Workshops are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The views and information expressed by the presenters are their views and does not reflect the position or policy of ADAPT Community Network. Information included in presentations may not be suitable for all families. The content is not to be considered medical, therapeutic, or legal advice and the information provided is not a substitute for a professional opinion. ADAPT strongly suggests that you consult your doctor, social worker, and/or therapist regarding specific questions and for further information. In no event shall ADAPT be liable for any type of loss or damage that could be construed as arising from these presentations.
“One of the first things you need to know about me is that I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. I was born in Brooklyn, New York but I moved to Staten Island, and in 1978 I moved back to Brooklyn again. When I was eight years old, I started to read, and once I realized I could read- I read everyday. I don’t think about my disability, even though I’m not perfect. I don’t consider it a disability. I don’t want to put anybody down, we are all beautiful in God’s eyes. I love to create from my heart. Art can be anything that you can think of. It could be anything ! You can create anything. When I first started, I couldn’t draw good but I figured out what I wanted to make and then I started to stick to a theme. I’ve always watched Bob Ross when he comes on TV, and I always wanted to learn to paint like him. I try to copy his technique with my brush, but in my own style. That’s why I draw a lot of waterfalls and nature. I am inspired by anything that is beautiful, like a lake for example. Maybe you want to go to Hawaii and you wish you could go but you can’t, you can go there by painting. You can travel through painting to anywhere you want to go.”
The Weeks Lerman Group (TWLG) is New York’s largest independently held dealer of office products and services. Family owned and operated for over 100 years, TWLG is proud of our superior services, personalized care and attention to detail. TWLG is the 2nd largest independent dealer in the nation.
Partners Health Plan (PHP) is the first-in-the-nation, provider-led managed care organization that fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid for individuals 21 years and older with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), so they have the most complete care package. The plan operates in 4 New York State regions (nine downstate counties): New York City, Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties), Rockland County, and Westchester County. For more information, visit www.phpcares.org.
Care Design NY is a leading Care Coordination Organization and Health Home serving approximately 28,000 individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in 30 NYS counties. Our mission is to assist individuals with IDD get the supports and services they need to live quality lives. Individuals and families are at the center of everything we do. For more information, please visit caredesignny.org
Since 1972, NYSARC Trust Services has helped thousands of families plan for the future of loved ones with disabilities, preserve their eligibility for Medicaid and/or SSI benefits, and protect unexpected windfalls of money. Establishing a first- or third-party pooled supplemental needs trust through NYSARC Trust Services helps provide financial security to those with disabilities and peace of mind to their families and loved ones. Call (518) 439-8323 or visit https://www.nysarctrustservices.org/
nysarc-trusts for more information.
The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center are dedicated to improving the lives of people with Cerebral Palsy of all ages through comprehensive care, basic and clinical research, and education of medical professional, patients, and caregivers.
Goodwill day services mission is to empower people with disabilities and other barriers to get employment and to gain independence through the power of work.
Goodwill Advance Program is an employment program for people who do not have OPWDD waivered services with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Advance uses Discovery to assess strengths, skills and assist in job development and placement. Can also assist in gaining OPWDD eligibility.
Goodwill Day habilitation without walls program supports people in increasing social and communication skills and developing their independence. In some instances, focusing on employment curriculum and internships. This prepares people for job interviews while working on soft skills such as professional communication on appropriate workplace behaviors.
NY Connects is OPEN and operating remotely! CIDNY’s NY Connects program is a free, trusted place to go for information about benefits, resources, and services that support people with disabilities. We work with New Yorkers of all ages and with any type of disability. (Visible and Invisible) NY Connects can help people with disabilities:
• Remain independent
• Understand paths to care
• Discover transportation options
• Get answers about Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance
• Apply for benefits including Guardianship,Homecare SSI, SSDI, and CDPAP
• Learn housing options
• Get help with food resources
Get in touch today to let us know how we can help 1-844-862-7930. Find NY connects online at https://www.cindy.org/nyconnects
INCLUDEnyc (www.includenyc.org) is the leading provider of training and information for young people with any disability from 0-26, their families, and the professionals who support them in New York City. Last year, INCLUDEnyc assisted more than 14,000 people and reached over 500,000 individuals through digital communications and community outreach. Founded in 1983, INCLUDEnyc believes every young person should be fully included in school, in the workforce, in the community and should have access to resources, services, and supports to succeed.
The NYC Poison Control Center is an emergency telephone hotline. Poison Control Centers are staffed by registered pharmacists and nurses who are certified in poison information. Our specialists respond to both intentional and unintentional exposures by providing callers information on patient treatment, poison prevention and educational programs. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are free of charge and confidential. In addition, translation services are provided in more than 150 languages. Call 212-764-7667 or 1800-222-1222 with any questions about medicines, cleaners and disinfectants. Help is a call away!
NYC FAIR (Family Advocacy & Information Resource)
A RESOURCE NETWORK FOR FAMILIES
Dedicated to creating a network of informed and empowered family members and friends to be effective advocates for the ID/DD community. For more information, please visit http://www.nycfamily
© 2023 ADAPT Community Network
Patricia Hernandez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with over ten years in the social work profession and is passionate about advancing strategies to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Patricia has experience providing clinical services to clients in inpatient, outpatient, and supportive housing settings as well as developing population health programming in healthcare. Patricia is the Director of the Metro Team for the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). She oversees strategy, program implementation, training, and project management across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to align the health, justice, aging, child welfare, and housing sectors.
