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Teamwork is the message from Orleans sheriff at conference for Self-Advocacy Association

Provided photos: Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower was the keynote speaker last week during a conference in Niagara Falls for the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State. He is joined in this photo by, from left: Robert Greer, Arc of Genesee Orleans employee Karen Appleman, Jonathan Doherty, Sienna Garcia Mathewson and Mike Woodward.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 July 2019 at 12:21 pm

NIAGARA FALLS – Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower was the keynote speaker at a conference last week for the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State.

Bower spoke to about 300 people at the Niagara Falls Convention Center on June 27. It was attended by self-advocates and their supporters from across all of Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

Jonathan Doherty of Albion led a session at the conference, offering pointers on how to best utilize a smartphone with apps, contacts and other tools.

Bower, a paraplegic since a car accident when he was 18, has been the Orleans County sheriff the past 3 ½ years following a career as a public safety dispatcher.

He shared a message of teamwork, that more can be accomplished by working together.

Bower also spoke during the group’s conference last year when he led a seminar on Internet safety. The sheriff also discussed “overcoming challenges” during his keynote presentation.

The Self Advocate All Stars formed in Orleans County in 2006. The local group made Bower an honorary member in 2015.

Bower during the conference last week said transportation remains a big issue to resolve for people with disabilities.

The All Stars advocate for people in the community with disabilities. All Stars include residents who live at home with their families, in apartments with supportive services or in Arc residential homes.

Jonathan Doherty, a local Self Advocate All Star, led a session at the conference in Niagara Falls about how to utilize the many features on a smartphone.

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