December 2019  


Healthy Community Living workshops begin in January

AIM will offer the Healthy Community Living workshops for adults with disabilities again in 2020. They are free and open to the community, and participants can receive an $80 stipend.

Healthy Community Living consists of two back-to-back, 11-week workshops: Community Living Skills and Living Well in the Community. The workshops will meet weekly from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday afternoons at the Elmira AIM office, beginning Thursday, Jan. 16. The workshops are open to people age 18 and older, with any type of disability.

The first workshop, Community Living Skills, focuses on independent living skills. Topics include disability identity, peer support, self-advocacy, self-care, housing, technical skills, budgeting and finance, healthy relationships, transportation and time management.

The second workshop, Living Well in the Community, focuses on health and well-being. Topics include goal setting, building supports, healthy reactions, staying on course, healthy communication, information seeking, eating well, physical activity, advocacy, and maintaining improvements.

We are offering these workshops under a grant from the Research and Training Institute on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural). AIM and other independent living centers are piloting this program as part of a research study. Participants receive an $80 stipend for taking part in the research study.

For more information or to register, contact Ryanne Michaels at or 962-8225, ext. 215.

American Sign Language classes offered to the community in 2020

We’ve announced the schedule for our 2020 series of American Sign Language classes, which are open to the community.

AIM offers three levels of American Sign Language classes – ASL I, ASL II and ASL III – which build on each other. ASL I is offered twice. The instructor is Sin Yi Ko.

The eight-week classes are held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Corning AIM office, located at 271 E. First St.

The classes are offered separately and there is no commitment to enroll in the series. The fee is $80 per course.

Participants should register online at the links below and mail a check made out to Sin Yi Ko to:

AIM Independent Living Center

271 E. First St.

Corning, N.Y. 14830

Attn: Erin Morseman

Registration is not complete until the check has been received.

The schedule and links to register:

ASL I: Jan. 22-March 11 Register

ASL I: March 18-May 13 (off April 8 for Easter) Register

ASL II: Aug. 19-Oct. 7 Register

ASL III: Oct. 14-Dec. 9 (off Nov. 25 for Thanksgiving) Register

For more information, contact Erin Morseman at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 146.

AIM to close for the holidays

AIM’s main offices in Corning and Elmira, as well as our satellite offices, will close at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20 for a staff holiday party.

We will be open normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23.

Our offices will then be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) through Wednesday, Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day).

We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2.

Rockwell-Smith honored as
AIM’s Employee of the Year 

Congratulations to Sara Rockwell-Smith, who was selected as AIM’s Employee of the Year for 2019.

Rockwell-Smith was selected from among the 12 Employee of the Month winners from 2019. She was February’s Employee of the Month.

Rockwell-Smith was chosen for her excellent work in two different programs.

She was hired by AIM in May 2018 as the Outreach and Enrollment Specialist for our home care program, Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS). In this position, she did tireless outreach to the public and other care providers about CDPAS, and enrolled 133 new consumers to receive services.

Then, in June 2019, Rockwell-Smith accepted the position as Community Transition Specialist in AIM’s Open Doors program, which helps people with disabilities and older adults move out of nursing homes and begin receiving home- and community-based services.

Rockwell-Smith has completed the transitions of 20 people out of nursing homes since assuming her new role, which was a “huge accomplishment,” said Erin Morseman, AIM’s Director of Independent Living Programs.

“She hit the ground running when she accepted the Transition Specialist position,” Morseman said. “She was able to carry over knowledge from her previous positions that was a benefit to her consumers when assisting in transitioning out of nursing homes.”

Burdick chosen as December’s Employee of the Month 

Gina Burdick has been chosen as AIM’s Employee of the Month for December.

Burdick provides independent living skills training to consumers in AIM’s two Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services waiver programs, Nursing Home Transition and Div

ersion (NHTD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

She works individually with consumers in these programs to improve the skills needed to help them live in the community, such as self-care, mobility, using public transpo

rtation, money management, household tasks and more.

“Gina is a team player,” a co-worker who nominated her wrote. “She will go out of her way to help anyone in our department who needs it. She always puts consumers first and will do little extras to make them smile. She deeply cares for her caseload as well as her co-workers. She is always smiling. Gina is constantly striving to do better and become more effective for her consumers. She is such an asset to AIM and fulfills all the AIM philosophies.”

New hires:

– Morgan Simonds, OPWDD Fiscal Intermediary Specialist

– Amanda Kibler, Human Resources Generalist

– John Adkins, I

T Help Desk Generalist

Job openings:

– Quality Assurance and Corporate Compliance Coordinator

– Peer Independent Living Specialist

– General Disability Advocate

– OPWDD Direct Support Professionals

– OPWDD Self-Hire Staff

– Consumer Directed Personal Assistants

To view job descriptions and apply, click here.