Image Above: Finger Lakes Independence Center--FLIC--Logo: The letters: F-L-I-C and the letter I looks like an open door. Finger Lakes Independence Center Opening Doors to Independence


FLIC's office will be closed in observance of President's Day on Monday, February 20th.

Image Left: Photo background of Presidents Washington and Lincoln. Center of image is a blue circle with white stars. In center of circle is American Flag with blue banner across the bottom reading "President's Day" in white letters.

Black History Month:

Johnnie Lacy-An Advocate for Independent Living

Image Above: Grayscale photograph of Johnnie Lacy, an African American woman with short, black curly hair, smiling at the camera.

In honor of black history month, the Finger Lakes Independence Center is highlighting a leader in independent live, Johnnie Lacy.

Johnnie Lacy was a Black disability rights activist integral to the independent living movement. Through her activism, she brought to light the intersectionality of race and disability and worked to tackle ableism in the Black community and racism in the largely white-dominated disability community.

Born in 1937, Lacy attended segregated elementary schools in the South before her family moved to California when she was 10. In California, she attended integrated schools but continued to feel the effects of informal segregation. At 19, Lacy was diagnosed with polio, which briefly led her to become paralyzed and wheelchair-bound.

Continue reading the article from The Center for Learner Equity by clicking the button below:

Click Here

February is Low Vision Awareness Month

Image Above: Off-white background. Three teal circles in a line and centered at top of image. Each circle contains a clipart image in white: an eye, glasses, and an eye side-view. Centered at the bottom of the image, under a teal line, are words in black and teal letters: February is Low Vision Awareness Month.

Vision impairment — including low vision — affects millions of Americans, among them are many older adults. Vision impairment can make it hard to do things like reading, shopping, or cooking. And standard treatments — like eyeglasses, contact lenses, medicines, and surgery — can’t fix it completely.  

The good news is that vision rehabilitation services can help people with vision impairment learn how to stay independent and make the most of their sight. Low Vision Awareness Month is a great time to spread the word about vision rehabilitation — and make sure that people with vision impairment know about the services available to them.

Read more on the National Eye Institute website. Click the button below:

Click Here

Have You Exerpienced Programs with Your NYSEG Bills and/or Customer Service?

Have you experienced problems with your NYSEG bills and/or with their customer service? If so, you are not alone! There has been a spike in complaints to the Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates NYSEG and other utilities. Complaints have ranged from excessively high bills, to no bills at all, to not properly accounting for solar credits, and more. As a result the PSC Consumer Advocate Dept is currently conducting an investigation into the billing and customer service practices of NYSEG and sister company Rochester Electric and Gas (RGE). 

Note that these billing problems are occurring at the same time that NYSEG is seeking substantial rate increases - 34% rate increase electric delivery, 14% increase gas delivery starting May 2023.  

The PSC wants to hear from you about any of the following (but not limited to the following) billing and customer service issues:

• Have you received delayed bills or no bills for extended periods of time (e.g., more than one month)?

• Are your bills based on actual meter readings or estimates? How many months of estimates in a row have you received? Have you submitted your own meter readings? Have they been incorporated into your bill instead of estimates?

• If you did not receive a bill for one month or more, how long did it take to receive a bill, and did you possibly receive more than one bill as a “catch-up”?

 • If you called your utility to inquire why you did not receive a bill, did you receive timely, accurate and adequate information from your utility about why you were not receiving your bill(s) and when normal billing would resume?

• If you are a customer receiving renewable energy services from a community solar farm have you had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or non-existent credits and billing reconciliations?

• If you are a customer with solar panels or another form of renewable energy, have you had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or nonexistent credits and billing reconciliations? Or have you had troubles with demand metering?

 • If you receive supply service through an Energy Service Company (ESCO), have you had any issues with receiving bills, credits, or with inaccurate, delayed, or nonexistent credits and billing reconciliations?

• What experiences have you had with NYSEG's customer service? How long have you been on hold? Have the customer service representatives been helpful? knowledgeable? Has your problem been resolved in a timely manner? 

• If you own a business, how has NYSEG billing and/or customer service impacted you?

• Are you a member of a CCA program (community choice aggregation) and/or CCA administrator and have had billing problems? 

