IVCIL Quarterly Newsletter



Striving to Enlighten the Path and Enrich the Journey for Persons with Disabilities


Volume 18, Issue 2, 2017



New IVCIL Fundraisers: Come One, Come All!

A fun event for anyone!

By: Brian M. Szuda


New to the Illinois Valley: Whiffle Ball Tournament sponsored by IVCH and IVCIL. In addition, anyone may opt for 5 minutes of Knocker ball for $5—an amazing experience guaranteed to be a workout.


Both are being held at St Bede Academy Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 beginning at 9 am. There are 2 divisions for whiffle ball: 12 and under and 13 and over. It is a double elimination tournament with a limit of 10 on a team, while only 7 may be on the field at one time.


Challenge other baseball or softball teams. Put together a family team, a media team, a workplace team, police or firefighter team, restaurant team, bar team or a friend’s team. The possibilities are endless.


Teams must be registered no later than June 16th in order to set pools, game times and mailing to all teams.


Concessions will be available throughout the day. It is a fun filled day with regular P.E. whiffle ball rules.


More information and tourney information is available at http://www.ivcil.com/cms/publish/Fundraising_Events_c/IVCIL_Whiffleball_Knockerball_Tourney.shtml


Or by contacting Judy at 815-223-8628



         Knocker Ball is a one of a kind blast and immense and exhausting fun!        



BUDGET IMPASSE 2017 Continues


Dear Friends of IVCIL:


I am Brian M. Szuda, Executive Director at the Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living (IVCIL), a nonprofit, non-residential service and advocacy organization that assists persons with disabilities.  IVCIL provides services for persons with disabilities and their families, in the communities of Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark counties.


As a community-based, nonresidential Center for Independent Living, we work to increase the involvement of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life.  We encourage and assist people with disabilities to make their own decisions about where and how they want to live. 


The following is an overview of what services and programs IVCIL provides to people:  Information and Referral, Peer Counseling, Independent Living Skills Training, Advocacy, The Personal Assistant Program, The Community Reintegration Program, Youth Services Program, Deaf Services Program and the Mobile Meals Program.  IVCIL is a United Way Member Agency!


With no budget, our services and programs are at risk.  I have included this letter so you fully understand that we need your financial support.  If you can help in any way please complete the below donation section and send it back to IVCIL.  Without IVCIL, nearly 100 consumers and hundreds of non-consumers will lose our services if no budget is signed yet again.


Your help enables us to assist hundreds of people in living in the community and coping with all its challenges. You can visit our website: http://www.ivcil.com and see some of the outstanding work we do!

You can help us to continue transforming the lives of people with disabilities right here in the Illinois Valley.

Thank you for your support!

Brian M. Szuda                                IVCIL

                                                   Sunflower Campaign

Executive Director               18 Gunia Drive, LaSalle, IL 61301          


I am attaching my contribution to support the work of IVCIL:

$50____   $100____   $250_____   $500___   $1000   Other: ________




Phone Number:







IVCIL’S 3rd Annual 5K

Run, Walk, Wheel

Saturday July 22, 2017

Registration starts at 7 AM

Race starts at 8 AM

Location: St. Bede Academy – 24 US Rt. 6, Peru, IL

Pre-registration - $20.00 if paid by June 28th, 2017

Participants registered by June 28th, 2017 will receive a moisture wicking T-shirt

Race day registration $25.00 (no T-shirt)

Proceeds benefit programs of the Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living

IVCIL is a United Way Member Agency
Funding provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services

                                 Run, Walk, Wheel 2017 Official Entry Form

Print Name _________________                               Phone_________________________

Address____________________                               Age______as of 7/22/2017  M/F____

City, State, Zip_______________                             Date of Birth____________________

Circle one:   Youth T-shirt   S   M   L  XL         Adult T-shirt  S  M  L  XL  2XL  3XL

