JACIL Connections for October 2017

Article 1:

JACIL schedules strategic planning effort

by Becky McGinnis

Lots of people consider "strategic planning" almost like a four-letter word - something you'd get in trouble for if your mom heard you say it.

I'm actually excited to say JACIL has embarked on a strategic planning process!  Many of you will remember the QUILS review, or Quality Indicators of Independent Living Services review JACIL had last winter.  (Several of you met with reviewers at that time, and we are grateful for your help.) 

JACIL has a very dedicated and mature staff, we bring a lot of experience and a good work ethic to our jobs.  The downside is that we are all getting closer to retirement, and it is important for us to do some thinking and planning to be sure JACIL stays vital and vibrant in the future.

This fall, we will be offering several opportunities for you join in a focus group to give us feedback on how we are meeting the needs in our service area.  We have invited students from Illinois College to help us in our process.  Please participate in a group when you are invited!  Your feedback will help JACIL continue to be a positive influence in our community. 

Thank you!

Article 2:

JACIL plans trip to IATP Expo October 24

The Illinois Assistive Technology Project is hosting a Disability Expo on October 23-24.  The time on Monday is 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to noon.  It will be held at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield.  It is free to the public.

There will be over 120 booths (including a double booth sponsored by JACIL!).  You'll be able to see some of the newest aids and devices:  an enormous amount of information to benefit people with disabilities and their families.  Questions about the Expo?  Call IATP (800) 582-5110.

JACIL has scheduled West Central Mass Transit to provide free bus transportation for anyone who would like to attend this event on Tuesday October 24.  We will leave from JACIL at 8:00 a.m. and return at 1:00 p.m.  Seating is limited, so you need to contact Larry at 217-245-8371 no later than the end of the day on October 16 to get your name on the list.

Article 3:

KIP CAFE - Jacksonville Police volunteer chaplain

by Becky McGinnis

JACIL has been sponsoring our successful KIP Café series (KIP stands for "Knowledge is Power", and Café because, well, we serve a light lunch!) for several years, and we are amazed at the variety of topics we have been able to present.

Our October 26 KIP Café will give us a chance to learn about the new volunteer Chaplain with the Jacksonville Police Department.  Our presenter will be Alan Bradish, who is no stranger to human services, having most recently worked for the Salvation Army. 

Alan has recently volunteered his services with the JPD because he is committed to helping to strengthen the relationship between the local police department and the community.  The chaplain program is new, and Alan will be sharing his vision for the benefits it will bring to the Jacksonville community.

The October 26 session will meet from 11:30 - 1:30.  A light lunch will be provided, and our ASL interpreter is reserved.  Please call by October 25 to let us know you will be coming.

Article 4:

White Cane Safety Day Oct. 15

White Cane Safety Day is a national observance celebrated on October 15 of each year. The date is set aside to celebrate the achievements of people who are blind or visually impaired.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the first White Cane Safety Day proclamation in 1964.  In 2011, White Cane Safety Day was also recognized as Blind Americans Equality Day by President Barack Obama.

Article 5:

Hearing loss happens - have yourself examined

by Cyndy Benton

Many people experience hearing loss and don't realize it; others do recognize it but don't know what to do about it. 

Hearing loss often develops gradually.  Speech sounds mumbled and song lyrics are hard to hear & often misunderstood.  Sometimes hearing loss is mistaken for cognitive disability.  

Gradual age-related hearing loss in both ears is called Presbycusis.  One in three adults age 65 and older has hearing loss.  High-pitched noises, such as cricket sounds, are affected more often than low-pitched sounds. 

Conversation may become difficult especially when background noise is present.  Many sounds seem loud,  and ringing noise (Tinnitus) may be present in one or both ears.  Since the symptoms of hearing loss may be similar to other conditions, it is important to consult a health care professional for a diagnosis.  

Primary health care professionals to consult include your family physician, an ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist) or an audiologist. 

The doctor would be able to do an ear exam to see if there is some physical problem or to rule out ear wax buildup and make a recommendation about correcting the problem. 

The audiologist would complete a hearing test to determine what kind of hearing loss you might be experiencing.  This would include testing for word understanding and high and low pitch sounds.  An important factor is the amount of loss in decibels.   Once you have a diagnosis of the kind and amount of hearing loss then it is time to start looking for a device that will help you utilize the hearing you have left.

The hearing loss is usually described as one of the following: mild, moderate, moderate severe, severe or profound.  Each of these refers to a level of loss.  The analysis will also include information about the potential part of the ear that may be involved.  These kinds of losses are called conductive, sensorineural or a mix of the two.

Article 6:

WCMTD to add evening hours

The West Central Mass Transit District announces the addition of evening hours to the public transportation service within the Jacksonville and South Jacksonville city limits beginning Monday, October 2.

