DAT has been active with many initiatives and programs, some of which you have read about in past blogs. I want to provide you with a brief update:

First Responders: Dave is at the halfway point of his three year grant at Niagara University but expects additional funding to come from a few sources. NU has expressed a sincere interest in establishing an Institute on Disability Awareness, which would maintain both the program and other progressive programs. Some highlights include a training at FDNY EMS, revision of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Basic police course training on Persons with Disabilities, a successful pilot session rollout that saw a 94% approval rating and 99% recommendation from attendees. For more go to our new website www.fr-dat.com.

Town Hall Training: the program was accepted at the FEMA Get Real II conference in September 2011 in Arlington, VA. Two groups identified the program as their top promising practice. We have begun the 2012 training schedule that has seen high interest from municipalities including support from the NYS Association of Counties and the NYS Conference of Mayors. We have also developed a training for municipal employees that was conducted for the City of Buffalo and the Town of Hamburg

Middle Schools: another 10 middle schools have shown interest (some are still being scheduled) for this school year. We opened it up to Catholic schools which have been very successful.

Corporate: DAT is in the process of finalizing national trainings for SIEMENS and Maxim Healthcare. Locally, training is being conducted for a new group called Employers 4 Diversity.

Emergency preparedness: Dave chairs the NYS Independent Living Council's committee and has been in discussion with NYS Office of Emergency Management and FEMA to address gaps in training and preparedness in NYS. He has also taken an active role with the NYS Sheltering division to ensure shelters are ready to serve the whole community.

Other news:

  • Dave continues to Chair his town's committee on disabilities, which has made great strides in ensuring Amherst is responding to its residents with disabilities. 
  • Access Buffalo took this semester off to revamp and tighten up some of the loose ends. It will be back in action in the fall.
  • Dave continued his volunteer work with Skating Athletes Bold at Heart, which held its ice show March 25. His son David was a star for an eighth straight year. His daughter Rachel was also a volunteer.
  • Dave continues in his capacity as President of the Williamsville School District's Special Education Parent Teacher Student Assn. He also served as Vice President of the district's PTA council.