Westchester Independent Living Center

Putnam Independent Living Services

November 2022

Greetings from WILC & PILS! This time of year is full of transition, reflection and beautiful leaves falling all around us. It’s also a time for expressing gratitude as we gather for Thanksgiving and celebrate an upcoming season of holidays spent with family and friends. Busyness can sometimes become overwhelming during this time, so make sure to take time for self-care. Below you will find out about what we’ve been up to and various ways to spread cheer this month.

PILS Hosts Accessible Restaurant Certificate Program

On October 26, 2022, PILS hosted our first annual Accessible Restaurant Award Ceremony! We recognized local establishments that have been deemed accessible for offering three main criteria: curbside pickup, accessible dining areas and restrooms, and ramps and/or no step entrances. Each honoree received a certificate in recognition of their accomplishment.


Thank you to all who were able to attend in person, including Putnam Diner and Restaurant, Aversano's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Mezza Luna Pizzeria and Restaurant, and Savor Ristorante and Bar.

Margaret Nunziato Featured on K-LOVE Radio Show

On October 30, 2022, Executive Director Margaret Nunziato spoke with Peter Kaye of 95.5 K-LOVE about the many programs and services WILC offers to individuals with disabilities.


To listen, visit https://www.klove.com/News/Closer-Look/hot-topx/local-closer-look-westchester-independent-living-center-new-york-4001

National Diabetes Awareness Month

November commemorates Awareness Month! We are happy to share that we are offering new workshops for our Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).


Are you ready to take charge of your health and wellness in the new year? Have you been told by a healthcare provider you have Prediabetes? If so, many people with prediabetes who don’t change their lifestyle may develop Type II diabetes within five years after being diagnosed.


In our CDC recognized program, you will learn valuable skills and information to address lifestyle changes that can help you take back control of your health and wellness in the new year! 

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the DPP Program, please contact Aimee Parks at 845-228-7457 ext. 1106 or by email aparks@wilc.org

National Epilepsy Awareness Month

November is also National Epilepsy Awareness Month (NEAM). Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures and can affect people of all ages in different ways. WILC’s Educational Advocacy team helps families, and their children diagnosed with seizures and Epilepsy advocate for the appropriate supports in school and the community. Two of WILC’s Educational Advocacy team members are parents themselves of youth with Epilepsy and know the importance of ensuring students with Epilepsy are successful and safe in school.  

Quick facts from the Epilepsy Foundation:  

  •  1 in 10 people will have a seizure and 1 in 26 will develop epilepsy during their lifetime.
  • There are 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the United States; 470,000 of them are children.
  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect any one of us regardless of race, age, or gender.
  • Seizures are a symptom of Epilepsy. Not all seizures are the same. Many people with epilepsy have more than one type of seizure. 

If your child has been diagnosed with Epilepsy and are looking for support in school or the community, reach out to WILC’s Educational Advocacy team: Jbaumann@putnamils.org or (845) 228-7457. 

WILC & PILS Celebrated World Kindness Day on

 November 13, 2022

WILC & PILS had a wonderful time on November 13th celebrating World Kindness Day and we’re happy to share some of our clients’ stories reminiscing about special moments that exemplified kindness. Please read along and share in your own acts of kindness today and every day… make kindness the norm!

Make a Giving Tuesday Donation

Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people take the time to kick off the holiday season by giving back to their community. Whether it is donating money to a charitable cause or volunteering, Giving Tuesday is a day set to benefit the community.


Giving Tuesday takes place on November 29, 2022 this year, and we hope you will keep us in mind by donating here.


If you would like to take part in this movement but do not have the funds, we recommend donating your time or goods to a local food pantry, reaching out to a neighbor, senior or veteran, or helping out a small business by writing a review!

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2022

Did you know that December 3, 2022 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities a day that has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992? The goal of this day is to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity, and welfare of disabled people. As well as raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural. Disability Day is not concerned exclusively with either mental or physical disabilities, but rather encompasses all known disabilities, from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis. Not all disabilities are visible or immediately apparent – such as mental illness, chronic pain or fatigue, sight or hearing impairments, diabetes, brain injuries, neurological disorders, learning differences and cognitive dysfunctions, among others. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation, disconnect, disrupted routines and diminished services have greatly impacted the lives and mental well-being of people with disabilities around the world. Spreading awareness of invisible disabilities, as well as these potentially detrimental— and not always immediately apparent— impacts to mental health, is crucial as the world continues to fight against the virus. 

WILC has been assisting people who are living with a disability to live more independent lives for nearly 40 years. We are a peer-driven, community-based organization that empowers people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives in the community through advocacy, training and referral to resources that promote independent living. WILC supports and celebrates persons with disabilities every day, not just on this designated holiday! 

Did You Know?

As the ADA Specialist for WILC/PILS, Michael Hellman has advocated for ADA rights of persons with disabilities for more than 20 years. This involves educating and sometimes pursuing employers, organizations, businesses, local governments, and schools, as well as public services such as ridesharing and public transportation. Sometimes a phone call or letter is all that is necessary to bring about changes; other situations have required filing formal complaints with the NYS Division of Human Rights.

Among the successful projects Michael has spearheaded are the White Plains Downtown Access Project, the accessible housing database, The Accessible Restaurant Guide, The Public Parks Project, and various other accessibility projects under the White Plains' Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities. Michael is available to all staff for consulting on ADA information, complaints of discrimination, and in some instances, housing matters. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a long-time focus of his with special interest in correcting misinformation, taking on challenges and exploring new avenues to pursue for bringing about change.

Upcoming Webinars

School Discipline and Suspension”


Save the Date: December 12, 2022 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Presenter:  Robert Tudisco, Senior Counsel, Barger & Gaines

This webinar will teach parents their rights, responsibilities, and what to do when their child faces disciplinary actions or suspensions from the school.


For more information or to register please contact Denise Green, PTIC Coordinator at 845-228-7457, ext. 1102 or dgreen@putnamils.org.

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Westchester Independent Living Center

10 County Center Road 2nd floor

White Plains, NY 10607

(914) 682-3926 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(914) 682-8518 (FAX)


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Putnam Independent Living Services

1441 Route 22, Suite 204

(Tompkins Mahopac Bank building)

Brewster, New York 10509

(845) 228-7457 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(845) 228-7460 (Fax)