Make Checks payable to IVCIL 18 Gunia Dr. #1 LaSalle, IL 61301. I know that running, walking, or wheeling on a road or grass race is a potentially hazardous activity. I should not enter the event and run, walk, or wheel if I am not medically able or properly trained. I agree to abide by any decision of a race official relative to my ability to safely complete the course. I assume all risks associated with this event including, but not limited to falls, contact with other participants, the effects of the weather, including heat and humidity, the conditions of the road or other terrain, or traffic on course, all such risks are known and appreciated by myself. Having read this waiver and knowing the facts, and in consideration of your acceptance of my entry, I, for myself and anyone entitled to act on my behalf, waive and release IVCIL, St. Bede, all of the sponsors and volunteers, their representatives and successors, from all claims or liability that may arise out of negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons named in this waiver and grant permission to use my picture or likeness.

Signature_______________________________(Parent or Guardian if under 18YRS)

Official Use Only BIB #___________________



Dunkin Donuts, Ottawa

By Cynthia Panizzi

In June, 2015 I wrote a letter to Dunkin Donuts regarding the lack of the required signage for the accessible parking space.  I included the order forms to obtain the proper signage.  Because no one contacted me and there was no signage in August, 2015, I called the store.  Since I was unable to speak with the manager after some calls, I filed a complaint with the Disability Rights Bureau.  On February 7, 2017 I received an email from an Accessibility Specialist at the Disability Rights Bureau stating the owner of Dunkin Donuts has resolved the issue that substantially complies with federal and state accessibility laws and standards.

Dr. Edward Monroe, D.D.S.


It was brought to our attention that the Dr’s accessible parking wasn’t compliant. So I wrote letter to Dr.  Monroe regarding this matter on his accessible parking. I’m waiting to see what his plan of action will be to make needed corrections or improvements.


Jimmy John’s, Peru

In August, 2016 I spoke with an employee at Jimmy John’s regarding their need to install a thresh-hold ramp at their entrance.  The owner/manager then contacted me and inquired where he can obtain a thresh-hold ramp.  I gave him a local resource.  He contacted the resource, someone went to Jimmy John’s to measure, and then the wait began.  The owner/manager and I stayed in contact because he was told several times the ramp was ordered, but was delayed or on back-order.  Therefore, I called the resource a few times to inquire.  I am happy to say the thresh-hold ramp was delivered and installed.  On behalf of IVCIL and people who use a wheelchair, I extend a heart-felt thank you to the owner/manager of Jimmy John’s.

Country House, LaSalle

In March, 2017 IVCIL received a complaint regarding the accessible parking at Country House in LaSalle, so I went to look at it.  The parking spaces themselves are too wide and have no access aisles or accessible parking signs.  Therefore I wrote a letter to the owner/manager informing him of the issue and the requirements of the Illinois Accessibility Code.  I also included an order form to obtain the required signage.  Please watch for our next newsletter for updates on this issue.


Dr. Nicholas Tabor, LaSalle

IVCIL received a call from a concerned client of Dr. Tabor that he hadn’t made any corrective action to make any of the non-accessible aspects of this office ADA compliant and we had worked with him providing him with awareness on what he could do to make his business accessible. Since this didn’t result in any positive outcomes I notified the Bureau of Disability Rights asking for an update on my complaint with Dr. Tabor's office. I’m awaiting feedback from the Bureau.




Cattail’s Shop

By Brian M. Szuda


Cattail’s shop does not have an accessible entrance because of a deck on front with an over 2” rise. I asked them to install an accessible ramp making this entrance wheelchair friendly. Also to relocate a number of display stands because there wasn’t 36” around each display for accessibility. Finally, I asked if they could do anything so the wine tasting area could be made accessible because it is on a lower level with several steps. I’m waiting to see what proactive steps they will take to remedy these issues.


Country Companies Insurance/B.C. Farm Bureau-Princeton

By Lesley Gonigam


Country Companies Insurance/B.C. Farm Bureau-Princeton needed to make their accessible parking compliant and after communicating this with them they made all of the needed corrections and their parking is now compliant and they received a certificate of accessibility award.


