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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - CBS Sunday Morning, Cornell ILR, Invictus, and SNACK 21+

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs - CBS Sunday Morning, Cornell ILR, Invictus, and SNACK 21+

Yang Tan Institute @ Cornell University

In the fall of 2017, I attended a conference in NYC put on by the Yang Tan Institue at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR). The conference highlighted a number of "higher functioning Autistics" OUTPERFORMING their peers in the corporate world due to the Autistic's ability to focus, their loyalty, and their retention rates.

We help make possible the full participation of people with disabilities in the workplace, the community, and society.
— Cornell ILR - Yang Tan Institute

CBS Sunday Morning - video

My sister sent this video to me, and it is reflective of the changing attitudes towards Autistics in society and the workplace. At the end of the day, we live in NYC, and this is America. Much of our individual identity is driven by the jobs and careers that we have and pursue. Why should Dustin Sweeney not have that opportunity?

This CBS Sunday Morning piece had some great stories of higher funtioning Autistics on "The growing acceptance of autism in the workplace":


Yes, these were higher functioning Autistics in the CBS story. Our son would not fit in this story, but this is a growing trend, see Cornell.

Again, Dustin Sweeney would not fit into these corporate programs as they exist today, but a number of panelist remarked how their contracts were starting to require outside contractors to have a percentage of Special Needs workers. 

Dustin Sweeney could be a Professional Baker down the road, see Invictus:


Invictus Enterprises

Dustin Sweeney will enter the workforce in 2019, and these corporate programs are too advanced for Dustin.  However, he is now in training to be a Baker at Invictus' NoBones About It. It is an awesome program:


Many of Dustin's friends have graduated from Hawthorne Country Day School and are now working as Coffee Grinders and Packagers at SNACK's 21+ Coffee Factory

I am amazed at the progress that I am seeing in the employment arena for the Developmentally Disabled in the past six months. 

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Cooper Hewitt Lab - Designing Accessible Cities Symposium

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Cooper Hewitt Lab - Designing Accessible Cities Symposium

Building a more inclusive city is a design opportunity. Join us for a day of ignite talks and critical discussions presented in partnership with the NYC Mayor’s Office for Disabilities to explore the barriers that make cities inaccessible and the innovations that promote intentional user-focused design.
— Cooper Hewitt - Designing Accessible Cities Symposium

Last week I attended this design seminar at Cooper Hewitt, and I found Patricia Moore of ‎MooreDesign's talk to be the most interesting for our Special Needs population. I can't say that this has short-term relavancy for our population, but it did open me up to integrating our population with "other" populations including wheelchair, Veteran, elderly, artist, and others. 

The entire morning session is here on YouTube and Patricia's talk starts at 48:00. Speakers in order were:

  • Keira Gwynn, Designer, R82 Scallop
  • Kat Holmes, Founder, KATA
  • Patricia Moore, President, MooreDesign Associates
  • Elise Roy, Inclusive Design Strategist

The afternoon panel conversation was “Designing Accessible Cities”, and it was moderated by Victor Calise, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the panel included:

 

  • Keira Gwynn, Designer, R82 Scallop
  • Kat Holmes, Founder, KATA
  • Patricia Moore, President, ‎MooreDesign Associates
  • Elise Roy, Inclusive Design Strategist
  • Kleo King, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
  • Alex Elegudin, Wheeling Forward
  • Luke DuBois, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

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CSH: The Next Generation of Supportive Housing in New York State (and NYC!)

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CSH: The Next Generation of Supportive Housing in New York State (and NYC!)

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From our friend Kristin Miller of CSH

CSH "blends our experience and dedication with a practical and entrepreneurial spirit. We uncover ways to move forward even in the most complex environments, so our partners can achieve stability, strength and success for the most vulnerable people in the communities where they live."


Kristin Miller update:

Kristin Miller of CSH

Kristin Miller of CSH

"Several new Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) have recently been released, including the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) and NYC 15/15 supportive housing program, offering new opportunities for supportive housing development across the state. In the coming weeks CSH will be releasing a resource guide to assist nonprofit supportive housing developers. 

There are 1200 units in ESSHI included in this next round as a sub-set to this larger world of supportive housing. The OPWDD segment and ESSHI funds will be a smaller slice of the units. That said – it is indeed a new and ground breaking housing development resource for the OPWDD population.

The resource guide includes key activities, participants and risk considerations at each step in the development process, and helpful tools for discussions with board members, staff and other key stakeholders. We'll walk you through new financing opportunities, zoning incentives, effective partnerships and how to navigate the challenges in site control. Read more about the resource guide here.

