Programs & Services
As an independent living center (ILC), RCIL's core functions include peer counseling, independent living services, information and referral, and individual and systems advocacy. We serve individuals of all ages and disabilities, supporting them to attain their personal and employment goals in the most independent and integrated setting possible.
To achieve this, we offer a wide range of programs and services that go beyond our core ILC functions, but all rest on the same bedrock: a commitment to creating holistic, individualized, consumer-directed, consumer-initiated solutions that maximize choices and opportunities for each person we serve.
Our programs and services include the following areas. Click on any for a more detailed description:
Consumers and professionals are welcome to contact RCIL for information regarding assistive devices that may be needed. Call 315-797-4642 for more information.
RCIL provides real solutions to the barriers that are stopping you from living life your way. Whether it’s changing public policy, perceptions or fighting for your personal rights, we have nearly three decades of experience working for you.
RCIL delivers individual and community support for navigating and transforming our existing social. Our creative and experienced staff have an in-depth understanding of the needs of individuals with a wide range of disabilities and we bring to every discussion a desire to educate, inform, and work in partnership with agencies, businesses, schools, and organizations that are aiming to better reach, serve, and incorporate this community.
Our advocacy services include the following:
- Barrier-Free Design Consultation — Advocates are available to provide education and consultations regarding current accessibility standards.
- Benefits Counseling — Trained advocates work directly with individuals with disabilities to answer questions about benefits, eligibility requirements, and the details of how different programs interact.
- Client Assistance Program — Designed to support people seeking employment, training, and related services through vocational rehabilitation agencies.
- Nursing Home Transition — To overcome the barrier of initial setup costs for people wishing to transition into an independent, community-based setting, RCIL has set up a fund and a program to support and enable this choice.
- Individual and Systems Advocacy — From inclusive education and peer counseling to support groups, deaf services, and information and referral, our mission is to incorporate advocacy into every program and service.
A range of services for older adults with disabilities enabling them to remain at home for as long as possible and postpone or eliminate placement in a nursing home.
RCIL's Elderly Services program provides services for adults with disabilities, enabling them to remain at home and postpone or eliminate placement in a nursing home. A range of programs helps families and individuals through the full span of issues that face people during this life stage, whether that involves making a transition out of a nursing home and back into the community or providing much-needed opportunities for therapeutic socialization in an integrated setting. RCIL's Elderly Services program also provides linkage with appropriate community resources such as respite, education/training, support groups, benefits counseling, and advocacy services.
Our Elderly Services programs include the following:
- Adult Day Services — A social adult day program designed to improve the quality of life for adults of all ages facing.
- In-Home Respite — Gives caregivers of people with disabilities time to pursue personal, business, or recreational activities.
- Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Coalition (ADAC) — Provides education to caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Our experienced staff place individuals with disabilities in fully integrated, competitive employment. We also work with employers to bring existing employees back to work after an injury. Fundamental to equality is the right to play a contributing role in one's community. The value of gainful employment -- both in personal and in economic terms -- is well established, not just for people with disabilities, but for all members of society. RCIL has proven skill and expertise in placing people with disabilities in the competitive job market. A community network among employers dedicated to providing supported, integrated employment is utilized daily by RCIL staff. We work to make it easy for employers to benefit from hiring individuals with disabilities by delivering a myriad of support services, including the following:
• Employment incentives
• Co-worker education on disabilities
• Co-worker job mentoring techniques and training
• Creative approaches to problem solving, and
• Immediate response if a problem arises.
All services are consumer controlled, and all placements are individual, at competitive wages, and in integrated work settings. Services are tailored to individuals with all varieties of disabilities, and great care is taken to match the skills of the consumer to the needs of the employer. To accomplish this goal, the following programs and services are offered:
• Supported Employment — Three levels of service and support are offered based on the individual needs of the person seeking employment. RCIL staff work closely with the individual, employer, and co-workers to ensure successful long term placements.
• Direct Placement - RCIL provides this service for individuals with disabilities. Services include; job development (developing job seeking skills and placement) and 90 day follow along supports. Short term Job Coaching is also available as needed.
• Employment Training Program (ETP) - Services are targeted for individuals with developmental disabilities. Services include; site development and job coaching.
• Enhanced Supported Employment Pilot Program (ESEMP) - This service is targeted for individuals with developmental disabilities who are seeking employment, and in which, traditional supported employment services, have not been successful. Services include; Intensive job development and Job Coaching.
• Ticket to Work — As an Employment Network (EN) certified by the Social Security Administration (SSA), RCIL is able to accept the "Ticket" issued to you under the Ticket to Work program.
Fundamental to equality is the right to play a contributing role in one's community. The value of gainful employment -- both in personal and in economic terms -- is well established, not just for people with disabilities, but for all members of society.
RCIL has proven skill and expertise in placing people with disabilities in the competitive job market. A community network among employers dedicated to providing supported, integrated employment is utilized daily by RCIL staff. We work to make it easy for employers to benefit from hiring individuals with disabilities by delivering a myriad of support services, including the following:
- Employment incentives
- Co-worker education on disabilities
- Co-worker job mentoring techniques and training
- Creative approaches to problem solving, and
- Immediate response if a problem arises.