Tracy Pickar is the Vice President of Family Services at ADAPT Community Network. She was the Associate Executive Director at the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Tracy also served as the Administrative Manager of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She received her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.
Donna Maxon, NYS Certified Self Direction Broker, Certified Housing Navigator, NYS, Certified PLAN Network Facilitator.
Donna Maxon is the parent of a nonspeaking adult son who has autism. In 1994 when her son, Donald, was diagnosed with autism, she, and her husband, along with seven other families, co-founded the New York Child Learning Institute, a school for children with autism, located in College Point, Queens. Donna has been the parent supervisor of Donald’s Self-Direction program since 2012.
Professionally, Donna’s background is in corporate training and development. But for the past eight years, Donna works primarily as an Independent Self-Direction Broker, and has worked with over 100 people in this role. Within this work, she assists people design, develop, and implement programming using the Self Direction funding stream. She has also developed and presented a curriculum for Broker Training and is very proud of the Brokers she has mentored to do this important work. Donna is also a Certified Housing Navigator, which allows her to work with people and their Circle of Supports, to develop and implement Housing Action Plans, which support independent living in the community. Additionally, Donna works with ArchCare, as the Independent Housing Managing Agent. This project aims to convert unused convents into apartment buildings that offers affordable housing to the public, with some apartments set aside for adults diagnosed with autism. ArchCare currently has one apartment building successfully operating in Staten Island, with a second project in development in Westchester County. Donna describes this work as, “a highlight of my life.
District 75 Leadership Team Bronx Parent Representative and Chairperson; Consumer Advisory Council for the Rose F. Kennedy Center CERC (Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center); Bronx Developmental Disability Council Parent Council member
Rima Izquierdo Is a parent leader in the Bronx who has four children and three New York City schools. She has three children with disabilities and is a proud advocate for all. Rima works with families and Community stakeholders to ensure the voice of the disability community is heard. #NothingAboutUsWithiutUs
Wini has been the Associate Executive Director for Legislative Affairs at the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies since 2008. Prior to that she worked at AHRC NYC for twenty-one years as Director of Marketing and Special Projects and was instrumental in developing the largest Supported Employment program for people with developmental disabilities in New York City.
In her role at IAC, Wini advocates at the state level regarding funding, legislation and policies that affect people with developmental disabilities and their families and the service providers that support them. Collaborating with other associations in the developmental disabilities field and beyond, Wini has been a key player, spotlighting issues and achieving results. Wini leads a state-wide employment group, bringing issues and ideas to state agencies for action and a transition group that brings together the various people, programs and services which participate in ensuring that special education graduates transition smoothly into adult services.
Parent, Chair of Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council. Diane Peruggia’s career of advocacy, leadership, and charity started at a young age. As a teen she was appointed liturgical leader for her local parish, volunteered at nursing homes, taught CCD, and participated in many charity events within her community.
While pregnant with her second child, Michael, her two-year-old daughter, Alexa, was diagnosed with Autism. In August of 2000, Diane and a group of others came together to form The Grace Foundation to support and offer services for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Diane spearheaded the creation of the Grace Foundation’s social skills classes and Applied Behavior Analysis training for college students, who could aid parents with at-home services. She has chaired National Autism Conferences featuring various speakers and experts in the field, and has advocated in Albany and Washington D.C. to secure necessary funding for the disabled. Diane served as Vice Chairman for the Grace Foundation for 7 years and is currently the Chairman of their Strategic Planning Committee.
In 2010 Diane was appointed by former Borough President James P Molinaro to the NYC Department of Education’s Panel for Education Policy. During her four-year term, she participated and voted on policy issues and resolutions for the DOE. She was also assigned to the Contracts Committee and served as a trustee for the DOE retirement system.
Diane also holds leadership positions with the Staten Island Disability Council, the Family Support Services Advisory Council, the Seton Foundation for Learning, The James Cancer Fund, HealthCare Associates in Medicine, and Staten Island Community Board Three.
Diane, her husband, and their two children currently reside in Huguenot and are owners of Great Escapes Travel.
Michael received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Hartford in 1974, and entered the IDD field in 1978 working for UCP of NYS providing recreation opportunities in residences throughout NYC. He went back to school and got a Masters in Therapeutic Recreation & Developmental Disabilities from LIU in 1981, doing his clinical internship working at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.
In 1986, Michael began working at UCP of NYC, now ADAPT Community Network, and became the Director of Recreation Services in 1989, a position he held until retiring in 2013. In 1987, almost 10 years into his career, Michael became the parent of Justin, now a 34 yr. old young man with several disabilities including intellectual impairment, Epilepsy and other Developmental Disabilities. While Michael was already dedicated to the IDD community, once Justin was born he became even more determined to make a difference in the lives of those who needed assistance. His son now lives in a residence run by Heartshare Human Services.
After retiring, he became a member of NYC FAIR’s Executive Committee to continue his commitment assisting individuals and families of the IDD community in their quest to provide the care and services necessary for their loved ones to live a full and meaningful life.