This list is not exhaustive, and comments may be made on other issues related to the companies’ performance.

PLEASE let the PSC know about the NYSEG billing and/or customer services issues you are facing, as well as your thoughts about a rate increase in the face of these problems.

There are several ways to have your situation included in this investigation

1.  Submit your comments about billing/customer service problems here to be part of the investigation

Do NOT disclose your account number as these comments will be publicly visible. While the webform asks for your email addy and physical address, that info will not be made public. 

2. Submit your comments here too, to comment on your billing/customer service issues AND their relationship to your opinion about the proposed rate increases.

3. Virtual public hearing - via WebEx conf call Tues Jan 31, 1pm and 6pm. Register by noon on Monday Jan 30. See details on this PDF pg 3

4. In person public hearings as follows:

Somers- Wed Feb 1 - 3pm and 5:30-7:30pm

Heritage Hill Society,

8 Heritage Hills Drive, Somers

Rochester - Tues Feb 7, 1-3pm and 6-8pm,

Rochester City Hall Council Chambers

30 Church St, Rochester

Binghamton, Wed Feb 8, 1-3pm and 6-8pm

Binghamton State Office Bldg, 1st Floor Conf Room

44 Hawley St, Binghamton

5. File a Formal Complaint with the PSC here and/or

Call speak to someone at the PSC helpline

Helpline (general complaints and inquiries)


8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday)

Hotline (for residential electric and gas shut-offs)


7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Monday - Friday) 

Image Above: Clipart silhouette of human head in greyscale. Inside skull, brain is drawn in medium grey. Black lines surround cranium to highlight area.

FDA Approves Alzheimer's Drug That Appears to Modestly Slow Disease

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug that may help people in the early stages of Alzheimer's maintain their mental abilities.

Lecanemab, which will be marketed as Leqembi, is likely to reach many more patients than a similar product, Aduhelm, which flopped after receiving a controversial approval in 2021.

"This is a milestone for people eligible for this treatment, for their families, for the research community," says Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer's Association.

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The National Council on Independent Living Welcomes a New Executive Director

Image Above: A black man with a bald head, a salt and pepper full beard wearing eyeglasses, sitting in a wheelchair wearing an orange, blue, and white plaid dress shirt.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs)-which includes the Finger Lakes Independence Center (FLIC), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

The Governing Board of the National Council on Independent Living is happy to announce the appointment of Theo Braddy as its new Executive Director beginning February 1, 2023. Theo will follow retiring Interim Executive Director Darrell Lynn Jones.

Theo served as Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP) for nearly 31 years, from the beginning of the Center in 1989. He is noted for being one of the first, if not the first of CIL leader to develop and embrace the concept of Living Well with a Disability. Under his leadership, CILCP built a gym and developed resources to support that goal. Theo was instrumental in PA becoming the first state to pass a law establishing an affordable, accessible rural transportation program. He has also played an important role in establishing and expanding Medicaid waiver services in PA. 

Theo has also served as an adjunct professor at Millersville University, teaching courses on “Discrimination and Oppression of Persons with Disabilities” and at Temple University, teaching two graduate courses in Social Welfare Policy for graduate students entering the master’s degree program for social work.

Theo has been given numerous awards and recognitions, including being selected by Senator Robert Casey, Jr. as one of four Black leaders in Pennsylvania who have demonstrated power and persistency in overcoming challenge and creating meaningful change in PA. Most recently, he was honored at the Penn State Harrisburg’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Banquet on January 15 as a trailblazer.


2023 Disability Priority Agenda

Budget Priorities

FLIC is a member of the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) who represents Independent Living Centers (ILCs) and the people with disabilities they serve. NYAIL leads statewide ILC efforts to eliminate physical, communications, attitudinal, and other barriers to all aspects of life. Under the Hochul Administration, the New York has made bold commitments to the advancement of rights and community integration for people with disabilities and older adults through the creation of the Office of the Chief Disability Officer, creation of the Master Plan on Aging and development of an Olmstead Plan. Investing in the below priorities would show real leadership from the State in advancing these critical initiatives and implementing necessary systems change. As a member of NYAIL, we support their efforts to urge the Legislature to take legislative and administrative action in the 2023-24 budget as outlined below.


