Fun event helps enhance skills
Fun event helps enhance skills
Lifelong Learning with the 'Price Is Right'
“Come on down” for smiles, fun and skill building – that’s what it was all about when a group of seven program participants from our Community Habilitation Program attended “The Price Is Right Live” earlier this month, held at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino Event Center in Niagara Falls, NY.

Based on the hit television game show, the fun event also helped with skill building. “In preparation, all participants learned about budgeting, math skills, public speaking, advocacy and price estimates,” shared Megan Logan, Life Quality coach and senior community supervisor, People Inc. “One of the participants even kept saying, ‘it’s higher, higher – I buy those’ as the game was happening. It was a fun way to learn and understand how much things cost.”

The whole group had a good time. “It was so much fun,” said Gay Meyers, one of the program participants. “I know how to budget my money more for all of my shopping experiences.”

We’re so happy that the group had a great time, combined with some teachable moments!

Four Ways to Stay DD Aware
In recognition of March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, People Inc. encourages everyone to celebrate and recognize ability, not disability, all month long and throughout the year! Here are some ways to learn more and advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities:

1. Visit the Museum of disABILITY History, the only museum of its kind in the U.S dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. A project of People Inc., the Museum’s exhibits, collections, publications, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery. A 10 percent savings is being offered in the Museum’s store throughout the month of March.

2. Sign the pledge to support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech.

3. Practice “Person First” language when speaking or writing about someone with a disability. For tips, click here.

4. Spread the word about the accomplishments of people with developmental disabilities through your personal social media accounts. Use the hashtag, #DDAware18.

To learn more about our programs and services for a loved one with a developmental disability or for someone you assist, visit our website or contact People Inc.’s Admissions and Referral Services Department at 716.880.3700.

Happy 100th Birthday, Marion!
We wish Marion Hornung a very happy 100th birthday! A tenant at People Inc. Orchard Senior Living in Springville, NY, Marion celebrated her birthday with family, friends and fellow tenants. Her big celebration happened a few months ago when family members treated her to a Caribbean cruise! Learn more about her amazing time in this article.

Complete CQL Person-Centered Excellence Survey
Our agency has always looked to the future, seeking to better understand what we can learn and do now, so we can live our mission and continue to succeed. As part of our Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) Accreditation process, many perspectives are considered in order to prioritize key factors and success indicators that lead to excellence in person-centered supports and promote personal quality of life outcomes. As a supporter of People Inc., your voice can make a big impact. To make your voice heard, we ask that you complete this survey. It should take no more than five minutes to complete. All answers are anonymous and confidential. Using the results of this ballot, CQL will guide our stakeholders through an onsite experience that results in priorities and actions. This plan becomes the basis of our commitment to continued CQL accreditation. The survey will close on April 10. To learn more about the CQL Accreditation, click here.

Providers Needed for Perfect Fit Program
People Inc.’s Perfect Fit Program, a unique residential setting for people with developmental disabilities, is seeking additional providers throughout Western New York, particularly in Niagara County and the southtowns. The program provides people an opportunity to become certified providers who open their homes and their lives to people with developmental disabilities.

Providers are reimbursed for room and board, along with a care payment based on the individual’s needs. During the day, individuals may attend day programs, adult day care, school, work or stay at home. More than companionship, providers offer guidance and independence, helping someone with a developmental disability achieve their goals.

Over the years, we’ve discovered that this program doesn’t only help participating individuals thrive in their new home and the community, but that it gives the providers a rewarding experience and great satisfaction from knowing they are helping someone live a more fulfilling life. Provider applications are now being accepted. To learn more, click here or call Nicole Milovich, People Inc. Perfect Fit program director, at 716.345.6161.

Make a Difference in a Senior's Life
People Inc. Senior Services provide many benefits for older adults, as well as their caregivers. Two of the many programs that family members and professionals in the senior services field may find beneficial include People Inc.’s Senior Companion and Senior Outreach:

The People Inc. Senior Companion Program assists older adults, 55 and up and living in Erie County, who need assistance with daily living tasks. Companion volunteers assist participating seniors with grocery shopping, going for walks, light cooking and housekeeping, while providing a break for caregivers. The program is in need of additional compassionate volunteers, who are also age 55 or over, live in Erie County and meet income guidelines. They receive training and earn a stipend, mileage and meal reimbursement. Volunteers receive rewarding experiences and seniors can remain independent in their familiar surroundings. To learn more, call 716.768.2381.

