#GivingTuesday 2018

NCCI logo and #GivingTuesday logo

This Tuesday, November 27 is “Giving Tuesday” ... a day kick off the holidays by giving to your favorite charities. The Board and staff of the North Country Center for Independence is asking you to help with our mission to promote greater independence for people with disabilities in the North Country.

There are three main ways you can help support NCCI:

GoFundMe logo
1. Make an online donation to our “Homecoming Fund” through GoFundMe.

These donations will be used to help people with disabilities in the North Country move out of hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities into their own homes. Funds are used to collect, store, and distribute home-making supplies like kitchen utensils, bedding, furniture, and adaptive equipment that often aren't covered by other disability support programs.


AmazonSmile. You Shop. Amazon gives. logo2. Sign up with AmazonSmile.

Just register and designate NCCI as your recipient charity. Amazon then donates a percentage of all your purchases to NCCI. These donations cost you nothing, and do not change the price of your purchases. It’s a great way to direct resources to NCCI on an ongoing basis, but especially during your holiday shopping.


VolunteerMatch logo
3. Volunteer for NCCI.

There are formal and informal ways you can help NCCI with your time and talents. As a Long Term Care Ombudsman, you can help us advocate for people with disabilities in nursing homes and adult care facilities. You can also help us document accessibility of area businesses as you go about your everyday errands. Or, you can help us assist people with disabilities working towards greater independence in our community.

—> Click here to contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Anything you can do to help us out would be helpful, and greatly appreciated.

Spring Accessibility Month

Spring Accessibility Month

This May, 2018 is Spring Accessibility Month at the North Country Center for Independence!

What Is It?

Our goal will be to rate the accessibility of at least 20 local restaurants, and post the results on the NCCI website, alongside restaurant accessibility ratings we have already done. We know we can do it, but we need your help!

Call, email, or stop by for a visit, and we will assign you a list of 5 restaurants in the Plattsburgh area to visit and assess. The focus here is on accessibility for people with disabilities, and we are asking you to rate each place on the following criteria:

_ _ _ _ _ Parking
_ _ _ _ _ Entrance
_ _ _ _ _ Restrooms
_ _ _ _ _ Interior
_ _ _ _ _ Signage

You will give each category a star rating, from 0 (worst) to 5 (best). This will enable people with disabilities and their families to plan where they can visit, and also provide practical feedback to restaurants that could be made more accessible. You can also add brief written notes on aspects of each restaurant that are welcoming to disabled customers or that create specific barriers.

About Accessibility

People with disabilities face literal, physical barriers to independence every day. Restaurants, stores, offices, and other public facilities that aren't properly accessible are failing to provide equal service, and it has a real impact on disabled peoples' ability to live independently and productively in their communities. Additionally, they may be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that has required equal service and physical accessibility for over 25 years.

On the other hand, places that are accessible help sustain independence and community mobility, and the more of them there are, the more accessible and welcoming our community is to people with disabilities and their families, including visitors.

With your help, we can document businesses that are and are not accessible, and make that information freely available for anyone who wants to know. As more places in our area get rated, the more information we will have for residents and visitors with disabilities.

Getting Started

All you have to do is contact us in one of the following ways:
  • Call us at 518-563-9058 and ask for John Farley, our Accessibility Consultant.
  • Email John at john@ncci-online.com
  • Stop by the NCCI office at 102 Sharron Avenue in Plattsburgh, NY.
We will give you a list of restaurants to visit, and a simple guide to measuring the accessibility of public facilities. It's easy to do, and it's a great service for the North Country disability community.

New Year Resolutions

Long Term Care Ombudsman Forum
January 4th at 5:30 PM
North Country Center for Independence
80 Sharron Ave, Plattsburgh, New York

At this time of year you may find yourself asking, “Where has the year gone?” Thoughts of what will my resolution for the New Year be? Commitments such as this is the year I will lose the extra pounds or exercise may quickly fade as we lose sight of our goal because results are slow to come. Our nature is to seek immediate gratification as it makes us feel good.

So why not make a resolution that will give you gratification each and every time you do it? Why not choose to feed your soul rather than your empty stomach? This year choose to be a volunteer and make a difference in someone’s life. There is nothing more gratifying than putting a smile on someone’s face or helping to resolve a situation or helping them seek answers. Long-term Care Ombudsman do that every day.

New York State Of Opportunity -- Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman logoYou may be saying right now Ombud what??? Om-buds-man. This is a person that advocates, educates and empowers residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult and family type homes. As an ombudsman you visit a local facility and assist in being the voice for a resident who may not be able to advocate for themselves. Many of our residents no longer have anyone that comes to visit them. As an ombudsman you are able to fill some of this void by listening to resident’s stories and bringing a smile to the face of someone who may feel that no one cares anymore. A certified volunteer ombudsman meets people from all walks of life and has the honor of being a part in a chapter of their lives that enriches it by being a caring advocate.

The ombudsman program covers Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.  We cover 27 facilities in which there are over 1,500 residents. Currently we are at a critical low number of advocates with far more facilities than we have volunteers. This is truly a volunteer commitment. So you may be asking, “How do I get involved?”

Step one is getting more information. If you like what you hear then you shadow a certified ombudsman in a facility to see if this is truly something that will be a good fit for you. If you say yes, and we love when you do, then you take the certification training. Finally you are mentored by an experienced ombudsman until you become certified and get assigned to a facility.

Why not take the first step and at least hear more about this volunteer opportunity? A forum will be held on January 4, 2018 at 5:30 pm at the North Country Center for Independence located at 80 Sharrron Ave (next to the VA clinic) in Plattsburgh. If you find that this is not the commitment you are looking for then we can refer you to one of the many other volunteer opportunities available if you are interested.

As you sit and reflect on the year and ask yourself questions such as, did I make a difference this year?  Was I able to reach out and assist someone in need? Do I want to stand up for resident’s rights and fill my heart with one of the most amazing volunteer opportunities there is? If this is calling to you, then please reach out to get more information on becoming a volunteer ombudsman. If you are unable to attend the forum please contact Amy Gehrig, Ombudsman Coordinator, at 518-562-1732 to set up a time to discuss the program and your potential involvement.

Why not try something new for 2018? Dieter Uchtdorf says it perfectly, “As we lose ourselves in the services of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” Become a volunteer ombudsman.  Pay it forward and BE the difference. Hey, you may even lose some pounds

Call Amy Gehrig, Long Term Care Ombudsman: 518-562-1732

Happy New Year!