Recent Key NILP Events That Took Place Over The Past Few Months…

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NILP 2016 Annual Meeting & Open House Takes Place on October 26th!

                                                  NILP 2016 Annual Meeting

NILP held its’ successful Annual Meeting & Open House on October 26, 2016. Over 110 people attended this exciting event including consumers, community partners, staff members, board members, and others on this celebratory occasion which also included a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (see below) to officially open our new entrance to our newly expanded agency. Awards were given out at the event to select recipients for special recognition and all attendees got to visit the different services and programs during the Open House portion and interact with NILP staff members. For more photos and information about this event, including the individual Award winners, please visit our NILP facebook timeline by clucking on the following link: NILP Facebook


NILP Conducts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to Officially Open New Entrance to Building!

NILP held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on October 26, 2016, to officially commemorate the completion of our major building expansion project with the opening of the new centralized entrance to our agency (above photo, left to right: Michael Bevilacqua, Asst. V.P., Member Services, MVCC; Joseph Bevilacqua, President & CEO, MVCC; June Sauvageau, CEO, NILP; Kevin Hatch, President, NILP Board of Directors; State Senator Barbara L’Italien; State Representative Linda Dean Campbell; and Wilfred Carpenter, V.P., MVCC). Our building expansion was done in two phases. The first phase created new Transition Staff office space and a multi-purpose training and conference center. The second phase created a more centralized accessible entrance for our consumers and community partners. There was then a third phase which included additional accessible parking and landscaping. Construction began in the fall of 2015 and is now complete with a new, fully accessible entrance that is bigger, brighter, and more accommodating for all. A big note of thanks to the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) in helping to orchestrate this Ribbon Cutting Ceremony as well as all of the Consumers, Local and State Legislators, Community Partners, Board Members, Staff Members, and others who attended this event. This was an exciting event that served as a prelude to our Annual Meeting & Open House (see above) which took place immediately after this ceremony with over 100 people in attendance. Thanks for all that attended this event!


NILP’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence is a Big Success!

NILP Exec Dir Foursome at 2016 Golf TournNILP’s popular annual golf tournament, the NILP 13th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence, took place on June 17, 2016, on a beautiful day at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club in Methuen, MA. Besides a great day of golf, there were many great prizes for the golfers as well as a good number of raffle and silent auction winners. Thanks to all of the registered 50+ Golfers, Sponsors, and Donors who participated in the 2016 NILP fundraising golf event! For all of our supporters of the NILP 13th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence, you are helping to make a difference in the lives of the consumers with disabilities that we serve and we are very appreciative of your support!

2016 Golf Sponsors and DonorsWe also want to take this opportunity to thank the following Key Sponsors for their support of this NILP 2016 fundraising golf event: Enterprise Bank, Salem Co-operative Bank, Commonwealth care Alliance, Element care, and The Hanover Insurance Group. In addition, we would like to thank Herb Chambers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Danvers for being our Hole In One Sponsor!

NILP Holds a Successful 35th Anniversary on April 23rd!Conversation and Dinner at the NILP Gala event


New NILP Banner at Gala 2016NILP held a very successful 35th Anniversary Gala on April 23rd, 2016, at the beautiful Blue Ocean Event Center at the Seaglass in Salisbury, MA. This “black tie optional” fundraising event helped to raise funds for NILP’s services and programs for all people with disabilities who wish to live independently in the community in the region that we serve in Northeast Massachusetts. This great evening featured dinner and dancing to the popular music of The B Street Bombers along with a Silent Auction and Raffle. In addition, we unveiled our new NILP logo and tagline, “Peer2Peer Resources for People with Disabilities” along with our new NILP “about us” video (to view this video, visit our home page) to a great, enthusiastic, and warm reception by the Gala event attendees. Thanks to all of our Sponsors, Donors, and event participants who supported us on this key NILP event. It was a terrific celebratory and it truly was an evening to remember!

