Adventure Awaits

Adventure Awaits

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Adventure Awaits

Each year, the Community Services Support Foundation funds mini-grants to enhance experiences and opportunities of those we support.

This year, they funded a request called the Adventurer’s Club.

One of the first activities was a trip to Hidden Valley Animal Adventure. Those that attended toured the park and saw all sorts of animals including Zebras, Bison and Ostriches. After lunch they enjoyed the petting zoo.

A group also welcomed autumn and visited the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence.

Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it is a time for all of us to speak up about domestic violence, raise awareness, and support survivors of this devastating but all too common issue. Domestic violence can happen to anyone and is present in every community regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion or nationality.

1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by their intimate partner. With these staggering statistics, it is inevitable that we all know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, whether you realize it or not.

These staggering statistics are even more devastating for victims with disabilities. Women with disabilities have a 40% greater chance of experiencing intimate partner violence than women without disabilities. Victims with disabilities face additional forms of abuse and encounter additional barriers when they attempt to leave and seek help. For many victims, when they finally take that very brave, but dangerous step to leave, they are unable to access outside services because of severe isolation, lack of transportation, lack of communication devices and interpretation services, lack of privacy and because of societal attitudes about disabilities.

It is because of these additional barriers facing survivors with disabilities that Community Services for Every1 (CSE1) partnered with the Family Justice Center of Erie County (FJC) to create the HOPE of WNY. The mission of this collaboration is to improve access to domestic violence services and prevention education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and to ensure that victims with disabilities are identified and linked to the services and supports that will help lead them on their journey toward safety and healing. To fulfill that mission, HOPE of WNY not only provides monthly training to CSE1 and FJC staff to increase the awareness, skills and comfort level of staff to support victims with I/DD, but CSE1 staffs a Casework Empowerment Liaison who provides intensive case management and support to victims with I/DD to ensure they are able to overcome any barriers to safety.

Domestic violence thrives when we remain silent. It’s important that we take a stand and work together to bring an end to the violence. This month especially, raise awareness, connect someone you are concerned about to resources, and spread the word that there is help available for everyone of every ability.

For more information on HOPE of WNY and the Victim Assistance Program or to reach the Casework Empowerment Liaison call 716-949-6678.

Easy Eats Halloween Spooktacular

Easy Eats Halloween Spooktacular

Easy Eats Halloween Spooktacular

Community Services for Every1 hosted our first Easy Eats Afterschool Program session. Halloween Spooktacular was a hit among the teens who attended! Both morning and afternoon sessions were full. Sessions are held at the Jefferson Career Exploration Center.

The two groups made homemade Coffin Pop Tarts and Lattice Baked Apples with Chef Stephanie.

Easy Eats is an in-person afterschool program for teens ages 13 to 19. The weekly program is funded through the generosity of Lakeshore Connections with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. If you have any questions, or would like more information about the Easy Eats Afterschool Program, contact Chef Stephanie at sdicarlo@csevery1.com or 716-566-4701 ext. 760.

Visit the Easy Eats for Every1 YouTube channel.

Sharing a passion for gardening

Sharing a passion for gardening

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Sharing a passion for gardening

Gardening is a passion and skill for both Calvin and Deb, two of our
Pre-Vocational DSPs, that they have shared with everyone in the program.

Calvin and Deb have spent months working with people we support in Community Pre-Voc to plan out an indoor garden wall. The purpose of this indoor garden wall is to not only help teach people about horticulture and gardening practices, but also for it to be used for The Statler Foundation Culinary Arts Suite by planting, and eventually utilizing, various types of herbs.

In preparation for this, they both worked on teaching horticulture and gardening within their programs. Each Pre-Voc program has started their own personal indoor gardens to help teach people about the various ways to care for plants, flowers and herbs, the type of surroundings each needs, and various “foods” they may require. This is especially helpful when assisting people we support in deciding their areas of interest in the workforce but it is also teaching skills that everyone can do in their everyday lives at home and with family and friends.

We couldn’t be more thankful to Calvin and Deb for turning a very unusual time in our world into a fun, new and functional learning experience at Jefferson. Their creativity and passion has really shined through while creating this project!

DSP Deb stands in front of the indoor garden wall at our Jefferson Career Center.
One of our Community Pre-Voc groups shows off the new garden bed they planted outside
Calvin poses with one of the plants he helped introduce to Community Pre-Voc.

Graduation Day!

Graduation Day!

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Graduation Day!

Samer, a resident at one our Northtowns sites, recently achieved a huge milestone. Samer graduated from Autism Services Inc. (ASI) in late June, a goal he has been working for a long time.

To celebrate this moment, ASI hosted a drive-up graduation ceremony for each graduate. Teachers and staff from ASI were there with signs to welcome Samer and his staff when they arrived. Samer wore his cap and gown and was presented with his diploma. He was able to pose for graduation pictures in a specially decorated tent. Our staff also made congratulatory signs and decorated their van to celebrate Samer on his special day.

We are so proud of Samer’s hard work and all that he has achieved. Congratulations, Samer!

Samer received his diploma during his graduation ceremony.
Samer poses with his teachers and Community Services staff as they hold up signs of support and congratulations.
Samer receives a photo collage as part of his graduation ceremony.

Celebrating Disability Pride

Celebrating Disability Pride

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Celebrating Disability Pride

July is Disability Pride Month!

Community Services LOVES celebrating every1 for who they are and where they are at all months of the year, but July is special to us! We welcome any chance to celebrate our wonderfully diverse disability community.

So in July, we celebrate people of ALL abilities! And we bring attention to the progress made for equality and accessibility and the work that still needs to be done. While we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the passage of the ADA this year, we also remember that we have work to do to make the world accessible to all.

Happy Disability Pride Month!

Disability Pride Month graphic