Thursday, October 31, 2013

You Are Invited To Attend

You Are Invited to Attend—
An Introduction to NYS Office for People with
Developmental Disabilities
Front Door Initiative

Thursday, November 14th
5:00 to 7:00 PM

Course objectives: the session will offer participants an understanding of OPWDDs’ mission and purpose; the process to become eligible for OPWDD supports and services; types of supports and services available including self-directed service options; and where individuals and families can go to get assistance.

Information session will be held at:
122 Caroline Street, Albion, NY
To Register:
Please Call 589– 1750 ext. 2236




Thanks for your Support of National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Thank you for helping us celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month!!
We are so thankful to everyone for your support of The Arc of Orleans County and the individuals that we serve.
We would like to send a "THANK YOU" to all of businesses who partner with The Arc of Orleans County's Supported Employment program!
Thank you to the following businesses for employing individuals we support:
   Flying J     **     Nutri-Fair/Meals On Wheels         
                Albion Central School District     **     Village Inn                        
McDonalds Albion     **     Walmart- Albion and Batavia
YMCA     **     ABC DAY CARE     **     Grandma Hawley's
   Avanti's     **     Takeform Architectural Graphics      
                   The Candle Nook     **     Head Start                         
Buckman's Car Wash     **     Rainbow Preschool 
Thank you to Associated Brands, Ford Gum, and Allied Frozen Storage for hosting enclaves in your businesses!
Thanks to Gardner's CITGO in Medina for allowing us to operate The Arc's Auto Detail Shop!
And thanks to the 30+ businesses in Orleans, Niagara, and Monroe Counties that have hired our three cleaning crews!
The Arc's Supported Employment program would like to add your business to our list!! For more information on how your business can partner with the Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thank You to Metro Mattress!!

Metro Mattress delivers two new beds to The Arc's West Avenue residence.
Four years ago, Metro Mattress began the "50 Beds In 50 Days" program as a way to give back to the community.  During the first three years, Metro Mattress donated over 600 beds!  The Arc of Orleans County received three beds last year after submitting an application.  Metro Mattress determines recipients based upon applications submitted, an overview of your organization's work and mission, the number of beds requested and how those beds will be used. 

This year, The Arc of Orleans County was happy to learn that it would once again be a recipient of the "50 Beds In 50 Days" program.  The Arc's West Avenue residence received two more beds from Metro Mattress that were delivered on Thursday, October 24th.  Thank you, Metro Mattress!!
Setting up one of the new beds!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Albion Redemption Center Receives Employer Recognition Award

Our celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month continues and this time we are sharing another success story - Albion Redemption Center.   Albion Redemption Center opened their doors for business on Labor Day in 2003 and has created a thriving business at their East Bank Street location in Albion, NY.
Owners John Fitzak and Ann Fitzak (John's mother) have partnered with The Arc's Supported Employment program for four or five years by hiring individuals served through the program. They are looking to add on a second shift in the future. This would allow them to increase production and also the number of employees. They are also pursuing adding a coffee shop, as well as selling pop and beer.

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, Albion Redemption Center was honored at the NDEAM 2013 Employer Recognition Awards at Westwood Country Club in Williamsville for their partnership with Supported Employment and hiring individuals supported by The Arc of Orleans County. Employees Joe Barchet and Tyler Heuer, who have both been hired through the SE program, were on hand to see John receive the award. Joe was originally hired through the ETP program (state funded wages) but is now a full-fledged Albion Redemption Center employee. Tyler was hired through traditional Supported Employment.

In the photo above at the Awards Recognition are (l.-r.): Joseph Barchet, employee; John Fitzak, owner of Albion Redemption Center; Tyler Heuer, employee; Charles "Chuck" Eaton, Direct Support Professional with Arc of Orleans Supported Employment; and Vincent Iorio, Senior Employment Specialist at Arc of Orleans.
Albion Redemption Center was also honored as The Arc of Orleans County's 2011 Business Partner at the Best Friend Awards Dinner in April 2012.
The Arc of Orleans County's Community Relations Department recently met with owners John Fitzak and Ann Fitzak at Albion Redemption Center and asked them how they liked partnering with The Arc of Orleans County's Supported Employment Program.
John Fitzak, owner of Albion Redemtion Center:
How long ago did you hire a person through Supported Employment? We've had a few individuals; the first was about four or five years ago.

Why did you decide to support this program? We wanted a way to give back. A friend was involved in a program in Florida and we wanted to do something similar here with The Arc of Orleans County.

Would you recommend this program to other businesses? Absolutely! The hardest part is the screening process, depending on the challenges the individual has to make things "fit" between the individual and the business. Keeping the individuals motivated is important, and the job coaches from The Arc help a lot with that. They assist even after the business has taken over as the employee and the person is no longer going through the program.

