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Westchester Independent Living Center

Putnam Independent Living Services

September 2022

As summer comes to an end, the air is full of transition. Back to school and back to work means less beach time and busier schedules, but so much to look forward to as well. At WILC and PILS, we’ve been hard at work getting you accessible information, as well as planning helpful events and webinars… there’s something beneficial for everyone in this edition of our newsletter! 

Putnam County Transition Guide: A Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities and their Families

WILC's Educational Advocacy Department has recently updated the Putnam County Transition Guide: A Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities and Their Families (September 2022). 

 

The Guide includes a wealth of information on local resources, including: OPWDD, ACCES-VR, community-based services, mental health supports, employment and training, transportation, and more for transition age students throughout the region. 

 

Click here to access the Guide. If you have questions about it, or transition planning in general, please reach out to Jessica Baumann, Director of Educational Advocacy Service at (845) 228-7457 or jbaumann@putnamils.org.

Accessible Restaurant Program and Award Ceremony

PILS recently initiated its inaugural Accessible Restaurant Certificate Program this summer. During the pandemic, PILS reached out to Putnam County restaurants directly to find out if they met three key accessibility criteria:


  1. offer delivery and curbside pick-up
  2. maintain an accessible dining area
  3. have ramps and/or no step entrances


Nine local restaurants met these criteria and did not have to make any alterations; they were already compliant. PILS will host an award ceremony on October 26, 2022, for all these restaurants who will all be receiving a certificate in recognition of their accomplishment.


To find out more about these local establishments, please click here and visit them soon!


In the future, restaurants that would like to participate in this program can contact Joe Guagliano directly at jguagliano@wilc.org or (845) 228-7457 ext. 1105. Participation is beneficial for restaurants to receive advertising through the PILS website and newsletter, as well as a certificate to display.

Social Security Accelerates Decisions for People

with Severe Disabilities;

Agency Expands Compassionate Allowances List

On August 15, 2022, Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced 12 new Compassionate Allowances conditions: Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma, Blastic Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Neoplasm, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease, Microvillus Inclusion Disease – Child, Mowat-Wilson Syndrome, Myelodysplastic Syndrome with Excess Blasts, NUT Carcinoma, Pfeiffer Syndrome - Types II and III, Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, Renal Amyloidosis – AL Type, and Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma.


The Compassionate Allowances program quickly identifies claims where the applicant’s condition or disease clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability. Due to the severe nature of many of these conditions, these claims are often allowed based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone. To date, more than 800,000 people with severe disabilities have been approved through this accelerated, policy-compliant disability process, which has grown to a total of 266 conditions.


“The Social Security Administration is committed to reducing barriers and ensuring people who are eligible for benefits receive them,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “Our Compassionate Allowances program allows us to strengthen that commitment by accelerating the disability application process for people with the most severe disabilities.”


When a person applies for disability benefits, Social Security must obtain medical records in order to make an accurate determination. The agency incorporates leading technology to identify potential Compassionate Allowances cases and make quick decisions. Social Security’s Health IT brings the speed and efficiency of electronic medical records to the disability determination process. With electronic records transmission, Social Security can quickly obtain a claimant’s medical information, review it, and make a fast determination.


For more information about the program, including a list of all Compassionate Allowances conditions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.


To learn more about Social Security’s Health IT program, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/hit.


People may apply online for disability benefits by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov.


To create a my Social Security account, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

United Spinal Association Shares Exciting

New Developments

The United Spinal Association is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to empowering people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, to live successful and fulfilling lives.

Directed by people with disabilities, United Spinal Association works to overcome the stigma of disability and remove physical barriers to inclusion for wheelchair users. We are united in our belief that business, people with disabilities and society all benefit from providing equal opportunity to pursue passions, employment, and recreational opportunities. Our goal is to actively support people with SCI/D through valuable programs and services that maximize independence and create opportunities to become leaders, advocates, and innovators.


Click here for your free membership to the United Spinal Association.


Click here to sign up for the United Spinal Association newsletter(s), and never miss the important and helpful information they share!

Is the Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program (HTTP)

for You?

The new Healthcare Talent Pipeline Program (HTPP) funded by Westchester County will train individuals to become a Clinical Medical Assistant or Medical Administrative Assistant. Successful candidates will earn a NYS approved training credential, receive job readiness training, and be connected to leading healthcare partners in Westchester County.


Join an industry with great career advancement opportunities! Support services and stipends are available for those who qualify.


Training is provided by:

SWBOCES

CENTER FOR ADULT & COMMUNITY SERVICES


FALL 2022 CLASSES:

Clinical Medical Assistant

September 12-January 9 (M/T/Th) 5:30-9:30 pm

65 Grasslands Rd. in Valhalla


Medical Administrative Assistant/ Billing Coding Specialist

September 8-December 1 (T/Th) 3:30-7:30 pm

50 Washington Ave. in New Rochelle


Spots are limited!


For more information and to register, contact adulted@swboces.org or call (914) 592-0849.


Must be 18 years or older with a High School Diploma or equivalent. If you are 18 or older, contact the Westchester Putnam Career Center (914) 813-6555 to find out if you are eligible to attend these classes at NO COST to you!

Did You Know?

  • Have you heard about the new “The Accessible Home” collection from Pottery Barn? The collection includes bestselling pieces from the company’s regular lineup that have been enhanced to be more accessible. The 160-piece collection is the first of its kind from a luxury home retailer, with the goal of helping people with disabilities feel more comfortable in their homes. Click here to find out more about this new, accessible home furniture line.


