Volume 34, Issue 3, Summer 2021

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If you require any of this information in an alternate format, such as large print, braille, email, or audio format, for example, please submit your request to info@northcountryil.org

PDF Version available below:

A Note From the Executive Director

As we are entering a new season and see the brighter horizon ahead, I want to share some good news. We are conducting in-person meetings by appointment in the office and community. We are also opening our doors to the public as of July 7, 2021. We continue to follow recommended guidelines and respectfully work with all at their comfort level. Of most excitement is that we are holding our long-awaited new office ribbon cutting on July 26th at Noon. The event is outside in our parking lot with refreshments. Our Staff and Board members will be present to celebrate this and the historic 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We are happy to continue looking forward and to continue the vital work that we do every day in honor of the ADA. This legislation was monumental in the Independent Living movement and we have accomplished such success in these past 31 years. We must and will celebrate as well as Lead On in honor of ourselves and those before us who paved the way for this important civil rights legislation. As we know, we still have work to do. Check out #ThanksToTheADA or calls us to learn more about the ADA..

Thank you to all for your support! – Jill Nyberg, Executive Director

31st Anniversary of the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a broad civil rights law designed to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for
the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
Thirty-one years ago, on July 26th, 1990, the ADA was signed into law.
Like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex, the ADA seeks to ensure
equal opportunity for people with disabilities. It does not guarantee equal results, establish quotas, or require preferences favoring individuals with
disabilities over those without disabilities. Each requirement of the ADA is applied on an individualized, fact-specific, case-by-case basis. The intended outcome is equal access to the economic, social, educational, and environmental resources of American society.

The law says in essence, disability is a natural part of the human experience that in no way diminishes the right of individuals to: live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, and enjoy full inclusion.


The Atlantis Community was started in Denver, Colorado, in 1975, when Reverend Wade Blank, a former nursing home Recreational Director, assisted nursing home residents with disabilities to move out and start their own community. In 1978 protests were held in Denver by members of the Atlantis Community and Blank, against the lack of wheelchair accessibility on public buses. These protests included the nation’s first demonstration for wheelchair-accessible public busses. At that protest nineteen members of the Atlantis Community (called the Gang of Nineteen) chanted “We Will Ride” and blocked buses with their wheelchairs, staying in the streets throughout the night. In 1983, the Gang of Nineteen started ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today) after several years of similar bus protests. ADAPT continues to be active today.

ADAPT has fought many battles since and remains a very active disability advocacy organization. More information on ADAPT’s current issues and advocacy can be found online at https://adapt.org

Myths & Facts of Working with a Disability

Myth: I cannot work while receiving Social Security benefits.
Reality: You can work while receiving Social Security benefits! There are income limits that cap how much you can work without losing your benefits. Those numbers vary depending on what type of benefit you are receiving.

Myth: People with disabilities receive special treatment at work.
Reality: Workers who may need some adaptations at work may ask for accommodations If you are a person with a disability, you can ask for a reasonable accommodation at your place of employment if you believe it would improve your work quality and experience. Employers are required to work with staff on reasonable accommodations to make the workplace accessible for them. They are required to work with them unless it would create undue hardship or are a direct threat to the business. People with a disability do not receive special treatment, they ask for these reasonable accommodations to create equity in the workplace.

Myth: People with disabilities are not qualified applicants.
Reality: Employers cannot discriminate against people with disabilities in the hiring process. People with disabilities can be highly qualified applicants. Those applicants who might have disabilities might complete the tasks given to them differently than other applicants. But those who do have a disability might need accommodations but are still expected to complete the same amount of work as their coworkers.

Transportation Talk

Hello from the Transportation Voucher Program! Summer is finally here!

We have some good news to share! We received a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust. Starting July 1, 2021 this grant will allow us to once again pay for rides for people with disabilities who need accessible transportation. It will also allow us to provide emergency or limited rides to people with disabilities who are not already enrolled in our program. We are thankful to be able to provide these services again.

Just a friendly reminder to transportation consumers, if you have Medicaid (Forward Health) please contact the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation provider for transportation to your medical appointments. The phone number to contact them is 1-866-907-1493.

The best way to contact me is by cell at (715) 817-4646 Voice/711 Relay or by email at sushine@northcountryil.org if you have any questions. Stay cool and stay well!

  • Sunshine Lemieux, J.D. NCIL Transportation Program Coordinator

Transportation—Volunteer Drivers Needed

North Country’s drivers get $0.58 cents per mile (the Federal Rate). We are looking for drivers to help provide rides to elders and people
with disabilities.

For more information or an application, call or email: Sunshine at (715) 817-4646 or (800) 924-1220 V/TTY or sunshine@northcountryil.org

Personal Care Program Update

North Country Independent Living’s (NCIL) Personal Care Program is looking for caring, committed people to provide
one-on-one, consumer-directed caregiving services for people with disabilities in Douglas County, Wisconsin.

We understand how difficult it can be to find a job that balances your time with school, kids, or other priorities. We’ll do our best to provide flexible options that work with your schedule.

