Issue XII - June 14, 2023
Summer Issue
Dear Members, Families, and Friends,
Summer is upon us! As we settle into June and make time to unwind and connect with loved ones, it’s crucial to keep in mind the significance of skincare (we share some tips below) as we enjoy the warmth of the sun. June is a time to honor and celebrate Pride and to understand and commemorate Juneteenth. It is also a great time to acknowledge the unwavering backing we receive from our community and, if you’re a member, the support of your care manager.
At STC, we care about our members' rights as belonging to an inclusive and diverse society and want to share important information regarding these rights. This month, we discuss your rights as a person with a disability to marriage equality and relationships. We discuss the importance of Juneteenth and have a list of accessible events across the counties we cover. As always, we bring you a monthly member story and a few items you may have missed.
We hope you find this newsletter insightful and informative.
Jess and Carey
Jessica Colon
Executive Director 
Carey Peters
Director of Care Management
& Compliance 
Member Spotlight
Meet this month’s member spotlight, Brad. Brad leads an independent life, attends classes, and works at a garage. A member of Southern Tier Connect, Brad works with care coordination manager (CCM) Beth. Beth offers Brad unwavering support whenever he seeks assistance accessing services or subsidies.

Brad currently resides in an apartment with three housemates, where he relishes the benefits of living independently. The arrangement has given him more space and autonomy to pursue activities he enjoys. Meanwhile, Beth helped Brad secure SSI and is helping him with the process of securing a housing subsidy to cover some of his rent. When Brad isn’t at home, he takes classes at Transitions, including health and wellness, life skills, financing, and more.

Read more about Brad and his story at the link below!
Relationship Equality & Marriage Rights
Your right to employment and a job that is fulfilling to you is protected. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects this right.
Did you know… You have the same rights as anyone else, including your right to participate in marriage and family. Further, you have a right to express your sexuality and sexual identity and partake in sex education, reflective of your culture, religion, and moral values.

According to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Read the full story about marriage rights and relationship equality at the link below.
What is Juneteenth, and how did we come to celebrate it across the nation? Juneteenth has been celebrated for decades by members of the Black community and their family members and friends. But do you know what Juneteenth stands for?

Juneteenth celebrates the date of the abolition of the slave trade in the Southern states, notably Texas, where the holiday was first observed. This date occurs on the anniversary of General Order No. 3, issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865. The story of slavery throughout the history of the Americas, however, often goes untold: the Spanish instituted the organization of racial-based slavery when they arrived at St. Augustine, Florida, as early as 1565; the Dutch brought slaves to New York; the French, too, in the colonies of the Great Lakes region and their settlement in Louisiana; and later, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes enslaved African American people; amongst others. Yet, just as this history has gone untold, so has the recognition of Juneteenth: it was not until 2021 that Juneteenth became a federally recognized holiday in the U.S.

Today, Juneteenth has been embraced as a day of universal celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people and the abolition of slavery and the slave trade across the United States. This federal holiday marks progress in recognizing the history of slavery in the nation as we, today, take a moment to acknowledge the lived experiences of African Americans and Black lives in the country’s history, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

*Source: Gordon-Reed, Annette. On Juneteenth, 2021.

Learn more about the history of slavery and ways that you can commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth at the link below.
Events Happening Near You
A List of Accessible and Inclusive Events & Places to Visit
This Summer
Events in Broome County:

  • Movies in the Park: Join the Prevention Coalition of Broome County for Movies in the Park. A movie will be shown, for free, each month in summer. To learn more, visit the Broome County event website: Movies in the Park

  • Weeks Without Walls: Join a nature paddle in a rented kayak, or bring your own, with Broome County Parks in collaboration with the Cornell Cooperative Extension at various locations in Broome County throughout the summer. To learn more, visit their website: Weeks Without Walls

Events in Oneida County:

  • Explore Oneida County Tourism: The Oneida County Tourism site offers a webpage with events happening across the reason all summer long. Check it out, here: Oneida County Tourism

  • Sylvan Beach Pirate's Weekend: Sylvan Beach hosts their annual Pirate's Weekend July 13th - 16th. Dress up and join the festivities! For event information, check out the webpage: Pirate's Weekend

Events in Otsego County:

  • Events in Otsego: Visit This is Cooperstown for events happening in Cooperstown and across Otsego County. Visit their webpage for a full listing: This is Cooperstown

  • Richfield Springs Scenic Railway: Enjoy a one-hour round trip aboard the scenic Richfield Springs Railway on the Lackawanna Railroad at the Lackawanna Trail Park. Train cars are wheelchair accessible and group specials are available! For more information and tickets, visit their website: Richfield Springs Scenic Railway
Events in Tompkins County:

  • Downtown Ithaca PRIDE is June 9th through 16th, 2023, so you still have a few days left to check out this year’s event in downtown Ithaca!