NILP and ESMV Collaborate on an Excellent Legislative Forum on March 25th!


NILP and ESMV (Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley) held a very sucessful and well-attended Legislative Forum on March 25, 2016, as the combined ADRC (Aging and Disability Resource Consortium) of the Merrimack Valley at the Mass School of Law in Andover, MA. The theme subject to the Legislative Forum was “MassHealth and It’s Impact on Community Long Term Services & Supports” and included consumers that both NILP and ESMV serve. Massachusetts State Senators & Representatives, local officials, and more. There were over 100 people who attended this event with much lively discussion that led to the importance and necessity of support for community organizations like NILP and ESMV to best serve the consumer needs of people with disabilities.

NILP Participates in 2016 Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

10001564_945651542217604_5500862273519531403_nNILP was proud to participate again this year in the 2016 Lawrence, MA, St. Patrick’s Day Parade that took place on Saturday, March 19th, on a cold and brisk but a sunny day. It was great for us to see so many parade-goers there in support of the work that we do in helping people with all disabilities live independently in the community. Thanks for your support Lawrence!

NILP Holds a Notable 35th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting on October 16, 2015


The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. (NILP) held a very successful 35th Anniversary & Annual Meeting on October 16, 2015, at the Wyndham Boston Andover Hotel in Andover, MA. Since it was founded in 1980, NILP has served as a consumer controlled non-profit organization that has helped the many consumers with all disabilities that we have served for 35 years live their lives to their best and fullest potential by living independently in the community based on their own choice of self-determination. NILP’s 35th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting had the theme of “Honoring The Past, Capturing The Present, and Shaping The Future” and the overall substance of this grand event covered all aspects of NILP’s history as well as going forward in order to best meet the needs of the consumers that we serve through our five basic core services which include Advocacy, Peer Counseling, Skills Training, Transitions, and Information & Referral. Close to 200 people attended this event including consumers, State and Local Legislators, Members of other regional community organizations, members of the local business community, NILP staff members, NILP Bosrd of Directors members, and more. There were a good number of highlights at this event including Keynote Speaker, Christine Griffin, Disability Law Center Executive Director, Giving an excellent talk about the needs for advocacy for people with disabilities for employment and more as well as other significant issues facing people with disabilities in the state of Massachusetts as well as nationally. Also, commendations and congratulations were presented to NILP for 35 years of service at this event including a commendation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, Annual Awards were presented at this event including Consumer Choice Award (presented to Allyson Witt, Town and Country Health Center), Community Partnership Award (presented to Rebecca Godley, Charm Medical), David E. Ray Award (presented to Jami Cope), ADA Champion Award (presented to Joe Couture), Volunteer Award (presented to Paul Castiglione), 110% Award (presented to NILP staff members, Sharon Sullivan and Heidi McCormick), and Staff Years of Service Awards (presented to NILP staff members, Paula Callanan for 10 years of service and Rebecca Puentes for 5 years cof service). Congratulations to all of the Award Recipients! There was also a good number of speakers at this gathering who said some important words to to mark this milestone event from City and State Officials to a few of the consumers that NILP serves that helped to make this event as memorable as it was. For the Annual Meeting portion of this event, the Election of Board Members was completed along with the Board Treasurer’s Report that was presided over by NILP Board of Directors President, Kevin Hatch. Thanks to all who helped make NILP’s 35th Anniversary Celebration & Annual Meeting as tremendously successful as it was including all of our sponsors and donors for supporting this event, volunteers (a special note of thanks to Paul Brouilette for being a great moderator at this event), all of the people who worked so hard in the planning and staging of this event, all of the event attendees, and last  but certainly not least, all of the consumers that NILP serves. More good news, our 35th Anniversary Celebration will continue with an entertainment event, our NILP 35th Anniversary Gala, “Connecting People  With Possibilities”, that will take place on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at the Blue Ocean Event Center at the Seaglass in Salisbury, MA. Watch for more details on this exciting event coming your way soon!

