Western Finger Lakes Events

Registration form

go to SANYS Home

Contact: Susan O’Hearn,
Western/Finger Lakes Regional Coordinator

  • Leadership Summit, November 8th & Genesee Community College (GCC).  Registrations are available now for the 2nd Annual Leadership Summit. The Deadline to register is October 27th.   The Summit is specifically for Group Officer’s and Advisor’s.  We’ll be talking about issues that concern the officers and advisors.  This year we would like each self-advocacy group to submit a poster about their group.    Get ready to bring the posters the group has prepared that represents the groups mission.  We are planning an interactive and fun day as we model or roll play the posters themes.  You can post your comments on our Finger Lakes Facebook page.  Click Here for link to access the Finger Lakes Facebook.

2017 Western New York Conference:
 We had a very good turn out at the Radisson Hotel.  It was a new location, right in our own back yard.  On Thursday, we had fun with the self-advocacy Family Feud game show before enjoying a delicious dinner.  We learned from our Keynote, Elissa Orlando of WXXI,  all about the “Move to Include” series that WXXI and the Golisano Foundation are doing.  As it turns out we close ties to a series participant.  It was wonderful to see Adrian Esposito’s “Diffability Hollywood” film premiered at the Little Theatre, sponsored by the series.  Adrian asked his friends from the Friends Helping Friends Group to watch an old film that showed people with disabilities in a disparaging light. Some members of the groups reactions as they watched were featured in his film.  Adrian is also very active in the Arc Alliance Group.   After the dinner there will be karaoke and a dance.    Friday began with a first ever sit down breakfast that was well received.  From there we went right into the educational workshops breaking for lunch and another fabulous Keynote presentation given by Deb Anderson, OPWDD Developer/Trainer and Self-Advocate.  Deb shared some of her personal story of being institutionalized as a child.  As she told her real life story, she made us all feel as though we could have been there with her as she shared challenges and triumphs.   Deb also shared a short video she had created that represented her hope for herself and others.   Another interesting, exciting and successful year!!!  If you’ve never attended the WNY Self-Advocacy Conference, be sure to check us out next year.

  • Finger Lakes Regional Meeting – Want to stay CONNECTED? – CHECK IT OUT – The Finger Lakes Regional Group Meeting has a New Timeframe:  The Finger Lakes Regional Self-Advocacy Group Meeting (via Video Conference) is held on the 1st Wednesday of each Month.  We hold two separate meetings from 10:30am – 11:30am & 4:00pm – 5:30pm – Meeting locations: Elmira; Rochester; and Newark DDRO’s.
  • The next Finger Lakes Regional Self-Advocacy Group Monthly meeting(s) will be on October 4th with guest speaker Lindsay Infantino presenting on “The Right To Vote”.  You’re welcome to come and invite others to see what we are about and learn more about self-advocacy.
  • Don’t forget to check out The Finger Lakes Facebook Click Here for link.
    • We would love to hear your stories about transition or anything about self-advocacy.  For example, how you have spoken up about your life experience.  Write on our Facebook page and tell about your experience.
      • Statewide 2017 Award Winners from the Finger Lakes Region-     There were many wonderful and well deserving Finger Lakes Nominees.  This years Statewide DSA winner is Jennifer Davis of  The Powers That Be.  Congratulations Jennifer!  And congratulations to WXXI “Move to Include” series o winning the Statewide Media Award.  Elissa Orlando accepted the Media Award on WXXI’s behalf.  Great work!!!

People are always encouraged to make appointments with their representatives here at home to talk about issues that are concerning them such as a living wage for Direct Care Professionals and more residential living opportunities.

 *For your next regular self-advocacy group meeting, think about having a guest speaker present about the things that are important to the group and invite a friend to attend.   It’s a great way to gain new members and perspectives while learning new things and ramping up the meetings at the same time!


  • SANYS U: It is a Leadership Course for people who want to learn more about self-advocacy and how to be a strong self-advocate. Contact us if your Self-Advocacy Group is interested in taking the SANYS U course. 585/461-8776  Some of the Groups that have been through or are going through the training are; Friends Helping Friends, Supportive Friends, The Power That Be, Handicapables, Advocates Coming Together (ACT), Community Connections, The Powers that Be, Self-Advocates Teaming Together, Independent Choices, Lochland School, Boces II Classes.