As a Personal Care Worker at NCIL, you will build relationships and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Your goal will be to work alongside individuals assisting them to perform daily functions which may include meal prep, errand running, shopping, dressing, bathing, medication reminders, and light housekeeping. Your compassion and diligence as a caregiver will make a difference in the lives of the
consumers you work with and help them feel encouraged, involved, and empowered.

If you have had a job or experience as a caregiver with similar goals and responsibilities, we’d love to connect with you!

Call or email us today – Jodi at 218-393-9976 Voice/711 Relay or jodi@northcountryil.org or Ann at 218-590-1242 Voice/711 Relay.


North Country Independent Living’s
Superior Office Ribbon Cutting
Date: July 26, 2021 at Noon
Check out our FB page for a live
stream of the event:

31st Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) Anniversary
Date: July 26, 2021
Website: www.adaanniversary.org/

New Independent Living Specialist

Hi, my name is Leighann Granados, and I am the new Independent Living Specialist for Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron
Counties. I have a background in Advocacy and Marketing. I started my position in March 2021, and everybody has been so
helpful. I enjoy working with people and have a knack for helping people find the resources that they need.

I am from Ashland and have lived here my whole life. My husband Dave and I have two very active boys ages 11 and 17.
We have a lot of projects to get done around the house so we are always doing some sort of construction in our downtime. I
am excited to be a part of the North Country Independent Living team!

New Transportation Program Office Assistant

Hi, my name is Jenny Zylka, and I’m from Wrenshall, MN. I graduated from Carlton High School in 2019. I previously was a
kennel tech and worked with dogs at a training facility. Now I will be starting in July 2021 at North Country and will be
working with Sunshine in the Transportation Program as an Office Assistant. I am excited to start working with North
Country Independent Living!

New Bookkeeper

Hi! My name is Jade Scholz and I am the new Bookkeeper at NCIL. I am beyond excited to join the team and use my knowledge and
skills with bookkeeping. I have always taken an interest in accounting/bookkeeping, so I look forward to using my past work experience and education from college where I received my Associate’s Degree in Business Management.

To get to know me better I would love to share a few things about my personal life! My boyfriend and I bought a house out in the country in Iron River, WI in 2019. Soon after buying a house, we decided to finally get a dog to enjoy our time with, and we sure love her! I could not be happier with how our lives are going and a huge part of that is knowing I now work with such an amazing organization.

I look forward to meeting everyone and growing with you!

Grassroots Efforts

North Country coordinates a network of individuals known as DARING (Disability Advocacy Resources and INclusion Groups) their focus is to receive and share information on disability topics such as new technology, requests for assistance, training, legislative updates,
action alerts and more!

Do you or a loved one have difficulty hearing or using the telephone?

The Telecommunications Equipment Purchase Program (TEPP) assists people with disabilities buy specialized equipment they need in order to use basic telephone services. TEPP is paid for by the Wisconsin Universal Service Fund (USF) established by the Public Service Commission. Money is collected from Wisconsin telephone service providers to fund the USF.

TEPP requires that an applicant:
• Be a Wisconsin resident.
• Be a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or mobility or motion
• Needs special equipment to use the telephone in the home or when traveling
(such as a TTY, amplification, visual alert system, etc.).

There is no age or income limit, but an individual can only get a TEPP voucher once every three years for the same type of disability. For more information or assistance with completing an application contact one of North Country Independent Living’s Independent Living Specialists listed below.

Sempre Bluetooth Cell Phone Amplifier

Today, we highlight the Clarity Sempre Mini Bluetooth Cell Phone Amplifier with Headphones. Hear your mobile phone calls loud and clear! The small and portable Sempre Mini amplifies your personal conversations.

This personal amplification system works with Bluetooth enabled mobile phones (iOS and Android) so you can enjoy extra loud calls up to 116dBSPL. They have built-in clarity power with high-frequency emphasis and a built-in microphone.

The device includes extra-loud headphones or optional binaural earbuds, 3.5mm jack, missed call notification, and a rechargeable battery, built-in shirt clip, and lanyard with quick-release safety mechanism. You are able to recharge in 2 hours for up to 7 hours of talk time.

If you are interested in more information about the Clarity Sempre Mini Bluetooth Cell Phone Amplifier, please contact the independent living specialist, listed below, who serves your geographic area. 

Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron Counties
Leighann Granados, Independent Living Specialist
Call/text: 715.919.6775
Email: leighann@northcountryil.org

Douglas County
Angie Musolf, Independent Living Specialist
Call/text: 715.919.4451
Email: angiem@northcountryil.org

Burnett and Washburn Counties
Don Posh, Independent Living Specialist
Call/text: 715.919.4932
Email: don@northcountryil.org

Price and Sawyer Counties
Ann Belisle, Independent Living Specialist
Call/text: 715.817.2350
Email: ann@northcountryil.org

Donation for North Country Independent Living

North Country welcomes your support in fulfilling its mission of empowering people with disabilities.
Your contribution is tax-deductible. North Country Independent Living is a non-profit agency with
501(c)3 status.


When you shop at AmazonSmile, they will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to North Country! AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support North Country every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app.


If you’d like to make a cash donation to North Country Independent Living, please mail it to 2911 Tower Ave., Suite 9, Superior, Wi 54880 ATT: Accountant or donate to our PayPal.