Big Winner at NILP 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence!

ongratulations to Paul Sullivan! Winner of $5,000 Putting Contest at NILP's 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence!

Congratulations to Paul Sullivan! Paul Sullivan, a registered golf player at NILP’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence, was awarded a $5,000 prize check in a ceremony that took place at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club in Methuen, MA, on September 18, 2015. Paul Sullivan sank a 50′ putt in one allowed attempt as an entrant in the $5,000 Putting Contest at NILP’s fund raising golf tournament that took place on June 12, 2015, that was witnessed by many cheering participants along with Merrimack Valley Golf Club officials where the event took place. What a terrific accomplishment by Paul Sullivan to win this difficult and challenging big prize! All of the proceeds from this year’s NILP golf tournament fund raising event, our most successful one to date, went to support NILP’s services and programs that help people with all disabilities live independently in the community in the 52 cities and towns that NILP serves in Northeast Massachusetts. NILP’s 13th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence takes place again next year in 2016 at the beautiful Merrimack Valley Golf Club on June 17,2016, so save the date and mark your calendars! You too could be a BIG winner just like Paul Sullivan was in 2015 at next year’s NILP Golf Tournament! (above photo pictured left to right in back row – Dick Diodati, Merrimack Valley Golf Club Official; June Sauvageau, NILP Executive Director; Paul Sullivan, $5,000 Putting Contest Winner!; Brittany Couture, NILP Volunteer NILP Golf Committee Member; George Kattar, Merrimack Valley Golf Club Official; and in front holding oversize $5,000 Prize Check, left to right, are Kevin Hatch, President of NILP Board of Directors; and Nanette Goodwin, NILP Assistant Director.


NILP Takes Part in Boston 25th Anniversary Celebration of the ADA on July 22, 2015



The month of July, 2015, marked an important milestone with the 25th Anniversary of the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act). On July 26, 1990, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush signed on the White House lawn and enacted the most comprehensive civil rights act for all people with disabilities, the ADA, with the clarion call, “Let the shameful walls of exclusion come tumbling down”. Among many 25th Anniversary ADA events across the country, The Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) participated with a strong presence in the Boston ADA 25th Anniversary Celebration that took place on July 22, 2015. Thousands of people in Eastern Massachusetts and beyond took part in this historic event to commemorate the advent of the ADA. NILP was very visible at this event and stood out wearing their bright blue NILP ADA t-shirts. NILP participants at this event included many NILP staff members, NILP Board members, and also student participants in NILP’s Summer Youth Program. The Boston ADA 25th Anniversary included many events including a March around Boston Common in support of the ADA, a roster of great speakers, from legislators to poets, and lots of entertainment including great live music by disabled performers to a KId Zone with many activities as it was truly a family friendly event that occurred on a day in Boston where the weather could not have been more beautiful on a bright and sunny summer day on Boston Common. NILP, as one of the many Sponsors of this great event also had a booth where NILP staff members met a lot of wonderful people to talk about the many services and programs for people with all disabilities who wish to live independently in the community in the 52 cities and towns that NILP serves in Northeast Massachusetts. With the ADA, we have come a long way in 25 years but we still have much more work to do. NILP looks to be an integral part of that process as an Independent Living Center (ILC) in the region that we serve. To commemorate the passage of the ADA 25 years ago, here is a quote from Justin Dart Jr., who was an American activist and advocate for people with disabilities and also helped with the passage of the ADA in 1990: “Most importantly, the ADA is a landmark commandment of fundamental human morality. It is the world’s declaration of equality for people with disabilities by any nation. It will proclaim to America and to the world that that people with disabilities are fully human; that paternalistic, discriminatory, segregationist attitudes are no longer acceptable; and that henceforth people with disabilities must be accorded the same social and economic opportunities as other people”.



