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Location Binghamton, New York

Southern Tier Independence Center

The Southern Tier Independence Center is a gathering place for people and information. Our joint efforts in understanding the issues and concerns of people with disabilities can pave the way to this more accessible world. The Center believes that people have the right to be responsible for making their own choices. By working with you rather than for you, we respect your ability to know what’s best for you.

Services Provided By Southern Tier Independence Center

ACCESSIBILITY ADVICE – STIC provides consultation to individuals and businesses to help make homes and establishments barrier free. We can recommend the least expensive route to accessibility for ramps, bathrooms, etc. We also make referrals for eligible people with disabilities to funding options for home and vehicle modifications. This service is free to consumers and families. There is a charge to businesses and organizations.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) SERVICES – STIC provides non-legal advice, consultation and training on the ADA and all of its provisions, as well as other disability-related laws and regulations. This service is free to consumers/families; fees for organizations and businesses.

ADVOCACY -At the core of our advocacy is “empowerment” of people with disabilities to take action, get involved and make a difference in their world.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY / LOAN CLOSET – Our TRAID (Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities) Center shows how technology–from simple homemade gadgets to computer systems–can make people more independent. We have items on display for people to try, we offer demonstrations of equipment, and can tell people how to get what they need. STIC also offers short-term loan of equipment and assistive technology including: wheelchairs, TTYs, walkers, tub seats, commodes, portable ramps, and much more. Some items may be given away if we have an excess.

BEHAVIORAL CONSULTING SERVICES AND PROGRAM DESIGN – Our Program Design Specialist assists children and adults with disabilities and their families to find ways to address behavioral challenges, as well as to increase independence, social skills development, community inclusion activities, and family training. Services are designed to meet individual needs, as well as those of household members, school personnel, and others as appropriate, with the goal of improving behaviors and the quality of life for consumers and their families.

CES (COMMUNITY EMPLOYMENT SPECIALISTS) – We provide information regarding the transition from High School to the world of work, post-secondary education, and independent living. This is achieved by working collaboratively with school districts and agencies in the region by offering trainings, planning events, and sharing resources.

COMMUNITY HABILITATION – Our Community Habilitation program provides individualized one-on-one support to children and adults with developmental disabilities. We assist people to learn or retain self-help and independent living skills, socialization and communication skills, as well as other skills to enable them to be as independent as possible. This service is provided in both an individual’s home and out in the community. While similar to Day Habilitation, it allows for a few additional services such as permitting the Community Hab worker to attend doctors appointments with the consumer. Community Hab also has a self-directed option where an individual can have greater control over services.

COMMUNITY INTEGRATION ADVOCACY – Community Integration Advocates assist people to move from segregated settings to more integrated living and working alternatives in the community, providing peer support, advocacy, skills development, housing and benefits assistance, and other services needed for the transition. We may also have give-away items (such as dishes, pots/pans, etc.) to help individuals set-up a household in the community. This program is meant for those who are not eligible for existing Medicaid Waiver services.

CONSUMER DIRECTED PERSONAL ASSISTANCE: PERSONAL CARE AT HOME – An alternative to “traditional home care/personal care”, CDPA allows eligible individuals to hire and direct their own personal care workers (including most family members, a neighbor or friend), to assist with bathing, dressing, eating, and other daily tasks. Eligibility is determined by the appropriate county entity. CDPA believes there’s no place like home.

DAY HABILITATION – Our Day Habilitation program provides individualized one-on-one support and training to children and adults with developmental disabilities. We assist people to learn or retain self-help and independent living skills, manual and/or perceptual motor skills, socialization and communication skills and much more. The service is provided primarily in the community.

DEAF SERVICES – Deaf Services include peer counseling, independent living skills development, advocacy, information and referral amongst other services. These services are provided by a Deaf or hearing impaired staff person to others who have a hearing loss including those who are culturally Deaf. Our Deaf Services Coordinator is a native American Sign Language (ASL) user, and most of our staff know some basic sign language.