Dr. Timothy Puhr, D.D.S.


IVCIL learned that Dr. Puhr had some noncompliant issues with his place of business. I sent a letter to the Dr. after being informed of this and notified him of his very heavy outside entrance door to his business. I also discovered that his accessible parking space did not have any signage. I included a brochure on accessible parking regulations and the Illinois code for doors. I’m awaiting a response to see what proactive steps will be taken to correct these matters.


Youth Connection 


by Marla Michalak, Youth Advocate


February Teen Support Group/Social

On February 17, 2017 we hosted the Teen Social "Scavenger Hunt at the Mall". We began at "The Fun Zone" playing video games. Students were seen winning items and socializing with each other. Each student picked an item to look for while we walked through the mall. Some had kitchen items, others had bathroom and bedroom items to look for. They were instructed to find the least expensive one to purchase under $20.00. Some students couldn't find their item in Sears or JC Penney's and asked a store employee where to find their item, who told them to try Marshalls. When we arrived at Marshalls, I am happy to report everyone found their items. We ended the night with a socialization time eating pretzels and cheese at


Parent & Community Training News

On February 21st, Kathy Fox, L.E.A.S.E. Cross-Categorical Coordinator, Julie O’Brien-Smith, L.E.A.S.E. Speech & Language Coordinator presented the parent/community training “"Incorporating Structured Teaching in the Home" They spoke about The Elements of Structured Teaching; Strategies for Implementation in the Home Setting; and Visual Communication Tools. There were snacks available and certificates of attendance were given out.



When You Hire Your New Personal Assistant


By Sarah Revell


When you hire your new PA, you have to keep many things in mind. All had to pass a background check to be placed on our referral registry, but this isn’t a character reference. There is a list of criminal convictions that would bar them from our registry including Theft, Theft of Lost or Misplaced Property, and Retail Theft.

As the employer of an in-home caregiver, you must trust them with your personal possessions, property, and privacy. They may be given cash, a debit or credit card, or personal checks to shop for you, or to help pay the bills. You may have medications that are controlled substances. You both are responsible that this all remains safe for your benefit. Use of these funds and medications by a personal assistant is theft. 


Protect yourself by keeping all receipts you get for purchases made by your PA, and go over them with them. A PA that allows a third party into your home without your express direction can jeopardize your health and financial security. Make it clear that it is not their decision as to who comes into your home, but yours.


Keep your medications out of sight of visitors, and don’t let strangers into your home. Don’t lend money to your PA and don’t accept or ask for loans from your personal assistant, either. If problems arise, take action as soon as possible. Contact us to report a problem with your PA. You may want to file a police report if your property and medications go missing.


Keep yourself and your property safe! We can help you with Personal Assistant Management training, and/or Fraud training, just give us a call. We would be glad to assist our consumers in better understanding their rights and responsibilities as the employer of a Personal Assistant. We can be reached at (815) 224-3126. Speak to Sarah (Sally) at Ext. 219, or Robin at Ext. 213.


Upcoming Personal Assistant Orientations:

May 23 @ TBD

June 20 @ IVCIL

July 18 @ IVCIL

August 15 @ IVCIL





IVCIL will host the Young-Adult Social for those 18-25 years old and out of high school on Thursday, May 25 at 6:00-8:00pm for Game Night.
Join us for an evening of Bingo and/or card games.

If you have a game you enjoy, please bring it.
RSVP by Monday, May 22


IVCIL Socials


Join the staff for a pleasant time of fellowship and dining! 5:00 p.m. start time.

Call Lesley to confirm attendance at 815-224-3126 ext. 214


May 10, 2017--- Sunfield Restaurant, 2754 Columbus St., Ottawa, IL


June 14, 2017--- IVCIL’s Social/Annual Meeting, Peru City Hall, 1901 4th St., Peru, IL

Meal reservations and self-pay required by June 12th if you are not a volunteer, staff, or Board member for IVCIL.

