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Organization serving people with disabilities continues to serve, utilizing technology

Posted 6 April 2020 at 8:01 am

Press Release, Independent Living of the Genesee Region

Observing COVID-19 precautions Independent Living of the Genesee Region is open for business, serving everyone with disabilities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The organization continues to stay open, utilizing today’s technology.

Concerns raised by the need to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed how it serves the community. We are running support groups on-line and we are doing “face-to-face meetings” but they are now just over the computer or phone, to empower people with disabilities, including established consumers, new referrals, and others that have just discovered us.

Here are just some of the avenues that have been developed to connect with the community:

• The drivers of Independence Express van transportation service are delivering food, paperwork and medicine to people with disabilities who are unable to get to and from stores, offices, and businesses, free of charge.

• Working from home, Peer Counselors are providing person-to-person contact, offering relief for the isolation of dozens of individuals trapped in their homes.

• Independent Living Specialists, Peer Advocates, and Health Home Care Coordinators are insuring that people with disabilities continue to receive their benefits; participate in government programs and services; are given instructions on independent living skills like cooking, cleaning, money management and other aspects of organizing a person’s life.

• The Medicaid Application Assistance Program is working to make sure that individuals who are blind, over 65 years old, or disabled can acquire and/or maintain the appropriate health insurance. People with disabilities will not be forgotten during this time when monitoring one’s health is critical.

• Our Taking Control Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program has been identified as an “essential program” ensuring that people with disabilities in need of in-home health care are receiving the service; that their Personal Assistants (PAs) are given proper orientation to perform the job; that hours and work benefits are managed appropriately, that the PAs are paid on time, and are reliable.

• NY Connects works with State and local Offices of the Aging or Senior Services to enable the elderly, persons with disabilities and caregivers to access needed information and services during this time of anxiety.

• Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service’s volunteer readers provide current news and information, as well as respite from the hour-by-hour stress of the pandemic, by broadcasting the printed word 7 days per week, 24 hours per day to people with a print disability.

Assisting their brothers and sisters with disabilities to stay safe and healthy while remaining in the community, the men and women of WNYIL are not only overcoming their own functional limitations but are giving back to the communities in which they live, work, and now fight for all of us.

If you know someone who is in need of any of these services, call ILGR at (585) 815-8501; or go to our website at www.wnyil.org/ILGR.  Be aware that you are not alone nor helpless.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

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