Would you like to share anything about Joe and Tyler? Tyler is like a machine when he's running the pop bottles through, and Joe wants to please all the time. They both do a good job.

The Arc also spoke with Debra Heuer, mother of employee Tyler Heuer. She shared: Tyler has been working at Albion Redemption for two years. He loves John and Ann and likes getting his paycheck.

The Arc of Orleans County is proud to partner with Albion Redemption Center and looks forward to working with them for many years to come.

For more information on The Arc's Supported Employment program and how your business can partner with the Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.

Empowering Families Program To Hold Workshop

The Arc of Orleans County’s

Empowering Families Program’s


 Record Keeping & Effective Tracking of Your Child’s Progress

 October 30, 2013

6:30-8:30 PM

Location: The Arc of Orleans County

                    122 Caroline Street,  Albion

 This workshop will assist you in organizing your child’s records, develop a master document list and show you how to use these tools in monitoring progress.

For more information or to register, please contact:
589-1750 ext. 2236 or
E-mail -





Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yankee Candle Fundraiser

to benefit Rainbow Preschool
Sale ends November 8th!!

Just a small selection of items available from Yankee Candle!!

The Arc of Orleans County's Rainbow Preschool is holding a Yankee Candle Fundraiser!! Rainbow Preschool will receive a profit of 40% of the sales of all products sold. These beautiful candles and accessories are sure to please everyone! Purchase something for yourself or as a gift for someone else...or both!!

Here's how you can purchase the items:

Check out the items available at Yankee Candle and select what items you'd like to purchase.

Next, contact The Arc's Community Relations Department at 585-589-5516 ext. 227 to place your order. We must receive payment no later than Friday, November 8th, for your order to be submitted to Yankee Candle. You can pay by check (payable to The Arc of Orleans County), cash, or credit card. There are no taxes or shipping charges added.


Place your order on the website - Yankee Candle  If you do this, items will be shipped directly to you with a $5.00 shipping charge for orders under $100. FREE shipping for orders of $100 or more.

To order online, make sure to enter the Group Number 990057582 in the "Start Shopping" section before you proceed.

If you have any questions regarding the Yankee Candle Fundraiser, please contact Denise Withey, Community Relations Specialist, at 585-589-5516 ext. 227.

Thank you for your continued support of The Arc of Orleans County, Rainbow Preschool, and all our programs.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Orleans Correctional Facility "Make a Difference Day" Committee Visits Rainbow Preschool


The Arc of Orleans County's Rainbow Preschool is truly blessed with great students, great staff, and great friends!  Members of the "Make a Difference Day" Committee at Orleans Correctional Facility have been supporting The Arc's Rainbow Preschool for many years and this year was no exception.  The group stopped by Rainbow Preschool on Friday, October 18th, to present their gift and received a tour of the site. 

While in the gym, the group stopped for a photo and a quick jump in the ball pit.  In the photo above with Melinda Cotter, Senior Secretary at Rainbow Preschool (holding the check) are: Todd Tinkham, Waren Cornelius, Barb Passarell, Kim Niehaus, Kate Heinrich-Noah, Patty Mitchell, and - in the ball pit - John Gurney and Kim Siffringer.

Thank you so much for your generosity and support of Rainbow Preschool and our students!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Meals On Wheels Volunteer Drivers Needed

Are you interested in helping the seniors in Orleans County?  Do you have some extra time on your hands?  We have the perfect opportunity for you!

The Arc of Orleans County’s Nutrition Program —Nutri-Fair/Meals on Wheels is in need of volunteer drivers for several routes in Orleans County. 

Volunteers begin their shift at 10:45 am.  The current routes take 1-2.5 hours to complete.  You can volunteer Monday through Friday, once a week, or monthly—it’s your choice.  Perhaps you would like to team up with your spouse or a friend and drive a route together! 

Volunteers must have their own vehicle, a valid NYS Drivers License, and be able to lift up to 20 lbs.  Volunteer drivers will receive a mileage reimbursement that changes in conjunction with fluctuating gas prices.

 If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of seniors in Orleans County by becoming a volunteer driver, please contact Denise Withey at (585)589-5516 ext. 227 or Vicki Havholm at (585)589-7817. 

This Program is run by The Arc of Orleans County

in partnership with the Office For The Aging.


Help Us Increase Our Reach on Facebook

The Arc of Orleans County is asking for YOUR help.  We would like to increase our numbers on our Facebook page and are asking for you, your family, and your friends to "like" us on Facebook.  Our goal is to reach 500!!