                    Note time change for this event only: 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.


July 12, 2017--- Sip ‘N Snack, 10 N 4250th Rd., Mendota, IL


August 16, 2017---Senica’s Oak Ridge, 658 East U.S. 6, LaSalle, IL


Youth Services Events


Quarterly Teen Social/Support Group

“Animal Adventure at PetSmart”

Friday May 12, 2017 from 6-8 p.m.

We will be meeting at Peru PetSmart
RSVP required by May 1, 2017


Quarterly Parent & Community Training


“When Love Doesn’t Conquer All”

Tuesday May 9, 2017 
from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
Video Conference in the IVCIL Conference Room

Certificate of Attendance can be provided

Presented by

James Kling, Behavioral Consultant, Alternative Teaching, Inc.

RSVP required by May 2, 2017


17th Annual Teen Summit

Transition Safari – Gearing Up for Life After High School

It’s A Jungle Out There!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

LaSalle County Housing Authority's Centennial Courts Community Center

2222 N. Tonti St., LaSalle, IL 61301

(Grant Street Housing North off of Baker Ave.)

RSVP required by June 2, 2017 by calling Marla at 815-224-3126 ext. 223

Reasonable accommodations available upon request by the RSVP date.




The Status of the Budget on Human Service Providers i.e. Centers for Independent Living

By: Brian M. Szuda


Here we are now in Fiscal Year 2017, and our legislators have yet to approve a budget for funding all Human Services programs, including 22 Centers for Independent Living in Illinois. Sadly, it does not address everyone’s needs and our struggles continue. At this point we are maintaining our normal hours and will do so as long as we possibly can. We are contacting legislators and the Governor weekly telling them to complete a budget.


There are 22 Centers for Independent Living throughout the state of Illinois. State funding stopped as of January 1, 2017, because our legislators and state leaders do not have an approved budget.


This is soon going to be two years our state has not passed a budget to pay agencies like IVCIL even though we have a signed contract with the state. This lack of funding is making it difficult for CIL’s to continue providing services for people with disabilities as it has been in the past. An advocacy group representing all CIL’s has decided to take action. Plans are being made to host a rally at the Illinois State Capitol on May 17th at 1:30 p.m. This rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda and we hope many advocates will participate.


Please contact our local Senator Sue Rezin and urge her to see that a budget is passed. She can be reached at these contact numbers.

District office: # (815) 220-8720

Springfield office: # (217) 782-3840




Please contact our local Representative Jerry Lee Long and urge him to see that a budget is passed. He can be reached at these contact numbers.

District office: # Phone: (815) 510-9689

Springfield office: # (217) 782-0140


Mobile Meals, The Value of Wellness Checks

By Terri Sparling


 Hello everyone.  With this message I would like to let you know Mobile Meals provides wellness checks daily when meals are delivered. For example, at the end of March, two Mobile Meals volunteers had called to say that a consumer had not answered their door. This consumer is either always home, or leaves a cooler outside their door for meals to be placed in. When I had delivered there the week before I noticed a bruise on her face. She had fallen. We tried to call her and her daughter, but there was no answer, so we called the police. She had fallen again and had been lying there for several hours.


Under medical care she had to do rehab, and now is doing fine. I’m pleased to share this with you. Her daughter, who lives out of state was grateful to Mobile Meals for its service of doing wellness checks. I want to thank each of the Mobile Meals volunteers, because without them there wouldn’t be a Mobile Meals program and equally important, wellness checks.


Once again we are in need of several new volunteers who would not mind giving up some free time each month, normally an hour and a half of their free time every other week, to join our Mobile Meals volunteer team. If so, please call Terri at IVCIL. My number is 815-224-3406.




The following list of transportation options was updated by the Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living on March 14, 2017.  Please call the phone number of each option for further details.



