iCircle Services - Supporting Individual Choice and Empowerment
December 2013

iCircle's
Community Connection

Issue #46

Message from the Board

Warm winter greetings to you! It is the time of year to give, however, for many of you, giving is a part of your everyday practice. The providers who have signed memorandum’s of understanding with iCircle to provide services for the DISCO plan has grown to over 100 organizations, who represent well over 100,000 people in Central New York.   The impact each of you make to the community all year round is outstanding. Our network is filled with a diverse group of organizations who give their talents, advocacy, resources, and most importantly, their commitment to ensuring people with disabilities are supported and productive members of their communities. We thank you for what you do and look forward to seeing what is to come in 2014!

 Happy Holidays!

Congressman Meets People with Disabilities

On Monday, December 16, Congressman Christopher Collins toured CDS Monarch to meet and talk to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities about the importance of the vocational and transitional services they receive. While at CDS Monarch, iCircle Board Members, Sankar Sewnauth and Sy Zielinksi, took the opportunity to talk with him about iCircle Services and the over 40 providers in the network who are delivering high quality services to over 10,000 people in his 27th district. Congressman Collins has been a champion for ensuring people with disabilities have meaningful employment and access to services in the community they need to live fulfilling lives. 

"Every individual, regardless of their disability or challenging circumstances, deserves the opportunity to work, learn new skills and be a productive member of their community," stated Congressman Collins. "Leaders in Washington must work to ensure that the disabled and veterans needing service have opportunities to better their lives.”

It is wonderful to know our region has an advocate in the U.S. House of Representatives for the people served by the iCircle Services network. We commend the Congressman on his efforts to bring more jobs and services to our region for people with disabilities and thank him for coming to visit.

 

Individual Spotlight:   Adrian Esposito

Adrian Esposito was six years old when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a disability on the Autism Spectrum. At times this made the path to his goals a challenge - one that Adrian took on headfirst. With help from his mother and biggest advocate, Kristina Nomeika, his dream has become a reality. He is now 22 years old, working and moving ahead with his career in filmmaking. There were many up's and down's, the worst being Adrian's first year of high school. But with the encouragement of his MSC, he enrolled in the Self Determination program (CSS funding) through OPWDD. His goal was filmmaking. Adrian is enrolled in Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS) through the OPWDD which allows him to hire his own staff. With his Asperger’s, Adrian needs repetition and help with focusing on his work. So he chose staff who help keep him focused on his goal of filmmaking. Adrian attends Animatus Studio where he receives individualized filmmaking instruction. He also has a Contracted Media Consultant who reinforces what he learns at the studio and teaches him other aspects of filmmaking. His Community Integration Specialist helps him to pursue community activities and other interests, such as Native American history and culture. Adrian spends time with his peers in the community, socializing and attending karate classes. This according to his mother "is one of the most gratifying things to see." She stated because of his Asperger's, it is hard for Adrian to make friends, socialize, and be included with people his own age. CSS has allowed Adrian to have the personalized support he needs to be live, work, and be social in the community. His mother stated, "It works well because he has a circle of support to help him get what he needs." Adrian's circle of support includes two iCircle network providers, LDA Life and Learning Services and Rochester Rehabilitation.

Thanks to CSS and his own personalized circle of support, his dream of making films has come true! Dealing with his disability became a focus for Adrian and his family for many years. Despite the challenges he faced, he graduated with a certificate in Radio & Television Broadcasting from Monroe #1BOCES EMCC program in 2008 and with his mother, joint ventured an independent film company, Espocinema, in 2009. Recently he produced his own narrative film, titled Bury My Heart with Tonawanda. The film tells the story of a young man with Down Syndrome, who finds acceptance and a new life with the Seneca Indian Nation who live at the Tonawanda Indian Reservation. Adrian has made five films to date, one of which ("We Can Shine: From Institutions to Independence") has won several awards. And he is not stopping there. Adrian is continuing his passion of making films that focus on social issues and subjects about significant life challenges faced by people. His films help bring awareness and education to the community about people with disabilities. He is currently working on his next film, "Inner Healing -A Journey with Native Trees of Knowledge", that focuses on his own personal journey with Autism.

"CSS has created the life that Adrian has today," stated his mother, Kristina. "Without it, he could not have achieved his goals and dreams."

To learn more about Adrian and his latest film please visit www.espocinema.com.

 

Thank you for your Support!

Sincerely,
iCircle Services

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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: 1-855-775-3778
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org


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