AccessCNY Wins Self-Advocacy Agency of the Year, Advocate Stands Out
At this year’s Self-Advocates of New York State Conference, AccessCNY was recognized for the support of its Self-Advocacy club. The award is given each year to an agency nominated by a Self-Advocate group. At this year’s conference, organizations across the state lauded AccessCNY’s program, which supports persons with disabilities who learn how to speak up for themselves, help others and build skills along with friendship. “It’s nice that AccessCNY is recognized for the unique opportunities we provide people,” said Tammy Dietrich, Assistant Program Manager of Community Networks. “AccessCNY is different. We build the schedule, events around what the advocates want to do.”
“That’s what makes us different. I am so honored that our program was recognized for that, and I am so proud of all the advocates for writing a great nomination,” said Mike Sieklucki, Assistant Program Manager. According to the President of the Self-Advocates, Danielle Gladle, the program embodies what being person-centered is all about. “AccessCNY is always there to help us. They help us travel, and the staff are always great– all of them.”
In October, Self-Advocate Emily Sherman put her knowledge into action. Sherman spoke to represent the views of Self-Advocates at a joint rally and press event with Arc of Onondaga and AccessCNY raising awareness of low wages for direct support professionals (DSPs). “The services (DSPs provide) like job coaching helped me get a job at Wegmans, which has helped me be more confident in myself,” Sherman said, speaking passionately about why AccessCNY staff mean so much to her and why she believes they should be paid fairly.