Programs

Accessible Dentists

  • Winning Smiles Dentistry
    Dr. Michael J. Foley
    3476 Sheridan Drive
    Amherst, NY 14226
    Phone: 634-8690
    accepts Medicaid and will treat wheelchair patients without transferring them to a chair.
  • Dr. Paul Weiss
    1150 Youngs Rd Suite 106
    Williamsville, NY 14221
    Phone: 689-0929
  • Dr. Barbara Moore
    a pediatric dentist in Hamburg - she lets my son stay in his wheelchair.
    3674 Commerce Place
    Building B Suite 2
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Phone: 362-3147
  • Niagara Cerebral Palsy’s Dental Staff
    One Columbia Drive,
    Niagara Falls, NY
    Phone: 297-1478 ext 154
  • Niagara Cerebral Palsy’s Dental Staff
    9812 Lockport Road,
    Niagara Falls, NY
    Phone: 297-1478 ext 154
  • Dr. Kevin Clauser
    Williamsville Family Dentistry
    1630 Maple Road, Ste 400
    Williamsville, NY 14221 (next to St. Gregory the Great Church)
    Phone: 568-2273
    Fax: 568-2047
  • Dr. Mary Beth Dunn
    Family Dentistry
    2733 Wehrle Dr
    Williamsville, NY 14221
    Phone: 633-8170
    does not take Medicaid but does takes patients in wheelchairs.
  • In-House Dental Services
    In House Dentistry will come to the residence of the patient and treat there.
    800 Delaware Rd # 1
    Buffalo, NY 14223-1236
    Phone: 877-5740
  • Lancaster Dental Services
    5755 Broadway St
    Lancaster, NY 14086-2357
    Phone: 683-0891
  • Baker Victory Dental Clinic
    790 Ridge Rd
    Lackawanna, NY 14218
    Phone: 828-9334
    (Dental over 18)
  • Pedicatric Ophthalmology Adult Strabismns Neuro Ophthalmology
    Steven Awner MD, FAAP, FAAO
    Western NY Ophthalmology
    3980 Sheridan Dr Suite 402
    Amherst, NY 14226
    Phone: 204-4516
  • Univ Pediatric Dentistry
    Comprehensive Oral Health for Disabled Youth (COHDY)
    1800 Maple Rd
    Williamville, NY 14221
    Phone: 688-7712
    Specialize in dentistry for special needs patients
    (Dr. Creghtandds) -any age offiliated with (CHOB)

Accessible Vacations

Christmas Wishlist Program

Check out the wish list, take a family and grant their Christmas Wish!

Christmas Wish List Application

Christmas Wishes

  • YA - special needs booster chair, trouble game, games that have push buttons and cause effect
  • MH - special needs seating chair - GRANTED
  • DB - tuba
  • CH - computer software for college $1000
  • LP - Wheelchair coat $90.00 - GRANTED
  • TC - swing for 2 year old - GRANTED
  • CH - Dragon Naturally Speaking & Kurzweil 3000 software for college student
  • JS - laptop computer to write his stories - GRANTED
  • LP - Wheelchair coat - GRANTED
  • BD - pajamas two piece, warm and fuzzy size womens large - GRANTED
  • BD - knee high socks size 6 - GRANTED
  • ET - $200 towards expenses for surfing as therapy treatment - GRANTED
  • JH - 40 in tv with wall mount for visually challenged young boy

xmasTreeThank you to Boguhn Family, Melissa Peters, Erie 1 Boces, Laurie Taber, Wheelchair Flair, Anne Kilger, and The Per Niente Club for granting wishes.

Be sure to notify Chris at 685-3976 if you pick a wish request, so that we can update the website.

Equipment Loan Closet

Items may be borrowed, loaned, purchased, or donated by calling Jackie Swiatkowski, our Loan Closet Chairperson at 668-3048.

Items currently needed are:

  • liftavators
  • wheelchair vans
  • e-z standers

We can only accept items in good, working order. If you can help - please contact Jackie or Chris.

If you would like to borrow something from our Loan Closet, please call Jackie at 668-3048. Anyone accepting items from our loan closet is asked to sign a letter of liability release.

