State and Local Leaders Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act and AIM Services Croquet OFF the Green with 30+ Saratoga businesses

MEDIA ADVISORY                                                              July 24, 2020

CONTACT:      JOANNE YEPSEN       (518) 526-5272

                        DIANA PIKULSKI       (802) 233-5377


WHAT: State and local leaders pledge support and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act which was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and kick off Croquet OFF the Green, a week-long activity, co-sponsored by the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, to bring foot traffic to recently re-opened Saratoga retail shops and restaurants while raising awareness and funds for AIM Services. All activities are being conducted according to the NY-Forward recommendations.

Proclamations have been issued and received from Governor Andrew Cuomo, Congressman Paul Tonko, NY State Assembly member Carrie Woerner, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors and Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly.

WHERE: The Garden Tent at the Adelphi Hotel, 365 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 518-678-6000

WHEN: Monday, July 27, 2020 11:30 am -12:30 pm.

WHO:  June MacClelland Senior Director & Chief Compliance Officer AIM Services, Inc.

Office of Paul Tonko

United States Representative serving as the U.S. Representative from New York’s 20th congressional district. 

Carrie Woerner

Assembly member for the 113th District of the New York State Assembly.

Daphne Jordan

Senate member for the 43rd Senate District

Matthew Veitch

City of Saratoga Springs Supervisor 

Meg Kelly

Mayor, Saratoga Springs, NY

Hall of Fame jockey Ramon Dominquez

Saratoga Chamber of Commerce

About AIM Services, Inc. One-third of all families in the United States are impacted by disability. Formed in 1979, AIM Services, Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit organization providing residential and community-based services to people with physical and intellectual disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries and those who are looking for nursing home transition or diversion. Through community-based services, advocacy, and education, dedicated professionals focus on supporting people in achieving their personal goals, while promoting a sense of self-confidence and independence. AIM Services, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the “power of potential” in people of diverse abilities. Visit our website at www.AIMServicesinc.org.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The ADA is divided into five titles (or sections) that relate to different areas of public life. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.  Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary, the ADA National Network recognizes this landmark event and the important work to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

With love and ingenuity, AIM workers keep the standards high

There are so many beautiful moments in this coverage (link below) of AIM Services, Inc and the care that their essential workers are giving the developmentally disabled people who they serve every day during the #COVID-19 pandemic. David says of his program assistant, “he’s my best friend.” One worker named Vicki is a DSP (direct support professional) and program assistant who goes above and beyond to help the residents in an AIM group home feel comfortable despite being out of their routine. For Vicki, as you will see in the video, the benefits go both ways. “Who else gets to go to work and be loved?”, she asks. This story is a great breath of fresh air during a difficult time. Thank you AIM Services and Channel 13.


Brighter Futures in St. Croix Corrections




March 15, 2020

St Croix. The US Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections has partnered with the Virgin Islands Equestrian Equine Therapy Project, Inc. (VIEETP), to provide The Elite Program, a training course in horse care and horse training, to eligible inmates at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility.  The goal of the program is to provide job skills and equine assisted therapy to incarcerated men and women, thereby lowering the rate of recidivism and increasing wage-earning opportunities for the inmates upon release. 

Horse behavior, anatomy and physiology, first aid, ground training, and stable management are part of the basic curriculum preparing successful program participants to work in many positions in the equine business including as racetrack grooms, farriers, vet techs, and barn managers.  All horses in the program will be retired Thoroughbred racehorses.

“This is a unique and exciting set of circumstances,” said C. Reid McLellan, Executive Director of The Elite Program that teaches Groom Elite certification courses to backstretch workers in racing jurisdictions across the mainland United States, as well as to inmates in a number of Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation prison-based programs. “We will be able to nurture the strong passion for horses that already exists on the island.” 

Carolyn Smith, founder of the VIEETP has been involved with horses in the Virgin Islands her entire life and is thrilled that the program has support from Governor Albert Bryan Jr., his administration, in particular the Bureau of Corrections, and the horsemen in the Virgin Islands.

“We have plans to create a sustainable, thriving equine centered economy where horses are part of competitive riding programs, training programs for jockeys and backstretch workers, equine therapy programs for disabled people, and equine learning programs in our schools and for at-risk youth,” said Smith. “Thoroughbreds are already beloved on the island and these programs will help turn that passion towards economic progress for the island.”

The program will begin in the near future on the grounds of the correctional facility where board fencing, a teaching area and shelter will be erected.  Not only will the inmate participants be involved in horsemanship training, they will also launch a unique sustainable agricultural project growing peanut hay on the grounds of the correctional facility.  

“This program could not have come at a better time,” said Wynnie Testamark, Director of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections. “We are in the process of reviewing the strengths and challenges of each of our inmates and this program will provide an effective avenue for success in our increasing concentration on reentry and rehabilitation. I am impressed with the success that the program has had in other U.S. facilities.”

In addition to providing vocational training to incarcerated islanders, The Elite Program will be able to offer programs that will also give local citizens advanced and highly marketable horse care and training skills. 

“As the island of St. Croix prepares for horse racing at a recognized level, training for its citizens to work at the track and provide for the horses when their racing careers are over will be necessary,” said Smith.  “This program will pave the way for success.”

A public-private partnership has been formed to enhance the success of the community-based program for the Corrections Bureau and community residents. The programs are being organized by the The Virgin Islands Equestrian Equine Therapy Project, Yepsen and PIkulski, LLC, and in cooperation with the VI Bureau of Corrections. The organizers will be seeking partnerships with foundations, businesses and private individuals who wish to be of assistance. To support this program and for more information, contact Carolyn Smith at 340-998-3860, Diana Pikulski of Yepsen & Pikulski at 802-233-5377, or the VI Bureau of Corrections at https://boc.vi.gov. The Virgin Islands Equestrian Equine Therapy Project, Inc is a nonprofit founded and located in the United States Virgin Island. The Elite Program (www.groomelite.com), Yepsen & Pikulski (www.yepsenandpikulski.com), and the VI Bureau of Corrections (www.boc.vi.gov), have entered into this public-private partnership to bring The Elite Program to the US Virgin Islands.