JACIL Connections for September 2017

Article 1:

Ryan Croke new INCIL executive director

JACIL has had a long and valuable association with the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living based in Springfield.  INCIL is one of Illinois’ leading statewide disability advocacy organizations and has partnered with JACIL in many successful efforts.

INCIL’s Founding Executive Director Ann Ford recently retired, leaving this vital position open.  INCIL’s  Board of Directors recently announced that it has hired Ryan Croke as its new executive director following a four-month search.

Ryan was the associate chancellor for Public Affairs at the University of Illinois Springfield where he has served since 2015. He began in his new role with INCIL on August 16.

“We are thrilled to have found a new Executive Director with Ryan’s leadership, poise and commitment to disability advocacy,” said Daisy Feidt, INCIL’s Board President. “This is a pivotal time for the disability rights movement in America and we are confident that Ryan can build on our past victories in order to protect and advance the goals of Centers for Independent Living throughout Illinois.”

“As the son of deaf parents, this work is personal. INCIL stands for equal opportunity, dignity and inclusion for people with disabilities and I cannot wait to devote my full energy to its mission,” said Ryan. “It will take a relentless effort to confront and overcome today’s obstacles to decent healthcare, housing, education and employment, but our association has the right tools to help lead the charge and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

“Ryan Croke has the background and experience needed to make real progress on issues important to people with disabilities,” said Ann Ford. “He has the vision and leadership skills that can make a significant, positive difference – to continue the important work of maximizing independence for all people.”

Mr. Croke earned a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also did his undergraduate work in Political Science and Communication. He lives in Springfield with his wife Brook and their two young sons, Jonas and Henry.

JACIL offers its congratulations and best wishes to Ryan as he takes the reins at INCIL as executive director.

We also extend our boundless gratitude to our dear friend Ann Ford for her years of service and tireless efforts on behalf of the people with disabilities in Illinois.

Article 2:

JACIL offers orientation courses for prospective personal assistants in Morgan, Cass, Scott and Mason Counties

by Roger Deem

One of JACIL's primary goals as provided  in our Mission Statement is to enable persons with disabilities to gain effective control and direction of their own lives and to stimulate and promote a growing sense of personal dignity through individualized programs designed to maximum independence and community participation.

One important program we offer is the orientation and referral of personal assistants to serve in the homes of our consumers.

We offer an orientation course on a monthly basis that will help prepare prospective P.A.s to assist people with disabilities gain and maintain independence in their lives.

Among the topics covered during an orientation session include Independent Living Philosophy, Rights of People with Disabilities, Disability Etiquette, Money Management, Confidentiality, Harassment, Fraud and Working with the State of Illinois Home Service program.

JACIL does not hire personal assistants.  We maintain a referral list and anyone who comes to us seeking candidates for personal assistants is given copies of the applications filled out during our orientation.  The consumers seeking the personal assistants are the one responsible for hiring. 

Our next orientation will take place on Tuesday, September 26,  from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Havana, Illinois.  Pre-registration is required for all orientation sessions.

The orientation is approximately three hours in length and is free of charge. 

Anyone interested in becoming a personal assistant or interested in attending our orientation course may contact Roger at JACIL by calling (217) 245-8371.

Article 3:



Did YouKnow?

Did you know that, according to the 2010 Census, on average, one out of every five adult, USA, citizens has a disability?   The ratio is actual closer to one in four in JACIL’s service area due to the presence of the schools for the deaf and the visually impaired.

Article 4:

Smart Phone apps for people with disabilities

by Roger Deem

JACIL's monthly KIP Café is scheduled for September 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

The guest speakers will be Roger Deem and Dan Thompson, both affiliated with JACIL.  Roger writes the monthly smart app column for this Connections newsletter.  Dan is a retired technology instructor from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired and teaches computer classes through JACIL.

The speakers will demonstrate a variety of smart phone apps for Android users including programs to identify denominations of U.S. currency, allocate and receive directions for the nearest public bathrooms, translate spoken words to text and how to use your phone as a Global Positioning System (GPS)

General questions about smart phone use and problem solving will also be covered.

A light lunch will be available and an American Sign Language interpreter will be present. 

Call (217) 245-8371 by September 27 to make reservations.  

Article 5:

Gallegos to lead Autumn self-advocacy webinar sessions

The Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois & The Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living will host a series of webinars designed to enhance patient advocacy for persons with disabilities at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Attorney Andrés Galle-gos will lead monthly webinars on the rights of people with disabilities to accessible healthcare, teaching participants to "Act B-A-D," a three-phase patient advocacy strategy.

Each month's webinar is from 1-3 p.m. and will end with a live Q & A period.  Registration is not necessary.  Webinar dates and topics will be as follows: 

September 20:  Mobility

October 4:  Healthcare Rights for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

October 25:  DD/ID

November 15:  Blind and Visual Disabilities

You can participate from your own computer by logging on to this link: 


The webinars will be captioned, recorded and posted to www.silcofillinois.org for viewing.