Updated March 14, 2017


LaSalle Township, LaSalle


Transportation is for LaSalle Township residents, with service to Ottawa on Tuesday mornings. Transportation is available to Social Security office in Peru and local doctor appointments. They are closed on Thursdays. Hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. They have a mini van - there is no lift and there is no charge. Call for more information. 



City Cab Shuttle

815-224-8294 Illinois Valley Area

815-830-3389 Ottawa Area

City Cab Shuttle is a local service for residents. Vehicle does not have a wheelchair lift, but if person is able to enter the vehicle (unassisted) then wheelchair can be placed in the back. This does need to be discussed with them directly and you are to call to schedule your transportation needs because they do shift work with their services. They operate 24 hours, 7 days a week.



MASS- Mendota Area Senior Services, Inc.


MASS provides transportation services for persons age 60 and over in all of LaSalle County, and to persons under the age of 60, who have disabilities. Wheelchair accessible vans are available. Call for more information. Donations are appreciated.  Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM. 



St. Elizabeth Medical Center - OSF


Care-A-Van is designed to provide transportation for patients who find it difficult to get to the hospital or to their doctor's office for medical care. Services are provided to patients of physicians and dentists on staff at St. Elizabeth, if you live within 8 miles of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Ottawa. This service is not limited to the elderly. Some restrictions apply.  Hours of Operation: Care-A-Van operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All rides should be pre-scheduled as much in advance as possible. Rides are on a first come first serve basis.  There is no charge.



NCAT-City of Ottawa Mini-Bus

877-874-8813 ext. 1

The City of Ottawa have buses which follow pre-determined daily routes that include stops at: senior hi-rises and apartment complexes, South Towne Mall, grocery, drug and some retail stores.  Other stops can be requested on an as-needed basis.  The City’s mini-buses operate from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and are accessible.  Call with any questions regarding this service. There is a bus schedule available online at www.cityofottawa.org. Fee: $2.00 per one-way ride, (if scheduled: $2.50 per one-way ride) 



Angels Private Care, Spring Valley


Transports clients anywhere they need to go, including, but not limited to: church, shopping, luncheons, and doctor’s appointments – covers a wide service area. Vehicle does not have a wheelchair lift, but if person is able to enter the vehicle (unassisted) then wheelchair can be placed in the back.   Fee: Services are on a private pay basis. Call for specific information.




877-874-8813 in Princeton

815-664-5411           Spring Valley



MSW Project, Henry


Transportation is available for Marshall and Stark Counties.  Fares: local in-town round-trip $3, in-county round-trip $5, out-of-county round-trip (less than 15 miles one-way) $6.  Transport over 15 miles one-way $15 round-trip. A $10 fee for scheduled day trips.  Donations are accepted for persons 60 years of age and older. Prices are less for short trips.  No charge for additional stops.  They do not accept public aid.  They also have accessible vans.  Call for specific details. 



Checker Cab


Taxi service – not wheelchair accessible- CASH or Credit Card only


 North Central Area Transit (NCAT)- Public Transportation for LaSalle County

1-877-874-8813 or visit their website at www.ridencat.com.


See:  B-PART (above)


Fares in LaSalle County – call or visit website.






If an individual you serve has difficulty in securing a ride to life situations, call Ed Heflin at the Rural Transit Assistance Center at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Ed, with the assistance of Human Service Transportation Plan (HSTP) coordinators, can help you procure a ride through a network of transportation providers from around the state.

Rural Transit Assistance Center

Ed Heflin



IVCIL Thanks the following individuals, families, and businesses for their

donations and /or memberships…


December 2016 – March 2017



Eileen Bruzas

Church Women United

Mary Jane Grandadam

William Grivetti

Hometown National Bank

LaSalle County Travel Agency, Inc.

Tony Mautino

Kathe McKee

Robert Rehn

Ridley USA, Inc.

St. John’s Lutheran Church

Schimmer Ford

Greg Stanmar


Betty Yuvan




Mary Jane Grandadam

Barney & Kathy Joerger

Mitch & Tammy Landgraf

Greg & Jan Stanmar