The Blog

Election Day Services

i May 23rd No Comments by

Election Day Legal Services for People with Disabilities.

Disability Rights New Jersey is New Jersey’s designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities pursuant to federal statutes intended to protect the legal, civil, and human rights of people with disabilities.

Please see this flyer for more details.


Any person needing assistance can contact DRNJ at 800-922-7233 or 609-633-7106 (TTY) from 7 am to 8 pm.

Participation Needed for Needs Assessment

i May 8th No Comments by
The Hunterdon County Office on Disability Services is conducting a 2017 needs assessment to gather information from County residents with disabilities, their caregivers and disability service providers. They are requesting that interested individuals click on the link below to take our survey and help them identify gaps in services for Hunterdon County residents with disabilities of all ages. Thank you for your participation in this survey.
This survey will soon be available on the County website; please encourage others to participate as well.

Looking For Mentors!

i May 2nd No Comments by

The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP)TM of Progressive Center for Independent Living (PCIL) uses a model incorporating group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring to promote the successful transition of RAMPTM youth to employment, continued learning opportunities, and independent living. The mentoring program uses adult volunteers to commit to supporting, guiding, and being a friend to a young person for a period of at least one year. By becoming part of the social network of adults and community members who care about the youth, the mentor can help youth develop and reach positive academic, career, and personal goals.

Role of the Mentor

  • Take the lead in supporting a young person through an ongoing, one-to-one relationship.
  • Serve as a positive role model and friend.
  • Build the relationship by planning and participating in activities together.
  • Strive for mutual respect.
  • Build self-esteem and motivation.
  • Help set goals and work toward accomplishing them.

Time Commitment

  • Make a one-year commitment.
  • Attend at least 2 weekly group meetings a month (group meetings are about 1 hour in length).
  • Attend a two-hour one-on-one mentor/mentee session with matched mentee once per quarter
  • Communicate with the mentee weekly.
  • Attend an initial training session, as well as receive additional education during each quarter of participation in the program.
  • Attend optional mentor/mentee group events, mentor support groups, and program recognition events.

Participation Requirements

  • Be at least 21 years old. (Exceptions may be made for college students with extensive training on boundaries and extra supervision by the mentoring coordinator).
  • Reside in Mercer Co. area.
  • Be interested in working with young people.
  • Be willing to adhere to all program policies and procedures.
  • Be willing to complete the application and screening process.
  • Be dependable and consistent in meeting the time commitments.
  • Attend mentor training sessions as prescribed.
  • Be willing to communicate regularly with program staff, submit activity information, and take constructive feedback regarding mentoring activities.
  • If transporting mentees, have auto insurance and a good driving record.
  • If background includes court involvement, be able to demonstrate current good standing with the justice system and the personal capacity to serve as a consistent, positive role model and mentor for youth.
  • If background includes alcohol and/or substance abuse and/or a mental health need, be able to demonstrate completed or ongoing treatment, as well as a reasonable period of continuous sobriety or stability and the personal capacity to serve as a consistent, positive role model and mentor for youth.

Mentor Job Description


Desirable Qualities

  • Willing listener
  • Encouraging and supportive
  • Patient and flexible
  • Tolerant and respectful of individual differences

Benefits to Mentor

  • Personal fulfillment through contribution to community and individual
  • Satisfaction in helping someone mature, progress, and achieve goals
  • Deeper understanding of teen and societal problems
  • Improved interpersonal skills
  • Builds morale at work, develops management skills, and enhances the image of local companies
  • Training sessions and group activities
  • Participation in a mentor support group
  • Expenses are tax deductible
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Personal ongoing support, supervision to help the match succeed
  • Mentee/mentor group activities, complimentary tickets to community events, participant recognition events

Benefits to Mentor’s Organization

  • Builds employee morale, thereby improving company morale
  • Develops the same skills needed for successful and effective company managers
  • Enhances the image of the company
  • Recognizes the competence of employees
  • Prepares employees to take on greater responsibilities in the company
  • Helps the company revitalize the community
  • Assists in the development of a competent future workforce

Application and Screening Process

  • Written application
  • Copy of state identification card
  • Driving record check
  • Criminal history check: state background check (bi-annually), sexual offender registry (annually)
  • Personal interview
  • Provide three personal references
  • Attend initial mentor training

For more information, contact Antoine Nelson at 609-581-4500 or



RAMP Mentor Application – PDF Fillable Application


Shop Amazon this Mother’s Day

i May 2nd No Comments by
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. Shop at and Amazon will donate to Progressive Center For Independent Living Inc. Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Mother’s Day including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and more.

