Some of our favorite stories from 2022…

Luis’ Learns to Walk Again

Your gift no matter the size helps lift people with disabilities or a mental health diagnosis to new levels of success and independence.

AccessCNY serves 3,000 people a year and success looks different for each person.

Luis’ journey came in learning to walk again. Luis sustained an acquired brain injury in 2009 which caused significant weakness to the right side of his body. A once healthy young man now struggled to stand and walk.

Luis was determined to regain his mobility and independence  and began working with AccessCNY’s physical and occupational therapists. For years, Luis used parallel bars in AccessCNY’s clinic to take small steps, but a few steps wasn’t enough for Luis. This spring, Luis started using a walker and was able to walk about 30 feet with assistance. Each session he pushed harder and became stronger. Today, Luis can walk a few hundred feet and loves doing so outdoors!

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Friendship Building

This fall AccessCNY staff watched a group of boys with autism spectrum disorders bond and become friends. For many kids on the autism spectrum social and interpersonal relations can be challenging.

The boys’ relationship looks different than most friendships. Two boys communicate using electronic devices, one needs support in spontaneous communication, and two speak in more traditional ways. Despite those difference, they connect with hugs and high fives, gravitate toward each other when playing, and choose to sit next to one another.

While the five each have different goals, this success was shared, spontaneous and not initiated by staff. The boys had a genuine desire to be friends and they made it happen.

Twaneisha’s Trip of a Lifetime

Over the years Twaneisha watched her housemates go on vacation and visit family; neither of which she was able to do. The 44 year old uses a wheelchair, lives in a home operated by AccessCNY and has never been on a vacation! This year she set a goal to save money to visit Niagara Falls. She heard about the falls from staff and with a few reminders started saving for her dream vacation.

A few weeks ago two staff traveled and supported Twaneisha on her trip. She loved the hotel, staying up late, relished the sights and sounds, and even picked up some souvenirs for her housemates. The grand finale of the trip was the stroll to the falls where Twnaeisha’s smile says it all.

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