By Erin Vallely, ATI Advocacy Specialist

January 25, 2022



Each year, the New York State government works together to create a statewide spending plan that meets many different needs. The New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) picks a few important disability issues that they want to see in the state’s spending budget. Independent Living Centers, like ATI, then meet with local government representatives to educate them on these issues. This year’s meetings will take place during February. We are looking for some self-advocates to join us and would like you to attend the meetings with us via Zoom!  

Visitable home design relates to the principle that a person with a physical limitation will have the ability to “visit” anyone whose home is built using this standard.  Presently, the majority of housing in Cortland County has at least one step to enter the dwelling and often the doorways and main floor facilities are not designed for use or navigation by a person with a physical limitation.  This presents a challenge, not only for the person who may be visiting the home of their friends or family, but also for the homeowner who may wish to reside there even after acquiring a disability due to age or injury. 


Nothing defines a community’s ability to integrate its citizens better than the quality, variety, and accessibility of its transportation options. Bus systems offer fixed, flexible and accessible route service for residents to move freely throughout the community to access jobs, school, commerce, and any events and activities that the community has to offer. Taxis fill the gap between the fixed routes of busses and the un-walkable distances in rural areas. For walkers and bicyclists, curb cuts, accessible crosswalk systems, and clean sidewalks ensure safe opportunities to move throughout a community. While a challenge, the vision of a “Complete Community” is not impossible for Cortland County.