February 2011

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Top photo from L-R: People Inc. Executive Vice President Francisco M. Vasquez, Ph.D.; President and Chief Executive Officer James. M. Boles, Ed.D.; keynote speaker and project consultant Ellen Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R; Director of the Museum of disABILITY History Tess Fraser; and Curator of the Museum of disABILITY History Douglas Platt.
Bottom photo: Keynote speaker Ellen Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R and People Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer James. M. Boles, Ed.D. during the opening reception of People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History newest exhibit called “African Americans and the Disability Experience.”
“African Americans and the Disability Experience” Exhibit Debuts at People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History
People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History recently unveiled its newest exhibit called, “African Americans and the Disability Experience.” An opening reception was held on February 3, at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street in Amherst, NY. The keynote speaker was Ellen Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R. The one-of-a-kind exhibit chronicles the perspective of African-Americans in relation to their experiences with disability from colonial times, desegregation, advocacy and achievement.
In her speech, Dr. Grant shared, “When thinking of the significance race has played in the early history of America, we know it is fraught with evil, man’s inhumanity to man, women and child. History tells of the many, many atrocities. You will be amazed as you view the exhibit of what was done then and how far we have come, but I was still amazed as I did my research. I learned about how even with all that’s been wrong in our treatment of our fellow human that the human spirit is resilient, continues on. That there is more good and right in this world AND that we can indeed overcome and will continue to overcome.”
The exhibit will be open to the public to view until April 22. Educators, students, community groups, religious leaders, and medical and human service professionals are encouraged to visit. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 716.629.3626.
Museum of disABILITY History Director Tess Fraser was recently interviewed for a “Unique Places” segment on WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s WNY Living. Click here to watch the video.

NYS State Budget and Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT)
As part of this year’s budget process, People Inc. and the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY) have been advocating for a transitioning of developmental disability services from state operations to non-profit providers. “This past week we were in Albany presenting to members of the elected WNY Delegation our suggestions on how to save the state money while still providing services to people with developmental disabilities,” said Rhonda Frederick, People Inc. chief operating officer and DDAWNY president. “Through what we presented, our approach is to be a part of the solution and not the problem.”

Dr. James M. Boles, People Inc. President and CEO (middle), with Airport Plaza Jewelers staff.
Chocolate Sale Underway – Fun ways to get Involved
For the second year in a row, People Inc. and Airport Plaza Jewelers have partnered with Fowler’s Chocolates for a chocolate fundraising sale to help raise funds and continue to spread the mission and vision of People Inc.! Pre-sale catalog orders are currently available until March 4. People Inc. will receive 100% of the net proceeds. 
Last year was a success and our goal is to enhance our fundraising activities this year. One of the opportunities we are looking to expand is our corporate outreach. There are three easy ways to get your business involved:
1. Participate in the presale – company logo to be included in materials.
2. Host an onsite sale right at your business – an employee break room, lobby area or foyer would be great spots to sell chocolate and make it convenient for your employees.
3. Sell chocolate suckers in your reception area.

If your business would like to join in the fun, contact Sarah Snyder at ssnyder@people-inc.org or call 716.634.8132.
Here’s another way to support People Inc.: Visit Airport Plaza at The Showroom, located at 4210 Union Road in Cheektowaga, to pick up some chocolate sweets! The retail sale will be April 7, 2011 - April 23, 2011. For general information, email foundation@people-inc.org or call our Chocolate Line at 716.817.7451.

Take a look at our chocolate sale catalog and order form!