  • For a list of all annual events and festivals taking place in Ithaca, visit their events page here: Visit Ithaca

Events in Cortland County:

  • For summer events happening in Cortland County, visit their events page at Experience Cortland

Events in Fulton County:

  • Events Across the Capital-Saratoga Region: View all events happening from Albany to Fulton County, and Washington to Saratoga County. Visit this county-wide events page here: Capital-Saratoga Events

  • Music Haven Stage: If you enjoy music, check out the FREE concert series, Music Haven, in Schenectady. The music series begins in July and carries on through August. For a list of musicians and dates, visit the website: Music Haven Stage

Events in Chenango County:

Watch the I Love NY website for events listed across the state. As always, you can reach out to your care coordinator for more information about events, places to visit, and accessibility in your city, town, or region.
Health and Safety News
Dermatology Preventative Care:
The Importance of Sunscreen
All About Dermatology

Dermatology is a specialized branch of medicine that focuses on the skin. Dermatologists treat people of all ages and ethnicities for various conditions ranging, from clearing up cosmetic issues to addressing life-threatening cancers. 
Universal Preventative Measures
In addition to annual check-ups, everyone should implement a daily routine to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer:
  • Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily. Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen whenever you are outside, even on cloudy days and during winter months.
  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover all skin not covered by clothing.
  • Don’t forget to apply to the tops of your feet, neck, ears, and the top of your head (if possible).
  • When outdoors, apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing, such as a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses with UV protection, whenever possible. Select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) label for more effective sun protection.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand, as they reflect the sun's damaging rays, increasing your chance of sunburn.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging.
  • Some medications cause people to be very sensitive to sun exposure, such as antihistamines, antibiotics, antipsychotics, antidepressants, cardiovascular drugs, or oral medications for diabetes. Ask your doctor about any medications you take, and be sure to take necessary precautions.
Follow the link below for more information about the importance of skin care.
Member and Family Support
How to Protect Your Personal Information
Your RIGHTS in 10
At STC, we understand and advocate for your rights as a person with a disability or disabilities. We respect your right to be your own person and express your independence regardless of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity or expression, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or developmental or other disability. You have the same fundamental rights as anyone else. These rights include the right to employment, the right to privacy, the right to practice your religion or beliefs, the right to express yourself, and the right to choose the relationships you want to have.

This is why we created a new video series all about YOUR rights called Your Rights in 10, in which we highlight a different right in 10 minutes or less. Click the link below to access the latest videos in the Your Rights in 10 series.
We are looking for someone like you to share your voice for our Your Rights in 10 series. If you are interested in reading for an episode in this series, please emails us at:
Coming Up: New Member Orientation
Join us on July 12th at 4:30 p.m. for a new member orientation!

This orientation will be for new members, at which we'll give you an overview of what to expect with your recent enrollment with Southern Tier Connect. We'll help you understand what our care coordination organization/health home (CCO/HH) can do for you; we'll cover topics like life plans, assessments, and waiver services. We will also provide information regarding your essential contacts, like your care manager and leadership, and cover compliance and navigating our website. We look forward to meeting you!

Please use the link below to register for the webinar on July 12th at 4:30 p.m.
In Case You Missed It...
YAI Presents CSIDD Services and Referrals

In this webinar, YAI presented information on CSIDD Services. Learn more about crisis prevention and response services for persons with an intellectual or developmental disability and how to make a referral by watching this webinar at the link below.

Legal Services of CNY Presents topics on Legal Services

In this webinar, Legal Services of Central New York presented topics on legal support that include economic justice, housing justice, health justice, and cultural and community justice. View the webinar at the link below.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of The Connection e-newsletter. Did you know that you can now read all of our past newsletters archived on our website? Please be aware that we are currently updating our archive. Stay tuned for more!
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