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General STIC Information
Sign Language / Interpreters
General STIC Information
What is Southern Tier Independence Center (STIC)?
Who does STIC serve?
STIC provides services to individuals of all ages, with all types of disabilities, as well as to the local community at large. Individuals with disabilities are eligible for most of our services based on self-identification of their disability. Some of our services require additional documentation and/or approval from a particular funding source and some are only available to individuals with Medicaid coverage. Services available to the community, businesses, agencies and local governments may be fee-based.
How can I access STIC services?
STIC is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can call STIC at (607) 724-2111 to get more information about how to access a particular service. Please see “Services” for additional information about services provided by STIC.
What is Independent Living?
Independent Living means people with disabilities being empowered to control the direction of their own lives. This includes choosing their goals, plotting their course and taking responsibility for their actions and the results. People with disabilities have the right to make their own choices and decisions, as well as the right to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
What is a Center for Independent Living (CIL)?
A Center for Independent Living, commonly referred to as a CIL, is a non-profit, community based, cross-disability organization that is run by and for people with disabilities. CILs provide services that promote the leadership and empowerment of people with disabilities. CILs foster independence, help people with disabilities to develop networks and supports, and promote self-reliance. CILS work with individuals as well as with the community to advocate for the integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of life and remove barriers to independence. This is done by providing core IL services, including:
Independent Living Skills Training
Information and Referral
Additionally, CILs offer a number of other services, depending on the specific needs of their consumers, which may include: assistance with housing, education, employment, assistive technology, technical assistance regarding accessibility, case management and consumer directed personal care services.
How does a CIL differ from other service providers?
Centers for Independent Living are unique in that the majority of people who govern, manage and work for them have a disability themselves. This approach, described as “consumer control,” is based on the idea that people with disabilities can best understand how to assist and advocate in the independent living process. Unlike other service providers, we are who we serve and we are directly affected by the systems and services we seek to improve.
Sign Language / Interpreters
I am deaf, am I entitled to a sign language interpreter for an appointment?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act provides people with disabilities rights to equal access to public accommodations. This includes ensuring that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communication with others. In order to provide equal access, places like hotels, theaters, restaurants, doctor’s and lawyer’s offices, banks, insurance agencies, retail stores, libraries, day care centers and private schools are required to provide auxiliary aids and services that promote effective communication. Examples of auxiliary aids and services include, but are not limited to: qualified interpreters, captioning, TTYs, large print materials, Braille materials, and computer software. If a sign language interpreter is required in order to provide you with effective communication, then one must be provided to you at no charge.
Where can I take sign language classes?
Sign classes are scheduled pretty regularly at Broome-Tioga BOCES and Broome Community College.
Where do I go for sign-language interpreter training?
There are two high-quality interpreter training programs within reasonable traveling distance of Binghamton:
Rochester Institute of Technology National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
52 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623
Contact: NTID Office
Voice: (866) 644-6843,
Videophone: (585) 743-1366
400 East 2nd Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Contact: Jessica Bentley – Sassaman
Our region has a severe shortage of qualified interpreters. STIC’s Interpreter Services Program is a dispatching service for interpreters working as independent contractors. Interpreting is a very demanding profession; we cannot use people who have just “taken a few sign classes”, but we are always looking for well-trained interpreters. We strongly encourage you to attend one of these programs if you are interested in interpreting as a career.
What do I do if I’m being discriminated against at work due to my disability, or if I need a reasonable accommodation for my disability at work?
Request a meeting with your supervisor or Human Resources (HR) Manager (if you have one) to discuss your concerns or request an accommodation. Then document, document, document! When you make a request or meet about an issue, always write a memo about it, noting the date and time, what you said, and what your supervisor/HR Manager said. Then have this memo placed in your personnel file and keep a copy for yourself. Do this for every meeting as you work your way up the chain of command. This has two beneficial effects: First, it shows your employers that you are serious and determined, which may be enough to convince them that it would be better if they didn’t argue with you. Second, it creates a permanent record that will be important evidence both of what happened and of the fact that you are a responsible person, if you need to file a complaint to an authority outside your workplace. If you are not able to resolve your issue by following the chain of command with your employer you can file a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Rights. This can be done by calling 1-888-392-3644 or the Human Rights Office in Binghamton at (607) 721-8467 to obtain a complaint form. You can also go to the NYS Division of Human rights website at www.dhr.ny.gov to get a complaint form. When you file a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Rights a complaint is also filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal authority that deals with discrimination.
How do I apply for Social Security Disability or SSI?
You can call 1-800-772-1213 (the Social Security Administration’s nationwide phone number) and make an appointment or in some cases you may be able to apply online at www.ssa.gov.
What do I do if I am denied SSD or SSI?
Call 1-800-772-1213 and have the appeal forms sent to you. If you get denied again, call and request the next set of appeal forms. Mail them within 60 days of the date stamped on the denial.
What other services are available to help pay for food, rent or other expenses?
There are various programs available through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to help eligible individuals and families. Some of these programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as Food Stamps and Temporary Assistance (TA). You can apply for assistance by visiting your local Department of Social Services (DSS) in person most weekdays. No appointment is necessary, however, hours may vary so you may want to call ahead to make sure someone is available to help you apply. You can find the location of your local Department of Social Services online, or by calling the toll-free New York State Temporary Assistance Hotline at 1-800-342-3009. The link below provides additional information about the programs listed and other services that are available to those who meet eligibility guidelines.
What do I do if I am denied a service from the Department of Social Services and I think they made a mistake?
You can request a fair hearing. A Fair Hearing is a chance for you to tell the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance why you think a decision made by your local DSS is wrong. The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance will then issue a written decision which will state whether the local agency’s decision was right or wrong. The written decision may order the local agency to correct your case. You may request a fair hearing by telephone, online, and by mail or fax. Telephone requests for Fair Hearings can be made by calling a statewide toll-free number: 1 (800) 342-3334. For more information or to file a request online, click on the following link: Fair Hearings
If I am having trouble paying my rent or finding an affordable apartment, is there any help out there?
Call your town hall or city hall and ask if they have a program called “HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance”. If so, have the application mailed to you. Also, apply for HEAP, even if utilities are included in your rent (see below).
If I am having trouble paying my utility bills, is there any help out there?
Apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) every winter. In November, call the Department of Social Services and have a HEAP application mailed to you. If DSS doesn’t handle HEAP in your area, ask them which agency does.
If I have a lot of bills and debt and I am having trouble budgeting, is there any help out there?
Call “Consumer Credit Counseling” or Cornell Cooperative Extension and ask for an appointment for a consultation. These are free services.
How do I apply for NYS Workers’ Compensation or NYS Disability?
Ask your employer for the forms. Workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for eligible workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. NYS Disability benefits are temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible worker, when he/she is disabled by an off-the-job injury or illness and cannot work for a period of time. Your employer can provide more specific information about these benefits.
How do I get a “Handicapped Parking” placard?
For the little card that hangs from your mirror (called a “hang tag”), contact the municipal clerk in the town, village, or city in which you live. For a handicapped license plate, call the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-225-5368 and have the application mailed to you, or pick one up at your local Motor Vehicle Bureau. In either case, you will need to have a doctor sign the form to signify that you have a legitimate disability that qualifies you for handicapped parking.