ILGR ACCESS news Summer 2018

A Taste of Independence

A Taste of Independence

Enjoy the taste of the Genesee Region’s wide variety of restaurants and their favorite dishes at A Taste of Independence! Wednesday, September 12, 2018,  5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Batavia Country Club
7909 Batavia-Byron Road, Batavia, NY 14020. $15.00 per ticket.  50/50 Auction and Raffle Items. Limited number of tickets! Get yours now! To R.S.V.P. and/or sponsor please call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, Ext. 411 or email 

Thank you to Batavia Country Club!
 Thank you to our sponsors!

Gold Sponsor
R.A. Haitz Co., Inc.
Bronze Sponsor
Platt Properties
Friend Sponsors
Allstate Insurance Company 
BGW Properties, LLC 
Bontrager Real Estate & Auction Service 
Fox Farm Antiques 
High Voltage Tattoo & Piercing
Sikes Enterprises, Inc.

Daily View

From the ILGR Team

I met with a consumer in August who was looking to get her glasses paid for that were at Optique. She could not afford to purchase them herself because they were over $400. I assisted with an application to the Lions Club in Batavia to request coverage of the cost of her eye glasses. The Lions Club approved the request in September, but informed my consumer that she would need to make the purchase through Walmart because that is who the Lions Club contracts with. As soon as receiving her approval letter, she picked out new glasses and is just waiting for them to come in.  JP

I am working with a consumer who is a wife and mother, unemployed, cannot drive, and is suffering from significant depression and isolation. She has been struggling despite her mobile counseling services and medication therapy that was being prescribed, but not effective by her primary care physician. Through her care coordination and the peer support services I provide as part of HCBS, together we have encouraged and empowered this consumer to seek specialized care; to get the real attention and treatment she needs. As her peer, I was able to assist my consumer in scheduling an appointment, as well as accompany her to the first visit with her psychiatrist. I provided her with emotional support, and used references to my own experiences and encounters with a few different “medication cocktails” until finding the ones that work for me. It is so important that we put an end to the stigma associated with mental illness, and the fear that overcomes people when they need to see a “shrink”. If you broke a bone, you would see an orthopedic doctor, so why is there so much shame in seeking help with our mental health?!?!  AG

I recently helped an individual who wasn’t able to come into our office due to rupturing his Achilles heel. He was in a walking boot, but he could not drive. I met with him at his apartment to assist with applying for benefits through Social Services. We applied for SNAP Benefits and I provided him with the contact information to schedule an appointment at Department of Social Services to apply for Temporary Cash Assistance because that application could not be completed online. I explained the Temporary Cash Assistance process and the information he would need to bring to that appointment as well. I discussed with the consumer about applying for Temporary Disability also. The consumer informed me that he had just completed that prior to contacting our office and had been told if approved he wouldn’t receive anything until November or December.  DJ

A consumer came into Independent Living with a past history of substance abuse and current mental health concerns. He was staying with a friend but that was not the best situation for him. Independent Living assisted with an application for DePaul housing so that he could live in the community utilizing a subsidy. This consumer also started engaging with the Genesee County Mental Health Clinic as a result of ILGR’s advocacy.  DD

Due to JD’s medical problems she was not able to stay in her home anymore. She made the decision to live in a skilled nursing facility. Due to the costs, she would not be able to afford this service on her own. Together JD and a family friend contacted me for some assistance in applying for Medicaid. I met with them and helped them fill out the application. I assisted them with obtaining needed documentation. Additionally, I became a liaison and advocated for JD with the local Department of Social Services. After several weeks, we were able to get her application approved.  SD

I have many interactions with consumer’s needing use of our equipment in the Loan Closet.  Many times family members come in or call feeling overwhelmed because their loved one is sick or had surgery and need special equipment to use at home while they recover. They are very relieved to know they can borrow items here rather than purchase those items. It gives them one less thing to worry about.  CD

An elderly gentleman who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease is cared for by his wife. She has no opportunity to get out on her own and take care of things without bringing her husband along. They would love to ask their granddaughter to help in his care, but she is a college student who needs a paying job to make ends meet. Thanks to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program, their granddaughter can help care for her grandfather and use this as gainful employment. Both husband and wife are relieved to have a family member help to provide respite that is long overdue; she can run errands and participate in her normal outside activities knowing that he is well cared for by a loving family member.  PM

I have been conducting orientations to help people become Personal Care Aides for Independent Living so that our consumers can stay in their homes. This program provides consumers with the help they need to stay healthy and active. The number of people attending orientation is growing rapidly. The more PCA’s we have the more Consumers we can help. This is a great job which helps out the community and keeps consumers in their homes.  AD

I facilitated a subcommittee meeting for the Continuum of Care regarding the re-entry population (from incarceration) that covers the 3 counties of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming. The meeting had representatives from all 3 counties, and included Probation, County Jails, Law Enforcement, Homeless Alliance, Genesee Justice, and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Our discussion included services being provided in order to prevent people from becoming homeless or returning to prison. I introduced upcoming funding opportunities that the counties can apply for and possibly receive more resources to help the re-entry population.  DN

I recently called a man that at first did not want to speak with me at all about his Medicare. He was very leery of me calling because of fraud and the lack of help in his area. I was able to reassure him that my purpose in calling was to assist with Medicare; and I also provided direction to him on assistance with Medicaid. His direct quote to me was “Thank you for the phone call, it came at a very opportune moment for me. The application process was very complicated and I knew I needed help with it”.  MW

In September we began a 6-week series of diabetes workshops (Diabetes Self Management Program) at The Greens in LeRoy, NY. This workshop was created by Stanford University with very strict guidelines that must be followed to a tee! Each class will teach the participants ways in which to manage their diabetes. We cover various topics such as nutrition/healthy eating, monitoring diabetes and blood sugar, dealing with stress, problem solving, preventing low blood sugar, preventing complications, decision making, physical activity and exercise, difficult emotions, depression, positive thinking, relaxation techniques, communication, sick days, foot care, medication and working with your health care professional. The class has 14 participants enrolled and we are excited to share this program with them.  DB.

