If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place.
Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.
When things are busy, wellness often takes a backseat to other priorities. Luckily, today we thought of a couple ways to bring it back to the forefront of your life.
Agency benefits from United Way's Day of Action
On June 16th a team from Corning Incorporated spent the day at Ithaca Road building a raised planter bed for our Day Hab program. This wonderful team took on a project which utilized new skills and tools. A lot of sweat, laughter, and fun went into that planter!
This is the 4th year Corning Incorporated has sent teams to assist our agency during the United Way’s annual “Day of Action”. Their enthusiasm and commitment to volunteer not only shine through their efforts but continue to "mark" them as key contributors to this community!
Thank you Corning Incorporated!
If you’re looking for a way to get in shape and get involved in the community, we’ve got you covered. Here are five reasons to run for a charity this summer.
How can we celebrate this day while remembering those among us in different situations? Today we’re going to talk about how to give Dad the gift of altruism this Father’s Day.
While every individual is unique and has their own preferences, there are some general guidelines to follow when interacting comfortably and respectfully with people with disabilities.
Check out Event Calendar for locations, dates & times!
This Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who have served our country’s armed forces—specifically those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
No matter what your job is, it’s an chance to connect and come together. If you want to use your work for others, check out four ways you can give back at work.
How can you celebrate Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week and pay homage to officers around the country? Here are some ideas to get started.
Storytelling is powerful, and it has enormous benefits in store for you and those around you. Today we're going to talk about how storytelling can impact your life.
Today can be an opportunity to plant the seed of altruism. If you want to make your May Day meaningful, check out these ideas for how to share the gift of altruism today.
Paying it forward is a way to spread goodness into the world. If you want to get involved this International Pay It Forward Day, check out these ways to pay it forward.
With spring in the air, our agency’s green thumbs are busy cultivating their skills. Until August 1st, we are holding an agency-wide gardening contest. Each team began with two packets of seeds (sunflower and tomato) from there they are free to use their skills, creativity and a little luck to grow the most fruitful and lush flowers and plants.
May the Greenest Thumb Win!
Whether it's a few hours or a long commitment, volunteering not only supports those around you, but positively influences you as well. Here's six ideas to get started.
Homelessness is a significant issue which plagues our community and the world. With such a huge challenge, how can we as individuals make a difference?
Keep America Beautiful Month is about coming together to give back to our beautiful country. This month, you can try some of these activities to support your community.
Despite their age, children can have a powerful impact in the community, if only we encourage them to do so. Here are four reasons kids should start volunteering young.
If you’re looking for cool ways to donate your gently used items, check out this list of things you can and should donate, and some unique ideas of where to give them.
By going green, we create a better environment for ourselves and future generations. Check out these easy ways you can live an altruistic—and green—lifestyle.
Spring addition to Able2's Supportive Living
Coming soon 614 W. Church St. will be the site of 2 new apartments for ABLE2.
This site will hold 1 supervised apartment (24 hour supports) on the
Lower level & 1 supportive apartment (periodic supports) on the upper level.
This Women’s History Month, get involved by showing support for the women in your community. Check out these ways you can remember powerful women from history, while advocating for women today.
Mark Peters to Retire July 1 as Leisa Alger Becomes Executive Director
Mark Peters has announced his retirement as Able2’s Executive Director effective July 1. At the same time, the Board of Directors for Able2 named Leisa Alger, the agency’s current Associate Executive Director, to succeed Peters as Executive Director.
With his retirement, Peters concludes a 25 year career at the Elmira, New York based non-profit organization which serves and supports persons with disabilities. Peters said Able2 has been an important part of his life since he started with the agency in 1992. “I will miss working with all of the great people who make up our organization including the board, staff, and the people we support. I will be leaving with many fond memories of my experiences here at Able2 and wish nothing but success for the future of the agency,” said Peters.
