Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Write For The NCCI Blog!

Closeup photo of a grey computer keyboard, with one blue key bearing a white wheelchair symbol on it

Paid opportunity for writers with disabilities in the North Country!

The North Country Center for Independence, (NCC) in Plattsburgh, New York, is looking for original writing by people with disabilities, on disability-related topics, for publication on  the NCCI Blog. http://ncciblog.blogspot.com

Each month NCCI will post up to two selected pieces written by people with disabilities. NCCI will pay writers $100 for each selected piece. Submissions should meet the following guidelines:
  • 300-600 words long.
  • Must relate in some way to the experiences and issues of living with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities.
  • We are generally looking for writing focused on the everyday practical, social, and / or emotional experiences of living with disabilities, not on medical research, treatments, or therapies.
Some editorial assistance and feedback will be provided, including comments and suggestions on how drafts can be improved before publication.

NCCI’s Executive Director will choose up to two pieces per month to be published. After each item is posted, the writer may submit a voucher for payment, which will be made within 30 days of receipt.

Submit drafts by email, to: apulrang@icloud.com. Or, paper drafts may be delivered to NCCI at 80 Sharron Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. For more information call us at 518-563-9058.

The deadline for final drafts is the 15th of each month.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Job Fair  When: May 21, 2018 1 PM - 4 PM  Where: OneWork Source 194 US Oval, Plattsburgh, NY 12903  Connect with Employers and Apply for Jobs!  Employers Include: Coryer Staffing Crossmark ETS Mold-Rite Plastics NYS DOCCS Upstone Materials UPS Woodmen of the World  Positions In: Manufactoring Customer Service Material Moving Transportation Retail Sales Security Services And other opportunities!  Need Help Getting Ready? Participate in the Job Fair Preparation Workshop at OneWorkSource. Learn about and register for this workshop at (518) 561-0430  Questions? Call 518-561-0430 ext. 3058  Bring copies of your resume and be prepared for on-the-spot interviews.  Visit: www.labor.ny.gov Click on “Find a Job” then Career Center Events and “Recruitments”
Job fairs happen periodically around the North Country every year. If you are at all interested in a job search, go to this one on May 21st, and keep an eye out for future job fairs in the area.

Questions to ask yourself if you have a disability and want to explore employment:

  • Are you looking for full time, part time, temporary, seasonal, or continuous employment?
  • Are you looking for indoor or outdoor work? Physical work or work that’s mainly about thinking, planning, and creating? Do you like simple routines, or do you prefer work with variety and the unexpected? Do you want to work with the public or behind the scenes? Do you want coworkers, or do you prefer working by yourself?
  • Do you have a specific career in mind, or are you open to a variety of fields?
  • How do you plan to talk about your disability? Will you keep it to yourself or inform your employers … and at what point? Will you need some accommodations on the job? Are you concerned about discrimination or being screened out because of your disability? Can you explain your disability simply, briefly, in a way that makes people more comfortable?

These are just a few questions to get you started, and give your job search some focus. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, reach out for some additional help with your job search and preparation:

A general regional resource for all job seekers.

Provides help and, in some cases, funding assistance for job seekers with disabilities.

Provides employment services for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Peer support and information on employment, benefits management, workplace accommodations, and disability rights laws in the workplace.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Disability / Mother's Day Reading List

Happy Mother's Day in pink stylized lettering

There seems to be a lot of discussion this Mother’s Day about motherhood and disability ... especially about the experiences and barriers faced by mothers with disabilities. Here is just a sample, starting with a series of three articles from Rooted In Rights:

Alaina Leary, Rooted In Rights - May 7, 2018

Maggie Winston, Rooted In Rights - May 9, 2018

Kristin Wagner, Rooted In Rights - May 11, 2018

… And three more reflections on different aspects of motherhood and disability:

Alice Wong, Bitch Media - May 11, 2018

Jennifer Senda, Disabled Parenting Project - May 13, 2018

Catherine Kudlick, New York Times - May 9, 2018

Let’s not forget Mothers who aren’t disabled themselves, but advocate for their disabled children, and other disabled people, in smart and innovative ways …

BBC Hampshire & Isle Of Wight - May 11, 2018

Finally, this recap of a Twitter chat on disability and motherhood …

Hosted by Alice Wong and Rooted In Rights

Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring Accessibility Month

Spring Accessibility Month

This May, 2018 is Spring Accessibility Month at the North Country Center for Independence!

What Is It?

Our goal will be to rate the accessibility of at least 20 local restaurants, and post the results on the NCCI website, alongside restaurant accessibility ratings we have already done. We know we can do it, but we need your help!