To like us, just click on this link: Arc of Orleans County's Facebook page.  You will need to log in using your personal Facebook information.

Please share with your family and friends!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Della's Chocolates Partners with The Arc of Orleans County

Join us in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Spotlight on Della's Chocolates
During the month of October, The Arc of Orleans County is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Many local businesses have partnered with The Arc of Orleans County by hiring individuals served by the Supported Employment program.  There are several options available for businesses who are interested in hiring an individual served by The Arc of Orleans County - Tradional Supported Employment, the Employment Training Program, and Direct Placement. 
Della's Chocolates, located at 512 Main Street, Medina, is owned and operated by Susan Fuller.  Last year, she hired Jennifer Haberger, through the Employment Training Program.  The Employment Training Program (ETP) pays the wages of employees with disabilities who are hired in the community. NYS will pay the wages for up to one year with the employer gradually assuming wage responsibility as the worker gains experience and knowledge of their job.
Jen started working two days a week, with Jen's wages being paid by New York State, as she trained and gained work experience.  Since then, Jen's hours at Della's have increased; she's now working three days a week, with Fuller paying for one of the work days.  Jen will eventually be fully paid by Della's Chocolates.

Susan Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates with Jennifer Haberger
The Arc of Orleans County's Community Relations Department visited Della's Chocolates and had the opportunity to talk with both Susan Fuller and Jennifer Haberger to get their opinion of the Employment Training Program offered by Supported Employment. 
Susan Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates:
Is this the first time you have hired a person through Supported Employment?  Yes.
Why do you support the Arc of Orleans County and this program?  It just fits.  It is mutually beneficial for Della's, The Arc, and for Jen.  Jen is willing to learn and is excited about coming to work.
How many hours does Jen work?  She works three days a week from 10:00 to 3:45.  We have expanded her hours from her original schedule.
Would you recommend this program to other businesses?  Yes, we all benefit, and the placement of Jen here at Della's has worked very well.  We're not letting Jen go anywhere!
Jennifer Haberger, employee:
How long have you been working at Della's?  One year, going on two.
What are your jobs?  I help make chocolate.  I also package and label the chocolate.
What is your favorite thing about working here (Della's)?  I like that it's small and not crowded.  I like working for Susan.  

For more information on The Arc's Supported Employment program and how your business can partner with the Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Employment Listing 10/08/13 Medical Advocate Driver

                                                   VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT 

                           PART TIME II  20 hrs/wk
                           HOURS VARY ACCORDING TO PROGRAM NEED



DUTIES:      Transports the people we serve to medical and other appointments and advocates health issues with appropriate personnel.

QUALIFICATIONS: MUST HAVE A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA.  Knowledge of community resources and experience working with people with disabilities preferred. Must be able to handle multiple personalities. Physically able to walk up & down stairs, push a wheelchair up a vehicle ramp, and able to assist in wheelchair transfer. Willingness to work in an independent atmosphere and at various hours.  Must have a valid NYS driver’s license in accordance with Agency MVR guidelines and willing to drive in the cities. 

STARTING WAGE:             9DC/1  $9.96 PER HOUR


PO BOX 439
ALBION, NY 14411. 

e-mail:             Fax:  (585) 589-5669

The Arc of Orleans County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

POSTED: 10/08/13

Camp Rainbow Welcomes Improvements; Thanks to Eagle Scout Matt Prawel

Medina High School Senior Matt Prawel is a very busy individual.  He's a member of the Medina Mustang football team and the Medina Mustang Marching Band.  He's involved in the school's Student Association and works at Avanti's.  His goal is to major in Forensic Science at Syracuse University.  And he has been a part of the Scouts since first grade.  Prawel is a member of Troop 35 working toward his Eagle Scout badge, and he recently spent several days working at The Arc's Camp Rainbow to accomplish that goal. 
Matt Prawel stands beside the new and improved Camp Rainbow sign.
Prawel along with several scouts and friends, made some much needed and welcome upgrades to the Camp.  With the assistance of Stanton Signs in Medina and the Town of Yates, Prawel had a new sign installed by the roadside.  Prawel partnered with Greg Stanton in designing and creating the sign, and the Town of Yates donated their payloader to remove the old sign and install the new one.

Prawel and his crew also rebuilt and repainted the dozen or so picnic tables in the pavilion area, replaced an old wooden sandbox with a new one, and sanded and repainted the gate and fence near the front of the property.  Prawel raised the money for the project by asking family, friends, and local businesses for donations. 
Family and friends surround Scout Matt Prawel at Camp Rainbow.
On Friday afternoon, staff from The Arc of Orleans County, along with Prawel's family, and local and state officials were on hand to thank Prawel for a job well done.  Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Orleans County Legislator Lynn Johnson thanked Prawel for his hard work in completing this project.  Senator Maziarz shared that being an Eagle Scout is a tremendous achievement.  He told the crowd that President Gerald Ford once said becoming an Eagle Scout was the most important accomplishment in his life.  Prawel thanked those in attendance and said that the project was an "enjoyable experience" and he was "happy to be part of helping such a great organization." 

