Saturday, December 8, 2018

By The Numbers: NCCI Services 2017 / 2018

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 ...

How many people did NCCI serve? 637 people with disabilities. 336 other non-disabled. 48 families. Disabilities of people served: 351 physical. 174 cognitive. 75 mental. 42 sensory. How many people used each service? 608 information & referral. 573 personal assistance services. 261 advocacy. 229 benefits assistance. 101 accessibility assistance. 55 transportation assistance. 45 peer counseling. 33 housing assistance. 16 other services. 13 assistive technology.


Note: These figures represent the number of people who received services at least once during the past full October, 2017 - September, 2018 year. Most of these people received services multiple times, though each is counted here only once.

And here is a closer look at two of NCCI's most important programs:

200 people with disabilities used CDPAP home care services to live more independently. 430 people were employed as personal care aides providing CDPAP home care. 152 people with disabilities used CDPAP services to avoid unwanted nursing home placement. $10.2 million dollars in taxpayer money saved, compared to the cost of institutional care.

1,270 information & referrals provided to nursing home and adult care facility residents, staff, and families. 527 facility visits by staff and volunteers, to nursing homes and adult care facilities. 448 total volunteer hours provided by Volunteer Ombudsmen, in facility visits and advocacy activities on behalf of nursing home and adult care facility residents.

Friday, December 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 - December 1-7 2018:

Three items shared on NCCI’s social media this week …

Rachel Withers, Vox.com - December 2, 2018

More details about President Bush’s role in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Renée Byer, Sacramento Bee - December 4, 2018

Emergency response in disasters still tends to fail people with disabilities. Can we learn to make it better?

United Nations - December 3, 2018


Observances around the world.

Friday, November 30, 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 - November 24-30 2018:

Three items shared on NCCI’s social media this week …

Nolan Ryan Trowe, New York Times - November 23, 2018

An amazing photo essay … part of a long-term series of New York Times articles on disability.
Denise Brodey, Forbes - November 20, 2018

A good article on shopping and disability, in time for the holiday season.

NCCI Blog - November 28, 2018


A rare opportunity to do something concrete to support more employment of people with disabilities in New York State.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Action Alert: Urge Governor Cuomo to Enact the Small Business Tax Credit!

Action Alert

The bill (A.1369/S.3688) to create a tax credit for small businesses who hire people with disabilities was delivered to the Governor on Monday. He now has 10 days to take action on the bill. Call the Governor today to urge him to enact the small business tax credit!

This type of incentive, geared to small businesses, could go a long way to helping people with disabilities find gainful employment in New York State, and addressing the devastating rates of unemployment and poverty in our community. The NYS Employment First Commission's report included a recommendation to establish a cross-disability tax credit. While other tax credits exist, this particular opportunity is needed for the following reasons: 1) The Workers with Disabilities Tax Credit (WETC) is good for two years and only if you are a consumer of the vocational rehabilitation system seeking entry into the job market, 2) other tax credits are focused on individuals with particular disabilities identifying the need for a cross-disability application, and 3) small businesses are major employers in this state.

ACTION! Call Governor Cuomo TODAY at #518-474-8390. Press 2 to speak with a person.

Say: I am calling to urge Governor Cuomo to sign the small business tax credit bill! The tax credit created by A.1369/S.3688 would create an incentive for small businesses to hire individuals with disabilities, increasing the opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities to achieve gainful employment and self-sufficiency.

Monday, November 26, 2018

#GivingTuesday 2018

NCCI logo and #GivingTuesday logo

This Tuesday, November 27 is “Giving Tuesday” ... a day kick off the holidays by giving to your favorite charities. The Board and staff of the North Country Center for Independence is asking you to help with our mission to promote greater independence for people with disabilities in the North Country.

There are three main ways you can help support NCCI:

GoFundMe logo
1. Make an online donation to our “Homecoming Fund” through GoFundMe.

These donations will be used to help people with disabilities in the North Country move out of hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities into their own homes. Funds are used to collect, store, and distribute home-making supplies like kitchen utensils, bedding, furniture, and adaptive equipment that often aren't covered by other disability support programs.


