iCircle Services - Supporting Individual Choice and Empowerment
December 2013

Community Connection

Issue #45

Message from the Board

Greetings! As 2013 comes to a close, we continue to reflect on how far we have come to provide quality services for the people served by our provider network. iCircle's provider network represents over 100,000 individuals with disabilities across a very diverse 22-county region. The growth that has been gained by these individuals is remarkable. In this week's issue, we learn about Alice, who has experienced changes and transformation in service delivery from the State since her birth in 1942. Her journey is like that of so many people in our community, who have thrived and enjoyed a happier, more independent life because of the quality support and services they received from community-based providers. Services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have come a long way since the 40's. Her story reminds us that during times of transformation and change, there is opportunity. It is our hope that as we all continue to collaborate, communicate, and most importantly, listen to the people we serve, that Central New York will lead the way in innovative, quality services that result in further independence and growth for people like Alice and her peers.

As we continue to work with the NYS Department of Health for our MLTC plan approval and stay in regular contact with OPWDD to best prepare the DISCO plan, we keep one thing at the foundation of our development - opportunity. As you continue to plan for 2014, keep this word at the top of your mind. What opportunities do we have to offer something different, innovative, and better so that people in our community with disabilities can live fulfilling lives and their goals and dreams are reached?

We wish you all a great week and look forward to sharing more stories and updates in our next issue!


iCircle Hires New Business Developer

At the foundation of iCircle's growth and development has been direct, face-to-face contact with providers and referral sources in their community. In an effort to continue this level of local access, education, and transparency, iCircle has hired a new Business Developer. Please join us in welcoming Adjua Maia McGill to the iCircle family. In her new role, Maia will travel across our region to not only share iCircle's mission, but to learn from providers, individuals, families, and referral sources about how we can best deliver the highest level of care that directly meets the needs of our community.

Maia comes to iCircle with an extensive background in healthcare provider, member and community relations.   She is passionate about helping people in the community get the care and services they need.  She shared, "In the short time that I have been with iCircle, the people I have met so far have been so friendly, caring and everyone works in a spirit of excellence. I am honored to be a part of an organization that truly puts the care of people first.  I look forward traveling around the 22-county iCircle region to help create a positive impact for people in Central New York."


POMs Training Reminder!

A few spots remain for the POMs training coming in January - don't miss out on this opportunity to become an effective POM interviewer!

Participants who take this training will learn how to effectively conduct Personal Outcome Measures (POMs) interviews, as well as, learn how to utilize the data collected for individual plan development and organizational trending aimed at enhancing the quality of the services you provide. Sign up today at www.icirclecny.org for this important training session offered by iCircle Services, in partnership with CDS Monarch and Southern Tier Independence Center. Limited spaces are available and the first series starts in late January.

Individual Spotlight:   Alice's Story

Alice’s story begins in 1942 in Elmira, NY. Her mother contracted rubella (German Measles) during the first trimester of her pregnancy with Alice. As Alice grew, her parents noticed that her mental development was not the same as that of her siblings, so they sought expert advice. After a battery of tests administered by doctors and psychologists, it was confirmed that Alice had suffered developmental disabilities due to the rubella.

In the 1940s and ‘50s, choices for the care of children who had developmental disabilities were few, indeed. Her parents had to struggle with the choice of trying to do their best raising her at home with four other children or sending her to a state-run institution which was supposed to be able to provide the best care for children like Alice. At that time, the conventional wisdom was that it was better for Alice and for her siblings' development for her to be placed in the institution where her special needs could be met. Her parents were torn because this was a lifelong decision they were making for their daughter; however, in 1950, when Alice was eight years old, she was placed in the Newark State School.

Because of the distance from Elmira to Newark, the family did not see Alice very often. When they did, however, they were appalled at the crowded conditions in which she lived. Whenever they came to take Alice somewhere for the day, the emotional return took a huge toll on all of them. Alice’s tears and those of her siblings profoundly affected her parents.

Eventually, New York State decided it was in the best interests of individuals like Alice to move out of the state-run facilities and into smaller, more home-like settings where they could receive more individualized care. After some unfortunate placements that did not work out well for Alice, her family became aware of a place called the Lyons Community Residence (later renamed Gavitt House), which was a residential site run by Catholic Charities Community Services. In 1980, when Alice was 39, she moved in, and her life changed dramatically.

Alice lived there with other clients under the care of the staff of Catholic Charities. She attended the Wayne ARC’s Day Habilitation Program and Wayne ARC’s Pre-Vocational Program.  The family was very pleased with the loving care that Alice was now receiving. It became clear how comfortable Alice was at her new home when she no longer cried upon her return after family visits.

Eventually it became clear to the administration of Catholic Charities Community Services that they had an aging population of clients who were developing age related health and mobility problems. So a plan was created to build a new home deliberately designed to meet the needs of this aging population. The result was Crowley House in Lyons. Alice moved into that house Dec. 28, 2007. It was perfect! Alice had her own room. She had input into its décor. She had her own TV. She was happy as could be in her new home with her Catholic Charities Family.

Alice attends camps in the summer, the Red Hat Club, bowling, supervised trips, shopping, and parties. She goes to church, out for lunch or breakfast, and visits her friends in the other Catholic Charities residences.

Today Alice is a happy person whose smile and delight will melt your heart all because of the people who have loved, nurtured and cared for her in such an extraordinary way.


Adapted by Catholic Charities Community Services from a speech by Alice’s brother, Royce.

As the younger brother – by two years – of a sister with developmental disabilities, Royce is especially qualified to tell the story of what it is like to be part of a family which includes a child whose intellectual development is delayed. Being that their story begins in the early 1950s, when choices were more limited as to the kind of care and living situation available to people like his sister, he tells the story of how she came to live in her current home, and what that has meant to her ... and to him.


Thank you for your Support!

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Mission: iCircle Services is a service portal where individuals with developmental disabilities and their families can self-direct, advocate, and secure the supports and services that best fit their needs. We are guided by individual choice, inclusion, diversity, cultural competence, respect, community, learning and empowerment for those we serve.

Vision: iCircle Services will establish a comprehensive, sustainable, trusted, and compassionate system of supports and services that will help empower families and individuals with developmental disabilities to promote their happiness, independence and inclusion as productive members of our community.

Contact Us:
Phone: 1-855-775-3778
Email: info@icirclecny.org
Website: www.icirclecny.org

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