Among some of the milestones Peters accomplished during his 20 year tenure as Executive Director include the following:
• Increased number of service sites from 4 to 11
• Established the Jerry Kohena Dental Clinic for treating people with disabilities
• Enhanced the organization’s financial stability with a budget which grew from $8 million to $15 million
• Implemented a name change for the organization from United Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children’s Association of Chemung County, Inc. to Able2 in 2010
Peters joined Able2 as Associate Executive Director when the organization was known as United Cerebral Palsy and Handicapped Children’s Association of Chemung County. Among his responsibilities in that position included the development and operation of a new diagnostic and treatment center which opened in early 1993.
Prior to joining Able2, Peters served as the Executive Director for Rehabilitation Services Inc. The Binghamton, New York based not-for-profit organization provided rehabilitation therapies to all ages, preschool and early intervention programs. In the early 1980’s, Peters also worked for the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference as the Coordinator of Social Services and at Catholic Social Services of Broome County as a supervisor and social worker.
Peters believes Able2 will continue to flourish under Ms. Alger’s direction. “I’m very pleased in Leisa’s appointment because I’m extremely confident that she’ll be an excellent leader for Able2 for years to come,” said Peters.
As the Associate Executive Director for 14 of her 18 years at Able2, Ms. Alger credits Peters as a tremendous mentor. “It’s an honor and a privilege to go forward working alongside so many good people, in service to a mission that elevates everyone,” said Ms. Alger. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on the strength that has been Able2.”
“We’ve entered times of great complexity and acceleration as a society, and certainly that can be a little intimidating. However, I’ve found that real success is always about people, and the willingness to keep learning and adapting,” said Ms. Alger.
Upon joining the organization in 1999 as the Director of Staff Development & Clinical Services, some of Ms. Alger’s responsibilities during that time period included directing, evaluating, and modifying an agency-wide staff development program, while also supervising the organization’s service delivery system for the residential and day program adult population.
If you’re a college student looking for something more satisfying to do with your time, consider an alternative spring break: volunteering your time and talents for the benefit of others.
When employers are looking for someone unique, make your resume jump out by adding volunteer experience. How can volunteering boost your job search? We’re going to find out.
#bFair2DirectCare Delivers Valentine To Governor Cuomo
ALBANY, NY -- Representatives of the #bFair2DirectCare Campaign today delivered chocolate hearts to Governor Cuomo in the hopes he would “open his heart” to the plight of workers who care for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and are asking Albany to fund a living wage.
“In the last six weeks alone, the Governor has given countless speeches, cut casino ribbons, and announced tens of millions of funding and grants. The Governor took time to tow a car out of the snow but he hasn’t uttered a word about New Yorkers with developmental disabilities,” said Ann M. Hardiman, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Residential and Community Agencies (NYSACRA). “We hope he opens his heart to the crisis facing non-profits that serve people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Maybe chocolate will help.”
The presentation followed a #bFair2DirectCare rally at the 4th Annual Joint Legislative & Policy Forum of NYSACRA and the New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA).
“We’re asking Governor Cuomo to #bOurValentine by adding $45 million in his 30-day budget amendments to begin to provide a living wage for direct support professionals who support New Yorkers with developmental disabilities,” said NYSRA CEO Michael Seereiter, who noted that direct support professionals, or DSPs as they are known, are primarily women and people of color.
The $45 million amounts to 0.0288 percent of the total state budget and would help alleviate a worsening staffing crisis at non-profits that support people with developmental disabilities. These non-profits, who serve nearly 130,000 New Yorkers, receive 90 percent of their funding and provide these services so the state doesn’t have to, and at rates less expensive than state-run facilities.
New York began relying on non-profit care for people with developmental disabilities in the aftermath of the Willowbrook scandal in the 1970s.
Last week, #bFair2DirectCare announced that a majority of the majorities in the Senate and Assembly – meaning Assembly Democrats, Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference – supports including $45 million in this year’s state budget to begin the process of paying direct care workers a living wage, which would average $15.50 to $17.50 an hour.
If the funding is not provided, it’s entirely likely that many non-profit providers may be forced to close their doors, pushing the people in their care back into the state system – which would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Look here for more, including videos, testimonials, and news stories.
