Posts filed under Press Release

Overnight Emergency Shelter Simulation for People with Disabilities - Somerset

Hillsborough, November 10 – The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) and the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is hosting an emergency shelter overnight simulation for individuals with disabilities on Friday, November 20th starting at 5 p.m. at the Hillsborough Municipal Complex, 279 South Branch Road, Hillsborough. Approximately 50 people with disabilities have volunteered to spend a night at the shelter, which will be staffed by volunteers from a number of Somerset County agencies engaged in emergency response operations during a disaster.

This is the 2nd emergency shelter simulation ACI has hosted. Last year’s simulation, which took place at Rutgers University, proved to be invaluable.

Participating agencies include the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, local social service agencies and other stakeholders. Funding for the simulation is provided by PSEG.

Posted on November 13, 2015 and filed under Press Release, Emergency Preparedness.

Changing the Face of Dance & Disability

In a special dance symposium commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clement A. Price Institute is proud to present the AXIS Dance Company, one of the world’s leading and most innovative ensembles of dancers with and without disabilities. The symposium begins with a full performance by AXIS, co-presented by the Price Institute and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, Tuesday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m.

AXIS Dance Company’s engagement by the Price Institute also includes two free community classes in New Jersey on physically integrated dance: Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 2:30-4:00 p.m., at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University-Newark in partnership with the Office of Student Life; and Thursday, Nov. 19, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., at the Minnie B. Veal Recreation Center, Edison NJ, coordinated by the Alliance Center for Independence, a community-based organization that promotes independent living for people with disabilities in Middlesex County. The workshops are open to participants with and without disabilities.

Posted on October 29, 2015 and filed under Press Release.

This Friday, October 9th is the 5th Annual NJ Disability Pride Parade & Celebration!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Carole Tonks, Executive Director, Alliance
Center for Independence Phone: (732) 738-4388 / E-mail:

THE 5th ANNUAL NEW JERSEY DISABILITY PRIDE PARADE & CELEBRATION SET FOR OCTOBER 9th IN TRENTON, NJ Trenton, NJ (please note: this event was previously scheduled for October 2nd)

October also marks the first ever Disability Pride Month in New Jersey.

More than 600 people with disabilities, supporters, friends and organizations representing a wide variety of services throughout NJ will be converge in downtown Trenton for the NJ Disability Pride Parade and Celebration. The event will feature a variety of entertainers, all of whom have disabilities. These include folk musician Johnny Crescendo, singer, Mano Hashimoto, a blind dancer and choreographer who has performed internationally and recording artist Lachi. Drummer and dancer Sidiki Conte, from Guinea, West Africa will bring his brand of music to the event as will crowd favorite, Exceptional Dance Team, a troupe made up entirely of children with autism, will be returning for a third year.

Posted on October 5, 2015 and filed under Press Release, NJDPP.

Disability Groups Organize Protest in Trenton Against Peter Singer

Disability rights activists from around New Jersey, including groups representing parents of people with disabilities, will be holding a demonstration on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton on September 10, 2015. Demonstrators are protesting over recent statements by Princeton University Professor Peter Singer, promoting ending the lives of disabled infants through denial of health care. Organizers are calling on the Princeton University, as well as Governor Christie, a trustee of the school, to publicly denounce Singer’s and take other steps to address what the activists describe as Singer’s “hate speech” toward disabled people. 

“Since about 1980, Singer has promoted public policy that would legalize the killing of disabled infants in the first month of life,” said Stephen Drake, Not Dead Yet’s research analyst and expert on Singer. “More recently, he has expanded his position in the context of health care rationing.”

Posted on September 1, 2015 and filed under Press Release, Princeton Protest.

ACI Receives Grant from Wells Fargo

The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) was awarded a $1,000 grant on July 29th by Wells Fargo to support the organization’s mission of supporting the philosophy of independent living for all individuals with disabilities.

Founded in 1986, ACI is the designated Center for Independent Living for Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties in New Jersey. This region is the most populated in the state with over 1 million individuals identified as disabled. ACI's primary goal is to promote and protect the rights of individuals for independence and inclusion in their community.

“At a time when donations from the public and private sectors are down due to the economy, we truly appreciate the support Wells Fargo has provided,” said Carole Tonks, Executive Director of ACI. “We will use this grant to provide programs and assistance for the disability community.”

The grant was awarded as part of Wells Fargo’s Community Connections program, which provides local branch managers the opportunity to make a $1,000 charitable contribution on behalf of Wells Fargo to a nonprofit of their choice.   

Wells Fargo’s 54 branches in the Southern New Jersey-Central Jersey area distributed a total of $54,000 in grants to support nonprofit groups - $1,000 for a nonprofit identified by each store manager.  

“Our local branches see which nonprofits are out in the community making a difference every day,” said Linnette Shaver-Johnson, Wells Fargo’s Central Jersey area president.  “We use this as an opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to ACI for all of the value they have provided to our community over the past year.  

The Community Connections program offers Wells Fargo store managers the opportunity to provide additional grants to local nonprofits of their choice in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. A total of $140,000 in Community Connections grants is slated to be distributed throughout the month of July in Southern New Jersey.

Posted on July 30, 2015 and filed under Press Release.

ACI is Bringing Get FIT to Edison Later This Year

The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) is bringing Get FIT to Edison with the goal of providing inclusive healthy living opportunities for people of all abilities. Get FIT which was launched in 2008 by The Family Resource Network, is a national movement of organizations all of whom are connected in the mission to increase health and wellness opportunities for people with disabilities, chronic illness and their caregivers. Get FIT provides evidence-based programs that have been tailored to meet the specific needs of people with varied ability levels. Get FIT participants have reported that they experienced an improved quality of life, increased independent living skills, improved health outcomes, increased physical activity levels, an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, and a decreased risk of chronic health conditions after being in the program for 12 weeks.

For more information on Get FIT, please contact ACI or visit

Posted on July 21, 2015 and filed under Health, Workshop, Press Release.

Disability Organizations Come Together to Protest Princeton University Professor

Thank you to organizations from NJ, PA and NY for participating in the Peter Singer Demonstration at Princeton University!!

More than 70 people with disabilities, parents, family members and service providers gathered together to protest Singer's most recent statements on the Aaron Klein Investigative Radio show. Singer believes in the euthanizing of disabled babies.

Prior to the demonstration, a coalition of 30 groups sent a letter to all of the Princeton Trustees with a list of our demands: Princeton should call for Singer’s resignation, Princeton should publicly denounce Singer’s comments, Princeton should hire a bioethicist from the disability community in a comparable position to provide a platform for views that contrast to his.

Posted on June 12, 2015 and filed under Press Release, Princeton Protest.