201-996-9100 Bergen Main Office or 201-533-4407 Hudson Office ber@hipcil.org

hipNews Spring 2018

Heightened Independence & Progress - Our staff

hipNews Spring 2018


A Message from the Desk of the President…

Over the course of my career I have conducted public forums, focus groups and town meetings for government agencies and professional associations. These events have always proven to be thought-provoking and stimulating as they advance the democratic process by giving the participants their chance to express their views. Those of us who run programs that provide services to groups serving people with disabilities rely on consumer input to best respond to the needs of the community.

The three topics that always emerge as priorities are Housing, Employment and Transportation; as a matter of fact we often open the conversation with this trio just to get the crowd engaged. I’ve recently been asked to co-chair the Disabilities Issues Committee of the Bergen County Workforce Development Board and while the three familiar topics emerged there was a groundswell of support for the committee to focus on transportation alone. Everyone at the table representing at least 16 community programs raised some provocative questions, expressed some dynamic suggestions and agreed to develop strategies around the effective use of available public accessible transportation in Bergen County for work, play, worship and medical appointments.

In the short time that the group spent brainstorming we each learned something new about a service or program which helped form our goal to raise the awareness of the community through some sort of seminar. Frankly, if we as service providers don’t know the resources then how can we expect our consumers to use them?

As many of you know the Independent Living movement is turning the “Big Four O” this year. It was the 1978 amendments to the Rehab Act of 1973 that responded to the advocacy efforts started by college students with disabilities who wanted equal access to education on their college campuses and guess what else…Housing, Employment and Transportation! Their advocacy grew beyond academic life to include many people interested in breaking down physical and attitudinal barriers under the slogan; “Nothing about us without us” and the world began to change and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990.

I’m taking this trip down memory lane to illustrate that we cannot rest on past achievements:

  • The ADA has recently been under fire in the House where modifications to weaken it were proposed and passed. We need to watch that the Senate does not do anything that will let this law be watered down in the name of making a profit.
  • Despite some corporate culture shifts Diversity programs still do not always include individuals with disabilities.
  • We’re still listing Housing, Employment and Transportation as priority areas of need for people with disabilities.

At hip we are continuing to represent the empowerment of individuals with disabilities through outreach, education and advocacy. Let us know how we can help you.

Brian Fitzgibbons,

The Calendar Raffle is Back!!

The Calendar Raffle is back for the summer at hip! It’s time to take a chance to win money and support our agency at the same time. The “66 $unny Day$ of $ummer Calendar Raffle” is under way and the fun starts now – and all for $20 a ticket!

During June, July and August, five winning tickets will be selected at random each week. You will have 66 different chances to win a cash prize – with just one $20 ticket! Best of all, the more tickets you buy the more chances you have to win!

A specific cash prize is designated for each day marked on the calendar. And here’s the best part: if you win, your ticket is re-entered into the raffle for more chances to win again! Several people can share a $20 ticket as long as all their names are included on the reply form. After the winners receive their prizes, the remaining proceeds of the “66 $unny Day$ of $ummer” will support the Independent Living services and advocacy efforts hip provides to the community.

How to get into the game? You may have received a calendar raffle ticket in the mail. If not, or to obtain more, call Jayne Jacobs at the Bergen CIL, ext. 26, or e-mail her at jgugenheim.ber@hipcil.org noting “Calendar Raffle Tickets” in the subject line. She will be very happy to send as many tickets as you’d like right out to you. The grand prize is $200!

Don’t wait – buy your ticket(s) now! The reply portion of your ticket must be received by hip by Thursday, May 31st. Names of winning ticket holders will be posted every Friday on our website, www.hipcil.org, by 3 p.m. Winners will also be notified by mail. Lots of luck! We hope you have a winning ticket and a sunny summer!


Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler…

Join us and have a blast as we dance with beads and masks at The Big Easy, hip’s Annual Dinner Dance/Night of Entertainment! The Good Times will roll at the Fort Lee Recreation Center (1500 Stillwell Avenue) on Saturday, April 28th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Purple, green and gold decorations will carry out the evening’s theme which will feature our favorite DJ Gary Morton as well as dining (including some Cajun treats), dancing, and the chance to win an array of prizes. Invitations are in the mail, but if you haven’t received yours, tickets can be purchased by calling 201-996-9100 and asking for Jayne Jacobs at extension 26 or Trish Carney at extension 11. Tickets are $50 per person and must be reserved no later than Friday, April 20th.

Don’t wait – purchase your tickets to The Big Easy now!

Support Paula’s Pals at the Aurora Nonprofit Challenge

For the past three years hip has participated in the Aurora Nonprofit Challenge, a 5K Walk designed and implemented by a wonderful group of high school students who raise funds for the non-profit community. One hundred percent of all registrations and pledges go right back to the agency they are designated for in what has become a fun and extremely competitive fundraiser. hip has come in or tied for first place in each of the past three years and looks forward to your support to place on top again in 2018.

This year hip will be calling our team “Paula’s Pals” as we dedicate the walkathon to our beloved co-worker Paula Walsh, who died suddenly last August. Paula loved the walkathon and participated for the past three years. She would crank up her electric wheelchair to its highest speed and zoom off, leaving all of the other walkers in the dust, and sheepishly grin as she raced past walkers just starting out as she passed them on her return trip.

Watch your snail mail and email for details on how to participate in this exciting event on a to-be determined date in June!

Gift Giving at hip

This past holiday season was a wonderful time to be at the Bergen hip office. The amazing generosity of our community has touched each and every one of us. The amount of gifts that poured in and filled our conference room and every other spare space we could find was so thrilling, knowing that so many families would have such a happy holiday.

The parishioners of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge outdid themselves as always, giving warm clothes, household items, bedding, numerous gift cards and much more. Parishioners Chris Black and Martha Mulligan organized the effort and with their team, spent hours collecting, separating and wrapping the gifts for both Bergen and Hudson hip families. We can never sufficiently thank the amazing members of St. Peter’s parish and give them our whole-hearted gratitude.

We also want to thank the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, for once again including hip in their fantastic “All Wrapped Up” holiday giving program. hip consumers received all kinds of desired gifts, including art supplies, support pillows, and non-skid slippers. This project connects gift givers with families and individuals from the community who might not have received any gifts for the holidays without this program.

All of us at hip want to thank everyone who supported these programs and brought joy to so many families over the holiday season.

hip Thanks…

 hip receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year. We thank the following for their recent exceptional generosity:

Chris and Ron Black • Heather Broad
Michael and Marie Cook • The Esteban Family
First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack
Gwenn Hauck • Beverly Ryan
Lillian P. Schenck Fund

We extend a special thanks to all of the wonderful parishioners of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge and the many individuals who participated in the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s “All Wrapped Up” Holiday Gift-Giving Program. Due to their outstanding generosity, 70 individuals and family members received an assortment of gifts and gift cards this holiday season.

Aesthetically Accessible

We often hear the complaint that aside from the cost, it’s not practical to retrofit an old building to make it accessible and maintain the integrity of the structure. Well, the Teaneck branch of Bank of America has recently proven that you can blend form with function in the renovation of the entrance to the bank and parking area.

We’re interested in seeing more examples of projects that are “Aesthetically Accessible” and we’ll feature photos of them in our future newsletters. Email your pictures to Jayne Jacobs at jgugenheim.ber@hipcil.org with Aesthetically Accessible as the subject.

Peer Leader Training

In January, Bergen CIL staff members Jayne Jacobs and Maria Valentin participated in a 4-day certification

training offered by the Bergen County Department of Health. The training, titled “Take Control of Your Health,” was created by the Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. It was designed to teach peer leaders how to facilitate a six-week workshop to help people to better manage chronic symptoms, work with healthcare professionals, set weekly goals, problem solve, eat well and

exercise safely and easily. Maria and Jayne will be hosting this workshop in late spring/early summer – call the Bergen CIL if you’re interested in attending!

