Community Services for Every1

Author Archive

Employee Holiday Party

Celebrate the holidays with us at our annual Employee Holiday Party! The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, December 18, at Foundry, 1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo.

The party is free of charge for Community Services’ employees and $15 for guests. There is a limit of 1 guest per employee. You can RSVP to Colleen Sullivan at or register below.

To purchase a guest ticket, click here.




Community Services presents the 10th Annual Monster Bash Ball

Come celebrate with us at our 10th Annual Monster Bash Ball from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, October 20th, at 1420 Main Street, Buffalo. The event is for people ages 18 and older. The venue is wheelchair accessible and parking will be available across the streets.

Tickets are $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Kymalie Smith at 896-2180 ext. 316.

DSP Recognition Week

In celebration of DSP Recognition Week, we’re honoring our DSPs for their hard work and dedication! You can help us celebrate by sharing a message of appreciation below.

DSP Recognition Week

Official Jefferson Career Center Opening

Jefferson Career Center Opening

After a very busy and successful 2016 and early 2017, we are set to open our Jefferson Career Center in the early fall. Located on the East Side of Buffalo in the former Bethel Head Start building on the corner of Jefferson and East Ferry, the Jefferson Career Exploration Center will offer pre-vocational services and employment services for adults with developmental disabilities. Our Respite services will also be offered within the Jefferson building. Respite services are offered to families we serve in a variety of degrees, such as after school care, over school breaks, and even on the weekends.

Jefferson Career Center will give those in our pre-vocation and employment services a chance to learn in a hands-on fashion. Throughout the building there will be different “suites” that will offer the people we serve a chance to learn more about different career paths. These suites include a culinary suite, an auto detailing suite, a mock hotel room and an office, all of which will give the people we serve an opportunity to explore career options and train in a variety of ways. We have several different community partners throughout Western New York who are helping to make Jefferson and the vision we have for it, come alive!
When the Jefferson Career Center opens, Community Services will be inching closer to our mission and vision of helping individuals with developmental disabilities in Western New York achieve their highest level of independence and promote their fullest participation in society. Through the partnerships established, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled hopes to advance and expand employment opportunities for those we serve. The goal is ultimately for the Jefferson Career Center to become a go-to place within the community!

We would like to thank those who attended our 3rd Annual Golf Tournament in July 2016, and those who attended our 2nd Annual Buffalo Inspired Art, Far and Beer event in November 2016. Funds raised at both of these events went towards the Jefferson Career Center.

President & CEO raises concerns about potential cuts to Medicaid

mindyOur President & CEO Mindy Cervoni discusses the negative impact potential cuts to Medicaid could have on the people we serve in a letter to the editor that was recently published in The Buffalo News. We are urging our state legislators to vote against these budget cuts and to vote for the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.


How You Can Help

bfair2directcare logo

The #bFair2DirectCare Coalition is hosting a call-in campaign to urge Governor Andrew to include $45 million in the state budget to give Direct Care employees a fair wage. You can help by taking part in the call-in on Tuesday, March 21. Call Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 and press 1 to leave a message.

Here is a sample message you can leave:

“I am calling on behalf of the #bFair2DirectCare Campaign for a living wage for the direct support staff that assist people with developmental disabilities. Governor Cuomo must join the Legislature and provide $45 million in the final budget! Funding is critical to the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities!”


Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Back in 1987, the month of March was designated “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” by then President Ronald Reagan.  The push towards deinstitutionalization in the 70s and 80s provided the bedrock for incredible and needed social advancement.  Reagan’s proclamation asked Americans to offer  individuals with developmental disabilities “both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.

A Changing Landscape

As the narrative continued to shift, and those individuals impacted began to live and transition into an increasing part of the general community, programs aimed at career coaching, planning and placement started to emerge as well.  The notion that individuals with developmental disabilities could transition into productive and valuable members of the workforce was new to many Americans and as such, work to deconstruct long-established preconceptions and stereotypes had to be approached head on.

Just a few years later, in 1990, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, significant ground was made towards mitigating discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace.

With Reagan’s proclamation and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the realistic expectations of individuals with disabilities began to change and autonomy, perseverance and community involvement increasingly became an achievable goal.  Simultaneously, along with better health care, individuals with developmental disabilities started living longer and cultivated a wide spectrum of support needed to live fulfilling lives.   

In 2004, the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) further clarified the perseverance, importance and abilities of individuals with disabilities.  While promising early interventions, special education and services to help high schoolers transition into adulthood, IDEA continued to open doors.

Forging Forward

While there has been significant and positive change three decades after the establishment of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, many challenges remain and we at Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled remain committed to continue working and advocating for our community.  Our 40 different programs provide a full range of services to meet the personal, social, vocational training for developmentally disabled in WNY needs and to meet the goals of the people we serve.  

We celebrate achievements and diversity  during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and hope you take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate with us.  We emphasize our commitment to working with developmentally disabled and community efforts to ensure the availability of support services to advocate for individuals with disabilities to live, work and participate fully in society.