News at RCIL
Issue 10 May 2021
RCIL Status Update
As we surpass the one year anniversary of the pandemic, we reflect upon all that has changed in our world, the challenges we have faced and all of the ways in which we have adjusted to life in the ongoing COVID era.

Thankfully, much has been learned about COVID-19 in the past year and vaccines have been developed to help us all reduce the risk of illness to ourselves, our families, neighbors, co-workers and those we support through our programs and services. COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting us from getting sick. RCIL encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Don't Wait, Vaccinate!

If you need assistance in scheduling a vaccine, please let us know. RCIL's main number is 315-797-4642 or toll-free at 1-800-627-2981.

RCIL cares about you and the health of our staff and community. An important part of getting to COVID’s finish line is for those of us who can be vaccinated to do so. Thank you.
Older Americans Month – May 2021
Communities of Strength
Image of older male painting and older woman gardening with text reading Look at the big picture and find joy in the little things Older Americans Month 2021 Communities of Strength
In tough times, communities find strength in people – and people find strength in their communities. In the past year, we’ve seen this time and again as friends, neighbors, and businesses have found new ways to support each other. Each May, the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) joins the Administration for Community Living in the celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). This year’s theme is Communities of Strength, recognizing the important role older adults play in fostering the connection and engagement that build strong, resilient communities.

RCIL recognizes the valuable contributions that older Americans provide our communities. Our agency is dedicated to providing a wide range of advocacy, programs and services to help ensure that older Americans have access to the vital services that allow them to remain independent and be contributing members of our community; and that includes their rights to choose where and how they want to age! For more information, call RCIL toll free at 1-800-627-2981 or visit the Adult & Senior Services section of our website at

Older adults are a key source of strength in our communities. Through their experiences, successes, and difficulties they have built resilience that helps them to face new challenges. When communities tap into this, they become stronger too.

Here are some ways to share and connect:
  • Look for joy in the everyday: Celebrate small moments and ordinary pleasures by taking time to recognize them. Start a gratitude journal and share it with others via social media, or call a friend or family member to share a happy moment or to say thank you.
  • Reach out to neighbors: Even if you can’t get together in person right now, you can still connect with your neighbors. Leave a small gift on their doorstep, offer to help with outdoor chores, or deliver a homecooked meal.
  • Build new skills: Learning something new allows us to practice overcoming challenges. Take an art course online or try a socially distanced outdoor movement class to enjoy learning with others in your community.
  • Share your story: There’s a reason storytelling is a time-honored activity. Hearing how others experience the world helps us grow. Interviewing family, friends, and neighbors can open up new conversations and strengthen our connections.

When people of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and talents share experiences—through action, story, or service—we help build strong communities. And that’s something to celebrate!
LIFE at RCIL Seeks Input from Individuals Living with Paralysis, Their Families and Their Caregivers
Flooded street and wheelchair stuck in snow with text reading Seeking input for a project to help those with paralysis plan and prepare for emergencies
When disaster strikes, will you be prepared? Nobody knows when a disaster is going to occur, or what type of disaster it is going to be. However, today’s preparation could mean tomorrow’s success.

With support of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Living Independently is For Everyone at RCIL (LIFE at RCIL) is seeking input from individuals living with paralysis, as well as their families and their caregivers, to aid in the creation on an online emergency preparedness resource to help individuals living with paralysis plan and prepare for the emergencies that are most likely to occur locally; in the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, and Schoharie New York.

Preparing for any sort of emergency or disaster situation poses additional challenges for those with disabilities and medical conditions. Nobody knows your needs and concerns better than you do!
If you are interested in participating or learning more about this project, please call 1-800-627-2981 and ask to speak with Donna Gillette. You can also email Donna at

For the purposes of this project, paralysis is defined functionally, as: "difficulty and/or inability to use arms and/or legs due to neurological conditions including but not limited to spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, etc."

Images of three happy people on computers and phone and text reading LIFE at RCIL Ask the Advocate Series All sessions Tuesdays 11 30am to noon
Providing individuals with disabilities, seniors, and caregivers with information, resources, and answers.

*Pre-Registration is required one week prior to each session. If an American Sign Language Interpreter, Braille, listening device, captioning or other accommodations are needed, please notify us when registering one week prior to each session date. Thank you!
Pandemic-related Problems?
CARES Act Funds May Help
May 11
Caucasian family wearing masks
icon of a house in the center of a bunch of puzzle pieces
Trouble Making Rent? Tenant Rights & Responsibilities
May 18
Applying For Jobs But Not Hearing Back? Our Best Tips for Getting That Interview
May 25
hand writing words we help you succeed
If you would like to participate in any of the above sessions by phone
please call 315-866-7245 or email to register
and receive the call-in instructions for participating by phone.

National Diabetes Prevention Program
Fulton/Montgomery County Course Starting Soon
Image of Hispanic Couple explaining that they joined Prevent T2 to stay healthy so they have a long relationship together
Hearing the doctor say "You are at risk for type II diabetes" or "You have prediabetes" means that you can start preventing type II diabetes today... and you don't have to do it alone! The CDC approved National Diabetes Prevention lifestyle change program can help you take charge of your health to prevent or delay type II diabetes.

Available for residents of Fulton and Montgomery Counties in New York who are at risk of developing type II diabetes, participants of this National Diabetes Prevention Program will work with a trained lifestyle coach to learn the skills needed to make lasting changes; which include losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress.

This is a 26 week program that helps people with prediabetes cut their risk of developing type II diabetes in half! Participants will meet weekly.

RCIL's next course will be starting May 2021. For more information please contact the RCIL Amsterdam office by calling 518-842-3561 or visit

PreventT2 is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CARES Act Independent Living Fund
If you or a member of your household has a disability and has been impacted by COVID and you have a need, CARES Act IL Funds may be available to help!
Caucasian family wearing masks
Disruptions caused by the Pandemic can pose additional and sometimes more significant challenges for individuals with disabilities who rely on home and community-based services to maintain their independence. If you or a member of your household has a disability and has been impacted by COVID and you have a need, CARES Act IL Funds may be available to help!

This assistance is intended to provide help, where no other source of funding for the needed service, supply, or equipment can be identified. The funding can be used to cover the cost of services and supplies that are needed because of the pandemic or related disruptions; such as (but not limited to):
  • personal protective equipment,
  • tutoring services for children with disabilities who are learning remotely, and/or
  • ensuring that there is food on the tables of families facing food insecurity.

If you are an individual with a disability or the parent of a child with a disability who is experiencing pandemic-related disruptions due to situations like school closures or loss of employment, you may be eligible to apply for CARES Act IL Funds. Contact one of our locations nearest you for more information and assistance.

Utica – Gene Hughes  (315) 368-5625
Herkimer – Donna Gillette  (315) 866-7245 Ext. 5800
Amsterdam – Lisa Mastracco (518) 770-7636
Support RCIL While You Shop!
Use Amazon Smile on the mobile app or in a web browser to donate to RCIL while you shop, at no extra cost to you!
graphic of mobile phone and text saying sign up to generate donations while you shop at no cost to you
When you use AmazonSmile, 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases is donated to RCIL, and there is no extra cost to you! Simply follow the instructions below to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app and select "Resource Center for Independent Living Inc" as your charity. Amazon will then donate a portion of your eligible purchases to RCIL.

Follow these steps:
  1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
  2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on "AmazonSmile" within Programs & Features
  3. Select "Resource Center for Independent Living Inc" as your charity
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app 

If you prefer to shop using a web browser, just click on the link below and select "Resource Center for Independent Living Inc" as your charitable organization.
On behalf of those we serve, thank you for your donation!