EARLY CHILDHOOD DIRECTION CENTER (ECDC) – The ECDC offers comprehensive neutral information on community programs/services, makes referrals to other resources, and provides training and support for families, professionals, and community agencies concerned with young children with disabilities from birth through age five.

EDUCATION ADVOCACY – STIC’s Education Advocate provides information about education-related laws and regulations, the Committees on Special Education, Individual Education Plans, and much more. We assist parents to understand their children’s rights and can advocate with them at CSE and other meetings.

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES/SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT – Our Supported Employment department assists eligible individuals with developing job seeking skills, resume writing, finding employment, job coaching and related services. We focus exclusively on finding people integrated jobs in the community.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE – We help people with information on finding suitable, affordable accessible housing, including information on subsidized housing, section 8, housing vouchers, etc.

HEALTH INFORMATION PROGRAM – We clarify confusion related to health care topics affecting people with disabilities and advocate for health care system improvement.

INDEPENDENT LIVING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT – There are as many different ways of doing household chores, budgeting, meal preparation, shopping, learning public transportation, etc., as there are people with disabilities. We help people with all types of disabilities to find strategies and techniques for accomplishing everyday tasks in the way that best meets their unique situations.

INFORMATION & REFERRAL – We have lots of information on disability-related issues including: Early Childhood issues; Autism and other disability specific information; recreation; laws and regulations; assistive technology; employment/Supported Employment; special education; personal care; community-based services; and much more. If we don’t have it, we’ll try to find it.

INTERPRETER SERVICES – We can arrange for sign language interpreters for Deaf individuals, businesses, agencies, medical facilities, government entities, etc. There is a fee for this service. Please call for rates and other requirements.

MEDICAID SERVICE COORDINATION – STIC provides Medicaid Service Coordination for children and adults with developmental disabilities under OPWDD’s Home and Community-Based Services Waiver. We specialize exclusively in assisting people who wish to be fully integrated into all aspects of community life to do so with appropriate supports. We are strong advocates for inclusion in schools, integrated employment opportunities, and a truly individualized person-centered approach to service delivery.

OPEN DOORS – The purpose of this program is to identify people in nursing homes who wish to transition back into the community, explain programs and services available to them, and make the appropriate referrals to begin the process. This is a joint project with AIM Independent Living Center of Corning, Access to Independence of Cortland and Catskill Center for Independence in Oneonta.

NAVIGATOR PROGRAM – As part of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010, navigator services are offered in the State of New York to assist individuals, families, and small businesses in applying for health insurance.

NURSING HOME TRANSITION AND DIVERSION WAIVER (NHTD) REGIONAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER (RRDC) – STIC operates the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Waiver Regional Resource Development Center (RRDCs) in 12 counties of South-Central New York. We assist Medicaid-eligible people with disabilities (including seniors) to leave nursing homes and move into the community or to obtain services to avoid nursing home placement. We can help people through the eligibility process, to select a service coordination agency, and to access other benefit programs and services in the community.

PARENT MENTOR PROJECT – In this program, the parent of a child with developmental disabilities provides mentoring and support to other parents, assisting them to navigate the complex special education system. The Parent Mentor informs parents of their rights, provides information on education-related services and laws, and teaches parents how to advocate for their children.

PARENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER – We provide information regarding the special education process including referrals, evaluations and transitions. Enhance families skills and ability to effectively advocate for their child’s needs and work collaboratively with the educational system.

PEER COUNSELING – This service allows people with disabilities to meet and talk with STIC staff who also have disabilities. Peer Advocates assist consumers to navigate the barriers they may face adjusting to a disability, or to finding solutions to everyday issues that they encounter.

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING – STIC’s professional counseling services are centered around the individual and/or family members. Our Certified Social Workers assist with finding the best ways to cope with stress, family, emotional, disability and other personal concerns.

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI) WAIVER REGIONAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT CENTER (RRDC) – STIC operates the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver Regional Resource Development Center (RRDCs) in 12 counties of South-Central New York. We assist Medicaid-eligible people with TBI to leave nursing homes and move into the community or to obtain services to avoid nursing home placement. We can help people through the eligibility process, to select a service coordination agency, and to access other benefit programs and services in the community.