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We want to wish everyone a safe, enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. As temperatures rise inSouthwestern New Mexico, so will our Outreach efforts and collaborations to reach persons with disabilities, their communities, and their local governments. For this month, this newsletter will address the following :

·        Recap of TACIL’s activities since our last newsletter

·        Travel Safety

·        Recipe of the Month

·        Diabetes care

·        Thank-you to our collaborators



The Ability Center’s three programs continue to do well this month of May:

·        Our Independent Living Program continues providing quality services to persons with disabilities in southwestern New Mexico. Rural Outreach Activities have intensified, in collaboration with the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

·        Our Social Security Payee Program continues to educate Payees on money management, with Consumers sticking to their budgets, learning about savings, and expanding their financial literacy abilities.

·        Our Traumatic Brain Injury Life Skills Coaching Program continues serving Southwestern New Mexico.

·        In collaboration with the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CDHH), ASL classes at TACIL are going well. We continue distributing information resources to the communities we serve regarding Deaf and Hard of Hearing culture, resources, and community education.  We’re appreciative of this grant for it has helped us expand our community education efforts for this fiscal year.

In collaboration with the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, our food bank program aimed at helping 24 low-income persons with disabilities progresses well. Implementation for May has gone without any problems.  This grant has helped us assist individuals who would otherwise experience the drastic consequences of food insecurity..



In addition to the usual stresses of the holidays comes the added load of traffic woes. This boost in gridlock hits right when the days are their shortest and the weather it’s unfriendliest. To avoid the pitfalls and potholes of winter-holiday driving, consider these handy tips.

Plan ahead to avoid a bumpy road

Allow extra time in a travel schedule. Bad traffic can often be avoided with a little preparation. The heaviest travel days are usually before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Consider taking an extra day off so that you aren't stuck in the pack. Also, try to minimize holiday stress by getting the bulk of your shopping done well before the holiday.

Make sure cars are well-equipped for travel. Breaking down in the dark, in bad weather or in the cold can crush the holiday spirit. It's a good idea to take the car in for a winter "check-up." A mechanic can inspect the antifreeze, battery, windshield wipers and other cold-weather components. Make sure that the tire pressure is at the recommended levels, as tires can be hazardous in wet weather when they are not filled to proper levels.

Think before you drive. Leon James, professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and an expert on driver psychology, reminds us that the highways are a community. As much as we may want to think we are isolated in our steel and glass bubbles, driving is really a social interaction without words. To understand holiday driving conditions, think of the way people act outside of their cars in this time of year. Many are worried, preoccupied, hurried, distracted and all those states of mind that make them easily agitated and less careful. On the road, this means that everyone should be more vigilant than usual, give people more distance and be forgiving when someone does something rash or absent-minded. Avoid confrontations, and try not to let other drivers bring you out of the happy holiday zone.

Ease on down the road

Don't think of driving as a chore. Consider traveling to be part of the vacation. Rather than getting cranky from thinking that you are losing vacation time, try to find ways to enjoy the time you spend driving. This might include playing favorite holiday music or pre-recorded holiday "talking books," singing holiday carols or chatting with passengers as if sitting on the couch back at home.

Carry equipment for on-the-road emergencies. If traveling in bad weather or in snow country, prepare for problems by packing flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water and snacks. It's useful to have a shovel to dig out the wheels in case you get stuck, and a bag of kitty litter to pour under the wheels for traction. Also remember to pack the cell phone for emergencies, but be prudent about using it while driving in holiday traffic or in bad weather.

Pack tire chains if you heading into the snow, and consider putting them on before leaving home.

Drive responsibly. Once you get on the road, drive slowly and carefully. It's the time of year when to-do lists can run long, and we all have places where we would much rather be than on the road, but a defensive approach pays off in the long run. Don't drink and drive. Be aware of your physical and legal limits and the potential dangers of intoxicated driving. To avoid other drivers who may have celebrated too much, stay off the roads at high-risk times, such as after nightfall on New Year's Eve.



For those who have sweet tooth, here is a low calorie dessert to try.

Tuxedo Cookies

You can use either the blender crepes or the cocoa crepes in this recipe.


  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons less-fat margarine (with 8 grams fat per tablespoon) or butter
  • 2 tablespoons cooled espresso or double-strength coffee
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips


1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two thick baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2.    Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a 2-cup measure and stir to blend.

3.    Place chocolate chips, baking chocolate, margarine, coffee, and chocolate syrup in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir to finish melting the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.

4.    Add sugar, egg substitute and vanilla to mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed and beat in the chocolate mixture just until combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

5.    With a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared pans. Bake for 8 minutes or until the surface of the cookie is dry (do not overcook). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, and then peel them off of the parchment.

6.    While cookies are cooling, place the white chips in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave on LOW until chips are melting, once stirred with spoon (about 1 minute).

7.    Dip the edge of each cookie (about a fourth of the cookie) into the melted chocolate and let the chocolate harden by placing the cookies on waxed paper.

24 cookies

Nutritional Information:
Per cookie: 131 calories, 6 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 1.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 120 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.



Tweaking your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it's never too late to start. Consider these tips.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It's especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you're at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you're overweight or have a family history of the disease. In the United States alone, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect diabetes to affect more than 48 million people by 2050.

Tweaking your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it's never too late to start. Diabetes prevention is as basic as losing extra weight and eating more healthfully. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association.

Tip 1: Get more physical activity

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. It can help you lose weight but even if it doesn't, it's still important to get off the couch. Whether you lose weight or not, physical activity lowers blood sugar and boosts your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range.

Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greatest benefits come from a fitness program that includes both.

Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber

It's rough, it's tough — and it may reduce the risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control. Fiber intake is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease. It may even promote weight loss by helping you feel full. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Tip 3: Go for whole grains

Although it's not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and ready-to-eat cereals. Look for the word "whole" on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Tip 4: Lose extra weight

If you're overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health. And you may be surprised by how much. In one study, overweight adults who lost a modest amount of weight — 5 percent to 10 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent over three years.

Tip 5: Skip fad diets and make healthier choices

Low-carb, low-glycemic load or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn't known; nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.

Make it a team effort

The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening for everyone age 45 and older who's overweight. If you're older than age 45 and at a normal weight, ask your doctor about earlier testing. Also ask your doctor about testing if you're younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes.

Also share your concerns about diabetes prevention. Your doctor will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.




The Ability Center wants to take the time to thank the following individuals and (or) organizations for the great contributions they have made to the Center helping to fulfill our mission:

·        Aging and Long Term Services: Traumatic Brain Injury Program

·        Blas Rel

·        Brain Injury Association of New Mexico

·        Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Foundation

·        Casa De Oro Care Center

·        Chris Van Horn

·        Christina Little of the United Way of Southwestern New Mexico

·        Deming Luna County Commission on Aging

·        Disability Rights New Mexico

·        Hidalgo County Senior Center

·        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

·        Munson Center

·        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

·        Our Dedicated Staff

·        Rehabilitation Services Administration

·        San Juan Center for Independence

·        Sandra Williams

·        Social Security Administration

·        The Catron County Health Council

·        The McCune Charitable Foundation

·        The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Area 3 Office

·        The New Mexico Governor’s Commission on Disability

·        Wal-Mart on Valley, in Las Cruces, NM

Most importantly, our Consumers for having faith in us and coming back to us for assistance to live a high quality of life in their communities free of exploitation and institutionalization.




715 E. Idaho Ave., Ste 3E Las Cruces NM USA
Phone: 575-526-5016  |  Fax: 575-526-1202