NILP’s Successful 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence Took Place on June 12, 2015


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NILP’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence was a great success and in fact, was the most successful in the history of the agency in raising funds to help people with all disabilities live independently in the community! It was a beautiful day on the Merrimack Valley Golf Club course in Methuen, MA, on June 12, 2015, as NILP held it’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence. This was a tremendously successful event with 98 golfers participating in NILP’s major fundraising event of the year and with 76 sponsors and donors contributing to this tournament to help make this NILP’s best fundraiser in the history of the organization. The day’s festivities began with a 7:00 A.M. Registration & Breakfast and then an 8:00 A.M. Shotgun Start. The participating golfers had a fun day while amidst refreshments being served, action tickets for a fun packet of items were sold along with raffle tickets throughout the course of the event. In addition, the golfers got the chance to participate in a Hole in One Contest for a 2015 Jeep Wrangler (courtesy of Herb Chambers), a Closest to the Pin Contest, (within 6″ of the cup), and a Cash Putting Contest. The day concluded with an Awards Luncheon and Silent Auction items listed and sold. The Awards were comprised of recognition of the Title Sponsor…thank you Ferris Capital LLC!…along with other NILP tournament sponsors who were noted throughout the course of the day with signage, etc. Best Golf Team Score Award was recognized along with “Most Honest Team Score Award” (lowest scoring team) among others. In addition, many raffle prizes were awarded to a good number of lucky winners along with silent auction prizes that were awarded to the highest bidders. There were a good number of NILP Volunteers throughout the day who could be easily recognized by the golfers wearing their bright NILP t-shirts – Thanks NILP Volunteers! You helped to make this terrific event run very smoothly, Thank you golfers! We heard how much you enjoyed playing in this tournament and by doing so, you supported NILP’s cause and mission. Thanks to Mike Farelli and your great staff at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club! Your great support of everything that NILP needed at this event was always there and that’s why we are looking forward to having our 2016 NILP tournament on your fine golf course (June, 17, 2016 – mark your calendars golfers!). A great vote of thanks and applause goes out to all of our wonderful Sponsors & Donors of NILP’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence. It’s really all of you who along with our golf participants, who made this event possible and by doing so, you greatly helped NILP as all proceeds from this major fundraising event went to support people with all disabilities who wish to live independently in the community in the 52 cities and towns that NILP serves in Northeast Massachusetts. Please come visit NILP where you will see a large sign posted in our lobby entrance (pictured above) that proudly lists all of the Sponsors & Donors of NILP’s 12th Annual Golf Tournament for Independence as they all deserve your recognition!




NILP’s DHILS Program Provided a Training in Basic Rights in Special Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Thanks to the funding grant support of Quota International of Lawrence, MA, NILP’s DHILS (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Independent Living Services) Program provided a training in Basic Rights in Special Education for Deaf Parents and hearing parents of Deaf Children on April 1st, 8th, 15th, and 29th, 2015. The training was a collaboration among The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. (NILP), Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and Federation for Children with Special Needs. The training program was a big success and NILP gives a Big Thank You to Quota International of Lawrence with their funding grant support yo make this important training program possible. Pictured in above photo from left to right are: Krista Brown, NILP Marketing & Outreach Coordinator; Eileen Giodano, Quota International of Lawrence; Nanette Goodwin, NILP Assistant Director; Rob Duff, NILP DHILS Skills Specialist; and June Sauvageau, NILP Execfutive Director.





NILP Participates in 2015 Lawrence, MA, St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

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NILP was out in full force for the second year in a row at the Lawrence, MA, St. Patrick’s Day Parade which took place on Saturday, March 28, 2015 (the parade was delayed from an earlier date because of the relentless snow storms that were taking place in New England). Even though it was snowy and cold at the parade, the warm feelings of everybody who participated in it prevailed and a wonderful time was had by all . NILP had 32 people affiliated to the agency who were participants in the parade and it was great seeing all of the smiling faces of all who attended this event. Thanks for your great support of NILP! NILP is already looking forward to participating in the 2016 Lawrence, MA, St. Patrick’s Day Parade!



