Image above: Finger Lakes Independence Center (FLIC) logo. FLIC in blue lettering with white background. The I in FLIC is an open door. Below FLIC it reads, "Finger Lakes Independence Center, Opening Doors to Independence."

APRIL 2022

EP - Earth Day 2022 _Webpage Header_.jpg

The FLIC office is closed on Friday, April 21st in honor of Earth Day and as a Spring Staff-Renewal Day.

Image Above: Light brown background with wavy dark brown and dark team lines at the bottom. In the center it reads, "Celebrate Earth Day," with an image of the earth in teal.

Picture Above: Light blue background with yellow trim. Darker blue lettering reads, "April is Parkinson's Awareness Month." Three pink tulips with stems border the right side.

Monthly Parkinson's Support Group at FLIC

On the third Tuesday of each month, a Parkinson's Disease support group meets in the conference room of the Finger Lakes Independence Center. Call for more information-607-272-2433.

U-Step Neuro Walker Available to "Try-It" at FLIC

FLIC was recently gifted with a U-Step Neuro Walker, which is designed for persons with Parkinson's and others who are a fall risk and struggle with traditional walker design. The U-shape surrounds the walk with stability to decrease falling. The majority of the weight of the U-Step is in the base, which provides a low center of gravity for greater stability. The walker works well through narrow doorways due to the placement of the wheels. Unlike the rollator's handbrakes, which must be squeezed to stop, the U-Step's braking system must be squeezed to go and stops moving, locked in place, if the person walking stops squeezing. FLIC's model of the U-Step walker also has a light to guide steps and a metronome-type device to help with pacing.

Image Below: White, older adult man using the U-Step Neuro Walker.

Are You Ready in the Event of an Emergency?

FLIC is Here to Help You Be Prepared!

Disasters, power outages and emergencies can happen any time and with little or no warning. It is important for everyone to be prepared. It is especially important for persons with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and for older adults to have a clear plan for health and safety. What is the plan if you need assistance evacuating? How will you have access to all your medications if you are stuck at home for a week or more? Do you have enough food on hand that you will be able to prepare if the electricty is out for several days? And what about water for drinking, cleaning, and flushing toilets? Is there someone you can call on for help if needed? FLIC staff are here to assist you in creating a plan for emergencies so that you are prepared for all these questions and more. Below is our Emergency Preparedness/Emergency Readiness training video and helpful documents. If you would like more assistance in creating a plan, contact FLIC at 607-272-2433 or info@fliconline.org.

Below are links to helpful documents in making your plan. Visit our website for even more inforamtion: https://fliconline.org/FLIC/emergency-readiness/.

The Tompkins County SIREN is the official mass notification system used by Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and local towns and villages to communicate with community residents during emergencies. Sign up now to receive alerts from SIREN via text message, email, and/or voice message.

  • Add your address to receive geo-targeted alerts
  • Indicate what types of alerts you want to receive.
  • Indicate how you want to be notified by text, email, and/or voice message.

This system also allows you to create a profile where you can list all people in your household and any information that would be important for emergency responders. Visit the website by clicking the button below.

Visit SIREN Website

FLIC is Hiring!

Our mission here at FLIC is to empower all people with disabilities while creating an inclusive society through the elimination of social and architectural barriers. Our vision is to be a voice for empowerment; an agent for inclusion; and a catalyst for change. We are seeking to add professionals who are passionate about disability rights and inclusion to our team.

Send an application, cover letter and resume to:


Jan Lynch

215 Fifth Street

Ithaca, NY 14850


Chief Operations Officer

Statewide Systems Advocate

Important Changes to New York Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan

Do you or a family member currently have health insurance through New York State Medicaid, Child Health Plus or the Essential Plan? The changes to these programs put in place during the pandemic are ending on May 11, 2023. New York State will resume eligibility reviews and renewals for people enrolled in these programs. This means you may need to take action to renew your health insurance or the insurance of your family members.

Here are some things you can do now to get ready.

1) Make sure your address is up to date

If you enrolled through NY State of Health, make sure NY State of Health has your current mailing address, phone number and email address so they can contact you about your health insurance. To update your information:

If you enrolled in Medicaid through your county's Medicaid office or through New York City's Human Resources Administration, contact that office to update your address and contact information.

