierney, Veterans Advocate

Current job openings:

- Administrative Assistant
- Accounts Receivable Supervisor
- Employment Specialist
- Family Support Navigator 
- Home Care Specialist 
- Service Coordinator 
- Community Integration Counselor
- Positive Behavioral Intervention Specialist
- Self-Hire Staff
- Direct Support Professional

To view benefits and job descriptions and apply online, click here.
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