Connection (July)



Registration open for Living Well in the Community 

AIM will offer Living Well in the Community, a free 10-week online workshop on health and well-being for people with disabilities, this fall. Registration is now open.

The workshop will begin Monday, Sept. 14. It will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Mondays using Zoom. It is open to ages 18 and older.

The workshop helps people set goals to improve their quality of life, and learn the tools and skills needed to achieve those goals. The topics for the sessions are goal setting, building supports, healthy reactions, staying on course, healthy communication, information seeking, eating well, physical activity, self-advocacy, and maintaining improvements.

We are offering this workshop under a grant from the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural). Participants receive a $20 incentive at the beginning of the workshop and a $20 incentive after the class is taken.

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

Summer day camps offered
on Zoom for teens, tweens  

AIM will offer summer day camps for teens and tweens who have developmental disabilities in July and August. The camps will be offered using Zoom, the online video-chat platform.

These camps build social skills using a variety of fun and educational activities. They are open to youths with eligibility for services through the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

The camp for teens ages 14 and over will be held the week of July 27-31.

The camp for tweens, ages 9-12, will be held Aug. 17-21.

The topics for these camps will include bullying and Internet/cellphone safety; community awareness and volunteering; personal hygiene and dressing for success; what to do in an emergency situation; mindfulness and emotions; healthy lifestyles; and healthy relationships/conflict resolution.

We’ll bring in special guests, and there will also be games, art activities, a Zoom dance party and more. We’ll be providing “camp boxes” with snacks and materials for daily activities.

For more information or to register, contact OPWDD Youth Program Specialist Amanda Gitchell at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 210. Please register as soon as possible; space is limited.

These programs are funded by an OPWDD Family Support Services grant.

Advocates to speak in online event
marking ADA’s 30th anniversary  

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed on Friday, July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush.

The landmark civil rights legislation prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunities in employment, transportation, government services, public accommodations and telecommunications.

To celebrate, our friends at the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) will present a Facebook Live event, “The ADA: Then and Now” from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, July 28. The presentation will feature remarks by three longtime advocates: international disability rights activist Judy Heumann; James Weisman, president and CEO of the United Spinal Association; and Cliff Perez, systems advocate at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley and vice president of the National Council on Independent Living.

To view the event, visit A Facebook account is not needed, no registration is required, and captioning and sign language interpretation will be provided.

Special enrollment period at NY State of Health extended to Aug. 15 

A special enrollment period for New Yorkers to apply for health insurance coverage through the NY State of Health marketplace has been extended through Aug. 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.

AIM’s Navigator Program is providing free assistance and enrollments over the phone. We have a team of certified navigators who serve Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Allegany counties. Contact Navigator Program Coordinator Laurette Guild at or (607) 962-8225, ext. 118 to schedule an appointment.

Those who don’t have health insurance or recently lost coverage can apply through NY State of Health. Options include Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus and subsidized Qualified Health Plans. Eligibility is based on income and household size.

Also, those who already have coverage through NY State of Health and whose household income has changed can have a navigator update their account and may be eligible for increased financial assistance or a more affordable plan.

Laura Bingell selected
as July’s Employee of the Month 

Congratulations to Laura Bingell, who was selected as AIM’s Employee of the Month for July.

Bingell is a nurse assessor for the Open Doors Transition Center Project, which helps people transition from nursing homes into the community. AIM provides the Open Doors program in the Southern Tier region.

As a nurse, Bingell’s role is to support the transition specialists in the Open Doors program by assessing the cases of nursing home residents who are preparing to be discharged. This helps the transition specialists set up appropriate home- and community-based services.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Bingell has been producing a weekly newsletter that is sent out statewide by the New York Association on Independent Living with updates on the pandemic and tips for staying healthy.

Open Doors also includes a Peer Outreach and Referral Program, where people who have already transitioned share their experiences with others who are interested in transitioning. Bingell supervises the peer mentoring program in this region.

She also supervises another peer program at AIM, Recovery Peer Advocate, which helps people recover from substance use disorders.

“We are so lucky to have her,” one person who nominated Bingell wrote. “She is a fountain of information and has been a great resource on COVID-19.”

Current job openings:

– Community Living Specialist (Supportive Housing)

– Personal Assistant (Home Care)

– Direct Support Professional (OPWDD)

– Self-Hire Staff (OPWDD)

To view job descriptions and apply online, click here.

AIM’s offices remain closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are continuing to provide services. Please call (607) 962-8225 for more information. Dial extension 215 to speak to a General Advocate.