ARISE and Options for Independence Merger to Expand Services for People with Disabilities

The merger of two Independent Living Centers, organized and directed by people who have disabilities, will benefit residents of Cayuga and Seneca counties.

On February 1, 2014, Options for Independence became a part of ARISE, an organization serving Onondaga, Oswego, and Madison counties.  With the merger, ARISE becomes a more regional agency dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of people who have disabilities.

ARISE was formed in 1979 and has grown from a small staff to an agency with close to 650 dedicated advocates offering more than 50 programs in the five designated counties and two programs covering additional counties.

“Options for Independence has been doing important work for 25 years,” says Greg Guy, former executive director of Options and current ARISE director of Cayuga and Seneca counties.  “We looked at a number of organizations after we decided that merging would allow efficiencies and enable us to increase services. After diligent review, there was no question that ARISE was the best choice.  We are excited about continuing services in our counties and have already expanded by starting an employment placement program.”

“We are delighted by this merger and are so pleased to welcome the talented staff and volunteers from Options for Independence to our ARISE family,” states Tom McKeown, ARISE executive director.  “There is no question that both organizations are stronger as one entity.  We applaud the board members from both organizations for their hard work and their vision and we move ahead with confidence.”