2) Stay Informed!

Follow the NYS Medicaid Program on Social Media! NYS Medicaid is now active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Follow along to receive the latest updates on news and changes that may impact your coverage.

3) Sign up for text alerts

Sign up to receive SMS/MMS Text alerts from NY State of Health so you don't miss important health insurance updates, including when it's time to renew your coverage.

Please Note: This service is only available if you signed up for health insurance through NY State of Health.

To subscribe, text START to 1-866-988-0327. Learn more about text alerts on this page.

4) Take action

When it is time to renew your health insurance, you will receive a letter from NY State of Health or a renewal packet if you enrolled through your county's Local Department of Social Services or the New York City Human Resource’s Administration. This letter/packet will let you know what you need to do to renew your coverage and how much time you have to respond. Follow the instructions right away.

Disability Advocates Speak Up for Home Access and Independent Living Center Funding

Image Above: Logo for New York Association on Independent Living-NYAIL. Clip art house with simple human figure filling the shape. The figure divides the house into three colors: teal, gray-blue and gold.

Disability advocates with the New York Association on Independent Living-NYAIL-spent the day, Tuesday, March 27, in Albany. They dropped off materials to every office in Albany with CDANYS. The advocates also dropped in wherever they could to speak on the issues. There was also time spent outside both the Senate and Assembly Chambers holding signs to increase the visibility of NYAIL priorities.

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out on short notice for the day and all the remote support through phone calls and social media outreach. The need continues for support by making calls and reaching out to your local representatives in the Senate and Assembly. Below are links to action alerts and fliers that cover both leading Independent Living priorities, Independent Living Center funding and Access to Home. The action alerts highlight priority leadership targets, but it is also very helpful to leverage any local relationships you have in the Senate and Assembly. 


A final budget is anticipated next week so it is imperative to keep up the momentum on these issues.


ILC Funding Action Alert page: https://www.votervoice.net/NYAIL/campaigns/103067/respond

ILC Funding flier: https://ilny.us/images/Documents/Advocacy/21783_NYAIL_2023_ILC_Funding_Flyer_R1.pdf


Access to Home Action Alert page: https://www.votervoice.net/NYAIL/campaigns/102969/respond

Access to Home flier: https://ilny.us/images/Documents/Advocacy/21782_NYAIL_2023_Access_to_Home_Flyer_R1.pdf


A social media toolkit is available for both issues, images for social media use and included: https://ilny.us/328


Poster Above: Soft pink background, plant branches decorate top left and bottom right corners. Center of image is drawing of a brain, half in grey tones and half in rainbow colors with the colors splashing out of the lines. At the top is an infinity sign in rainbow colors with a tiny chameleon inside. Above brain drawing it reads, "Autism Acceptance Month. Dear World, please..." Around brain drawing, on difficult colored swatches, it reads (from left to right-clockwise): All methods of communication; That meltdowns are not a 'naughty' child or a 'crazy' adult; All of our stims! Tapping, spinning, clicking, jumping, rocking; That no eye contact does not mean we are not listening; All neurodiversity. All brains are beautifully wired. Poster was created by The Chameleon Programme.

April is Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month

April 2 is World Autism Day

Harvard University's website-Harvard Health-explores neurodiversity and autism spectrum disorder. Here is a segment of the article:

Neurodiversity and autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with differences in communication, learning, and behavior, though it can look different from person to person. People with ASD may have a wide range of strengths, abilities, needs, and challenges. For example, some autistic people are able to communicate verbally, have a normal or above average IQ, and live independently. Others might not be able to communicate their needs or feelings, may struggle with impairing and harmful behaviors that impact their safety and well-being, and may be dependent on support in all areas of their life. Additionally, for some people with autism, differences may not cause any suffering to the person themself. Instead, the suffering may result from the barriers imposed by societal norms, causing social exclusion and inequity.

Medical evaluation and treatment is important for individuals with ASD. For example, establishing a formal diagnosis may enable access to social and medical services if needed. A diagnostic explanation may help the individual or their family understand their differences better and enable community connections. Additionally, neurodevelopmental conditions may also be associated with other health issues that require extra monitoring or treatment. It is important that people who need and desire behavioral supports or interventions to promote communication, social, academic, and daily living skills have access to those services in order to maximize their quality of life and developmental potential. However, approaches to interventions cannot be one-size-fits-all, as all individuals will have different goals, desires, and needs.