In the meantime feel free to contact our New York based loan officers:
Jen Trepinski for the five boroughs and Maygen Moore for upstate development."

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NYSACRA - May 31, 2017 New York City Regional Housing Meeting

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NYSACRA - May 31, 2017 New York City Regional Housing Meeting

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New York City Regional Housing Alliance Creating Homes and Fostering Independence

The New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) was awarded a Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) grant to provide education that promotes and enhances individual housing options. Early into the grant, NYSACRA hosted a series of regional forums to gain insight into the unique considerations involved in creating or obtaining housing within a region. There was at least one forum in each of the five Developmental Disability Regions. 

Results of the regional housing forum meetings were included in the Report to theHousing Task Force published in December of 2015. The next stage in this work is to meet again in each region and assist in creating new housing alliances or enhancing existing ones. Developing and maintaining a working collaborative regionally with ALL housing stakeholders is truly essential in generating new housing opportunities. 

NYSACRA is pleased to sponsor a morning conference on how to partner with developers, lenders, government stakeholders, provider agencies and people receiving support and their families to create more independent housing options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

Date:          May 31, 2017
Time:          10:00-12:30
Location:    AHRC NYC
                     83 Maiden Lane
                     NY, NY 10038

Click hereto register

Click here to download the report to the housing task force.
Questions please contact Carol Napierski caroln@nysacra.org

 

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Katie Sweeney 2017 Fundraiser for SNACK - Dustin Sweeney with Jackie and Joey Ceonzo

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Katie Sweeney 2017 Fundraiser for SNACK - Dustin Sweeney with Jackie and Joey Ceonzo

SNACK is the creation of New York mom and SNACK's Executive Director, Jackie Ceonzo.  In 2003, after being unable to find a fulfilling program for her son, Joey, she worked with a team of professionals to create a place where any child, despite their abilities, can socialize and enjoy activities while learning practical skills in a collaborative, fun, and welcoming environment. At SNACK, children of ALL abilities are welcome including those with no diagnosis. ALL SNACK activities are open to the general public.

 

From Katie Sweeney:

The journey that we are on with our 19-year old severely autistic son, Dusty, has not been easy, and while there are indeed moments of despair, the moments of glory shine through. One such shining moment came a few weeks ago when I took Dusty to a regular (non-autism Friendly performance) of Wicked on Broadway, a show that he is obsessed with. Ten years ago we were asked to leave a performance of ‘Chicago’ on Broadway shortly after the start of Act II, a rejection that still stings today. In ten years, Dusty has matured and through the love and support of the community we surround him with, he has learned to manage his impulsive and compulsive behaviors allowing him to relax and enjoy the moment. So I decided it was time to try again. There we were, 5th row Orchestra seats on the aisle and for the whole two hours he smiled. He smiled! And he was quiet! Really quiet. And then the most amazing thing happened. During the song ‘For Good’ that Elphaba and Glinda sing to each other at the end of Act II…right when Glinda sings ‘Because I knew you…I have been changed for good’, Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He has never done anything like that before.

This moment, this shining moment, would never have happened if it weren’t for SNACK. They have been with us every step of the way, nurturing Dusty, embracing Dusty, loving Dusty. Acclimating him to the community, the environment, his peers, enabling him to live in the world and enjoy all the shining moments versus observing it from afar.

As we look towards Dusty’s future and adulthood, SNACK will play an even more integral role as he will soon age out of the school system and ‘fall off the cliff’. There are no mandated services or programming beyond age 21 for the developmentally disabled.  SNACK’s recent 21+ initiative is well underway, but it needs your help to grow and survive. Please consider donating either by clicking the donate button above or sending a check to SNACK & Friends, LLC, 316 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022. SNACK is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

For all the good that SNACK has done and will continue to do, there is no question…there will be more shining moments yet to come. And thanks for your support, because we knew you, we have been changed….for good.

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New York Times: In Health Bill’s Defeat, Medicaid Comes of Age

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New York Times: In Health Bill’s Defeat, Medicaid Comes of Age

Last week, despite their desire to repeal Mr. Obama’s biggest domestic legacy, some Republicans recognized that any bill that would lead to such drastic cuts in Medicaid would simply hurt too many of their constituents.
— New York Times
 

The New York Times wrote a good historical perspective of Medicaid based on last week's issues in Washington surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Obviously this is a big topic for the Developmentally Disabled community. 

Read the full story at The New York Times. 


"Still, last week’s defeat reflected how hard it is to take away an entitlement. It also showed the broad and deep reach of Medicaid, which covers about six times as many people as the private marketplaces created under the A.C.A. but, perhaps because the markets are more strongly associated with President Barack Obama and his law, got less attention in this month’s contentious debate."

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