Themed Assistive Technology Demonstrations!

Adam Krass, assistive technology consultant, is well-known in the hip community for giving wonderfully

informative one-on-one demonstrations. In May, June and July, in addition to his personalized sessions, he will be doing themed group demonstrations! See below for the monthly themes and be sure to

reserve your spot if you’re interested in attending! Call Jayne at the Bergen CIL for more information.

 May 9th at 1 p.m.
Kitchen gadgets

 June 13th at 1 p.m.
iPad & iPhone apps

 July 11th at 1 p.m.

We’re looking forward to learning more about all of these helpful tools in a dynamic group setting! Thank you, Adam! If you have any suggestions for future themed demonstrations, please let us know!

We Mourn . . .

Beverly Wennin, longtime member and friend of hip who passed away in November.

Ray Heffernan, Sr., longtime member and friend of hip who passed away in March.

Welcome to hip!

Nicole Clark joined the Bergen hip staff in October as a Care Manager at the Bergen CIL. A graduate of

Barbar-Scotia College, she began her career as a social worker with DYFS. Nicole is a Care Manager and Support Coordinator for the DDD program.

Nicole resides in Bergenfield with her husband, three children and their dog Bentley. In her free time, she enjoys making jewelry, volunteering with the Girl Scouts (call her for cookies!) and spending time with her family.

Celia Chavez joined the Hudson hip staff in August as a Support Coordinator.

Celia earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from New Jersey City University and has plans to pursue

her Masters in Psychology. While in college, Celia volunteered to help adults with visual impairments by helping them navigate the community. Celia’s interest in assisting individuals with disabilities stems from

her upbringing. Celia has a sister who has autism and her personal experience reinforced her decision to pursue a career that focused on social services. She has first-hand knowledge of the services

needed to assist an individual with a disability and finds great satisfaction in working with her consumers.

A resident of Cliffside Park, Celia enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her loved ones. Celia hopes to start an organization someday that will help the needy in developing countries.

We also want to extend a very warm welcome back to Trisha Ebel! The Bergen hip staff is so happy to have Trisha (and Astro) back in the office working with consumers.

Join the Fun

2nd Annual Bergen County Care Fair

hip is proud to be a sponsor at the 2nd Annual Bergen County Care Fair! This year’s event will take place on May 6th at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 12 – 4 p.m.

Visit www.bergencountycarefair.org for more information!

Save the date for this year’s summer picnic! Looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating the beginning of the summer season on Tuesday, June 19th at the Englewood Boat Basin!


Bassmasters Fishing Outing

This year’s Bassmasters Fishing Outing will take place on Saturday, June 2nd at Darlington

Park in Mahwah from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Spots are limited! Call Jayne Jacobs at the Bergen CIL for more information!


Annual Picnic

Save the date for this year’s summer picnic! Looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating the beginning of the summer season on Tuesday, June 19th at the Englewood Boat Basin!


Invacare Reliant 450 Patient Lift

Used/Excellent Condition

Asking $399 – will deliver locally

Call Janice Franco Blehl


Jazzy Select 6 Power Chair

(by Pride Mobility Products Corp)


MPV 5 (Hoveround)

$900 Both in very good condition,

prices negotiable.

Mobility vehicle

(handicapped conversion)

2010 Honda Odyssey EX-L

30k miles, grey, good condition


Call Dottie 201-933-7884

bergenPAC Arts AccessProgram

The bergenPAC Arts Access Program continues to bring joy and amazing experiences to our members! We are so grateful to be part of this initiative! Call Jayne at the Bergen CIL for more details on how you can get free tickets to select shows at the bergenPAC.