We strongly support:

  • Increasing base funding for Independent Living Centers (ILCs) to $18 million.


We strongly support:

  • Addressing the home care crisis by increasing wages for home care workers to 150% of the State’s regional minimum wage, as outlined in the Fair Pay for Home Care Act.
  • Repealing cuts to eligibility for Medicaid advanced during the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) II making it more difficult for people to receive vital community-based long-term services and supports (LTSS).


We strongly support:

  • Expanding eligibility for the Medicaid Buy-In Program for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) program by increasing income limits, along with eliminating asset and age limits to support the continued employment of people with disabilities.


We strongly support:

  • Increasing funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by $15 million.


We strongly support:

  • Increasing funding for Access to Home to $10 million to address pent up demand for this program, allowing all regions of the State to benefit.
  • Creating a Visitability Tax Credit to help homeowners make their homes more accessible.

Please let your legislators know what you support for Independent Living Centers (ILCs). If you aren't shure who or where to make that connection, email for more information on being a part of legislative advocacy.

L'Oréal made a handheld, motorized device that helps people with disabilities apply lipstick.

It's meant to give users independence.

Image Above: Photograph with gray background. Young African American woman demonstrates handheld, motorized lipstick application device.

A decade ago, you would've been hard-pressed to find many makeup products designed for people of color. There were some options, but most shades, tools, and brands catered to white people. Today, many people with disabilities might face a similar sense of exclusion when they browse the cosmetics aisle: There are often few, if any, products designed for someone with limited fine motor skills. A team of L'Oréal engineers, researchers, and beauty experts is working to change this.

Business Insider reports:

  • The makeup giant L'Oréal announced a handheld, computerized lipstick applicator.
  • The device is designed to help people with limited hand and arm mobility.
  • A L'Oréal exec told Insider the company had plans for other inclusive products over the next year.

Continue Reading

Poster Above: Top of poster-soft red background with off-white lettering, it reads, "Learn About the Big Red Adaptive Play and Design Initiative." Center of poster transitions from soft red back ground to off-white background. Images in the center are; black outside of buildings on Cornell University Campus (on red bakground), clipart of two children playing with remote-control cars, clipart of man in wheelchair holding hands and talking with woman walking. Below images, it reads: "What we do (in red lettering), Our Mission, Rewire battery-operated toys and devices to make them more accessible for people with physical disabilities, Lend/donate these assistive technologies to local Ithaca schools/organizations in need, Foster a lasting connection between Cornell University students and the Ithaca special needs community (in black lettering). Who we are (in red lettering), About us, The Big Red Adaptive Play and Design Initiative is a Cornell-based student organization. We are looking to expand our efforts, so if you have any questions, requests, or would like to work with us in any way, please contact us via the links below.


Instagram: @bigredapdi


Logo for the program in bottom left corner: Big Red APDI with a circle divided into four parts, each part has an icon; teddy bear, soldering device, hands joining to form a heart, wrench and gear.

The Registry Referral Program

The Finger Lakes Independence Center administers the Registry Referral Program. This is a free referral service linking individuals seeking independent employment to people who need care in their home. Opportunities include: elder companion, housekeeper, run errands, cook, personal care aide, home care aide, LPN, RN. People looking for help can call and receive names of people willing to provide those services. If you either need assistance or if you would be interested in listing your name as a caregiver, pease call FLIC at 272-2433 or email: If you have experience caring for a friend or loved one, please consider sharing your compassion with others. This program is made possible through funding from the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. 

Emergency Preparedness Tip of the month


Have 72 hours (3 days) worth of water stored for your household.

Whether you get water from a municipal water system or your home has a private well, your water supply depends on having power to operate the system. During a power outage—or any disaster that can cause a power outage, such as high winds, ice storm, or flood—you may find yourself without drinkable water.

Task: Purchase and store a 72-hour supply of commercially bottled water.

A three-day supply for one person is 3 gallons (12 liters) of water – one gallon (4 liters) per person per day. Also include an extra one gallon (4 liters) for a medium size pet. That one gallon should last three days, but plan for more or less if your pet is very large or very small.