 NILP’s 30th Annual Legislative Forum was a Big Success!


NILP’s 30th Annual Legislative Forum, that was held on the first day of spring, March 20th, 2015, at the Mass School of Law in Andover, MA, was a great success! Well over 100 people attended this event and with much participation by the consumers that NILP serves as well as the Legislators, Officials, and more who were present. There was a good dialogue with consumers and others sharing their stories and bringing up issues that are central to the lives of people with all disabilities. The key topic of discussion at this event was “Nursing Home Transitions to Community Living” but other current relevant topics were discussed relating to people with disabilities who wish to live independently in the community. Thanks to everybody who participated in this event, which was among the very best Legislative Forums that NILP ever conducted, including Consumers, Legislators including Members of Congress and State Senators and Representatives, State, City, and Town Officials, and more – all of you helped to make this event a significant and memorable one! Thanks also to the Mass School of Law in Andover, MA, for allowing NILP to use their fine facilities again this year for this event. For more photos and notes about this event, please visit the NILP facebook timeline by clicking on the facebook icon on the homepage of this website.



PCA Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House had a Great Turnout!


 On Friday, February 27th, 2015, it was PCA Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House. The Personal Care Attendent (PCA) Advocacy Day had a great turnout with many MA Independent Living Centers (ILC’s) and their staffs taking part as well as other community based organizations and the consumers that they serve in attendance at this PCA Rally to stress the importance of PCA services to the state legislature to help to garner and insure their support for these vital services for their vital services for their consumers. NILP was proud to have many staff members at this important event and we would also like to extend our thanks to the consumers that we serve who also participated in this important PCA Rally.



NILP Staff Member & Author, Sheila Radziewicz, has Successful Book Signing Event!

NILP Staff Member & Book Author, Sheila Radziewicz, Pictured with Her Parents at NILP Book Signing for Her New Book, "The Impossible Only Takes A Little Longer", on December 11th, 2014

NILP Staff Member & Book Author, Sheila Radziewicz, Pictured with Her Parents at NILP Book Signing for Her New Book, “The Impossible Only Takes A Little Longer”, on December 11th, 2014

A very successful book signing was held on December 11th, 2014, at NILP for staff member and book author, Sheila Radziewicz, in conjunction with her new book, “The Impossible Only Takes A Little Longer”. Sheila’s book is her own story about determination despite any society-imposed difficulties because of her disability. Her story is “An incredible story of strength and determination from a woman who believes that nothing is impossible”. Sheila had a great turnout for her book signing and sold and signed many copies of her book at this event along with reading a few select passages from her book and sharing more about her background before joining NILP as an IL-VR (Independent Living/Vocational Rehab)/LTSS (Long Term Services & Supports) Supports Coordinator. Sheila’s excellent book is available on Amazon and you can find out more about Sheila and her book by visiting her website at and


 NILP’s 2014 Open House & Annual Meeting Was a Successful Event!


NILP held its’ 34th Open House & Annual Meeting on October 22nd, 20i4, with a good turnout! The Northeast Independent Living Program, Inc. (NILP) held a successful Open House & Annual Meeting on October 22nd, 2014, at its’ facilities in Lawrence, MA. Despite a driving rainstorm, over 70 people attended this event including NILP staff, NILP Board of Directors members, consumers, people from the business community, and more. The event included light refreshments, registration and voting for Board members, Awards given out, and the business meeting for this annual event. At this event, the following annual awards were given out to the following award recipients: The Community Partner Award – given to Dalia Diaz of RUMBO; The David E. Ray Award – given to Jo Bower, NILP staff member; The ADA Champion Award – given to Dr. Burton D. Pusch, Independent Consultant and Massachusetts One Care Ombudsman; The Volunteer of The Year Award – Carol Rebeenacker; The NILP Staff 110% Award – given to Zuleika Gonzalez, NILP staff member; and The Board Outstanding Leadership Award – given to Barbara Currier, retiring NILP Board of Directors member. Service Awards for NILP staff members: 10 Years of Service 0 given to Kevin Farrell; 5 Years of Service – given to Justine Carlton, Krista Brown, Keith Hill, and Sharon Sullivan. NILP would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to all of the Award recipients and Service Award honoree’s at this years’ event. We appreciate all of your dedication and hard work that exemplifies NILP’s mission, vision, and Independent Living philosophy. Thanks also to everyone who attended the NILP 2014 Open House & Annual Event. All of your ongoing tremendous support for NILP’s services, programs, and advocacy is greatly appreciated! For more information and photos in regards to this event, please visit our facebook timeline and “like us” there. We greatly appreciate your support!