Looking for an accessible vehicle? Go to www.disableddealer.com

Families Helping Families

Please consider The Independence Foundation if you should ever find yourself in the position to donate a wheelchair accessible van. Your donation will help another family and you will receive a letter of donation for tax purposes.

Apply for a vehicle

Donated Vans

van01

Thank you to the Koch Family for donating their 1994 Ford Van. The Foundation put $3000 in repairs to make this van a means of transportation to a family in need

2van

A Chevy Gladiator was donated to The Independence Foundation by the Muller Family. The van was then awarded to Tammy of East Aurora. Tammy plans to use the van to get to and from work each day. Thank you to Elma Collision and Mark Mingel for the custom detail work. The Independence Foundation thanks the Muller family for their generosity - and extends an invitation to anyone interested in donating a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Your donation can make a world of difference for an individual with disabilities.

3van

Thank you to the Lannon Family for donating this 95 Astro Van, which is now in the hands of a family who will make the necessary repairs and enjoy greater independence.

van1

Thank you to Elma Collision and Mark Mingle for generously donating this custom detail work. We encourage you to use Elma Collision - the finest in collision repair!

The Independence Foundation is proud to announce that Tasha has been awarded the 2000 Dodge Caravan – donated to us In Loving Memory of Jerry Polakiewicz. Tasha is currently enrolled in the driver evaluation process and looks forward to new opportunities and greater independence with this vehicle. Thank you to the Polakiewicz Family for their generous donation.

Fundraisers

The Independence Foundation promotes various fundraisers, all proceeds of which go towards our cause!

If you would like to suggest a fundraiser activity or become involved in a current fundraiser, please call Chris Muller at 716-685-3976, or send an email to info@theindependencefoundation.org.

Dress Down Day

Independence Foundation Scholarship

The Independence Foundation Scholarship was created to help individuals with physical disabilities pay for the ever growing expense of college. The Scholarship of $500 will be awarded to Three (3) individuals with a noteworthy physical disability. The Scholarship will be awarded in May 2014 for the 2014-2015 college year.

Amity Scholarship
In loving memory of Amity Graham (September 1973-August 2009). Memorials in her name can be made to The Independence Foundation Amity Scholarship Fund.

Deadline
All applications must be submitted in full by April 17, 2014. Our Scholarship Committee will select three recipients, and awards will go out May 19, 2014

Requirements
Applicants will be required to fill out the application form found below and to write a 500 word essay about how your physical limitation(s) has/have presented challenge(s) and how you have worked to persevere despite them. Describe your academic/career aspirations and why you feel that you are deserving of this award.

All applicants must be wheelchair users.

Download Application

Recipients

  • Nicole Oliphant, Everett,WA - Currently attending University of Washington studying Psychology
  • Zachary Dickman, West Seneca, NY - Going to study Chemical Engineering at RIT in the fall
  • Jon Gilroy, Pleasant Valley, NY - Will attend SUNY Albany in the Social Work field
  • Alexander Oleksa, Lancaster, PA - Currently attending University of Washington studying Psychology

Other Great Resources
Website for College-bound Students with Disabilities
http://www.going-to-college.org

This new website has been developed to help high school students learn about living college life with a disability. The site provides video clips, activities, and resources that can help students get a head start in planning for college. Video interviews with college students with disabilities offer a way to hear firsthand from students with disabilities who have been successful. Modules include activities that will help students explore more about themselves, learn what to expect from college, and equip them with important considerations and tasks to complete when planning for college.

Independence House

Background

We began this journey after experiencing what life can be like with independence. Our son Ben attended and graduated from Edinboro College in Pennsylvania. Edinboro is a unique community. There are approximately 40 students in wheelchairs living on campus. Personal care aides are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.. There is a wheelchair bus that takes the students to classes, Wal-mart, the mall. Wheelchair students regularly participate in normal life activities like bowling, lunch at McDonald's, and other basic socialization. There was a wheelchair soccer team–-and they have traveled to Arizona for national games.

This is just a small picture of independent life in a wheelchair. It is possible–-Edinboro has made it happen. If it is possible in Edinboro - why not here?