1 day, 1 person = 1 gallon (or 128 ounces) = 7 – 20 ounce bottles = 4 liters

3 days, 1 person = 3 gallons (or 384 ounces) = 21 – 20 ounce bottles = 12 liters

During an emergency, you should drink at least two quarts (one half gallon/two liters) of water a day. Drink 3-4 quarts (3-4 liters) a day if you are in a hot climate, pregnant, sick, or a child. Some of the water in your emergency water supply will be used for cooking or washing. If you buy commercially bottled water, it should be replaced once a year. Store your water in a cool, dark place to keep it tasting fresher longer.

Task: Bottle a 72-hour supply of water at home.

If you get your water from a private well, disinfect your tap water before bottling. Place six drops of bleach for each gallon of water, shake well, then let sit for 30 minutes. If you get your water from a municipal water system, there is no need to disinfect tap water before bottling. Replace your water supply every six months if you bottle your own water. Always sanitize bottles before refilling them. Store your water in a cool, dark place.

Sanitize bottles before filling:

(1) Wash containers with dishwashing soap and rinse with water

(2) Sanitize by washing a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water on all interior surfaces of the container.

(3) Let air dry for at least one minute

Use clear plastic bottles with tight sealing caps. Milk jugs don’t make good water storage containers, they don’t seal well, and water stored in them can sometimes develop a plastic taste. Only use bottles that originally had beverages in them (large plastic soft drink bottles work well).

Task: Learn how to provide a safe supply of drinking water in a disaster

Water Heater – DO NOT use if the tank or fixtures have been submerged in floodwater!

(1) Turn off the gas or electricity to water heater (turn off electricity at the fuse or breaker box, turn off gas by locating the valve supplying the hot water heater and turning the valve handle so that it crosses – is not lined up with – the gas line)

(2) Turn off the water intake valve (should be located near the water heater)

(3) Open the drain at the bottom of the tank

(4) Turn on a hot water faucet (water will drain from the tank, not the faucet)

Discard the first few gallons if they contain rust of sediment. Do not turn the gas or electricity back on until the tank is refilled.


(1) Turn off main water valve where the water comes into the house (usually near the water meter if you have city water).

(2) Let air into the pipes by turning on the highest faucet in your house.

(3) Get water from the lowest faucet in your house (never get water from faucets that have been submerged in floodwater).

Ice – If you have freezer space, consider freezing part of your water supply. This has the added advantage of keeping food in the freezer cold longer during a power outage.

Need a Public Notary?

Contact Cheryl Baker at FLIC at

607-272-2433 to make an appointment.

Services are free!

Image left: gold star with the words "Notary Public" in black, bold letters in the center. Double circle surrounds these words. In the circle at the top it reads "Official" and, at the bottom, "Duly Commissioned."

Image Above: Photograph with rough wood background; on left is white hand holding a ribbon that is blue on one side and gold on the other. On the right, in white letters, it reads, "RA awareness day."

Rheumatoid Awareness Day is held on February 2, the same day as Groundhog day. The day was created in 2013 by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) to help raise awareness for all of the people who function daily with both pain and misconceptions about this chronic disease. Research, such as a study published in July 2020 in RDM Open, has shown that a lack of public education and awareness can lead to delays in seeking medical advice, which can result in inadequate treatment. 

Continue reading on the Everyday Health Website, click below:

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Image Above: White Background.In center in black letters it reads: "World CANCER Day." Surround the words in a circle are awareness ribbons in a variety of colors, representing different forms of cancer.

World Cancer Day held every  February 4 is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live. 

Learn More

Image Above: Photo with red background. On left side, picture of pink candy heart with words, "Say Yes" in white imprinted on it. On right side, in white and black letters, it reads, "National Donor Day, February 14, Share the Love. Register Today. #GotHeart.

National Donor Day is observed every year on Valentine's Day since 1998. In honor of this day dedicated to love, the US Department of Health and Human Services urges all of us be get registered and to raise awareness.

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Image Above: Purple background with letters that read: "Happy National Caregivers Day." Happy and Day are in red, National Caregivers is in white.

National Caregivers Day is celebrated every February on the third Friday. This year it is February 17!

On National Caregivers Day we honor those who give endlessly of their own time and energy to help our loved ones live better lives. It especially applies to those caregivers who help our elderly friends, family, and neighbors who require long-term care in home care, home health, and hospice.

Say Thanks!