  • The Pelham Manor Police Department is now equipped with Sorenson Video Relay Phone for the Deaf. Sorenson Video Relay Service® (SVRS®) is a free, 24-hour service that enables users to place and receive calls through a professional American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter via a videophone and a high-speed internet connection. Michelle Bianchi, WILC’s Independent Living Advocate Deaf Services, is training the officers on how to use the system. To learn more about deaf services provided through Westchester Independent Living Center click HERE,or contact Michelle at mbianchi@wilc.org or call (914) 682-3926 (voice) (914) 259-8036 (VP).


  • CBS is expanding its representation and inclusion programs by launching a "CBS Performers with Disabilities Talent Initiative" starting with the 2022-2023 TV season. This program includes an expanded database of performers with disabilities, which has been created at the network in consultation with advocacy groups, outreach, independent research, and open calls. Click here to find out more... and tune in to CBS to see the great work they've been doing to create equal opportunities for all!

Upcoming Webinars

“Let’s Get Social” Skills Group


Take advantage of this interactive virtual social skills group which will focus on how to connect with peers and how to create meaningful relationships. Each session is tailored to include a discussion and hands-on activities to assure participants receive immediate knowledge and skills. Join our group where we can grow our social skills together.


Facilitator: Denise DelliSanti and Serge Del Grosso, Peer Independent Living Specialists


DATES: September 13, 20, 27 & October 4, 2022 

TIME: 1:00 PM


For more information or to register for this group please contact Denise DelliSanti, at ddelliSanti@wilc.org or (845) 535-1561. 

Digital Navigation Virtual Workshop


Join us in learning more about affordable connectivity, affordable broadband, affordable devices, and digital literacy!


DATES: September 23, 2022 

TIME: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

For more information or to register for this group please contact Elizabeth Bussian at ebusian@wilc.org.

Understanding the CSE Process 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Denise Green & Fiona Rattray from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Autism FLOS and the Yonkers Riverfront Library 


DATE: Monday, October 3, 2022 

TIME: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm 

 

Learn how to navigate the CSE Process – from referrals to preparation for CSE meetings. 

 

Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org  

or call (845) 228-7457.

Intro to Dyslexia 


Please join us for a webinar featuring: 

Fiona Rattray from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Starbridge Inc. 

 

DATE: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 

TIME: 12:00pm – 1:00pm 

 

Learn about Dyslexia (reading disability): prevalence, identification, and intervention.

 

Click HERE to register. 

 

If you have difficulty registering, please email frattray@putnamils.org 

or call (845) 228-7457. 

Intro to Dysgraphia 


Please join us for a webinar featuring: 

Fiona Rattray from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Starbridge Inc. 

 

DATE: Wednesday, October 12, 2022 

TIME: 12:00pm – 1:00pm 

 

Learn about Dysgraphia (writing disability): prevalence, identification, and intervention.

 

Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email frattray@putnamils.org 

or call (845) 228-7457.

How to Know if Your Child is Succeeding 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Denise Green (WILC/PILS) 

Sponsored by Mount Pleasant SEPTA 

 

DATE: Thursday, October 13, 2022 

TIME: 7:00pm – 8:30pm 


In this webinar, we will look at ways to measure your child’s progress and determine the extent to which the IEP is helping your child to succeed. 


Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org 

or call (845) 228-7457. 

Educational Records Binder 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Denise Green - from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Autism FLOS and the Yonkers Riverfront Library 


DATE: Monday, October 17, 2022 

TIME: 1:00pm – 2:30pm 

 

Are you drowning in paperwork?  

Do you want to develop a filing system for all the evaluations, progress reports,

IEPS, etc. 


Do you want to have a system to make locating the information needed easier?  

If you answered yes to the above, join us and we will put the binder together during this webinar.

  

Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org  

or call (845) 228-7457.

Understanding the CSE Process 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Denise Green - from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Valhalla Union Free School District 

 

DATE: Monday, October 17, 2022 

TIME: 6:30pm – 8:00pm 


Learn how to navigate the CSE Process – from referrals to preparation for CSE meetings. 

 

Click HERE to register. 

If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org  

or call (845) 228-7457. 

Educational Records Binder 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Denise Green & Fiona Rattray - from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Autism FLOS and the Yonkers Riverfront Library 


DATE: Thursday, October 20, 2022 

TIME: 7:00pm – 8:30pm 


Are you drowning in paperwork?  

Do you want to develop a filing system for all the evaluations, progress reports,

IEPS, etc. 

 Do you want to have a system to make locating the information needed easier?  

If you answered yes to the above, join us and we will put the binder together during this webinar. 


Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org  

or call (845) 228-7457.

Intro to Dyscalculia 


Please join us for a webinar featuring: 

Fiona Rattray from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by Starbridge Inc. 

 

DATE: Wednesday, October 26, 2022 

TIME: 12:00pm – 1:00pm 


Learn about Dyscalculia (math disability): prevalence, identification and intervention.

 

Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email frattray@putnamils.org 

or call (845) 228-7457. 

A View from the Inside: Special Education Attorneys with Disabilities 


Please join us for a Zoom Webinar featuring: 

Fiona Rattray from WILC’s Parent Training & Information Center 

Sponsored by ACSD SEPTA 

 

DATE: Wednesday, October 27, 2022 

TIME: 7:00pm – 8:30pm 


In this webinar, three attorneys (Michael Gilberg, Robert Tudisco & Pthara Jeppe) who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and Dyslexia will discuss their own experiences and how the disabilities affected their lives, how they feel it affects students in Special Education, and how it has changed since they were students. 


Click HERE to register. 


If you have difficulty registering, please email frattray@putnamils.org 

or call (845) 228-7457.

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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)

contact@wilc.org

Facebook  LinkedIn

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)

contact@putnamils.org