#ABLETOSAVE: Information from the ABLE National Resource Center!

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) has launched their month-long #ABLEtoSave grassroots campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to educate and inform the general public about Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. The goals of the #ABLEtoSave campaign, which runs throughout the month of August, are to increase awareness about ABLE accounts and to increase the amount of ABLE accounts opened across the country.

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ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that have the potential to significantly increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Informational Webinars on ABLE-related topics will be held on Wednesday each week. To see the calendar and sign up to participate, visit our events page. To learn more about the #ABLEtoSave campaign and ABLE accounts, visit the ABLE National Resource Center website (www.ablenrc.org)and be sure to “like” the ANRC on Facebook and Twitter (@theABLENRC).

Lexington's Shaloni Winston on News Channel 13!

Did you catch Lexington Executive Director Shaloni Winston on WNYT NewsChannel 13 this past weekend? If not, click on the image below to check out the video and see her talk about our Transitions program, #AutismAwarenessMonth and more! To learn more about Transitions, visit www.transitionsusa.org! #TransitionsUSA

Transitions and Fulton - Montgomery Community College introduce Certificate of Completion in Career and Life Studies

Transitions and the State University of New York at Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC) are excited to announce a partnership to offer a Certificate of Completion in Career and Life Studies. The new certificate program combines credit-bearing courses at FMCC with a non-credit curriculum at Transitions to help students develop executive functioning skills, learn how to be successful at work and in life, build independent living skills and strengthen self-management, advocacy and leadership skills.

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“We are grateful to the partnership and support that the State University of New York at Fulton-Montgomery Community College has provided in developing and offering this new Certificate in Career and Life Studies,” said Jennifer Feagles, LMSW, Director of Transitions. “This will provide a certificate to the young adults who are ready to pursue their independence and career goals after high school.”

The Certificate of Completion in Career and Life Studies will assist students such as Marybeth, an active, social and career-minded 22-year-old who was very different before she joined the program. Back then, she was quiet, cripplingly shy and lacking direction or job prospects.

“I didn’t have many friends,” Marybeth said. “I was shy. My mom would have to find ways to get me out of the house.”

When she joined Transitions, Marybeth gained access to internship opportunities in a variety of businesses as well as classes that helped her improve her social, organizational, time management, executive functioning and independent living skills. With the help of those classes, career success courses at FMCC and her current internship at Harvey’s Home, Garden and Pet Center, Marybeth is well on her way to achieving her goal of obtaining a job in her dream field of working with animals.

Transitions, a post-secondary program that helps young adults with autism and other learning differences achieve success after high school, helped Marybeth overcome all her personal obstacles and more. And now, through this partnership with FMCC, Transitions can do even more to prepare her for success in life beyond the program.

“This partnership with FMCC will provide life-changing opportunities for our students,” said Shaloni Winston, founder of Transitions and Executive Director of Lexington - Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc. “Pursuing a Certificate of Completion in Career and Life Studies will give them not only a quality education that truly prepares them to live and work independently, but also the invaluable experience of being part of college campus life with peers in a similar stage in life, with all the same goals and challenges. Everyone deserves a career they love and a life they control themselves. This certificate program will help realize that dream for many young adults.”

To obtain the Certificate of Completion in Career and Life Studies, students will take credit-bearing classes in career exploration and preparation, resume and cover letter preparation, job interviewing and professional self-presentation at FMCC, and non-credit bearing classes in time management, organization, social success, wellness, self-advocacy and independent living skills at Transitions.

A minimum of 250 hours of on-the-job internship experience at community businesses with graduated levels of responsibility will be required for each student. Transitions staff will provide job coaching, liaise with employers and encourage communication skills that will lead to success in future employment. They will also liaise with the college staff to assist the student in receiving academic support and learning skills needed to complete schoolwork and interact success fully with peers and professors. All students will have full access to the college’s library, gym, clubs and other resources.

“FMCC is proud to partner with Transitions to provide this certificate program for their students,” said Dustin Swanger, Ed.D., president of FMCC. “We believe that education enhances everyone’s life, and receiving a validation of that education in the form of an official certificate not only provides a conclusion to any given program, it becomes a symbol of pride for the learner for years to come.”

This program is suited but not limited to students with learning differences, such as autism spectrum disorder, learning differences and ADHD. Students may attain their certificate on a full-time or part-time basis. Student apartment living with a focus on learning independent living skills is also available for full-time students.

In the two years since its creation, Transitions has already made a significant difference in the lives of dozens of young people who have enrolled in camps, events and full-year programs at its Mayfield campus. This certificate program is an opportunity to marry the immersive lessons of Transitions to FMCC’s fully integrated college environment, giving students a life-altering experience that will set them on the path to success throughout the rest of their lives.

