WNYIL’s Services and the Annual Meeting

00:00:00 Speaker 1 

Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Tracy LeBlanc, chief community engagement officer of WNYIL. And I'm your host, Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Tracy. 

00:00:16 Speaker 2 

Thank you, Ernie. I'm happy to be here. 

00:00:18 Speaker 1 

We're happy to have you because you have at your fingertips all the information from our agency's biggest event of the year, the Annual Meeting of all the WNYIL living family of agencies. 

00:00:34 Speaker 1 

How many cities does that include nowadays? 

00:00:37 Speaker 2 

Well, we actually serve a number of different cities. We have Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Batavia. We have an office in Lockport and Albion and our core services serve five counties, Erie, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Niagara Counties, but we have several agencies that are also statewide. 

00:01:03 Speaker 1 

Ah. Alright. Could you just mention those while we think about it? 

00:01:08 Speaker 2 

Yes. And in addition to our Independent Living centers, we also have our Parent to Parent program, which is a statewide support system for parents with children with disabilities. We also have our Young Leaders Advocacy Network, which is also a statewide organization. We have a Consumer Directed Personal Assistant program, which has many counties, 18 counties across the state. 

00:01:37 Speaker 2 

And we have our New York Connects, which also serves most of Western New York. 

00:01:43 Speaker 1 

All right. And we sometimes forget to mention it, but a couple of years ago, Niagara Frontier Radio Reading service joined the family of agencies. So, we now have a Cheektowaga office as well. 

00:01:57 Speaker 1 

And it has since similar radio reading services in Rochester have closed their tent, we now serve the middle of the state as well. 

00:02:09 Speaker 1 

And well, might as well get to the big occasion, which is the Annual Meeting. What number is this? 

00:02:18 Speaker 2 

This is our 44th Annual Meeting. It'll be held Tuesday, June 11th from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Classics V on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Amherst. 

00:02:30 Speaker 1 

Terrific. And we should probably mention there's an RSVP date, is there not? 

00:02:37 Speaker 2 

Yes, we're asking people to RSVP by May 31st, which is coming up soon. 

00:02:44 Speaker 1 

Indeed. And what can people expect to see and here at this event? 

00:02:51 Speaker 2 

Well, it's our annual event so we elect all of our new officers to our various boards and councils. 

00:02:58 Speaker 2 

In addition, we do a year in review of everything that's been happening at the agency in the last year and we're very excited to have a guest speaker this year, Jensen Caraballo. 

00:03:15 Speaker 1 

And he's a young man with quite an impressive resume, I believe. 

00:03:19 Speaker 2 

Yes, he is. He's a committed disability justice activist based in Rochester, NY. He was originally from Puerto Rico, and he was forced into a nursing home at the age of 15. And he's been fighting for the right to live independently since. 

00:03:40 Speaker 2 

And so, he's been quite an interesting advocate and we're very excited to hear him speak. 

00:03:47 Speaker 1 

Alright. And although the honorees haven't been notified all yet, we're going to be giving out some awards to community organizations that have supported us over the past year too, I believe. 

00:04:01 Speaker 2 

Yes, we'll be giving an award to a corporate support award for corporation that has supported WNYIL as well as a community support award for someone who has been a champion disability rights in the community. 

00:04:19 Speaker 1 

Would you believe we're just about out of time? I'm sure people will have questions. How can they reach you? 

00:04:23 Speaker 2 

They can call 716-836-0822, ext. 146 and talk to Hayley about more information about the event. 

00:04:35 Speaker 1 

Thanks so much for being with us, Tracy. 

00:04:38 Speaker 1 

You've been listening to Independent Perspective a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today has been Tracy LeBlanc, chief community engagement officer of WNYIL and we appreciate her filling everyone in about our Annual Meeting. I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell.