Western New York Independent Living, Inc., Family of Agencies logo

Education, Empowerment, and Equality for People with Disabilities

Programs and Services Offered at WNYIL. Overall Programs and Services Offered at WNY Independent Living, Inc - WNY Independent Living, Inc. is a family of agencies which provides services and programs which assist individuals with disabilities to obtain and remain independently living, working and thriving in the communities of their choice. An overview will provide informational presentation about what an independent living center is how to obtain services, where each center is located, what independent living skills are, how to obtain transportation and housing information, and how to contact the Independent Living Center.


ADA Compliance: How to comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) - Understanding the American with Disabilities Act, as a business or non-profit organization, will assist in meeting the needs of staff, clients and volunteers who have a disability.


Independent Living Philosophy: Independent Living Philosophy offers opportunity and quality of life to achieve empowerment and equality for all individuals with disabilities.


Resources for People with Developmental Disabilities: Services are available through the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).


Educational Advocacy: This training offers employees, clients and volunteers a broad understanding regarding special education plans (ex. 504 or Individualized Educational Plan - IEP).


Transition Programs to assist Youth (age 14-24): Transition programs offer youth/young adults and his or her parent/caregiver, information regarding diagnosis, programs, and support in the community and understanding the needs of youth/young adults who are transitioning out of high school and into college or work environment.


Nursing Home or Hospital Transition: This training will provide information to attendees about “transitioning” or diversion from costly institutions, such as hospitals, nursing homes and/or psychiatric hospitals, through community based and independent living programs and skills.


Disability Movement, History and Hiring Individuals with Disabilities: This educational presentation will provide the historical and present day application of Disability Rights and the movement. This training will offer a business, organization or community information about equal access, the Disability Movement, and the benefits of hiring someone with a disability.


Money Follows the Person: This training will provide an overview about institutionalization and how individuals with disabilities have the right to live independently within the community, if he or she chooses. This program is designed to provide any nursing home resident with a disability and/or their family about the opportunity to understand the rights of residents in long-term care facilities and the options available to him or her to return to the community and housing of his or her choice. This training also provides information about community based services that are available to assist with transition from Long Term Care, and ultimately, quality of life.


Working with a Disability: Individuals with disabilities apply and obtain work opportunities each and every day. This training will offer employers, students (college and high school) staff, volunteers, the community and individuals with disabilities information about finding employment while living with a disability. This training will also offer more information for employers regarding benefits to hiring individuals with a disability.


Making Your Organization Accessible: Each day businesses, organizations and communities interact with individuals with disabilities. WNY Independent Living advocates and trains businesses how to become accessible with ADA Compliance measures that each establishment can plan to ensure that any patron has the option to access stores, restaurants or any public venue.


Without accessibility options many businesses, colleges, educational facilities, and community venues remain inaccessible for potential patrons, customers, students, or potential employees who have a disability. This training will ensure understanding and application of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to any public building, educational location or community event/space to ensure compliance is met and people of any disability can enter, spend money or become engaged with a program or service, if he or she so chooses.


Tour of an Independent Living Center: This tour will offer any individual residing in Erie, Niagara or Orleans County to “walk-through” his or her local Independent Living Center and receive information about all of the programs and services being offered to the disabled community in the county/region being toured. At present, tours are offered in Batavia, Buffalo and Niagara Falls New York by appointment.


Medicaid Service Coordination: Medicaid Service Coordination


Medicaid Service Coordination assists any individual with a disability, who is Medicaid eligible or living with a developmental disability to achieve goals and programs needed. The person who assists the consumer is called a Medicaid Service Coordinator.


 At WNY Independent Living, we provide this service/program, to individuals with disabilities. Our goal of is to offer Medicaid Service Coordination and assistance in connecting people with disabilities the ability to receive the services that he or she needs, through navigation and coordination of the large and sometimes confusing, Medicaid system.


Diabetes Self Management Program: This educational training will provide individuals diagnosed with Diabetes or Chronic Illness, family members, caregivers and/or health care providers information about who are diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 or Chronic Illness an informational session regarding a program which encourages the individual to create and attend important medical appointments, develop a personalized plan for their own wellness and,  monitoring of health and long term care coordination.


Employment, Housing and Intake/Assessments for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (BIP): Recently, WNY Independent Living, Inc. has increased our programming to include the Balance Incentive Program which works to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to obtain housing, employment and life goals, alongside any assessments to reassessments for rehabilitation, occupational therapy or neuropsychology assessment that he or she may need to qualify for the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Front Door process.


Medicaid Application Assistance Program (MAAP): This program provides assistance in applying to Medicaid and Medicaid Programs to individuals who are Aging, Certified Blind and/or Disabled (ABD). The program is funded through the NYS Department of Health. Learn More.


Addict 2 Addict: Peer & Family Support program is a MHPC Peer lead team serving people with substance abuse disorders and families and loved ones with substance use disorders. The Addict 2 Addict team is available to those adults in Erie County who decide they are “Ready” for a new life and recovery. The team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will respond to a call within 24 hours. The Peers, in addiction recovery themselves and who have family members with addiction, share their recovery experience to those deciding they are “Ready”. The addicted Peers help the addicted and their families and loved ones, navigate the many avenues to take once deciding they are “Ready” to give it up. The recovering addicted peer informs, advocates, and provides Peer Counseling in an effort to guide the individuals in need to take the first steps in their recovery path. Call 716-836-2726 when you are “Ready” to choose a path of recovery. Learn more.


“Taking Control” -  Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Services (CDPAS): This program is offered to individuals who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare and are in need of an aide in his or her home in order to remain living in the community. This program provides aides who assist with hygiene, cleaning, attending appointments, etc.


Independence Express: WNYIL operates grant and fee-based transportation services for community activities in five of the Western New York Counties.


WNYIL’s transportation program, Independence Express, offers rides for people with disabilities who reside in Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans Counties. Anyone with a disability can participate. We have both wheelchair-accessible vans and minivans for ambulatory riders.


If you are eligible for services from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and live with a family member in Erie, Niagara, Genesee or Orleans county, you may be entitled to Family Support Services transportation. This program provides up to six (6) round trips per month to wherever you would like to go in our service area at no charge.


Our Fee-For-Service transportation is provided at a cost of $15 each way, plus $0.50 per mile to go wherever you choose. This is much less expensive than any private company that provides door-to-door wheelchair transportation in Western New York. You will receive an invoice in the mail the month after you get a ride.


If you would like to sign up for transportation, please call (716) 836-0822, ext. 126 to reach our Intake Office. If your area code is 585, you may call (585) 815-8501, ext. 126. You will fill out a short intake over the phone, and then a welcome packet will be sent to you, containing forms that you will need to sign and mail back to us. When we receive those forms, you are then signed up for transportation. We require at least one weeks’ notice to book each trip, but you may schedule rides up to three months in advance. All van seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on availability.


Moving Forward: WNYIL also has another transportation program for people that are eligible for services through the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in Erie and Niagara counties. The "Moving Forward" program helps eligible individuals to get to work, work-related activities and volunteer opportunities. This program is funded through the Federal Transit Administration New Freedom grant, the Self Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS), and WNYIL. To sign up or for more information, please contact Sophia Roberts of SANYS at (716) 517-3598.












3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214  (716) 836-0822 (Voice/TDD)  (716) 835-3967 (Fax)