Friday, September 28, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - September 22-28, 2018:

Rob Spirko, Rooted In Rights - September 21, 2018

This article provides important perspective and a counter-argument to the popular notion that “getting on disability” is easy..

Richard Sisk, Military.com - September 14, 2018

It’s astonishing that airlines still can’t figure out how to handle wheelchairs properly..

Angela Lemus-Mogrovejo, Rooted In Rights - September 14, 2018


It’s not for everyone, but identifying yourself as disabled can truly be a positive thing.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

You Have A Say

Allison Jonergin
Guest Blogger

Being chronically ill is like being confined to a hamster wheel. Your only options are thrusting forward with maximum momentum or sliding backward with a conscious lack of urgency. Some days you want to slump back into bed, opting out of the fight the day will require of you. Throw in anxiety and depression, and your will is not your own anymore. You have a say, but yours isn’t the only one.

Guest Blogging
Sometimes, rest is exactly what your body needs, but your mind needs you to act decisively, to choose life. As anyone with a chronic illness can tell you, living isn’t a passive process. You’re either fighting your illness or fighting yourself. Choose carefully.

There’s no handbook explaining how to deal with the reality of being chronically ill, day in and day out. The sooner you realize this life is going to be a never-ending campaign, the better.

In the beginning, you’re drowning in symptoms and appointments. You’re logging food intolerances and sleep patterns and trying to keep from falling apart. But soon, there is a calm, a peaceful place draped in sorrow.

Welcome to hell: breakfast is a pile of pills washed down with dissolvable probiotics stirred in water. Kidding. Well, kind of. You see, this is the part where things get better, because you’re fighting for yourself. Why? Because you’ve been to hell, and you’ve clawed your way back. Hell is where the darkness wins. Your anxiety convinces you there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that it’s not worth fighting toward making tomorrow a better day. But it is, because you’re fighting for your life. In the quiet of hopelessness, let your battle cry rise up in your heart, louder than your anxiety and depression.

In the haze clouding the likelihood that you’ll climb out of bed and face the day, lies your greatest power: decision. Loose the grips you have on fear and decide to live for your future, because unfortunately, you’re probably going to have one.

In the realm of chronic illness, one must grapple with the taunting overshadowing promise of viability. Your chronic illnesses won’t kill you, but they’ll sure make you wish they would. Despair is a sneaky devil, taking root in your deepest fears, latching onto your insecurities, your vulnerability, your shame. It gives voice to the quiet doubts you hold in secret, acting like an incubator of thoughts that disarm you of the weapons you need to fight each day you are tasked with completing.

Don’t show up to a gunfight with a knife. Bring your bazooka. Prioritize sleep. Exercise consistently (yes, especially when it hurts). Take your medicine. Eat. Visit your doctors regularly. Resist the urge to self-destruct.
You can feel sad, but don’t gorge on comfort foods that will leave you reeling in pain. You can rest, but don’t forfeit your exercise routine because you’re going through a bad flare. It hurts, but the only way it will hurt less tomorrow is if you overcome today. Each day you forfeit, the climb back to normalcy steepens. That’s worth remembering, because there are days when normalcy doesn’t seem worth the battle. You’re wrong. Normalcy is where happiness lives. Gratitude and joy fill your heart, even as your stomach rumbles. Confidence animates you, even when your limbs are stiff and sore. Smiling comes more naturally than grimacing.

Decide: Are you going to live for making today less unbearable or for making tomorrow more bearable?

You may know the diagnoses, but fight the temptation to believe the crystal ball has revealed every truth.

You have a say.

Allison Jonergin is a SUNY Plattsburgh alumna and North Country native. She has fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and endometriosis. She also deals with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and migraines.

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This is part of a monthly series of guest blogs. Each month NCCI will choose up to 2 submitted blog posts from North Country writers on disability-related topics. This is a paid opportunity. Click here for more information.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - September 15-21, 2018:

Lindsay Miller, ALCU Blog - September 4, 2018

The “Money Follows The Person” program needs to be renewed by Congress. This article explores why it’s so important, and what needs to be done to keep the program going.

Stephanie Torreno, Rooted In Rights - September 17, 2018

A home care user explains why aides need to be paid better.

s.e. smith, Vox.com - September 20, 2018

This piece ties together several popular misconceptions about waste and laziness that impact how disabled people are treated in American culture.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bowling Fundraiser Raffle Prizes

Winz N' Pinz with North Country Center for Independence

Raffle Prize Baskets!


