Category Archives: General

RCAL Welcomes the New Board of Directors Officers


Resource Center for Accessible Living, Inc. Welcomes New Board of Directors Officers

KINGSTON, NY (December 9, 2013)— On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, the Resource Center for Accessible Living (RCAL) elected its new Board of Directors Officers.

The newly elected officers, who function as the Board’s Executive Committee, are Paula Kindos-Carberry, president; Bernadette Mueller, co-vice president; Darlene Donofrio, co-vice president; Paul Scarpati, treasurer; Danielle Koeppen, secretary; and Susan J. Hoger, executive director.

“Everyone is looking forward to their new responsibilities” said Hoger.

The Board of Directors is a policy-making board who work diligently to serve to the mission of RCAL.

The board officers, in combination with its members, work to assist in short- and long-term planning for the organization. All participants take an active role in establishing, monitoring, and upholding policies and procedures of RCAL, helping to reach all intended goals and objectives.

Throughout their term as officers, they will be working to promote independent living and RCAL alongside current supporters, while cultivating new relationships with prospects who assimilate with the organization’s vision. The officers’ goal is to expand the services to meet the growing demand from the community.

The new officers are experienced members of the RCAL Board of Directors, having served different positions in previous years. They will continue their involvement throughout their three-year term.

Visit to see an entire list of the Board of Directors and the Resource Center for Accessible Living, Inc.’s mission fulfillment standards.

Our Mission is to assist people with disabilities to open the doors of opportunity and independence in the Ulster County region through self-determination by creating disability understanding and awareness, and access community-wide.


Contact: Janae Myers, Office Administrator
Janae Myers          845-331-0541 ext. 20  

New Olmstead Plan

On 10/11/2013, New York State release its long awaited Olmstead Plan. Below is Hudson Valley’s YNN press coverage of the new plan:

1999 Olmstead Decision takes the floor in Albany

The Olmstead Decision, a plan years in the making, is designed to help de-institutionalize people with disabilities. Friday, members of the cabinet who researched the plan presented their findings to the MISCC, or Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council. And those most likely to be affected by their findings were there to listen. Research shows transitioning out of institutions, ones like OD Heck in Schenectady, could provide opportunities for the disabled to get jobs and start families and for community members to better understand their new neighbors. Our Erin Vannella reports.

ALBANY, N.Y. — “In an institution, you’re pretty much locked up,” said Schenectady resident Clint Perrin.

“Somebody’s telling you what time to go to bed, what time to get up in the morning,” said Buffalo resident Todd Vaarwerk.

“They don’t have a lot of freedom to move around,” said Perrin.

“You move out in the community, expectations get larger,” said Vaarwerk.

Answering the plea for integration, the governor’s office and Olmstead Cabinet met Friday to discuss their next move toward making the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1999 decision a reality.

“There’s always been goals to close institutions. Now it says we must close an institution by this date. So it sort of forces the situation,” said NYS Self Advocacy Administration Administrative Director Steve Holmes.

What the governor calls a matter of civil rights is a plan to move people with disabilities out of more isolated environments and into the community, using money saved from the former to support the latter.

“In the past 10 years, in New York alone, moving people out of institutions to community based services and settings has saved the state over $10 billion,” said Kingston resident Keith Gurgui.

But plan supporters accept change will take time and cooperation. But getting everyone, from the cabinet to the community, on the same page, they say, will be worth the wait.

“Everyone has something to offer. So to say that someone has nothing to offer is bologna,” said Perrin.

“People with disabilities can think about having jobs and starting families and being parts of their community again,” said Vaarwerk

“You can make your choice. If you choose to be on the welcoming side, just don’t say that’s what you feel, actually do it,” said Perrin.


Click on the links below to read other press coverage articles of the MISCC meeting and the plans release:




New York StateWide Senior Action Council, Inc.

The New York StateWide Senior Action Council, Inc. (SSAC) are a grassroots senior advocacy organization that provides direct service through their healthcare and patients’ rights helpline and counseling services. They also provide information to educate the community as well as state and federal policymakers on various issues that affect older New Yorkers. NYAIL has worked closely with SSAC on several advocacy efforts, including most recently the State’s design of the No Wrong Door system required under the Balancing Incentive Program.  We encourage you to check out their website:

Click here to view their flyer!

NYAIL’s Call for Proposals – 2013 Statewide Conference

This years conference will be held September 10th & 11th, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn & Rensselaer Banquet and Conference Facility in Troy, NY.

More than 250 people with disabilities & older New Yorkers will be celebrating 35 years of Independent Living in New York at NYAIL’s 2013 Statewide Conference which aims to continue to campaign for the rights and equality of all people with disabilities. While the concept of Independent Living (IL) has expanded and become more widely recognized, there remains much work to be done to continue ensuring equal opportunities for all people with disabilities, as well as promoting the Independent Living philosophy.

NYAIL is seeking presenters for more than thirty 75-minute concurrent workshops, to be presented throughout the two day Conference. We invite workshop proposal submissions that reflect the conference theme, NYAIL’s mission, and the interests of conference participants.

Deadline for proposal submissions are May 10th, 2013.

Please view the 2013 Call for Proposal for proposal ideas, submission guidelines and more important conference day information.

For more information about the New York Association on Independent Living, click here.