Call, email, or stop by for a visit, and we will assign you a list of 5 restaurants in the Plattsburgh area to visit and assess. The focus here is on accessibility for people with disabilities, and we are asking you to rate each place on the following criteria:

_ _ _ _ _ Parking
_ _ _ _ _ Entrance
_ _ _ _ _ Restrooms
_ _ _ _ _ Interior
_ _ _ _ _ Signage

You will give each category a star rating, from 0 (worst) to 5 (best). This will enable people with disabilities and their families to plan where they can visit, and also provide practical feedback to restaurants that could be made more accessible. You can also add brief written notes on aspects of each restaurant that are welcoming to disabled customers or that create specific barriers.

About Accessibility

People with disabilities face literal, physical barriers to independence every day. Restaurants, stores, offices, and other public facilities that aren't properly accessible are failing to provide equal service, and it has a real impact on disabled peoples' ability to live independently and productively in their communities. Additionally, they may be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that has required equal service and physical accessibility for over 25 years.

On the other hand, places that are accessible help sustain independence and community mobility, and the more of them there are, the more accessible and welcoming our community is to people with disabilities and their families, including visitors.

With your help, we can document businesses that are and are not accessible, and make that information freely available for anyone who wants to know. As more places in our area get rated, the more information we will have for residents and visitors with disabilities.

Getting Started

All you have to do is contact us in one of the following ways:
  • Call us at 518-563-9058 and ask for John Farley, our Accessibility Consultant.
  • Email John at john@ncci-online.com
  • Stop by the NCCI office at 102 Sharron Avenue in Plattsburgh, NY.
We will give you a list of restaurants to visit, and a simple guide to measuring the accessibility of public facilities. It's easy to do, and it's a great service for the North Country disability community.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Clinton County Public Transit Route Deviation Trainings

Clinton County Public Transit Route Deviation Training - Presented by the Clinton County Planning Department

On May 1, 2018, Clinton County Public Transit will change its Paratransit policy, essentially eliminating door-to-door transportation for people with disabilities within the City of Plattsburgh. CCPT will shift instead to route deviation.

The Clinton County Planning Department and CCPT will hold a series of trainings to orient riders to the new system. Dates and times are below:

Presented by the Clinton County Planning Department
Clinton County Government Center
137 Margaret Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

Scheduled trainings:

Travel training will consist of a 20 minute presentation on the new bus schedule and how Route Deviation works, followed by an opportunity to ride the bus and see Route Deviation in action.

If you wish to attend, call 518-561-1452. If you can’t attend but would like more information and opportunity for input, call NCCI at 518-563-9058.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018

As you may have seen in the news this week, Stephen Hawking, arguably the most famous and admired theoretical physicist in the world, died Tuesday.

Professionally, he is known as a physicist comparable to Albert Einstein. He held the same Mathematics chair at the University of Cambridge as Sir Isaac Newton. He was known especially for ground breaking theories about black holes and the nature of time and space. And in 1988 he published a best-selling book about these subjects, A Brief History of Time. These achievements alone would have warranted coverage of Hawking’s death on the evening news and the top of our internet news feeds.

The reason we in the disability community have taken such note of Stephen Hawking’s passing is that he was also one of the most famous disabled people in the world. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, (known as motor neuron disease in the United Kingdom), when he was still an undergraduate. He was told he had just a few years to live, but he lived to the age of 76. For much of his life and professional career, he was almost completely paralyzed, and used an electric wheelchair and speech synthesizer he controlled with tiny head movements. For decades, his wheelchair and synthesizer voice became iconic, both in his professional field and in popular culture. (See the clips below of some of Prof. Hawking’s appearances on TV shows).

Already there is some discussion about how Prof. Hawking’s death and life is being covered. Is there too much emphasis on his disability, or not enough? Was his disability a tragic impediment he overcame, or an important part of the man he became? Was he a disability advocate, or just a renowned physicist who just happened to have a disability?

Fortunately, since tackling deep questions was Prof. Hawking’s speciality, he would probably be happy to see us wrestle with what his life meant to all of us.

Here are some articles with more information and perspective on Stephen Hawking and the impact of his life:

Ian Sample, The Guardian - March 14, 2018

BBC - March 14, 2018

Do You Actually Know Why Stephen Hawking Was Famous?
Tanya Basu, Daily Beast - March 14, 2018

James Gallagher, BBC - March 14, 2018

Alex Barasch, Slate - March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking, United Nations Human Development Report - 2018

Alia E. Dastagir, USA Today - March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking, Wheelchairs, Death, and Freedom
Karen Hitzelberger, Claiming Crip - March 15, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

By The Numbers: NCCI Services 2016 / 2017

The main goal of providing services at NCCI is to assist individuals with disabilities, and others dealing with disability issues. Each person we work with has an individual story, and each person who achieves or maintains their independence is a win, for them and for all of us.

Once in awhile though, it's useful to take a step back and look at what all of our services throughout the year look like. Exactly who are we serving? Which of our services are the most in demand? What kind of impact are we having in the North Country community?

Have a look ...

Note: These figures represent the number of people who received services at least once during the past full October-September year. Most of these people received services multiple times, though each is counted here only once.