Self advocacy groups are independently run local groups that each have their own structure, flair, and focus. Help to start, join, or connect with a self advocacy group can be found by contacting the Self Advocacy Association of NYS at 716-517-3598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partial Growing List of Self Advocacy Groups in the Western New York Area:
Self Advocacy All Stars: Meets in Albion, NY on the 2nd Sunday of the month 2pm-4pm. Contact the Arc of Orleans County for more information (585) 589-6054 ext. 2233.
Prideability: This group focuses on the people that are LGBTQ and Developmentally Disabled coming together to make friends, learn about resources in the gay community, and increase advocacy skills. Meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of every month from 6-7:30p @ Pride Center (200 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo).
United Voices for Change: This advocacy group focuses on making friends, having fun, and doing community service projects together. Meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6-7:30p in the Museum of Disability History Basement (3826 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14226).
Core Advocacy: This advocacy group focuses on reviewing changes in policy for both People Inc and OPWDD. Time is spent looking at best practices and giving feedback on issues that may have an impact on both the agency and state level. Meetings are held the 3rd Friday of every month from 10:45-11:45a in the Walden Galleria Community Room (1 Walden Galleria Cheektowaga, NY 14225).
Moving On Up: This group advocates and supports people who are moving or have moved into their own apartment. Come celebrate the successes and problem-solve the challenges together. Meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the Museum of Disability History basement (3826 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14226).
Roadrunners Self-advocacy Group: The purpose of this group is that people are given the opportunity to EXPRESS THEMSELVES for CHANGE to occur. Meetings are held the 4th Monday of every month (EXCEPT: May and December - NO meetings occur)from 6:30-7:30p @ 447 3rd St. Niagara Falls, NY.
Regional Advocacy Meeting for the WNY region: This meeting is where representatives from all of the self-advocacy groups come together to share information and resources. Usually has a guest speaker. Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of every month from 6-7:30pm @ the Belmont Housing Resources Center for WNY (1195 Main St. Buffalo NY 14209).
Niagara County Self Advocacy Coalition: This is a meeting where representatives from all of the self advocacy groups in Niagara County, as well as other active advocates get together to "Speak up and make changes in Niagara County". Their current focus is on transportation issues in Niagara County. Meetings are held at the Golisano Center 533 10th Street on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 10am. Contact Richard Hermanson at 716-524-2266.
RACIN! (Rolling Athletic Club Inclusion Network): This group is dedicated to helping individuals with a developmental disability participate in the WNY racing community. (For more information on meeting times and dates, PLEASE call Frank Cammarata @ 858-6233. You MUST register IN ADVANCE for any race that you wish to participate in!) The link for RACIN is (www.buffaloracin.org).
Friends for the Future: The Friends for the Future Self Advocacy Group meets on the 2nd Thursday of every month from 3pm to 4pm at the Genesee ARC Community Center in Batavia, NY. The Genesee ARC Community Center is located at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia. The advisor of the group is Beth Hopkins and she can be reached at the Genesee ARC at 585-343-1123. Please contact before coming out to the meetings. We are always looking for guest speakers and new members and we would love to network with other self advocacy groups in Western NY.
BVS Self Advocates: Meets at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna, NY
DREAM: Meets at the WNYDDSO in West Seneca once a month. They meet to socialize, learn about their rights, and give back to the community. They do a project every year to help the Buffalo Zoo.
D.R.E.A.M.S. of Fredonia: Meets one evening a month in Fredonia at the Harvest Chapel on Madison Street. Contact Josh Pietro for more information: 716-672-2807
Freedom: Meets on Friday evenings at various locations in the city of Buffalo. Focus is on employment, public awareness of people with disabilities, independence and integration. Contct Mike Rogers for more info: 716-489-4126.
Innovative Voice AKA I-Voice: Meets at the Learning Disabilities Association 2555 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY once a month on Monday evenings. Contact: email@example.com
Make A Mark: Meets twice a month, usually in the afternoons, on Chestnut Street in Dunkirk, NY. Contact Beth Ray at 716-366-4439 if you are interested in joining.
Making Our Lives: One of WNY's oldest groups. Meets once a month at the Community Center in Batavia, NY. Many people who live or have lived in DDSO group homes attend this meeting. They have guest speakers and always an opportunity for people to share their voices. Contact Eileen Corcoran: firstname.lastname@example.org
STREAM Advocacy: STREAM Advocacy is a new group that works to use streaming media, both audio and video as a tool for advocacy. We discuss issues and events, conduct interviews and film coverage of events to release to the public. We teach and encourage our members to do their own thing using social media like, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube to spread their own word.
STREAM Advocacy meets on the 4th Thursday of each month at the Arts Experience, 2635 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo from 2:30pm-4:00pm and is open to any advocate looking for a new and fun way to express themselves.
Like and follow People Inc. Advocacy on Facebook for news and cancellation announcements. Contact staff advisor Jim Jowsey at email@example.com for more info.
Or Just Show Up!