Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 23, 2013

GUEST VIEW: New era, same commitment to developmentally disabled

Niagara Gazette — As I assume the mantle of leadership at Niagara Cerebral Palsy, I am humbled to have the unwavering support of our board of directors, including our new president Dr. Salvatore Passanese from Niagara County Community College. The members of our board sacrifice their time and are 100 percent committed to serving some of our most vulnerable citizens in our community — the developmentally disabled.

I also would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the dedication and commitment of our tremendous staff that provide the developmentally disabled with such compassionate care. It takes special people to provide such care and our organization is fortunate to have so many who provide this care on a daily basis.

Rather than communicate anecdotally about the dedication and commitment of our board and staff, I would like to share a couple of real-life stories. Don Napoleon has served on our agency’s board for the past 22 years. His daughter, Becky, started in our pre-school special education program when she was 3 years old and through the years has received physical, occupational and speech therapy. Becky is 31 years old today and according to her father has maintained the same infectious smile since she arrived at our agency all those years ago.

As Don will tell you, Becky is simply trapped inside a body that doesn’t work. She cannot speak and goes about her day in a powered wheel chair. She brings home a paycheck through a work program at our Community Vocational Rehabilitation Center. The paycheck Becky earns every two weeks from the center fills her with great pride because she loves to work.

Don Napoleon serves on our board because he is his daughter’s voice; as Don has conveyed to his fellow board members and others in our community throughout his years of service, it’s easy to sweep the developmentally disabled under the proverbial rug, especially when it comes to the legislative process. The fact is, programs and services for the developmentally disabled are in jeopardy every budget cycle. Our board can never rest or be content because of this threat.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page