After eight years without significant Medicaid rate increases, providers of supports and services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities face a perfect storm of inadequate funding, new laws, and policies that threaten community integration, the level of support and the civil rights that people with disabilities have achieved.
Organizations that support people with developmental disabilities have seen only one rate increase since the recession of 2008, an average increase of less than one-half of one percent per year. Medicaid rate increases to cover wage hikes have been frozen for seven of the eight most recent years. These jobs used to be good jobs, but they have lost their purchasing power, are no longer competitive, and in many cases now start at or just above minimum wage.
More than 90 percent of the funding that sustains these organizations comes from the government. The only way that these organizations can raise wages for direct support professionals, teachers’ aides, drivers, cooks, and others making minimum wage, or a little bit more, is for the government to increase the rates they provide for the delivery of these critical services to New York’s most vulnerable citizens.
Currently, fast food restaurants and big box stores are paying as much as, if not more, than those caring for people with disabilities – leading to growing turnover rates in direct support positions. Per a 2016 Vacancy and Turnover Survey recently provided to the state Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, competition from other employers has increased to the point where coalition agencies currently have a nearly 10 percent vacancy rate and more than a 23 percent turnover rate in these important jobs – a significant increase in both vacancies and turnover in just the last year.
#bFair2DirectCare members include
Alliance of Long Island Agencies (ALIA)
Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS)
The Developmental Disability Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY)
Direct Support Professional Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS)
The InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC)
The NYS Association of Community Residential Agencies (NYSACRA)
New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA)
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)
Whether you’re single, dating or married, you can give the most romantic Valentine’s Day gift by giving back to your community. Check out 14 altruistic ways to celebrate this special day.
Give yourself and your loved ones the greatest gift this American Heart Month by focusing on making heart-healthy decisions towards a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Our words are powerful, and should be treated with respect. So how do our words impact others, and how can we choose them wisely? Today, we’re going to find out.
My son Riko is 46 and has autism. He is helped by workers employed by nonprofits that serve people with developmental disabilities.
How can we be kind in times of darkness? Today we’re going to talk about just that, and how we can continue to live altruistically when facing heart-wrenching times.
If you’re not sure if donating blood is the right decision for you, check out all the answers to your questions here, and help give life this January.
Self-defeating thoughts can come when we least expect them and tear down our self-esteem and break our spirits. So how can we stand up to them and choose joy instead?
Positivity is key to creating an altruistic lifestyle in the New Year. If you want to start 2017 off on a high note, check out these tips for living a positive life this year.
While the gifts in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may be a little strange by today's standards, you can still celebrate by giving gifts in your community.
Turns out, giving gifts is not only fun, but it’s good for you too! That’s right, giving benefits more than your soul; it’s good for your body.
If you’re tired of all the stuff this holiday season, fear not. Gifts can be more than material items. Check out these gifts to give that are about more than just stuff.
No matter what holidays you choose to celebrate this time of year, one thing is undeniable: it's the best time of the year to spread some cheer.
When we practice mindfulness, we train our brain to refocus on current surroundings, leaving us in a more peaceful and relaxed state. If you want to practice mindfulness, check out these easy steps.
What’s the best way to show thankfulness? By giving back to others less fortunate. This Thanksgiving, remember the reason for the season by showing thanks through giving.
How do we pay attention to current events while still living positively? Well, today we're going to find out. Check out these tips for how to positively live a positive lifestyle.
Gratefulness is not something which comes naturally; it needs practice. If you want to live an altruistic life and practice thankfulness this month, check out these easy steps you can take.
If you’re interested in living a more altruistic lifestyle and helping those in need this Halloween, check out these five spooky ways you can give back.
Here are a few reasons to celebrate this momentous anniversary of United Nations Day, and how you can use it to promote altruism within your own life.
The 2016 Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State held their Annual Conference this week at The Hilton Albany Hotel in Albany, NY. Every year each affiliate is given the opportunity to honor outstanding staff. This year we recognized John Brennan, Lacey Condon & Bobbi Pylkas – CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU JOHN, LACEY & BOBBI!
Make October about more than just pumpkin spice lattes and costumes. Check out some of these ideas on how you can give back this month.