Rave Reviews for “Donna – A Civil War Opera” by Keller Vogelsang
People Inc.’s Arts Experience and City Community Active People Program Presented “Donna – A Civil War Opera” by Keller Vogelsang in January at Alleyway Theatre. In the opera, a young girl meets her true love, but they are separated by war. Fears for his return are to be expected, but when tragedy strikes, it comes from a place most unforeseen. The author of “Donna – A Civil War Opera” is Keller Vogelsang, a young woman with Down syndrome. This presentation marks her debut as a playwright. Her work has been enhanced by the artists of People Inc.’s Arts Experience who have invested over two years to make this performance a reality. The Arts Experience is a fine arts day habilitation program for adults with disabilities who have a love for the arts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger with People Inc.'s Public Affairs Director Kevin Horrigan.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Speaks on Determination
People Inc. was thrilled to have representation to hear Arnold Schwarzenegger speak at the University at Buffalo’s Distinguished Speaker Series on January 27. People Inc.’s Public Affairs Director Kevin Horrigan and Public Affairs Manger Nicole Forgione had the opportunity to meet the former Governor of California and have him autograph a brochure promoting People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History’s “The Kennedy Connection: Making a Difference in disABILITY History” exhibit.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is closely involved in the Special Olympics. During his speech, Mr. Schwarzenegger spoke about how Eunice Kennedy Shriver started the Special Olympics. He said, “She did not take no for an answer and now the Special Olympics is in 160 countries - fighting for people, fighting prejudice and advocating for people with intellectual disabilities.” He also shared, “It is important to find what you are passionate about.”
People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History showcased the “The Kennedy Connection: Making a Difference in disABILITY History” to highlight the contributions the Kennedy family has made in the disability field. The exhibit focuses primarily on the contributions of both Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and Ted Kennedy, an incredible political advocate for individuals with disabilities. For more information about this exhibit or to reserve it as traveling exhibit for your business or community organization, call Director of the Museum of disABILITY History Tess Fraser at 716.629.3626.

Going Green at People Inc.’s Senior Living Apartments
Federal Government Awards $1.2 Million Retrofit Funding
According to The Harris Poll American adults overall are now less likely than they were in the summer of 2009 to espouse certain “green” attitudes and engage in various environmentally-friendly activities. One Western New York recipient of $1.2 million for energy retrofits was People Inc.’s Senior Living which recently completed its first retrofit. Seniors at People Inc.’s Iris Senior Living Apartments at 4150 Sowles Road in Hamburg are committed to proving otherwise as they embark on a new “Green Initiative.” They have already been exposed to the new energy efficient measures installed as part of a $400,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project. Hamburg Supervisor Steven Walters and Assembly member Kevin Smardz  were on hand January 27 to celebrate the completion of this project along with Paula Malesa, the Frontier High School Ecology Club coordinator. Paula spoke on behalf of the Ecology Club students and said the students are excited about partnering with the seniors. They will be meeting in the coming months to see how they can work together to improve awareness on ecology friendly measures.
Going Green at People Inc.’s Senior Living Apartments.

People Inc. Partners with Headway of WNY Inc.
People Inc. recently entered into an affiliation with Headway of WNY Inc., an agency providing services to individuals with traumatic brain injuries (TBI). This affiliation will provide Headway of WNY Inc. with additional supports and the opportunity to help even more people through People Inc.’s programs and the community.

Mark Riley says to call Kids on the Block
Mark Riley of Kids on the Block of Western New York got all dressed up for his promotional video debut! Kids on the Block is an internationally acclaimed educational program promoting the awareness and acceptance of individual differences through the use of live puppet theater. Check out the People Inc.’s Kids on the Block of WNY video! To book a Kids on the Block performance for your school or community organization or to learn more about becoming a puppeteer, contact Project Coordinator Brie Kishel at bkishel@people-inc.org or 716.629.3623.

Save the Date Conference: Carol Kranowitz Presents The Out of Sync Child: Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder
People Inc., Parent Network of WNY and Early Childhood Direction Center will host distinguished national speaker Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A. at the annual “Parents and Professionals Learning Together” Conference on April 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Lucarelli's Banquet Center, 1830 Abbott Road, Lackawanna, NY. Carol Kranowitz will present The Out of Sync Child: Understanding Sensory Processing Disorder. The cost is $85.00 per person (includes lunch). For more information or reservations, call 716.817.7484. Find out more about the conference…



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