Hometown Care, Centered on You

Issue #66

May 2014

Community Connection

Message from the Board

This past weekend, many of us celebrated and honored the people in our life who have helped to support us, guide us, mentor us, advocate and care for us.   We may call those people mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, godmothers, friends or even dad! However, each one is a caregiver. Caregivers have many roles and their journey, at times, may be a challenging one, yet so often we never hear them complain or ask for help. They are real life super heroes! So, this week all of us at iCircle are honoring and sending deep gratitude to all caregivers for what they do for their loved ones. I think we all can agree, without them, our paths could have been much different.  

We have all heard of the recent storm devastation surrounding the Yates county area.   All of us at iCircle are sending our thoughts to that community.  Please be advised the Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for most of western New York between 11 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday. The flash flood watch includes portions of Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Steuben, Yates, Orleans, Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties.  We encourage the network to reach out and find ways we can support and help our neighbors during this time.

Thank you so much for your dedication to the community!

Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Person with a Disability

Did you know the average job retention for greater than 2 years for someone who has a disability is 67%?

People with developmental and intellectual disabilities make a great addition to the workforce. Hiring a qualified worker with a disability makes good business sense. Employers tell OPWDD that these attributes have sold them on employing a qualified worker with a disability:

1. Motivation: employees report to work every day ready, willing and able to perform.

2. Dependability: employees with disabilities have lower rates of absenteeism; reports of perfect attendance are not uncommon.

3. Flexibility: when asked, employees will often fill in for co-workers who have missed their shifts.

4. Attitude: employee pride is demonstrated by coming to work with a positive, can-do attitude.

5. Job Retention: employees are known for being loyal to their employers and often remain at their jobs for years, thereby reducing turnover.

6. Pre-screened: every effort is made to pre-screen candidates for employment to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications of the job.

7. Training: if needed or desired by the employer, the person can be trained to the employer's specifications by skilled job coaches thereby reducing employer training time.

8. Pre-insured: workers are often (but not always) pre-insured with health benefits.

9. Expand Market Share: employees with disabilities can relate better to customers with disabilities, who represent $1 trillion in annual aggregate consumer spending.

10. Employee Morale: many businesses report that employing people with disabilities increases the morale and productivity of every employee.

In addition, the OPWDD website offers information and resources to help corporations who are interested in hiring dependable, qualified workers. Click here to learn more.

Navigating the Journey – A Day for Caregivers to Explore and Reflect

The Alzheimer’s Association of the Rochester & Finger Lakes Region is hosting a day long conference for caregivers on Monday, June 9, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Burgundy Basin Inn in Pittsford, NY.

Spend the day with nationally renowned author and advocate Teepa Snow, who will help guide us on our journey with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Snow, an occupational therapist in geriatrics and dementia care, will share her insights on communication, behaviors and the difference between letting go and giving up.

The cost to attend is $30 for family caregivers and $50 for professionals which includes breakfast and lunch. There is financial assistance available, in addition to free, in-home respite care with one week’s notice.

Register today by calling 1.800.272.3900 or www.alzjourney.eventbrite.com

The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. To learn more, visit their website at www.alz.org.

Individual Spotlight: Sam Maloney, Photographer

Sam Maloney is a talented photographer who happens to be diagnosed with Autism. 

Due to his mother’s dissatisfaction with his programming, Sam, has not attended school since June 2013. He has been receiving in-home tutoring that is not conducted by a special education teacher, yet he was missing out on socialization and creative opportunities.

Sam was working with the Grace Community Services Medicaid Service Coordination team when an opening was identified at the Easter Seals Kessler Center. The Grace Community Services’ MSC team worked diligently with follow-up and to complete all the necessary paperwork. Sam was eventually accepted into the Kessler Center program.

Because Sam had a passion for photography, his MSC worked with him and his family to get him into Hochstein for art and music therapy, where he continues to develop his skills. He uses Facebook to display his photography for the entire world to see. He is currently 13 years old and with his birthday approaching on this coming Saturday; he has set a goal to get 5,000 likes on his Facebook page! 

For the first time in many years, his mother is happy because her son is in a creative learning environment with the necessary supports to help him thrive and channel his passion. His mother reported he is calmer, having fewer behavioral outbursts at home, and he now has supports in place to address his behavioral and sensory needs.

“We take pride in finding ways individuals can grow and thrive based on their personal needs and wants. As a result, we have enjoyed a rapid increase for Medicaid Service Coordination in the past year,” stated Patrick McGrath, Executive Director for Grace Community Services. It has been a true pleasure to work with a number of interesting and talented people, one of which is Sam Maloney. His exquisite photography work is from his perspective, which fascinates me and I know it will do the same to you.”

Help Sam Reach His Goal of 5,000 Likes on Facebook by clicking here!

Please find below a few links below that showcase Sam’s artwork and story.



My dream for Sam is to find success, fulfillment, and happiness,” his mother stated on his Facebook page. All of us at iCircle think Sam is doing just that!

If you are interested in community based services such as Medicaid Service Coordination, Community Habilitation, or In-Home Respite, Grace Community Services covers the 17-county, Region 1 catchment area of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  They also operate five Individualized Residential Alternatives in the suburbs of Rochester.  To learn more please call (585) 672-2749 or visit www.gracecommunityservices.com.


Please RSVP to one of the upcoming provider meetings by emailing info@icirclecny.org or calling 1-844-iCircle.

Thank you for your Support!

iCircle Services

Mission: iCircle Services is a service portal where individuals with developmental disabilities 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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