On Friday July 22, Rockland Independent Living Center (RILC) celebrated the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act with an event honoring several Rockland County residents. The breakfast, sponsored by M&T Bank and attended by nearly 150 individuals, was hosted for partner organizations and individuals served by RILC.
During the breakfast, RILC Executive Director Dr. David Jacobsen, announced the introduction of BRiDGES, RILC’s implementation of a Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) system to support and guide the advocacy services they provide to individuals with disabilities and Veterans throughout Rockland County.
“RILC is the first Independent Living Center in the country to implement the concepts of PBIS, which is an evidence-based philosophy of system-change that emphasizes expected behaviors that define the character of an organization. BRiDGES provides a common language to discuss the characteristics of RILC: ‘Building Relationships, Investing in Diversity and Genuinely Empowering Self’ which now guides all aspects of our organization,” stated Dr. Jacobsen who took over the position of Executive Director of RILC on February 29th of this year.
Dr. Jacobsen also referenced a mysterious covered easel which sat on the side of the podium during the breakfast and announced that the organization’s new name and logo will be unveiled in the coming months and would reflect the evolution of the organization.
RILC hosts the celebration breakfast every year to recognize organizations and individuals in the community for their contributions in advancing autonomy for people with disabilities. This year’s honorees were:
- Senator Eugene Levy Memorial Independent Living Award
o Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, Inc.
- William H. Mullin Memorial Systems Change Advocate Award
o Michele Cayo, Assistant Parole Services Program Specialist, Hudson Valley Region, DOCCS
- Keith B. Hayes Memorial Spirit of Mentoring Award
o Michele P. Green, District Coordinator for Workforce Development & Business Relations, ACCES-VR
- Will A. Morales Memorial Award
o Scott Smith
- The Spirit of Recovery Award
o Edwin Shockley
- The BRiDGES Award
o Marie Quirk: This is a new award in 2016, presented to the RILC employee who exemplifies the agency’s commitment to Advocacy & Leadership through: Building Relationships – Investing in Diversity – Genuinely Empowering Self.