Through the People Inc. Senior Outreach Program, case management services are provided to seniors 60 years or older who live at home to provide the necessary support to age in place. The program is available to seniors who live in Kenmore, Grand Island, North Buffalo, Tonawanda (city and town) and West Buffalo. Seniors enrolled will gain access to appropriate services, including: Adult day care, caregiver resources, food stamps, health insurance/Medicaid, housekeeping and home care services. Spanish speaking staff are available. For more information for a loved one or a senior you assist, call 716.768.2357.

Registration Open for Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop
People Inc.’s Living Healthy Program is hosting its next Diabetes Self-Management Workshop beginning April 24, and continuing every Tuesday through May 29, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The free workshop will be held at People Inc. Oak Senior Living, 8099 Sheridan Drive, Clarence, NY. The workshop is open to adults with diabetes and/or their caregivers.

Participants will make weekly action plans and share experiences. Topics include: Techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, hyper/hypoglycemia and stress; appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance; how to reduce pain and working more effectively with health care providers.

Registration is required. To register or for more information, call Becky Orton, peer leader trainer and manager of People Inc. Marigold Senior Living, at 716.773.0907.

Celebrating Abilities on World Down Syndrome Day
On March 21, in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), the Museum of disABILITY History partnered with the Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York. The date for WDSD, being the 21st day of the third month, signifies the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. Family members shared their stories and the Museum’s “In Celebration of Down Syndrome” exhibit was featured. There was free admission throughout the day to view the Museum’s exhibits. Members of the media from the four local television news stations stopped by for interviews to raise community awareness. Two of the interviews are online, including Spectrum News Buffalo and WGRZ-TV Channel 2.

“All people with Down syndrome must have opportunities to live valued lives, included on a full and equal basis with others, in all aspects of society,” said Amy Monson, president of the Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York. “People with Down syndrome can and do bring so much to the community, when given the opportunity.”

Featuring vibrant multimedia and Hollywood memorabilia, the Museum’s “In Celebration of Down Syndrome” exhibit explores medical history, myths and facts, success stories and popular culture. Additionally, a new traveling component of the exhibit is now available to rent. To learn more, email or call 716.629.3626. To view photos from the event, click here.

Nominations Accepted for Award for Excellence in
Disability Advocacy

The Museum of disABILITY History will present its Chris Burke Award for Excellence in Disability Advocacy in May. An award will be presented to one person for outstanding work in the disability community.

A qualified nominee is someone with a disability who exemplifies the value of contributing significant work in the disability community and who makes inclusion a priority. The accomplished person must be active in the Western New York and/or Rochester, NY communities and show leadership qualities.
Additionally, recognition certificates will be provided to fellow nominees at the event.

Burke, an actor with Down syndrome, played Corky on the television show, Life Goes On. He has earned numerous awards and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Complete guidelines can be found on the nomination form. All nominations are due by Friday, April 20, 2018. For more information, contact David Mack-Hardiman at or call 716.629.3626. The award will be presented on Saturday, May 19, during the Museum’s fundraiser and auction event at its location, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY.
TBI Educational Presentations Available
As part of March being National Brain Injury Awareness Month, Headway of WNY, Inc. encouraged local school districts and other groups to contact their agency about scheduling a traumatic brain injury (TBI) educational presentation.

Headway, an affiliate of People Inc., is a non-profit human service agency whose mission is to ensure that individuals in WNY with brain injuries, other disabilities and seniors have access to advocacy, resources, and support systems to enable them to live as independently as possible. The agency seeks to educate the broader community about the causes, consequences and means of prevention of brain injury.

The awareness month has provided a platform to talk with students, staff members and the general public about TBI and concussion symptoms, along with steps to take when addressing these life altering situations. To schedule a presentation for your group at any time throughout the year, call 716.408.3100.

Join us for Celebratory Fundraising Event with Headway’s Spring Carnevale
Each year, Headway of WNY holds a spring gala to raise funds in support of its mission and this year’s event, Spring Carnevale, will be held on Thursday, May 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Atrium @ Rich’s in Buffalo, NY.