Youth Stages Theatre Program

i Apr 27th No Comments by

Express Yourself Flyer

Express Yourself

Research Event Opportunity

i Apr 24th No Comments by

Are you a parent of a student with an intellectual and/or developmental disabilities between the ages of 14-24?

Are you interested in how Facebook Messenger might be used as a tool to coach families on planning for employment?

The purpose of this study is to test the impact of an individualized motivational communication strategy on planning for employment in the community. We are also exploring how individuals with I/DD and family members use information and supports to develop an employment vision, and move from that vision to an employment outcome. All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card in appreciation of their time and effort in participating in this study.

To register, or to get more information, please contact John at or 617-287-4345.


Family Interactions Flyer

Conducting Legislative Visits

i Apr 3rd No Comments by

Instructions for Conducting Legislative Visits


  1. Contact Legislator’s office.You can find their contact information by visiting this web site: Tell them that you are interested in scheduling a meeting to discuss the FY18 Budget and the impact it has on you or your loved one.
  2. Assemble information in a packet regarding the Coalition for a DSP Living Wage and bring it with you to the meeting. a. Print out a copy of the Budget Fact Sheet
  3. Bring talking points that you can reference during the meeting
  4. Leave the legislator or staff person with contact information should they need to follow-up at a later date.
  5. When meeting with the legislator (and possibly his/her staff), introduce yourself, share the information packet and talk about who you are, what role a Direct Support Professional (DSP) plays in your life and how the availability of community-based services are dependent on the DSP workforce.
  6. Utilize talking points and include them in the packet you leave behind with the Legislator. You may want to make two or three copies as often the Legislator will have a staff member/aide attend the meeting.
  7. End the meeting by including our Budget Ask – $36 million in state funding, to be matched via Medicaid – to increase all DSP salaries by $1.25 an hour. Tell the Senator/Assemblyperson that you appreciate the opportunity to meet and hope you can call upon him/her for support. Thank them for meeting with you.
  8. Ask if there is any additional information that he/she would be interested in receiving.
  9. Write a thank you letter to the legislator after the meeting and restate the talking points.


We’d love to hear how your meetings went. If you can, email with an update and additional details about your legislative sit-down.


DSP Coalition Budget Talking Points


i Mar 20th No Comments by



It’s that dreaded time of the year again…but it doesn’t have to be! You can call 211 or 908-237-1689 and ask for an appointment to meet with United Way’s IRS-certified volunteers. This is a great, free tax preparation service!

Volunteers Needed for Research

i Feb 23rd No Comments by

Volunteers Needed for Research Study on The Experience of Single Parents of Adults with Autism
Spectrum Disorder

WHO: Participant Criteria:
1. Parent of a child on the spectrum
2. Child is 21-years-old or above
3. Parent lives in the home with no other adult (friend, romantic partner, family member, etc.)
4. Child was diagnosed with ASD, autism disorder, Asperger’s, or PDD-NOS by a licensed professional
5. Available for a single interview lasting approximately 1 hour.
6. Participants will not be excluded based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, or ethnic origin.

WHERE: If possible, researcher will meet you at the location of your choice.

BENEFIT: To help deepen the understanding of the experience of single parents of adult children with ASD.

COMPENSATION: Entry into raffle for a 50-dollar American Express gift card.

CONTACT: Bryan Peightal, M.S. at or 215-485-0423

We’ve Got Some Questions!

i Feb 13th No Comments by



Hello PCIL Friends! We are in the process of planning “Dish’n On Nutrition Part 2”.

The workshops that PCIL offered last year to our consumers were a huge success! This year we will be offering additional food workshops including more “hands on” meal planning and cooking.

We hope to start these new 12 week workshops this spring starting in April.

If you would be interested in attending the upcoming workshops, we would like to know the best available days and times for you. Please let us know by email or telephone. We can’t wait to get started!

Thank you for your quick response!