Empowering people with disabilities to achieve free and independent lives
Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living (TLCIL) is a grass roots, not for profit, civil rights organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities gain equal access to the communities they live in. We believe that everyone deserves to live well, and participate fully in the communities that they live in.
TLCIL is a peer run organization. This means that we understand what people with disabilities face because we too have been there. Over half of our Board of Directors has a disability, and over half of our staff has a disability too.
Our center has been proudly serving the Saranac Lake region comprising both Franklin and Essex counties for over 10 years.
Tri-Lakes Center for Independent Living
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Building a Greater Community
TLCIL is not just here to assist individuals with disabilities. We are also here to help business owners, housing providers, private and public service providers, and all other members of the community find ways to build bridges between the disability community and the greater area community.
We can help Housing Providers:
- Understand and come into compliance with the ADA and FHA
- Work out issues with tenants
- Understand how reasonable accommodations work
- By helping your tenants secure rental assistance
- By helping your tenants apply for HUD
We can help Businesses:
- Understand the value of employing individuals with disabilities
- Understand what reasonable accommodations are in the work place
- Determine how to make sure their businesses are accessible to the over 10,000 individuals with disabilities in Franklin and Essex counties
- Take advantage of tax breaks available for making modifications for the purpose of accessibility
- By advertising your business on our webpage so that people with disabilities, and the rest of the community know that you are accessible
- By teaching your staff disability etiquette
Our staff members are here to help.
William Miller became the executive director of TLCIL in 2016. William holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY-Potsdam, and an MSLIS from University at Buffalo. Prior to coming to TLCIL William owned a jewelry manufacturing company, worked as a psychiatric rehabilitative case worker, and worked in independent living as a disability rights advocate.
Mary Lamica began working at the TLCIL in 2018 as an Independent Living Specialist. She became Program Manager at TLCIL in 2019. Prior to working for TLCIL, Mary worked in human services and also worked as a nurse. Mary has a BS from Empire State College and is a Cornell University certified work incentive practitioner. Mary finds nothing more rewarding than helping people with disabilities.
Independent Living Specialist
Tena Euber is an Independent Living Specialist and has been employed at TLCIL since August 7, 2017. Prior to working at TLCIL Tena worked as a Direct Support Professional advocating for people with special needs. Tena earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Human Services at NCCC on May 13, 2017.
Susan Forrette joined the TLCIL in 2018. She received an Associate degree in Human Services from North Country Community College, in Saranac Lake NY. Her time at NCCC also presented her the opportunity to work on an internship at the local Mountain Crest Club. Susan has an extensive background in customer service, mainly for highly rated hotels in the reservations/front desk departments. Susan is the friendly voice you hear when you call TLCIL.
Board of Directors
The Tri Lakes Center for Independent Living is a team of individuals, including a disabled majority, working together to fulfill our vision of empowering people with disabilities with the resources to fan the spark of freedom into flames through education, access, advocacy, inclusion, and unity.
2002 - Origins
TLCIL was founded in 2002 as a joint project between the North Country Center for Independence and the Massena Independent Living Center. The purpose of the project was to bring a disability rights organization to the Tri-Lakes are here in the Adirondacks. The center was located in Raybrook, NY.
2005 - Incorporated
TLCIL became incorporated and independent from its parent centers in 2005.
2007 - SARANAC LAKE
TLCIL moved its office from Raybrook NY to 43 Broadway in Saranac Lake NY in 2007. This relocation was to provide easier access to TLCIL for consumers with transportation issues.
2017 - 150 Served
In 2017, TLCIL served over 150 consumers for the first time in its history.
2018 - 250 Served
In 2018, TLCIL served over 250 consumers for the first time in its history.
2019 - 350 Served
In 2019, TLCIL served over 350 consumers for the first time in its history.
2020 - 500 Served
In 2020, TLCIL served over 500 consumers for the first time in its history.
2021 - 100 Served
In 2021 TLCIL served over 100 consumers in Essex County for the first time in its history.
“I went in for help applying for SSDI, and even when lawyers couldn’t help me, the center was there for me and won my case!“
“TLCIL is the last, true peer advocate organization in the county. They improve the quality of life in Franklin County by bringing organizations and resources together, meeting individuals where they're at and working directly with them to help ensure good outcomes. They work to empower instead of enable, to raise up instead of push along, and to defend where needed.”
What Our Consumers Say About Us
It's not about the work, it's about the people we work for.
Thank you to all of our consumers, their families and friends who have allowed us to be a part of their team and grow together.
“TLCIL has been a lifesaver for me. Mary, Susan, Kevin and staff were able to advocate for me when I was too ill to do it for myself. They made me aware of community resources I didn’t know existed or was even eligible for. Mary helped me through a devastating period of my life, from encouraging me to seek help for my mental illness and teaching me how to advocate for myself. This agency worked with me for two years, always with a friendly, knowledgeable attitude to help me win my disability case. TLCIL helped me get my life back and boosted my self-esteem in the process. I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am for all they’ve done for me especially during a pandemic when other services were halted. We brainstormed, problem solved and even laughed a little. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”