Article 6:

MacMurray’s Samantha Knox begins internship with JACIL

by Samantha Knox

Hello, my name is Samantha (Sam) Knox and I am currently a senior at MacMurray College in its Social Work Program.  This fall you can find me at JACIL as I am the student intern for the semester.

I will be moving around the agency learning as I help in any way that I can.  I will be there every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until mid-December.

When I am not at JACIL or at work I spend time with my 12-year old son who keeps me busy chauffeuring him to various activities throughout the year.

When I am able to, I enjoy reading, quilting, and binge watching old television shows such as The Twilight Zone.

I currently work at a substance abuse treatment center in Springfield where I help women who want to stop using alcohol and other drugs.

In the past I have served as community support staff and a direct support person working with individuals living independently or in group homes.

During my experience at JACIL, I would like to learn as much as I can about working with individuals with disabilities as they establish and/or maintain personal independence for themselves.

I am scheduled to graduate in December, and plan to continue my work with individuals with substance abuse disorders. I would also like to continue working with individuals with disabilities at some point in the future.

I am an open, yet quiet person and I am eager to learn and help. If you need anything just ask.  Thank you.

By the way. I am neither a Cubs nor Cardinals fan. I am originally from Iowa and I enjoy both teams equally.

Article 7:

What’s a JACIL?

Even after 20 years in the community, we are so often encountering people who have no idea what JACIL is or what services we provide.

Members of the JACIL staff are available and eager to come to a meeting of any size to share about all the services our agency has available to benefit the disability community.

Anyone who is interested in having JACIL provide a program or share information is encouraged to contact Becky McGinnis at (217) 245-8371. 

Article 8:

People First Aktion Club holds flapjack fundraiser

JACIL’s People First Aktion Club held another successful  Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee's Restaurant, in Jacksonville recently. 

The event was staged to help the club meet its goals in community service and education, advocacy and peer mentoring.  A great crowd was on hand to enjoy the breakfast,

The People First Aktion Club has a long history of helping its community through its numerous service projects, volunteerism and advocacy actions.

The People First Aktion Club is co-sponsored by JACIL and the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville.  JACIL also sponsors the Friends Helping Friends Action Club which meets monthly in Beardstown.

Article 9:

APP-HAPPY Smart Phone Services

by Roger Deem

Waze - GPS, Maps, Traffic Alerts & Live Navigation

Available from the Google Play Store at no cost, the Waze Global Positioning System is a free app (with advertisements, of course) that provides directions and navigation assistance. Other features:

Automatically reroute around traffic as conditions change on the road.

Get police & speedcam alerts.

Hear road directions by celebrity voices or the average Joe.

Record your own custom voice directions to guide you on the road.

Know how long your drive will take before you start driving.

Find gas stations and the cheapest gas.

Low data usage from your phone.

Waze works anywhere in the world.

Article 10:

JACIL to offer ASL I  classes

JACIL will resume teaching  American Sign Language classes  this fall.

Level I focuses  on basic ASL signs, word order and common functional usage of ASL. The class includes making introductions, exchanging information, talking about family and activities as well as discussion about the characteristics of the deaf community and deaf culture. 

Classes will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning September 27 and ending November 15.

 The course is designed for teens and aadults. The fee for the eight-class session is $60.00 and includes the student workbook/DVD.  The cost for two people from the same family is $100.00.  Preregistration is required and class size is limited. Please call JACIL at 217-245-8371 for more information.

Article 11:

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:  I love eating dishes made with cabbage and broccoli, but the smell that permeates while cooking is enough to gag a skunk. Is there any way to reduce the stench level during preparation?

Kathy says:  Try putting a piece of white bread on top of the pot when cooking up a batch of vegetables. It will absorb most of the odors.

September Calendar of Events

Mon        4   Labor Day - JACIL office closed.

Tue   5   Knollwood 20/20 Support Group - 9:30

Wed        6   Friends Helping Friends Action Club - 3:45 to 4:45 p.m.

Thur        7   Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 1.  2:00 to 3:30 p.m.  Pre-registration required.   Contact Dan at JACIL for more info.

Thu 14   VisAbility Support Group - 10:30 a.m. to Noon

Thur      14   Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 2.  2:00 to 3:30 p.m. 

Tue 19   Cass County Vision Support Group - 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Wed      20   Visions Support Group in Havana - 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Thur      21   Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 3.  2:00 to 3:30 p.m. 

Tue 26   Personal Assistant orientation in Havana - 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Pre-registration required.

Thu 28   KIP Café - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Topic: Smart Phone apps for people with disabilities. Speakers:  Roger Deem & Dan Thompson, JACIL

Thur      28   Making Computers Fun with Dan Thompson - Session 4.  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