Director’s Note

Rae Frank 

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) can now proudly boast that we are fully staffed with 18 employees; one Genesee Community College intern and one Career Center intern. We are focused on employment for people with disabilities.  

This summer we launched several classes that encourage employment and financial wellbeing. It all started last Spring when ILGR was selected to participate in the “Costly Price of Benefits” training pilot. This initiative from the New York State Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) teaches that the intersection between poverty and disability runs throughout all domains of one’s life. While the traditional course of action in treating mental illness and substance use has been medically-based, and more recently recovery-based, little attention has been paid to the effects that living on public benefits has on one’s mental health. This learning collaborative focused on EMPLOYMENT as the “therapeutic intervention” in helping people recover from mental illness/substance use. Our staff team members participated in training and then implemented curriculum, to effectively embed an EMPLOYMENT FIRST approach into our agency’s culture. The CAREERS class provides participants with soft skills training, a resume, interview preparation, networking skills, reasonable accommodation training and an awareness that choosing only public benefits equals a life of poverty.  

Along with the employment classes; we also began a series of Financial Management self-help workshops. Jennifer Pritchard, Independent Living Specialist and our corporate sponsor, Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union met for six weeks and provided attendees with information on banking, saving, budgeting, fixing credit scores, and managing financial resources.  

This summer was the launch of new programs and we intend to build and expand these services so that our consumers are given the tools they need to seek and retain employment.  

Taste of Independence Food Vendors

Batavia's Original Pizzeria

Batavia’s Original Pizzeria


Black Creek Videry, LLC

Black Creek Cidery, LLC


Center Street

Center Street Smokehouse


Eden Cafe & Bakeshop

Eden Café & Bakeshop


Farmer’s Wife LLC

Farmer’s Wife LLC


Ken’s Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q

Ken’s Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q


L.B. Grand

L.B. Grand Steak and Spaghetti House


Subway Restaurant

The Eli Fish Brewing Co.

The Eli Fish Brewing Company


The Wild Rican

The Wild Rican


Tops Friendly Markets

Tops Friendly Markets

Yancey’s Fancy’s

Yancey’s Fancy’s

Big Pauly's Pizza

Big Pauly’s Pizza



Capish Pizza-ristorante


D&R Depot Restaurant

D & R Depot Restaurant


Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn


Fishtales Hideaway

Fishtales Hideaway


KMC Custom Cakes

KMC Custom Cakes


Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill

Mooney’s Sports Bar & Grill


T.F. Brown’s Restaurant

T.F. Brown’s Restaurant


The North Pole

The North Pole



Tully’s Great Food & Good Times




Thank you to our Taste of Independence donors!

Ace Hardware 
Adam Miller Toy Store
Alabama Holley Farms 
Batavia Downs Gaming 
Batavia Massage Therapy
Batavia Tailors & Cleaners 
Donna Becker 
Bourbon & Burger Co.
Buffalo Bisons Baseball 
Buffalo Sabres
BW’s Restaurant/Davis’ Countryside Meadows
Charles Men Shop 
Amie Dedman 
Erycka Kosinski 
Flying Needle and Thread
Kim Gloskowski 
Rebecca Grela 
Harper Hill Farm 
High Voltage Tattoo & Piercing
Home DePot 
House of Laundry
Karen Kovach-Allen 
LeBeau Salon 
Mancuso Bowling Center 
Debra McKnight 

Mill Street Wines & Liquors
Moon Java Café
Nice Farms
Oliver’s Candies 
Linda Olson 
Jennifer Pritchard 
Red Osier Restaurant 
Michelle Rogers 
Dave Rumsey 
Schwab Farms 
Shell’s Post
Southside Deli
Stan’s Harley Davidson
Robert Statham 
The Spa at Artemis
The YNGoddess Shop 
Those Guys Entertainment
Tonawanda Valley Credit Union
Sandy Trimmer 
University Heights Arts Association 
Valle Jewelers
Grace West
West Main Wine & Spirits, LLC

Thank you to the Independent Living Governing Council

Ida Caldwell
Jonathan Doherty
Barbara Hoffman
Erycka Kosinski 
Linda Makson
Kelly March
Ann Scherff

Thank you to the ILGR team

Patricia AbdusSalaam 
Donna Becker
Amie Dedman
Cathy DeMare 
David Dodge
Scott Dorchak 
Angela Gioia 
Volunteer: Eva Graham 
Ariana Hiscutt
Dominique Johnson
Pat McAllister
Leah McDonald 
Debra McKnight
Dai Nguyen 
Jennifer Pritchard 
Nicole Tedesco
Michelle Whitmore
Jennifer Williams

Amazon Smile

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Western New York Independent Living, Inc. Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

Embrace the Difference

Embrace the Difference

We are all conected, no matter what the difference we may have.

We are a participating charity. Learn more at

Consumer Needs Survey

WNYIL is conducting a Consumer Needs Survey of individuals who have received services from the Agency. The Board of Directors would like to know what your needs are in regards to programs and services WNYIL
offers. The survey will be open until September 30, 2018. Thank you!

Thank you to our Night for Independence Gala Sponsors!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York

Pro Carpet

Integrity Health Group


Miranda Real Estate


EFPR Group

Main Mobility

Queen City Imaging

M&T Bank

Clauss & Company

Key Bank

Health Works