The Arc of Orleans County is extremely thankful for all of the hard work that Prawel and his team did to improve Camp Rainbow!  Prawel is the son of Mark and Tina Prawel, and the grandson of Russ and Pat Martino of Lyndonville, long-time supporters of The Arc of Orleans County.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thank You For Supporting Meals On Wheels!

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Ham Loaf Dinner at the Nutri-Fair/Meals On Wheels Program last night, Thursday, October 3rd.  Your support is greatly appreciated!

We hope to see you next year at the Spaghetti Dinner
on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Employment Listing 10/04/13 Direct Support Professional


                                 3 POSITIONS                                                                     

POSITION:    DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL – REGULAR FULL-TIME                                                                 


DUTIES:  Provides program participants with support and training in independent living skills, such as meal planning and preparation, home maintenance, money management, etc.

Qualifications: Good math & writing skills.  Must have a valid NYS driver’s license.  Experience preferred but not required.  Must be willing to work various hours to include evenings, nights, overnights & holidays. Must be able to lift, push and pull 40 lbs and must be capable of completing SCIP, CPR, First Aide and other trainings as required.
STARTING RATE:  Grade 7DC, STEP 1 - $9.28 per hour.
Interested candidates should submit a resume by October 11, 2013 to:

The Arc of Orleans County
ATTN: Carol Fox
P.O. Box 439
Albion, NY 14411

Fax (585) 589 – 5669                           E-mail:
The Arc of Orleans County is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Posted: 10/4/13

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Join us in celebrating
National Disability Employement Awareness Month
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."
 The Arc of Orleans County's Supported Employment program assists individuals to help them successfully find and maintain employment. Short and long-term supports including evaluation, assessment, hands-on job coaching, and advocacy with employers are offered. Listed below are programs used by The Arc's Supported Employment program to assist individuals with placement.
Traditional Supported Employment
Individuals served in this program are referred by ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation), formerly known as, "VESID." ACCES-VR provides many different services for people with disabilities who want to work, receive career training, or who want to return to work after an injury or illness and cannot return to their former line of work. ACCES-VR refers these individuals to agencies like the Arc of Orleans County for Job Placement services and possibly Job Coaching services. Employment Specialists work with these individuals to assist and educate them in locating and maintaining appropriate employment in their communities. Once working, these people may or may not require additional support. If additional support is needed, often times a job coach will come on the job site to assist with their training needs. Job coaches will remain with this person until they are stable in their job. The job coach's assignment may or may not be long term.
Employment Training Program 
This is a fairly new and very successful program offered by NYS. The Employment Training Program (ETP), offers to pay the wages of employees with disabilities who are hired in the community. NYS will pay the wages for up to one year with the employer gradually assuming wage responsibility as the worker gains experience and knowledge of their job. Job seekers attend several trainings and a very detailed discovery stage before looking for employment in their communities. Again, an Employment Specialist works with this person until placed in a job. Then a job coach assists the employee with on the job training.
Direct Placement
This is also an ACCES-VR sponsored program. Once the participant has been approved for services by ACCES-VR they are referred to agencies like The Arc of Orleans for Job Placement services. An Employment Specialist will provide support and guidance to the person while they are looking for a job. Once placed, the Employment Specialist will provide three months of follow up services as needed.
All of these programs provide services such as resume writing, interview practice, job search activities, training in basic work skills and referral and linkage to other services that will assist a person in finding gainful, and meaningful employment of their choice. These programs all come with employer incentives.

Myths and Facts About Workers with Disabilities
Myth: Hiring employees with disabilities increases workers compensation insurance rates.
Fact: Insurance rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organization's accident experience, not on whether workers have disabilities.
Myth: Employees with disabilites have a higher absentee rate than employees without disabilities.
Fact: Studies by firms such as DuPont show that employees with disabilities are not absent any more than employees without disabilities.
Myth: Persons with disabilities are inspirational, courageous, and brave for being able to
overcome their disability.
Fact: Individuals with disabilities are simply carrying on normal activities of living when they drive to work, go grocery shopping, pay their bills, or compete in athletic events.
During the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing more information on the Supported Employment program, along with spotlights on area businesses (Albion Redemption and Della's Chocolates) that have partnered with The Arc of Orleans County by employing individuals through the SE program.
If you have a business and are interested in more information on partnering with The Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.