To learn more and to apply, please visit www.transitionsusa.org, contact (518) 775-5384 or email admissions@transitionsusa.org.

LEXINGTON RECEIVES NYSARC TRUST RECREATION GRANT

The NYSARC Trust Services Board has provided Lexington, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC Inc., with a remainder fund grant of $8,000 to provide recreational opportunities for people supported by Lexington. Last year, Lexington received a similar grant from NYSARC Trust Services for $10,000 that went toward purchasing recreational game equipment such as foosball tables, ping pong tables, air hockey tables and pool tables.

The funding is providing for Encounters, a social club that brings together young people from all over Lexington, the community and other agencies and helps combat the isolation that often follows graduation from school. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase long-lasting materials such as video game equipment, snow shoes, art supplies and games. The grant will also support other, less durable expenses that generate excitement and keep the group engaged, such as promotional items, catering and gift certificates to defray the costs of some activities.

In addition, remainder fund grants totaling $1,466,000 were awarded to support NYSARC guardianship programs statewide and a total of $1,874,000 in remainder grants were awarded in 2015 to support recreation and guardianship statewide. NYSARC Trust Services administers supplemental needs trusts that enable people with disabilities to remain in their home and community while retaining Medicaid services and other government benefits. Information about how NYSARC Trust Services may benefit you is available by visiting www.nysarctrustservices.org, calling 1-518-439-8323 or 1-800-735-8924 (toll-free), or e-mailing info@nysarctrustservices.org.

For more information about Encounters, Lexington’s members-only social club, please contact Katherine Ehle at ehlek@lexcenter.org or (518) 736-3909.

NYSARc, Inc. Appoints Steven Kroll as Executive Director

NYSARC, Inc., the largest nonprofit organization of its kind in the nation supporting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families, announces the appointment of Steven Kroll as Executive Director. 

He comes to NYSARC after serving as Vice President of Governmental Affairs and External Relations at the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) for the past 19 years.

“NYSARC has a rich history of successful advocacy for people with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Kroll. “NYSARC exists to help persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities lead safe, productive, and happy lives. The support systems for these people, their families, and their caregivers are in the midst of dramatic changes. I look forward to bringing my skills, experiences, and passion to NYSARC and to being a leader of this dynamic and wonderful organization that supports people in every community in New York State. It is a distinct honor to have been selected to succeed Marc Brandt who has provided tremendous leadership over these many years.”

Kroll follows Marc N. Brandt, who retired Dec. 31 after 32 years of leading the Organization and more than four decades of dedicated service to the field. During this time, Brandt was appointed by four Governors to serve on the Advisory Council to the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, now the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. He also championed several legislative bills signed into law on advocacy issues and rights of people with developmental disabilities, including a bill of rights in community residences and a bill establishing an ombudsman on the grounds of developmental centers, and the Health Care Decisions Act, to name but a few.

Brandt considers Kroll’s background and personality an ideal fit for NYSARC during this pivotal period. "Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to meet with Steven,” he said. “These discussions have demonstrated that he possesses a remarkable aptitude to grasp our field’s issues and challenges quickly. Steven brings exceptional leadership and political advocacy experience balanced with a strong sense of compassion and sensitivity for the needs of our Chapters, people with developmental disabilities, and their families.”

Kroll comes to NYSARC with almost three decades of federal and state policy development and advocacy experience and trade association leadership. His professional background also includes serving as a Legislative Assistant for Health Care and Education to the United States Senate, an Associate Director of the American Hospital Association Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC, and the Interim Executive of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council.

He has been active in the community, serving on the Board of Trustees of Cobleskill Regional Hospital for the past 16 years. He is an active EMT and a volunteer leader with Delmar-Bethlehem EMS and has served as Assistant Chief of the Delmar Volunteer Fire Department. He is also Vice Chair of the New York State Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Council.

Kroll earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from SUNY Buffalo and his master’s degree in health administration from Duke University. 

He resides in Delmar, NY, with his wife, Tricia, and their two children.


About NYSARC, Inc.

NYSARC, Inc. is the largest nonprofit in New York and the United States serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The 54 Chapters comprising NYSARC, Inc. are located in every County in NYS. The Organization supports over 60,000 individuals, employs over 30,000 people, and has a membership of over 103,000.

Check Out the Video NYSARC Put Together for Michelle!

NYSARC congratulates Michelle King, 2014 Self-Advocate of the Year, who was recently honored at NYSARC's 65th Annual Convention. Michelle is lead singer for the band Flame with Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC. The Self-Advocate Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and personal growth and who has positively influenced the lives of others.

Lexington in Livability Magazine!

Lexington was recently featured in the latest issue of Fulton-Montgomery Livability magazine. To read the article, click here, or you can view the entire magazine by visiting the links below.