Cantalician Center Celebrates the Opening of 2039 Life Skills Center

BUFFALO, NY - The Cantalician Center for Learning celebrated the grand opening of its 2039 Life Skills Center. The building formerly served as the rectory for St. Barnabas Parish and has been repurposed to serve individuals enrolled in the Cantalician Center's certified day habilitation program. It will also serve as the administrative offices for Community and Day Services and Medicaid Service Coordination.

The nonprofit organization that serves children and adults with disabilities is one of the first agencies in Western New York to integrate its individuals into the community. The concept was in response to the implementation of the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) Transformational Plan to shift individuals with disabilities out of segregated program settings and into their communities.

"Recognizing the needs of our individuals with disabilities, we made it our goal to set a positive example early by being at the forefront of moving the people we serve into the community," said Anne Spisiak, executive director. "As the Cantalician Center celebrates its 60th Anniversary, we are continuing to strive for excellence by providing individuals with disabilities the opportunity to make a positive impact in our community."

The day habilitation programs at Cantalician Center provide services to 120 people annually; many of them have been fully integrated into the community since March 2016. Several local community centers now serve as home base for our individuals, including the Delevan Grider Community Center, the Harlem Road Community Center and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. The 2039 Life Skills Center will offer services to 20 individuals enrolled in the program who are working toward improving skills such as self-care, socialization, independent living and community integration. The state-of-the-art building where they will receive services has accessible ramps, wide hallways, two large multipurpose rooms, a brand new kitchen, custom bathrooms and ample office space that was designed to help the individuals achieve their life goals.

"We feel it's important for all people, regardless of disability, to be able to experience their communities to the fullest extent. The individuals served in this program are contributing members of the Western New York community and we strive to give them the full experience of this great region," said Rachel Martin, director of community and day services. "While the individuals at the 2039 Life Skills Center may need assistance in some areas, this repurposed facility will open new doors for them to participate fully in the community."

The certified day habilitation services offered at the 2039 Life Skills Center through the Cantalician Center is an OPWDD funded program.

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