NILP’s 2014 3rd Annual Music Fundraising Event Was a Big Success!


The B Street Bombers were playing their “High Energy Music In Support Of All People With Disabilities” at NILP’s 2014 music fundraising event! NILP held a very successful 3rd annual music fundraising event at the Wyndham Boston/Andover Hotel in Andover, MA, on Friday, September 26th, 2014, with over 200 people in attendance and it was a sellout! The NILP Board of Directors presented this fun event that featured the popular area music group, The B Street Bombers, and this excellent 10 piece group kept the dance floor full during the evening and the event attendees also enjoyed a great buffet dinner and bid on a good number of of raffle items as well as silent auction items throughout the evening that were generously donated by a good number of individual donors as well as members of the area business community. A highlight of the evening’s event was special recognition given to Barbara Currier, a longtime supporter of NILP going back a good number of years to her days as a consumer of NILP to her most recent service as a member on the NILP Board of Directors which she is retiring from in the latter part of 2014. All proceeds from this great and fun event went to benefit NILP’s services, programs, and advocacy for all people with disabilities in the 52 cities and towns that NILP serves in Northeast Massachusetts. NILP gives a big THANK YOU! to all the donors, sponsors, and event attendees who made this very successful event possible! We could not have done it without your generous support and we sincerely appreciate it! For more photos from this event, please go to the NILP homepage and click on the “like us on facebook” icon to view the NILP facebook timeline.



 Patricia Deegan Gives Lecture on “Recovery and The Conspiracy of Hope”


Patricia Deegan, PhD, disability rights advocate, researcher, independent consultant, and international speaker who specializes in the mental health recovery movement and the empowerment of people gave a very compelling and engaging lecture that was organized by NILP’s Northeast Recovery Learning Community (NERLC) on the subject of “Recovery and The Conspiracy of Hope” on September 10th, 2014, at the Elk’s Lodge in Lawrence, MA. Over 150 people attended this great event and enjoyed her fantastic talk that day. For more photos of this event, please click on the facebook icon on the NILP homepage to view the facebook timeline. For more information on NERLC and its’ activities, please click on NERLC on the menu tab on the NILP homepage.



NILP Participates in the 2014 NCIL Annual Conference in Washington D.C. and Conducts a Workshop!

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NILP proudly participated in the NCIL (National Council on Independent Living) “Prevail” Annual Conference that took place July 28th through August 1st, 2014, in Washington D.C. The very full and productive week included a NCIL March & Rally to the U.S. Capitol as well as meeting with key legislators for the area that NILP serves. In Addition, NILP conducted a successful workshop at the NCIL Conference titled, “Creating a New Training & Development Consulting Business Within Your CIL”, which spotlighted NILP’s Education Division, The Training and Learning Collaborative (TLC), and how to create a new business unit in your CIL and ILC to train and consult about IL values and further disability awareness having the potential to not only educate but how it can produce  an entirely new revenue stream  for individual IL programs. For more information on TLC, please click on TLC on the menu tab on the NILP home page and also click on additional information on the NILP facebook timeline by clicking on the “like us on facebook” link on the NILP website.