INCLUDEnyc Voices

Independence and INCLUDEnyc

If you have ever attended an INCLUDEnyc event, you probably met our long-time greeter, Oscar Segal. Oscar has been a part of the INCLUDEnyc family for years, first through his parents who called our Help Line, then as a volunteer. Oscar joined the INCLUDEnyc Junior Board in 2014. As a member of the Junior board, Oscar attends quarterly meetings. “I help them plan events and other happy hours.”

In 2015, Oscar moved into a supportive apartment with two roommates, Louis and Matt. “We live in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium in a big apartment and we each have our own rooms.”

After moving in, Oscar invited INCLUDEnyc for a visit to show off his new apartment and offer advice to other young adults with disabilities. “If I had to give someone some advice about living independently, I’d say they should be helpful, like do their groceries and their laundry and the dishes.” Although living independently can be a big adjustment for any young adult, Oscar loves living on his own. “My favorite part is the neighbors and my new friends I meet in the building. They are not the same people who are in my parents’ building. They are my friends and neighbors.”

In his free time, Oscar likes taking walks, going to concerts, making reservations, speaking at conferences, and working with INCLUDEnyc. “INCLUDEnyc helps with my advocacy with independence. I help them by greeting at their events.” In addition to volunteering with INCLUDEnyc, Oscar works at Shake Shack, where he is able to practice his Spanish language skills with customers. He also works as a sales manager for Invictus, a job training program for people on the spectrum. “Some of the people make dog biscuits working with a trainer and my job is to sell the biscuits at pet shops, bakeries, restaurants, bars and cafes, vets, animal hospitals and shelters, kennels, grooming salons, and dog-friendly places.” Oscar is an extremely driven and lively young man with a bright future ahead of him. Next time you’re at an INCLUDEnyc event, don’t forget to say hi to Oscar!

- Carly Wolff