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New York State Budget Includes Substantial Cuts to Disability Services
A special thanks to parents, employees and friends for supporting efforts to restore the 6% cut to developmental disability services by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Also, a special thanks to the members of our WNY State Assembly and State Senate delegations. Especially, Assemblymembers: Dennis Gabryszak, Ray Walter, Jane Corwin, Mickey Kearns, and Sean Ryan; and Senators Mark Grisanti, Tim Kennedy, and George Maziarz. If it weren’t for their efforts, the restoration of 1.5% in cuts would never have happened.

To get a parents perspective on what these cuts mean, watch the following story on WKBW-TV Channel 7: Services for Developmentally Disabled in Jeopardy Following Drastic State Aid Cuts
Image captions:
Top: Assemblymembers Dennis Gabryszak, Senator Mark Grisanti (speaking) Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblymember Micky Kearns attended a local rally against Governor Cuomo’s budget cuts. Members of the Western Delegation spent the past month rallying and fighting alongside WNY individuals, families, advocates and service providers in telling Governor Cuomo what cuts in services means to individuals striving to retain their independence. Middle: Kevin Horrigan, Director of Public Affairs, People Inc., with Assemblymember Aileen Gunther (Sullivan/Orange Counties), co-chair of Mental Hygiene Budget Committee after the committee meeting in Albany on March 13, 2013. At this meeting the members of the committee, co-chaired along with Senator David Carlucci (Rockland/Orange Counties) voted for full restoration of Governor Cuomo’s cuts.

People Inc. is a Resource to Media
WIVB-TV Channel 4 recently aired a story about a local woman who was a victim of identity theft. She and her son have a developmental disability. Dr. Lizbeth Booth, principle psychologist, of People Inc., was interviewed indicating people with developmental disabilities are more likely to be exploited by family or acquaintances than strangers.

Museum of disABILITY History Unveils “Little Differences: The Portrayal of Children with disABILITIES Throughout History” Exhibit
People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History unveiled its newest exhibit called, “Little Differences: The Portrayal of Children with disABILITIES Throughout History,” during an opening reception on April 9. The “Little Differences” exhibit includes a six panel banner stand showing how children with disabilities have been depicted from the biblical era to modern times in art, literature, heroic characters, telethons and media campaigns.

A selection of artifacts from the Museum’s collection will be on display to complement the banner stands, including a selection of classic fundraising posters and photographs. The exhibit is supported by the New York Council for the Humanities and Erie County. The exhibit will be open to the public to view until the end of August. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 716.629.3626.

Read more about the exhibit in the press release

The Museum disABILITY History was recently in the news:
Artvoice: Mainly a Question of Visions, The Pictures

Employee Ambassadors Volunteer at WNED-TV Pledge Drive
People Inc. Employee Ambassadors recently volunteered to answer phones for the 2013 WNED-TV pledge drive. During the “Women: The Makers and Chautauqua” pledge drive program, David Mack-Hardiman informed viewers about the Museum of disABILITY History and invited them to visit and become members.
From L-R: Bradford Watts, Richard Giagnacova, Concetta Ferguson, David Mack-Hardiman, Linda Rinaldo, Denise Litz, Lizbeth Booth, Bob Cunningham, Sue Olexenko, Richard Banner and Paul Lounsbury.

(L-R) Rhonda Frederick, Chief Operating Officer, People Inc.; Christina M. Lopez, Manager, Workforce Development, Buffalo Niagara Partnership; David Mack-Hardiman, Interim Director, Museum of disABILITY History.
Buffalo-Niagara 360’s “Happy Hour for a Cause” Benefits the Museum of disABILITY History
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership and it’s volunteer contingent, B_Team Buffalo presented a Happy Hour for A Cause; to benefit the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc. at the Delaware Park Marcy Casino. Young professionals of Western New York got a chance to meet with members of People Inc. Senior management and staff, including Interim Museum Director David Mack-Hardiman who addressed the more than 50 in attendance. Several attendees became members to support the museum that is the only “bricks and mortar” of its kind nationally.

Headway of WNY, People Inc. Affiliate, Announces New Website and Fundraiser
Headway of Western New York, an affiliate program of People Inc., is excited to share that it has a new and improved website! The URL is the same so check it out at www.headwayofwny.org. Features include: improved navigation, links to the current and past newsletters, waiver information, a listing of support groups and much more. Headway of WNY is a not-for-profit agency that provides resources, support groups, recreational programs, training and educational programs to both survivors and caregivers of brain injury.
The Headway of WNY spring fundraiser, “Shine a Light” will be held on May 16. Find out more here.

Learn more about the challenges a couple faces with brain injury from Diana Landwehr, director of support and advocacy for Headway of Western New York

Save the Date: Interactive Assistive Technology Fair
The Interactive Assistive Technology Fair will feature information and technology in the areas of home safety, communication, health, mobility and independent living.

Save the Date!
June 17, 2013
10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Millennium Hotel
2040 Walden Ave, Buffalo
For more information or to RSVP: 716.817.7251

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