Take a look at the beautiful raffle prizes we will be giving out at NCCI's First Annual "Winz N' Pinz" bowling fundraiser. The event will be Saturday, September 29, 2018, from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM at North Bowl Lanes in Plattsburgh, New York.

Click here for the full details and registration information.

Here are photos of the prize baskets, each with a description of what's included:


#1 "Me Time": Basket, Tea Cup and Saucer, Blue Bird Light, 4 Herbal Teas, Candle, Body Lotion, Shower Gel, 'The Secret of Happy Days' Book, Pen, Mini Notebook, Chocolate, Hand Fan, Loofa, Deodorant, Body Powder, and Perfume.


#2 "Home and Garden": Basket, Battery Powered Zen Rock Fountain, 2 Candle Holders, Set of Appetizer Plates, Set of Coasters, 3 Boxes of Seeds- Wildflower Blend, Impatiens, and Shade Mix.


#3 "King Arthur": Cookie Sheet, Parchment Paper, Cook Book, 2 Bags Unbleached Flour, 6 'Essential Goodness' Mixes- Lemon Bar, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bar, Cinnamon Sugar Puff Muffin, and 2 Chocolate Chip Cookie, Dough Cutter and Vietnamese Cinnamon.


#4 "Back to Basics Game Night": Guess Who, Ker Plunk, Connect 4, and Yahtzee. Basket and Card Games- Memory, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Go Fish, Slap Jack, Matching, Skip-Bo Jr., and Two Little Hands Card Holders.


#5 "Cozy Crafts": 5 Handmade Journals, Handmade Dream Catcher, 2 Handmade Bracelets, 1 Handmade Necklace, 1 Handmade Throw Quilt, and Tote Bag.


#6 "Good Vibes": Wicker Box, 3 Reiki Energy Candles, 2 Packs Incense Sticks and Holder, 1 Box Incense Cones and Holder, 2 Dripping Candles, Himalayan Salt Candle Holder, Wire Wrap Necklace from KPaige Wraps, and Terrarium.


#7 "Fall Holidays": Basket, Pioneer Woman 3 Mixing Bowl Set, Pioneer Woman Pie Dish, Pie Cutter, 2 Carving Knives, Pineapple Corer, Straws, Dish Towels, Oven Mitt, Table Cloth, Measuring Spoons, Peach-Pecan Whiskey, Holiday Foods, and Gift Cards.

[Photo coming!]

#8 "Camping Excursion": Basket, 100pk Glow Sticks, Roasting Sticks, Graham Crackers, Bag of Marshmallows, Jar of Marshmallow Fluff, Bag of M&Ms, Fire Lighting Squares, 'So Much S'more to Do' Book, 'Camp Daze' Mad Libs, Adirondack Mountain Club Gift Certificate with Lodging and Camping Brochures.


#9 "Co-op Basket": Local Organic and Unique Products from The North Country Co-op.


#10 "Halloween Happiness": Pumpkin Basket, Halloween/Autumn D├ęcor, and Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze Gift Certificate.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media. You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - September 8-14, 2018:

John M. O’Connor, Forbes - September 13, 2018

There’s nothing very new here, but the reasons given are notably realistic and practical.

Edward C. Baig, USA Today - September 10, 2018

“Assistive” technology is quickly becoming just plain “technology.”

Marissa Evans, The Texas Tribune - August 22, 2018


This article about the last huge hurricane in the mainland U.S. feels extra relevant this week, as Florence hits the Southeast.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Three Links This Week

Closeup picture of a monthly calendar, focused on a single week

Links to three articles shared in this week’s NCCI social media.

You can always visit NCCI on Facebook and Twitter at the following links:


New content is added every day.

This week - September 1-8, 2018:

Christian McMahon, Rooted In Rights - September 5, 2018

This is always an important topic, not discussed or explored nearly enough, even in the disability community.

Jessica Grono, Cerebral Palsy News Today - September 4, 2018

Addressing another basic quality of life issue.

Kristen Lopez, TV Guide - August 31, 2018


TV Guide looks at a great show, and makes a strong point about casting disabled actors to play disabled characters.