Expansion hours will run Monday through Thursday, 6:30 - 9:45 p.m. and Friday, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.  Cost for these rides will be $2.00 per person per ride.  Passes will not be honored during extended hours. 

Article 7:

Who Hears a Hoot?

by Mary Little & Susan Nolls

There are numerous devices to assist with hearing loss: hearing aids either in the ear or behind the ear, amplified phones or a cell phone amplifier, personal amplification systems, and signaling systems for the home. 

Before seeking a solution, we recommend a thorough exam by a health care professional.  The problem may be as simple as ear canals being filled with wax which can be easily treated.  Other causes need to be addressed by a hearing professional.  Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to refer you to a reputable one.  The specialist will test your hearing and make recommendations, if needed, to help.   An audiogram is the printed version of the hearing test.

There are numerous devices to assist with hearing loss: in ear and behind the ear hearing aids , amplified land telephones and cell phone amplifiers, personal amplification systems, and signaling systems for the home.  We recommend taking time to understand which sounds need amplification. 

Most people want to be able to hear conversations, but conversations differ and so do amplification needs.  Think how the sound quality might change when experienced on the telephone, TV, in a crowded restaurant, or in a quiet living room.

Several resources provide catalogues that show equipment and prices or you can go online.   

JACIL is also a distributor of several types of amplified phones through the ITAC program.  These phones are free to people with a proven hearing loss. 

Calling to make an appointment to look at and trying these phones is relatively easy.  We need to see personal identification, an address in Illinois, proof of a current telephone in the home, and substantiation of a hearing loss.  Please call 217-245-8371.

Article 8:

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card.

The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.

CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019.

People with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook. The handbooks are being mailed and will arrive throughout September.

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail, and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.

There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number.

For more information, please visit:


Article 9:

Ask Kathy

by Kathy Price

Each issue Kathy will answer your questions about anything--from household hints to the price of tea in China.    "

Please e-mail your question to her at kathy@jacil.org.

This Month’s Question:  Everything in my garden is getting choked by weeds. I also have a lot of green junk growing in the cracks of my sidewalk and driveway. What do you recommend that will get rid of these unsightly interlopers without breaking the bank on store-bought weed killers?

Kathy Says: Use vinegar full strength on weeds or unwanted grass. Simply spray on the weeds and they will soon be gone

Article 10:

Free Rules of the Road review for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Secretary of State’s Office will be holding a Rules of the Road Review Class on Thursday, October 19, at 2:00 p.m. in the Administration Building (125 Webster) on the campus of the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville. 

Sign language interpreters will be in attendance for participants requiring the service.  CART service will be available if requested.

The class will provide information about the current vision and road test requirements and discusses Illinois’ current traffic laws to help prepare for the written exam. 

The class lasts approximately two hours.  Seating is limited and an RSVP is required to attend.  The TTY phone number to RSVP for the class is 888-261-5238.  A non-TTY phone number to RSVP is 217-524-1166.

October Calendar of Events

Tue        3  Knollwood 20/20 Support Group - 9:30

Wed      4  Friends Helping Friends Action Club - 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Thur      5  Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 5, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. 

Thu      12  VisAbility Support Group - 10:30 a.m. to Noon

            Speaker:  Dr. Jason McDowell, International Eye Care

Thur    12  Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 6, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. 

Tue      17  Cass County Vision Support Group - 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Wed    18  Visions Support Group in Havana - 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Wed    18  People First Aktion Club - 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Thur    19  Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 7, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. 

Thur    19  It’s My Life Training - 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Tue      24  IATP Statewide Disability Expo in Springfield - 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  JACIL will provide bus transportation.  Reservations required by Oct. 20

Thu      26  KIP Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Topic: Police & People with Disabilities, Speaker: Alan Bradish, Jacksonville Police Dept. Chaplain

Thur    26  Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 8, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

“JACIL Connections” is published by the Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living.  JACIL is organized to serve people with disabilities in Morgan, Scott, Cass and Mason Counties.  JACIL is committed to serving persons with disabilities to gain control and direction of their lives in the home, workplace and community.  JACIL’s goal is to stimulate and promote a growing sense of personal dignity through individualized services designed to provide the tools necessary for maximum independence and community participation.  We invite your comments and suggestions.


JACIL is a Prairieland United Way Agency and a proud member of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.


Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living

15 Permac Road, Jacksonville, IL 62650

Office Hours:  Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

217-245-8371 Voice/TTY  l  217-245-1872 Fax  l  888-317-3287 Toll Free

217-408-0567 Deaf Advocate’s Toll Free Videophone Line

E-mail:  info@jacil.org  l  Website:  www.jacil.org


JACIL - Mason County Office

220 West Main Street, Havana, IL 62644

Office Hours:  Tuesdays 12:30 to 4:30 & Thursdays 8:00 a.m. to noon

309-543-6680 Voice/TTY, 309-543-6711 Fax, 877-759-2187 Toll Free

E-mail:  jacil@casscomm.com