Self Advocacy Association of New York
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: OUR EXPEREINCE IS THE BEST TEACHER
The Self-Advocacy Association of New York State, Inc. (SANYS) is a statewide organization run by and for people with developmental disabilities. The mission of SANYS is to help people with developmental disabilities to speak up for themselves and others. The basic mission of our project and our organization is to "assist people with developmental disabilities to become full, valued and contributing members of their communities". As full participants in community life, not only are the lives of people with disabilities improved but also the community itself is greatly strengthened by the gifts, capacities and presence of people with disabilities who individually and collectively have a lot to contribute.
AmeriCorps members and volunteers, in small teams throughout NY, have made over 1250 presentations to more than 50,000 people on a number of related topics to students, teachers, and people with disabilities interested in self-advocacy, staff of support service agencies, and members of the general community. Over this period, we have supported over 400 people with developmental disabilities to be AmeriCorps members
For the next three-year cycle we hope to receive AmeriCorps funding to focus on the national service goal of Opportunity with an emphasis on increasing employment and community service opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. The Title of our Project is Our Experience is the Best Teacher. The sub title for the proposed efforts in the coming year is: "We want to work; we want to contribute".
The problem we will address is that lack of employment and community service opportunities for people with developmental disabilities that result in the vast majority of people with disabilities being perpetually among the most economically disadvantaged Americans.
Regarding included community service, SANYS developed a statewide committee made up of members of our organization, OPWDD, New Yorkers Volunteer, the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and other state agencies serving people with disabilities. We have discussed this project with and will receive technical assistance from the National Service Inclusion Project. Our organization currently is beginning to address some of these needs through our 2010/11 AmeriCorps project.
Our AmeriCorps project is a statewide effort, with our members serving out of our Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Capital District, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo Offices.
For the 2011/12-year, we are requesting 12.29 Member Service Year positions. With these twelve opportunities, we will recruit members as follows: 14 HT and 20 QT. These members will be distributed in teams in the following areas of our State where SA has offices and coordinating staff: Long Island, NYC, Hudson Valley, Capital District, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.
Briefly, here is what are members will do during their term of service. 1.Develop a Peer Mentoring Program; 2. Tell the stories of people who are successfully employed; 3. Disability Awareness
presentations; 4. Included Community Services outreach and presentations as a pathway to employment. 5. Assist organizations in recruiting, orientation and training of staff to support people with disabilities in work and volunteer efforts.
6. Increase opportunities for Financial Literacy and Benefits training. 7. Member goals: Identify employment and education goals of our members and assist them through training and referrals to seek out the supports they need.
SANYS is a well known organization in New York State with many partners and supporters. We are financially sound and capable. We have a terrific board of directors, an experienced, committed staff and a tremendous pool of potential AmeriCorps members waiting to serve.