All services are consumer controlled, and all placements are individual, at competitive wages, and in integrated work settings. Services are tailored to individuals with all varieties of disabilities, and great care is taken to match the skills of the consumer to the needs of the employer.
To accomplish this goal, the following programs and services are offered:
- Job Development — RCIL works with employers throughout the community to make creative and affordable modifications to existing jobs and to rethink their approach to staffing by building flexible new positions.
- Recovery Through Employment — Working with substance abuse/alcoholism treatment providers in Oneida County, RCIL delivers the necessary level of support to allow individuals to successfully complete their vocational rehabilitation plans, including skills training and job placement.
- Supported Employment — Three levels of service and support are offered based on the individual needs of the person seeking employment. RCIL staff work closely with the individual, employer, and co-workers to ensure successful long-term placements.
- Ticket to Work — As an Employment Network (EN) certified by the Social Security Administration (SSA), RCIL is able to accept the "Ticket" issued to you under the Ticket to Work program.
- Wheels to Work — This program allows individuals to overcome the lack of transportation as a key barrier to employment opportunities, giving them the final boost needed to gain competitive employment. Individuals who were once limited in employment options now have more choices due to possessing their own transportation, as well as a valuable asset.
A wide variety of programs that assist individuals with disabilities in living independently. Program staff coordinate the services of RCIL's technology, advocacy, and employment.
•Medicaid Service Coordination program (MSC)
•Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver Program (NHTD)
•Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program (TBI)
Your Service Coordinator is always there to support your independence
RCIL Specialist not only understand the system, they know how to work it. Your Specialist is fully trained to make a complex system easy for you to understand.
•Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)
•Waiver Habilitation Services
•Consolidated Supports and Services (CSS)
What Is the WIPA Project? The Mid-NY WIPA Project is funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide its beneficiaries with information and advice about returning to work or going to work for the first time. Many beneficiaries want and need to work, but are worried about losing important cash and medical benefits. Our benefits advisers, who are called Community Work Incentives Coordinators or CWICs, will explain how Social Security disability benefits will be affected by work. Our job is to help beneficiaries understand and navigate SSA’s work incentives system. WIPA is about work!
Who Is Eligible for WIPA Services? A person must be at least 14-years old and working or interested in working. Also, the beneficiary must receive or be eligible for a Social Security benefit based on disability, such as:
•Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits
•Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits
•1619(b) Medicaid (for individuals who lose SSI due to work and wages)
•Extended Medicare (for individuals who lose SSDI due to work and wages)
CWICs Provide Beneficiaries With:
•Detailed information and advice regarding SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare
•Information about how work affects SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and Medicare
•Referrals to other supports available to persons with disabilities, including Employment Networks participating in the Ticket to Work Program.
•A written summary of information provided
CWICs Can Help Beneficiaries:
•Obtain or maintain Medicaid and Medicare health insurance while working
•Use SSA work incentives to enable beneficiaries to keep benefits while testing their ability to work and, in some cases, to maintain those benefits even as work activity increases
•Obtain funding for employment-related items such as tuition, a vehicle or a computer
•Obtain or maintain other government benefits, such as food stamps or rental subsidies
•Avoid overpayment(s) of disability benefits
The Counties We Cover and Contact Information: The Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) runs the WIPA Project out of offices in Utica, Amsterdam, Herkimer and Watertown. Our services are free to beneficiaries and their families. We serve the following counties:
•Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Saratoga, Sullivan, Schenectady, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren and Washington County
•Toll Free at 1-800-246-0570, FAX 315-797-4747, TDD 315-797-5837
Need a sign language interpreter? RCIL's American Sign Language Interpreter Services program coordinates and provides qualified, professional sign language interpreters upon request.
Interpreters provide services in the greater Albany area and the Mohawk Valley. Services can also be coordinated throughout New York State.
Our interpreters work in a wide variety of settings, such as government, courts, schools, entertainment events, private industry, hospitals and medical facilities, and professional and medical offices. Interpreter services are arranged on an individual, fee-for-service basis or by long-term contract.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically outlines requirements for effective communication which may be facilitated by interpreters in the following areas:
- Title I - Employment — For employers with 15 or more employees.
- Title II - Public Services — All services, programs, and activities of state and local governments must be accessible to persons who are deaf.
- Title III - Public Accommodations — This applies to any business serving the public, including lodging establishments, theaters, retail stores, medical and legal services, schools, banks, museums, and many other areas. In many cases, assistive listening devices or other accommodations will be sufficient. However, there will be times when only an interpreter can provide the proper communication access.
Anyone with questions regarding the ADA, or any other applicable law — such as the NYS Human Rights Law or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its amendments — can contact RCIL for more detailed information.
RCIL's school partnerships and youth leadership program are aimed at providing advocacy; education of teachers, parents, and students on disability-related issues.
A commitment to supporting students with disabilities as they explore their options beyond high school — whether employment, community living, or post-secondary education — is central to RCIL's Youth Services, which currently include the following programs:
- Independent Living Center and School Partnership Program — RCIL in partnership with the United Way has formed a collaboration among various agencies and the Utica City School district to support special education students as they prepare for and navigate their transition from high school.
- Youth Leadership Project — Students with development disabilities meet weekly to participate in individual and group activities designed to build self esteem and develop independent living skills.
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