Businesses, families and community members are invited to become a part of this year’s fundraiser by doing one or more of the following:
• Purchase pre-sale tickets and join us for a lively evening.
• Provide in-kind donations for the themed basket raffle or silent auction.
• Share sponsorship information with select businesses.
• Volunteer at the event: Let us know of your interest by sending an email to Christine Melchiorre at by April 13. Volunteer assignments will be determined and communicated to all potential volunteers by May 4.

Event details and forms are available on the Headway of WNY website. All proceeds go directly to support Headway of WNY’s mission.
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I Love my Job!
Iesha was working in retail when a coworker encouraged her to attend an open interview event at People Inc. With her bubbly personality, they felt she would be a great fit – and they were right! For the past eight years, Iesha has been working in a direct support position at People Inc. and was recently promoted to a community coordinator. “I help young adults gain employment, get internships, establish independence and work towards their goals,” she shared. What she loves most about her job was the opportunity to speak on behalf of direct support professionals at a #bFair2DirectCare rally and that working a non-traditional job means that no two days are the same. “It is a rewarding career!”

Want a job you’ll love like Iesha? Click here.
Featured Job of the Month: Behavior Technicians
People Inc. is currently hiring for behavior technicians in Akron, NY, to instruct and supervise individuals in all aspects associated with day and/or residential programming, including but not limited to adjustment counseling, functional activities and community outings. They also ensure the health, safety and well-being of individuals. Requirements include: high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license, AA degree or one year of experience in human services preferred.

To apply for this employment opportunity or view other openings, click here.
Get into the 'Swing'
of Things!

Plans are underway for our 17th Annual People Inc. Drive Fore Disabilities Golf Tournament and Auction, which will be held on Monday, August 20, at the Orchard Park Country Club, 4777 South Buffalo Street, Orchard Park, NY. We’re looking for help for this year’s event. Spread the word to see if your company would sponsor a golf team or purchase a tee sign. Support us by obtaining silent or live auction items, like entertainment events or unique and coveted items! To assist with our event or if you have questions, contact Melanie Brown at or call 716.817.7450.
Shop and
AmazonSmile Gives

Shop for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and for the warmer months ahead! With AmazonSmile, you can support people with special needs, their families and seniors when 0.5 percent of every purchase is donated to the People Inc. Foundation. To shop at AmazonSmile, go to On your first visit, select People Inc. as the charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Click here for People Inc.’s direct link. Your selection is saved and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation. Happy shopping!
Make a Lasting Impact
There are many ways to support the People Inc. Foundation, including Planned Giving. You can help make a difference – and a lasting impact – for people with developmental disabilities and special needs. To learn more, contact Christine Mathieu, Legacy officer, at or call 716.817.7256.
Recent news stories that include information from People Inc. and agency representatives.

“Wanted – senior-care ombudsmen:” People Inc.’s Ombudsman Program featured. Buffalo Law Journal, March 19, 2018.

“People Inc. takes over Gowanda senior apartments:” Gowanda School Apartments managed by People Inc. featured. Buffalo Business First, March 6, 2018.

“People Inc. recruiting volunteer elder advocates:” People Inc.’s Ombudsman Program featured.
Lockport Union Sun and Journal, March 2, 2018.
The Buffalo News: Sean Kirst Column – For athlete with Down syndrome, power of a life trumps cruelty of a word
“The word itself is bad enough. What made it worse was the utter contempt when they said it.”

The Buffalo News: Letter – Direct care workers deserve a living wage
“Our system of care is now on the verge of collapse because our direct care providers – the professionals who deal on a day-to-day basis with our family member – are leaving the field, not because they want to, but because they can’t earn a living wage on the pay allocated in the state budget.”

Disability Scoop: United Airlines to train employees on intellectual disabilities
“In-person sessions will feature scenarios reflective of issues people with intellectual disabilities face when flying, the company said.”

NPR: For aspiring doctors with disabilities, many medical schools come up short
“The report identifies very clear barriers and considerations schools can take in response. That includes everything from the way disabilities are discussed in the admissions process….”

WKBW-TV Channel 7: Buffalo children’s author overcoming Down syndrome
“Everett was born with Down syndrome and now has a book called ‘Olivia The Bully.’ It’s a children’s book that’s about a rabbit who bullies other kids at school."