Oswego Newsletter – August 2013 – Text-Only

Celebrating Americans with Disabilities Awareness Day

On the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Oswego County Legislature proclaimed July 26 as Americans with Disabilities Awareness Day.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark piece of legislation that guaranteed equal opportunities for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, government services, and telecommunications. It is the product of decades of work that has changed public perception of disability, and an acknowledgement that equal rights require equal access. We are proud to work each day to help people with disabilities reach their dreams and achieve the greatest degree of independence and access.

If you have any questions regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact Sabine Ingerson at 342-4088 ext 210.

Social Groups in Action

Teen Group recently attended the ARISE & Ride at the Farm Festival in Chittenango that featured horseback riding, a high ropes course, hay rides, fishing, and more!

Central Square Social Club recently went sailing at Callahan’s Marina in Canastota. A huge thank you to Oneida Lake Sailing Club for hosting this event.

Hab Dept. Participates in Community Garden & Project Bloom

Elizabeth Weimer, ARISE Habilitation Coordinator, is overseeing the Community Garden and Project Bloom activities for summer events.

ARISE CIS Staff, along with their consumers, are watering, weeding, and caring for the Community Garden in Fulton. The produce can be consumed by the volunteers or donated to the fresh food giveaway.

Staff and consumers also water and weed the flower garden for Project Bloom at the park near our office.

Way to go team! It’s an honor to work with people who give back to our community.

Reminders for CIS Staff

CIS Staff Training Required Training

When:  August 16th 10:30 – 12:30

Where: in the Large Conference room

Topic: Justice Center & incident reporting

Don’t forget to complete your annual Corporate Compliance Training!

FSS Groups

All of the FSS groups are open to anyone throughout the county.

  • Teen Group is for youth ages 11 to 18 (They can stay in the group up to the age of 21 if they choose to).
  • Central Square Social Group is for youth ages 13 to 21 who are still in school.
  • Community Connections is for young adults ages 18 and over.

Each group participates in many different activities throughout the year.  We have parties at the ARISE office, go bowling, go to the zoo, have dances, go to museums, attend plays, and explore new activities all the time.

For more information on any of the FSS groups, please email Vicki Affinati at vaffinati@ariseinc.org or call 342-4088 ext. 225.

FSS Social Skill Classes

FSS Social Skill Classes are held in the Central Square and Fulton High School as well as the Oswego ARISE office.

There will be a series of 6 Social Skill classes offered this fall.  Classes are offered on September 18th and 25th and on October 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd at the Oswego ARISE office from 6 to 8 pm.  Supper will be provided and a variety of topics will be discussed. During the classes, parent training sessions are also available. Training topics are:

  • The new Graduation diploma options
  • What do I do if I disagree? The dispute resolution process
  • Getting organized: Preparing for your CSE meetings
  • Understanding the IEP
  • Autism
  • How to talk to your children about sex

In order to register for the classes, please email Vicki Affinati at vaffinati@ariseinc.org or call 342-4088 ext. 225.

Ramp Update and Volunteer Opportunities

A few weeks ago we were delighted to share that we had hit a new mile marker in our ramp program. Every once in a while, we have been able to complete two ramp projects on a single Saturday. We were thrilled when we reached the big three and were able to complete three separate ramps on one Saturday. It was a fantastic day for us that was made possible through the dedication and support of a lot of people in several areas of the county.

On Saturday, August 3rd, we hope to repeat that same mile marker. We have a ramp going up in the Town of Hannibal, one going into the Town of Mexico, and one going into the Town of Schroeppel. Once again the program is reaching far beyond the norm and we love the challenge.

If you wish to assist in the program, form your own volunteer team, contribute towards materials, join one of the building teams, or simply assist in the administrative process…we would love to have you. One of the joys of our Oswego County Ramp Program is that we never get tired of saying thank you!

Just think, with your help on Saturday August 3rd, we will be able to “free” three more people and their families. With a ramp, they will be able to rejoin our communities when they wish and on their own terms, not when someone “lifts/assists” them out the door.

Please contact us @ 342-4088 Kris R ext. 207 or Jim K ext. 206 to learn more.

MSC Blog

Hello everyone.  My name is Shane Hoey and I am a MSC at ARISE. I am a father of two wonderful boys, who are the center of my world.

In what spare time that I do have, I’m also a musician and love various types of music. While I am drawn to the beats and melodies, it is the stories that are portrayed though the lyrics and scores as well as the memories that they evoke that move me. These stories can produce all kinds of emotions as they connect to a time or aspect of my life. For example, songs such as Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” reminded me of home while I was working on the road.

While every story that we hear is not always of the feel-good nature, it makes the ones that are that much more special. Songs such as John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” or Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” remind me of both the best and worst time in my life. While my younger son was in and out of the hospital for the first couple of years of his life, I sang these songs to him. They remind me of how hard it was to watch him helplessly go in and out of surgeries and how scary it all must have been for him. That was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. However, when he came home and recovered it was the greatest experience that I have ever had. I believe that the stories are what drew me to doing this work in the first place, but seeing what my son went through and the help he received affirmed my dedication to it.

I would like to tell you about another story that moved me. You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? This picture of Mike Dayger tells me a great story that I will share with you, but first let me give you some background information.

Mike is a recent APW High School graduate. He is a very down to earth, fun-loving individual who will speak to a person he just met as if he has known them for years. Mike participated in a work study program through school that placed him a couple of different locations. One of the job-sites was at a small engine repair shop. This was important to Mike because he would like to have his own shop someday. Mike went into this position with very limited knowledge of the trade, which is how he affectionately earned the nickname “Dipstick” since that was the only part of a lawn mower that he could readily identify on his first day. From there Mike jokingly developed the philosophy that if you can’t fix it with a hammer, it can’t be fixed. Mike still has a lot to learn before realizing his dream of being a small engine repair shop owner, but the point is that he will continue to strive toward that dream and will not let obstacles get in his way.

This brings me to the story behind this picture. This is a picture of Mike coming off the stage after accepting his high school diploma. Behind him is a ramp that he was able to use so he could do this independently. Mike had called me a couple of weeks prior to his graduation and said that the school had been unable to obtain a ramp for the graduation stage through the agency they were renting it from. With support from the ARISE Advocacy team, we were able to provide this ramp for Mike.

While I love stories that have a happy ending and leave you with a smile, the fact that Mike is not smiling in this picture is what I like about it. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like people being unhappy, but that is not what I see in this picture. While Mike may tell you that he is not smiling simply because he doesn’t like his picture taken, I see a look of willful and unwavering determination. I see a look in his eyes that says that there is absolutely no obstacle that he will let get in his way. I see the look of a man that left his boyhood on the stage behind him. Mike will now be continuing his education to pursue his dream and I have no doubt that he will achieve it. This is a story of inspiration that I will always carry with me. Thanks Mike!!

I have a couple songs in my head that will remind me of this story, but I do not want to cloud your imagination with my thoughts. What song does this make you think of?


ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation) is an agency in the New York State Education Department that has helped many individuals with disabilities find and keep employment. You may know the agency from it’s previous acronym: VESID.

Over the past year, ACCES-VR has helped over 900 people in Central New York (including 80 in Oswego County) succeed in careers ranging from customer service to information technology. Services to help eligible individuals reach their employment goals may include but are not limited to: job coaching, employment counseling, advocacy, and financial assistance with training, equipment, and work uniforms.

If you or someone you know has a barrier to employment and is interested in applying, please call (315) 428-4180 to register for an information session or to receive an application.