AmazonSmile. You Shop. Amazon gives. logo2. Sign up with AmazonSmile.

Just register and designate NCCI as your recipient charity. Amazon then donates a percentage of all your purchases to NCCI. These donations cost you nothing, and do not change the price of your purchases. It’s a great way to direct resources to NCCI on an ongoing basis, but especially during your holiday shopping.


VolunteerMatch logo
3. Volunteer for NCCI.

There are formal and informal ways you can help NCCI with your time and talents. As a Long Term Care Ombudsman, you can help us advocate for people with disabilities in nursing homes and adult care facilities. You can also help us document accessibility of area businesses as you go about your everyday errands. Or, you can help us assist people with disabilities working towards greater independence in our community.

—> Click here to contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Anything you can do to help us out would be helpful, and greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 23, 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 - November 17-23 2018:

Three items shared on NCCI’s social media this week …

Allison Jonergin, NCCI Blog - November 23, 2018

Another guest post for our blog … a very relatable piece about the recurring dilemma of wanting to commit to things, while our bodies don’t cooperate.
Elizabeth Cassidy, The Mighty - November 11, 2018

What do you think … is this a good idea?

Erika A. Hewitt, Unitarian Universalist Association - August 31, 2017

An important point about audio accessibility, for everyone who attends conferences, or organizes them.

When I’d Love to Come, But I Can’t

Allison Jonergin
Guest Blogger

Usually I just lie. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but rather a measure of how much damage will be done.

In fact, the easiest way is to decline the invite in the first place. Having multiple chronic illnesses makes being unable to follow through with commitments not a question of if, but when and how often.

Guest bloggingWhen canceling, honesty is invariably met with skepticism and questions. Why open myself up to that kind of vulnerability?

I’d rather be mistrusted for saying I’m sick for the second time this month than for saying I don’t feel up to a visit because I’m tired and hurting.

Being sick is lonely. So you’d think being invited to hang out or do something fun would be welcomed, and most often it is.

You’ll see a huge smile spread across my face as we talk about how we each have been. Maybe this even reinforces your confusion when I cancel our plans to go to dinner the following weekend.

My life revolves around my body, in which there can be any number of flare ups at any given time, each with the power to upend my schedule. No number of good intentions can change the fact that some days I’m just a chronically ill person. Any other identity I manage to wear is temporary. So if I’m a friend, I’m a friend for a few hours. But I’m always sick.

Yesterday, I felt strong and energized. I went shopping, walked my dog, cooked dinner, enjoyed a meal with my family, and washed the dishes. To do all of those things in one day made me feel like a superhero.

But if I don’t get ample rest to make up for all of that activity, I’m a wreck. The contrast between yesterday and this morning is as sharp as the brightest and darkest brightness settings on your smartphone. I’m trudging through heavy sludge with every step; I feel insufferably sleep-deprived. An imaginary meat mallet is pelting me all over. I strain to concentrate long enough to think a complete thought.

Getting together with a friend for dinner is out of the question. It’ll be a wild success if I take a shower and spend more time out of bed than in it.

So I have to be flexible with my schedule and obligations.

You see me on my best days, when all the stars align in helping me sell this narrative that I’m a seemingly normal young woman.

The reality is I’m sick every day. Some days it’s with a migraine, other days it’s in the bathroom, still others it’s in debilitating pain from a fibromyalgia flare-up. More often than not, it’s all of these things.

In fact, I only stop to catalogue my aches and pains when someone asks me why I can’t make it.

Please accept that on my bad days, I can only take care of myself. And though I hate to admit it, even then I sometimes need help doing that.

I’d love to see you. I only have so many good days, and I want to spend them with my friends and family. I also have obligations and a health regimen to stick to if I’m going to be well enough to fulfill as many commitments as possible.

So I’ll settle for running errands, doing some pesky chores, spending time with friends and family, and walking my dog.

Hey, wait a minute. That sounds awfully similar to the scenario that got me into this mess in the first place.

*Shrug*

I overdid it. And it’ll happen again.