Click the button below to read the full article.

Harvard Health

Image Above: White background with lettering in blue reading, "Arise Foundation."

UNIQUE 2023 Art and Literary Magazine Submissions

Arise Child and Family Service, Inc. (ARISE) is currently accepting submissions for the UNIQUE 2023 Art and Literary Magazine and extending an invitation to you, a family member, friend, or client to apply.

ARISE will accept submission forms (see link button below) for literary or visual art pieces accompanied by 3 to 4 photographs of the art until APRIL 14, 2023. Please send literary artwork using Microsoft Word or PDF. Please do not submit your actual piece of artwork during this time. The submission form must be filled out completely and legibly. This includes all Contact information, submission information, background, inspiration, description of ar, artwork dimensions, media used and all consent forms. The UNIQUE Editorial Board will decide which artwork will be in the magazine using these photos.

If your visual art piece is accepted into the exhibit, you will be contacted with instructions on how and where to submit your piece. Below you will find a link button to the submission packet, which includes the following details:

  • Timeline for UNIQUE
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Required release forms
  • Information if you would like to make your piece available for sale.

Please complete the packet and mail with 3 to 4 photographs of your visual art piece or a copy of your literary poem/piece to:

UNIQUE Magazine


635 James Street

Syracuse, NY 13203

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bill Pfohl at 315-671-5438 or email bpfohl@ariseinc.org. For more information about UNIQUE, please visit our website by clicking here.

Submission Packet

Mental Health Mindfulness 101 

The Finger Lakes Independence Center presents Mental Health Mindfulness 101 -A peer selfhelp mutual support group which uses the basics of mindfulness to assist its members towards bettering their mental health.

Meeting Dates: April 4 & 18,

May 2 & 16.

June 6 & 20.

Time: 3:00 to 4:00 pm

Place: Via Zoom

Guiding Principles 1. This is a self-help and mutual support group. 2. We believe that improving our lives and healing is possible using mindfulness, peer support, and learning coping skills. 3. We are not here to fix each other or give advice, but rather to “Be” with one another with a culture of respect and support. 4. We refrain from universalizing our experience and world view. We speak from the “I” prospective. Differences are expected and welcomed. Come join us as we support each other as we learn, share, and experience ways to live a more peaceful, happier, and empowered life. We will learn how to incorporate mindfulness tools such as the power of our thoughts and words, self-love, meditation, positivity, and much more. To register or for more information contact ​

Steven Karris 631-745-2850/stevenjames6560@gmail.com or ​

Jeff Boles 607-272-2433/ jeff@fliconline.org


Need a Public Notary?

Contact Cheryl Baker at FLIC at

607-272-2433 to make an appointment.

Services are FREE!

Image Left: Dark gold, star-shaped seal with the following words, "Offical Notary Public Duly Commissioned."

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: info@fliconline.org. 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.

Image Above: Two women sitting on padded chair/sofa. One is talk and the other is taking notes.

April is Counseling Awareness Month and Anxiety Awareness Month. Below are resources for counseling services in Tompkins County:

Image Above: Picture of simple wooden scale with wooden house on one side and blocks that spell 'fair' on the other.

April is also Fair Housing Month! This year, we commemorate the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the landmark civil rights law signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1968, that made discrimination in housing transactions unlawful. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, and familial status. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has several events planned to celebrate. Visit their website here: https://www.hud.gov/FHM

Image Above: Light blue background with words that read, "Deaf History Month." Hands with differing skin tones spelling the workd 'deaf' with American Sign Language.

Watch the video below to learn more about Deaf History Month.

Image Above: Teal background, words in dark blue read, "This is Sjogrens's." Below in white lettering, "April is Sjogren's Awareness Month."

Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. Along with symptoms of extensive dryness, other serious complications include profound fatigue, chronic pain, major organ involvement, neuropathies, and lymphomas.

To honor Sjögren’s Syndrome Awareness month, visit the Sjogren's Foundation website at: https://sjogrens.org/understanding-sjogrens.