Programs and Services Offered at Western New York Independent Living, Inc. (WNYIL)

WNYIL is a family of agencies that provides services and programs which assist individuals with disabilities to remain independently living, working and thriving in the communities of their choice. The below overview will provide information 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
Training offers an opportunity to teach and train individuals with disabilities or those who are working with them, how to achieve the maximum quality of life to achieve empowerment and equality as he or she chooses, as an individual with a disability.

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

Educational Advocacy
Offers parents, caregivers and school districts the understanding regarding special education plans (ex. 504 or Individualized Educational Plan — IEP) and how a youth/young adult can utilize their plan to assist in succeeding while attending P-12 Education.

Youth Transition Programs
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
Transition from a nursing home or hospital assists in  providing information to individuals 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
The Independent Living Center assists and provides a training on 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.

Open Doors 
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.

Open Doors is a community based service that is available to assist with transition from Long Term Care, Nursing Home, Psychiatric Center, or any long term facility, back to home or residence of the individual's choice. This program assists in increasing each person's 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, Genesee, Wyoming 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, Perry, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York by appointment.

Diabetes Self Management Program/Chronic Disease Self Management Program
These educational workshops provide individuals diagnosed with Diabetes (Type 2) or Chronic Illness (CPOD, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and others) or their family members/caregivers with information on meal planning, exercise, communication skills and more.  This free training is a program which encourages the individual to create and attend important medical appointments and develop a personalized plan for wellness.

Employment, Housing and Intake/Assessments for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 
Recently, WNYIL has increased our programming 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.

Aged, Blind & Disabled 
Medicaid Application Assistance Program
Funded by the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the Medicaid Application Assistance Program (MAAP) helps individuals who are over 65, certified blind and/or disabled regardless of age, to apply for programs through Department of Social Services, including, Community Medicaid programs,  Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities, Medicaid Spend-Down, Managed Long Term Care (MLTC), and Nursing Home/Chronic Care Coverage.

This program was created to ensure the Aged, Blind and Disabled have access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance. We have a team of experienced enrollment staff throughout Western New York who are ready to assist you with the application process for Medicaid.

Learn more.

Health Homes Coordination
Health and Care Navigation — Individuals with disabilities are more likely to have chronic illnesses which can cause death to occur at a younger age of up to 25 years younger. WNY Independent Living offers a program which assists individuals with disabilities to attend important doctor’s appointments, provide support through independent living skills and obtaining health insurance an integrated approach to health, information about the medical systems and learning how to navigate them with ease, and a customized plan which will provide ongoing support from a Health Care Navigator. Our Agency offers three Health Homes Programs which assists with care management service, which assists with an individual's health providers to communicate with one another so that all of all of his or her needs are addressed in a comprehensive manner. WNYIL’s "Care Coordinator" oversees and provides access to all of the services an individual needs to assure that they receive everything necessary to stay healthy, and out of costly emergency room visits and long-term stays in the hospital.

Addict 2 Addict: Peer & Family Support
This 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 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 716-836-0822 ext. 135 when you are “Ready” to choose a path of recovery.

Independent Consumer Advocacy Network (ICAN)
Provides free, confidential help to consumers who are eligible for or enrolled in Health and Recovery Plans (HARPs). They can help you decide whether HARP is right for you, answer your questions about your benefits, provide advice and information, and advocate for you in the appeals process. Call ICAN at 1-844-614-8800 or email

ICAN is the ombudsprogram for people with Medicaid who need long term care services or behavioral health services.