News

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 a friend or family member gets sick, it’s difficult to see them lay in bed stifling their sniffles and running a fever. What can you do to make them feel better?

Halloween can be even more meaningful this year by promoting an altruistic lifestyle and giving back to your community. Check out these 13 spooky Halloween fundraising ideas.

Focusing on positive thoughts can actually impact your overall health. How, you ask? Today we dive in and see how positive thoughts can make you healthier.

October happens to be Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. So, how can you celebrate this month and support another incredible cause? We have some cool canine concepts.

It can be difficult to decide how to give, what you can give or even where to give to. Today let's take a closer look at how to donate with a purpose to disaster relief.

Art galleries are a beneficial component of any neighborhood. Check out some of the ways art galleries are important and why you should visit them this fall.

Turns out, regular writing and keeping a journal actually has a lot of surprising mental and emotional health benefits. Today, we’re going to check them out.

What does Labor Day actually mean, and how can you use an altruistic lifestyle to get involved? Today, let's talk about the history of Labor Day and some ideas for you to join in.

Being kind to a stranger may seem simple, but it often requires a conscious effort to do. How can you show kindness to strangers in your life? We have 10 ideas to start.

How can you celebrate National Senior Citizens Day? We’re glad you asked. We have some ideas on how to honor senior citizens today, this week and for more times to come.

If you want to help make a difference and support children and families in need within your community, check out our list of school supplies you can donate.

For individuals and their families, the words “You need a new organ” are earth-shattering. Luckily, we can make a difference. Check out five reasons for you to become an organ donor.

This August, we celebrate National Water Quality Month. How can you have an impact on water quality? We’ve got some ideas for the role you play in making a difference.

How can you live an altruistic lifestyle when negativity is on your mind? Today we've got the answers as we share six tips to help train your brain to be more positive.

Corning Incorporated spends time at our Ithaca Road location

On June 16th and July 14th two teams from Corning Incorporated spent time at our Ithaca Road location.

Their first project involved constructing raised bed planters for gardening activities for our Day Hab program. The new mobile planters are more accessible to those in wheelchairs and will replace aging fixed planters with limited accessibility.

We then put the Corning Incorporated teams to work improving the aesthetics of the current accessible walking path to include flower beds. They also improved the current planter area outside the main entry lobby to create a focal point for families, weeded and mulched the flag pole bed and main sign bed. With last minute notice, the team worked on the Community Garden beds, including weeding, tilling, fence repairs, and raised bed maintenance.

These amazing teams took on a project which utilized new skills and tools. A lot of sweat, laughter, and fun went into their work!

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!

There are lots of worthy nonprofits out there who need financial support, so how can you pick just one? Today, we're here to help you learn how to choose the right charity for donating.

Our 27th Annual Golf Tournament is right around the "green"...don't miss your opportunity to enjoy a fun day of golf
while contributing to our agency and those we serve!

Volunteering with elderly neighbors is an excellent way to get involved, support your community and find fulfillment. Check out these five benefits of volunteering with senior citizens.

If you want to celebrate this Independence Day with an altruistic twist, check out some of these ideas for how you can give back to your community near and far.

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.

Let's Grow!

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.

Background:
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)
NYSARC Inc.
New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA)
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BFair2DirectCare
Twitter: @Fair2DirectCare
Hashtag: #bFair2DirectCare

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.

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