It is our goal to establish an environment like this in the Buffalo area.

Since 2007, we have worked very hard and we now have three Independence Houses. Our first home opened in 2007 for three young adults. Our second house is now a home for four young adults. It has been open since January 2010. Our third house is a leased program and there are three young adults living independently since May 2011. For more information on our Housing Opportunities - please contact us.

Click here for Housing Application

independence_house2

 

Peripheral Transportation Programs

Van Donation Program
Families with a good condition Wheelchair van are encouraged to consider donating the vehicle to The Independence Foundation – a tax write off letter will be provided. The Foundation will then match families in need with vans available.

  • Call 685-3976 to donate a vehicle.



Volunteer Driver Program
Volunteer drivers need to fill out a DMV Driver Check form.
Volunteer driver needs insurance in place.
You would volunteer to drive an individual in your / or their wheelchair van.



Emergency Ride Program

Families add their names to a volunteer data base to be called in the event that another family has wheelchair van breakdown. You would agree to provide a ride for another family in the event of an emergency.

Families volunteering to be placed on the emergency van data list need to provide:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Contact number and cell if necessary
  4. Location:
        Buffalo – downtown
        Greater Buffalo North
        Greater Buffalo South
        Not Buffalo area:
  5. Clearance from lift to ceiling entrance:
  6. How many tie downs?
  7. Your vehicle must be registered and insured when providing a ride – proof of insurance will be required to volunteer for this program.
  8. The rider must sign a waiver of liability. (We can mail this to the volunteer family to keep in their glove box.)
  9. The rider must provide clearance needed to make sure we can arrange for a ride that accommodates them. (This would be relayed to our scheduler, when a call is placed for emergency help.)

Social Groups

We gather families and individuals every other month for social activities. This promotes socialization and provides an environment where individuals can share experiences. Often, the parents share information and experiences as well.

If you would like to be on our mailing list for Social activities – please call Chris at 685-3976, or send an email to info@theindependencefoundation.org.

Wheelchair Soccer at the Elma Boys Girls Club

Dates to be announced. Currently looking for players.

Bowling

  • Dates to be announced
  • Lancaster AMF Lanes on Transit Rd near Losson
  • $2.00 per game, light refreshments served, wheelchair accessible
  • RSVP to Chris at 685-3976

Poker Night

  • Dates to be announced
  • Pizza and beverage served
  • RSVP to Cory at 655-3863

Moms Only

  • Still looking for a coordinator for Mom's Only, if interested contact Chris at 685-3976

Transportation Options

Goals / parameters of the project:

  • Must be at least 18, use a wheelchair, and be able to travel independently or with your own aide / assistant.
  • Intended for once or twice a month transportation.
  • To provide as needed transportation when other resources fail.
  • Effective transportation for individuals with physical disabilities.

Exclusions:

  • We can not provide transportation to places of employment and / or doctors appointments. Refer to Vesid and Medicaid for these.
  • Intended for ages 18 - 55.

Individuals using this program will:

  • Questions about this program may be directed to Chris at 685-3976.
  • We recommend that you apply for Getting There, Paratransit,, Medicaid Transportation and any other transportation options first.
  • Agree to use this program for reasonable and reputable outings.
  • Agree to be ready on time for pick-up and return rides.

How the program will work:

  1. You will fill out an application. (Click here for application)
  2. We will verify that you meet our program requirements and can travel independently.
  3. You will be mailed a letter of authorization for our program.
  4. You may call Chris at 685-3976 to schedule ride.
  5. If and when our funding is depleted – we will notify you that we can no longer provide rides.

Program Registration:


Participants will fill out the application form (found online) and mail or e-mail to:

The Independence Foundation
Attn: Transportation
2220 Hall Rd
Elma, NY 14059
Email to:missblubug@yahoo.com


Suggested Donation for each ride:


$20 one way, $40 round trip
Payment can be mailed to the Independence Foundation at the above address. You will not be making any payments to the drivers.

All payments to Transportation Agencies will be made by The Independence Foundation for scheduled / authorized rides

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