Hometown Care, Centered on You

Issue #51

January 2014

Community Connection

Message from the Board

Chilly Greetings to our Central New York Network!   Temperatures remain frigid and cold throughout our region, so we remind you all to stay safe, warm and take extra precautions to protect the individuals we support.

Despite the cold temperatures, the feeling is warm across our network, as we continue to meet with providers and see the amazing work they are doing to help people!   You will learn about two examples of this as you read today's newsletter.   It is incredible to see the impact for people in our community.   iCircle stands behind the promise to deliver compassionate, community-based care that enriches the lives of people in our region.   Our provider network truly brings to life our tagline; Hometown Care, Centered on You.

We will continue to stay in touch and communicate with you as the development of iCircle continues.  We want to continue to share ideas, spotlight the great work being done around our 22-county region, and showcase our provider's success stories!  Please send in your stories, we would love to feature you!

Thank you for all you do and wishing you a safe and warmer week ahead!

Autism Roundtable a Success!

Senator Michael Nozzolio partnered with Happiness House to host an Autism roundtable discussion on Saturday, January 25th at the Canandaigua Inn on the Lake for families who have a child diagnosed with autism.  Autism professionals, parents, and local service providers participated on a panel, led by the Senator and iCircle Board Vice Chair, Mary Walsh-Boatfield, that offered an open forum to over 100 families in attendance to share and discuss topics important to them in the care and treatment individuals diagnosed with Autism.

Families addressed the Senator and panel members on key issues that included; more education for the school systems and general community about Autism, developing functional strategies to assist and better prepare individuals and their families through a variety of life transitions, and the lack of transportation resources available.

Senator Nozzolio and the panel members were able to listen to and provide feedback and advice on the issues raised by families who attended. Senator Nozzolio, who has been a strong support for individuals and families living with Autism, plans to take the issues raised back to his colleagues in Albany and continue to advocate for solutions.

Senator Nozzolio, previously secured funding for Happiness House to open an Autism Diagnostic & Evaluation Clinic. The Clinic provides families with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options in the Finger Lakes region and has been in operation since March of 2010. To date, the clinic has served 45 indivudals with ages ranging from 2 to 12 years of age. The clinic, located in both the Canandaigua and Geneva Happiness House centers, were created to be family friendly and especially geared for youngsters in a preschool/primary school setting. Clinic services include clinical observation, parent/consumer interview, record review and an array of psychological, adaptive behavior and sensory assessments.

For additional information please visit their website: www.happinesshouse.org.

OPWDD Seeks Feedback on the Front Door

iCircle has heard from many providers, families, and individuals around the network about their experience with OPWDD’s Front Door process. OPWDD is asking families and individuals served to provide valuable feedback on this new process. OPWDD began using the Front Door process in June 2013. iCircle encourages you to share the survey link below with families and individuals who are new to OPWDD services and have used the “Front Door” since June. The input will help OPWDD understand what is working well with the Front Door, and what areas may need to be improved upon.

Here is the link to the Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FDIndividualsandFamilies

Provider Spotlight:

Connections of Central New York, Inc. is located in Onondaga County and is considered one of the most progressive agencies in the field of supporting people with Developmental Disabilities. The Organization offers assistance that walks with the person through their life, while respecting them as an equal. Connections of Central New York offers expertise in planning and support that seeks to empower the people they serve, as opposed to directing how they should or will live their life.

Connections of Central New York is a great example of how providers can truly focus on each individual they serve with innovative person-centered planning. The people they serve are able to choose their own staff and can receive assistance with recruitment, training, and support from the Agency. Connections has no group home settings or programs, but offers services that help people with living in the community (including homeownership), where and with whom they choose. Just one of the many success stories from Connections is Eric (pictured below). After 2 years of working with his team, Eric was able to purchase his own home on September 30, 2013!

Connections works diligently to listen to, respond to, and respect an individual’s perspectives with regard to what it is that they desire. The Agency promotes “Informed Choice” as a best practice for all individuals served.

Connections believes that personalized supports begin with the person not the program, and that people with disabilities have inherent worth and are valued contributors within our society. They promote self-advocacy and self-determination to assist people in living a sustainable life with the same choices and opportunities as people without disabilities.

Established: 2007

Mission: Connections of Central New York, Inc. is a not-for-profit community based agency whose mission is to provide quality personalized support to people with developmental disabilities. Relationship building is an essential element in the development of support. Support offered is determined in partnership with the individual, the family, and other significant people in his or her life and is provided through innovative and creative program design.

Executive Director/CEO: Darin J. Yoder

Developmental Disability Services: Community Habilitation, Rep Payee, ISS, CSS, MSC, Broker Services, Individualized Employment and Housing that includes home ownership.

Number of Employees: 40

Number of Individuals Served: 47

Coverage Area: Onondaga

Ages Served: Children & Adults

Thank you for your Support!

iCircle Services

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Mission: It is the goal of iCircle Services to be a service portal where individuals and their families can self-direct, advocate, and secure the supports and services that best fit their needs. We are guided by individual choice, inclusion, diversity, cultural competence, respect, community, learning and empowerment for those we serve.

Vision: iCircle Services will establish a comprehensive, sustainable, trusted, and compassionate system of supports and services that will help empower families and individuals with developmental disabilities to promote their happiness, independence and inclusion as productive members of our community.

Contact Us:
Phone: 1-844-iCircle (424-7253)
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org

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