NYAIL News Issue 2:
An Advocacy Update, Deaf/HH access with TRI, and Good Neighbors
Advocacy Updates
From NYAIL's Director of Advocacy, Meghan Parker:

NYAIL kicked off our Budget Advocacy Week on February 8th with an opening virtual program, which we held in conjunction with CDPAANYS. A number of legislators spoke in support of our priorities, including chairs of the Disabilities, Health, and Aging Committees in both houses. A few of our big priorities include increased funding for the Independent Living Centers; Fair Pay for Home Care, which would increase wages for home care workers to 150% of the minimum wage; removing the Medicaid Global Cap, which has lead to harmful cuts to eligibility for community-based long-term care; increased funding for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program; and increased funding for Access To Home to help low-income New Yorkers avoid institutionalization by providing home modifications.

We are anticipating the Senate and Assembly will be releasing their one house budget responses in early March. We are hoping the above priorities make it into their one house budget proposals. We will then have until the end of March to advocate for those priorities to be included in the final budget, due by April 1. Stay tuned for action alerts and other ways to advocate in support of these critical issues!

If you don’t already receive NYAIL’s action alerts, go here to sign up
Living at Home, Not in a Home
Our message of choice, independence, and safety continues to travel across New York. Check out some of these latest features in the media:
On Syracuse.com,
with Tania Anderson, CEO of ARISE
On WAMC Radio,
From Buffalo News,
with Doug Usiak, Executive Director of Western New York Independent Living.
From NNY360,
with Aileen Martin, Executive Director of Northern Regional Center for Independent Living
From WUTR,

with Georgianna Sanges, Marketing/Development at Resource Center for Independent Living.
From New York Now on WMHT,

with Denise Figueroa, Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley
ILC Spotlight
Highlighting the important work of New York's ILCs.
Taconic Resources for Independence's
Mid-Hudson Interpreter Service (MHIS)
MHIS is a program of Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc (TRI). TRI/MHIS was founded in 1989 by Mary E. Wambach, the first Deaf Executive Director of TRI. MHIS has a proud 30-year history of coordinating interpreting services for, and working directly with, the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (Deaf/HH) community of the Mid-Hudson Valley. MHIS in addition to interpreter coordination services, provides advocacy support for Deaf/HH individuals in an effort to educate businesses and entities about accessible communication guidelines for the Deaf/HH community under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as to assist and guide Deaf individuals when accessing services and supports through various community entities. MHIS Deaf/HH advocates work closely with medical providers, emergency responders, schools, courts, and other entities in our community to educate them not only about their responsibilities under the ADA, but also about Deaf culture and how to respectfully work with Deaf/HH individuals. 

2020 Advocacy Highlights

Pine Plains Central School District installed an induction loop system in Stissing Mountain Junior/High School.

Family Services implemented provided clear face masks to staff in their behavioral health centers.

The County of Dutchess now will now have all of their videos closed captioned.
The Good Neighbor Program
In 2020, NYAIL was awarded a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to start the Good Neighbor Program.

The program is designed to assist individuals residing in nursing homes to return to the community. It can fill crucial gaps in an individuals’ support network. Neighbors are paid to provide support and backup care to assist individuals returning to living in their communities.
The Good Neighbor Program and icon of a heart inside a house is faded in the background
In addition, Neighbors serve a role in breaking down social isolation and building engagement within the community. Social activity, building neighborly relationships and independent community living play important roles in health and happiness. The program launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has helped many people live and stay in the community during these difficult times. Current funding for this pilot program will end in June 2020. NYAIL is seeking additional funding from NYS through its budget advocacy efforts.

The New York Association on Independent Living administers several statewide and regional programs in collaboration with its member ILCs, all of which are focused on helping people with disabilities live independently in the community.

Learn more about NYAIL programs by visiting: ilny.us/programs 
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Contact Us
Newsletter ideas can be sent to athompson@ilny.org for consideration.
Lindsay Miller
Executive Director 
Meghan Parker
Director of Advocacy  
Aurie Mercer
Office Manager
Email: info@ilny.org
New York Association on Independent Living
155 Washington Ave., Suite 208
Albany, NY 12210
Phone 518.465.4650 Fax 518.465.4625