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I hope this message finds you well this month of October. Since our last newsletter, many good things have happened at TACIL and we are going to share some of them with you. We conducted some Community Development Activities, closed our fiscal year strong, and established the foundation for some new projects that will start soon T.

·        A message from our Board of Directors

·        A recap of TACIL’s activities

·        ASL Classes Announcement

·        Halloween Safety Tips

·        SILC Meeting Announcement

·        Recipe of the Month

·        Appreciation of our collaborators


Welcome to the Board of Directors new spot in our monthly newsletter! Now that we have completed our fiscal year and are beginning a new one, many of you may have noticed the recent changes at the Center. One example is how the lobby has seen a complete transformation, we have new signs, and there are many other changes on the way.

Sometimes changes can be difficult to accept, however, it can also improve the quality of the Center. We appreciate our consumers and the agencies that work with TACIL in helping us to get the job done. Together, we can grow and provide more programs that will continue to meet the needs of the community. There have been many cutbacks with the economy and it does trickle down to the Center, however, we have an excellent staff that has learned to be more creative with ways of meeting the needs of consumers.

The holidays are quickly approaching and that means there will be more individuals out there who will need help. Take a moment and help someone, donate your time, or clothing and food. Maybe someone has helped you out, so pass it on to someone else. What a great way to say thanks by passing it on.



TheAbility Center now has two programs instead of its customary 3 that we would report on. With a heavy heart, we had to terminate our contract with Aging and Long-term Services to provide life skills to persons with Traumatic Brain Injury. However, we are undertaking other endeavors that will be more fruitful for our constituency. We strongly believe that the old adage, “when one door closes, another opens,” applies so fittingly to the nonprofit world.

·        Our Independent Living Program continues providing quality services to persons with disabilities in southwestern New Mexico. We continue to provide the mandated core services plus additional optional services such equipment loans and supplementary food assistance. Our Independent Living Program is growing in service requests and demands so we’re looking to response to this increase to meet all these demands.

·        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. This program has grown in enrollment recently, and we’re looking forward to assisting our new Consumers in meeting their financial goals

·        Our collaboration with the Carl C. Anderson, Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, continues to do well assisting 24 low-income elderly persons with disabilities with monthly food rations. Implementation for August through October has gone well without any problems.  

We want to thank those consumers who attended our first ever Consumer Breakfast, October 19th. It was fun to give back to those individuals who have given us so much.


In collaboration with the New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NMCDHH), we’re happy to announce the beginning of ASL classes at The Ability Center. Classes start November 8th and there will be 2 sessions; one for beginners and one for intermediate participants. Schedules are available for download at our web site or you may call (575) 526-5016 for more information.




Halloween Costume Safety
This section is for kids and adults. The right costume for you or your child can make all the difference for a fun Halloween. Adults seem to go more for horror themed costumes while kids seem to go for super heroes or the popular TV cartoon of the day. Check out Halloween Online's Make-up and Costume section for ideas.

Letting your child pick out his or her own costume, within reason, will give them a sense of responsibility and make them feel good that they could pick out their own costume.

One problem today for little girls, and boys as well, is that good role models are few and far between. If your little girl wants to dress up like a certain rehab bound starlet or heiress, steer them to a more positive role model like a nurse, teacher or President. A princess or fairy are always good fantasy choices as well. If your little boy wants to be like the latest drug addicted rap star or athlete, point them towards something like a fireman, doctor, or military person. They could also go for the latest cartoon of their choice.

Whether store bought or home made, Halloween costumes should be fun and scary yet safe. Below are some ideas to hazard-proof your Halloween fun. Costumes should be scary to those who see them, not those who wear them! Here are some easy tips to make your Halloween a safe and happy one!

Kids Costume Tips

Costumes should be made of flame retardant material. If they are home made, make sure and use either a fire retardant spray or fabric that has been treated with fire retardant.

Make sure to work into your child's costume reflector strips, a flash light or light stick to make them more visible at night. This will assure that they are seen by drivers and that you can keep an eye on them as well if they get ahead of you while trick or treating.

Do not include high heel shoes or long dangling pieces of costume that your child could trip over. A scraped knee or bloody nose can really ruin their fun.

If they are carrying a prop such as a scythe or sword, make sure they are made out of a flexible plastic that will bend if fallen on. Most of the props available today are made of flexible plastic.

If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that the eye holes are big enough to see not only in front but peripherally as well. You may have to cut them open further yourself. If so, use some black or gray grease paint around the eye socket to cover skin.

If you and your child are going out with a group, make their costume a unique one so you can spot them easily in a crowded area. Use flashing lights or jewelry to make them stand out.

If you have more than one child, save costumes from year to year to pass down or to exchange with friends. You can add extra accessories or dress them up a little to make them different from year to year.

Adult Costume Tips

Make sure that your costume fits properly to avoid any accidents like tripping over a long dress or cape. Make sure that it is comfortable since you'll probably be wearing it for a few hours.

If you plan on doing any trick-or-treating with a group, and yes, some adults still do go out trick-or-treating, make sure that your group isn't too big and that you all have some type of reflective or flashing item on your person so cars can see if.

If you are wearing a mask, make sure that it is comfortable, has adequate eye holes and proper ventilation. If you have to cut the eye holes bigger, just use matching grease paint around your eyes to fill in where you have removed mask.

Women, if you are wearing something "low cut and sexy", as Elvira would say, make sure that you can easily get in and out of the costume for bathroom purposes. Nothing will ruin your fun at a night club or party faster than not being able to make it to the bathroom in time.

Picking your costume should be a fun and exciting time for you and your child. Just take your time, try it on in the store if possible and make sure that it's something that you really like!


The New Mexico Statewide Independent Living Council will have its quarterly meeting in Las Cruces on November 16th, 2010 at The New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabiliation Offices for Area 3 Located on 3381 Del Rey Blvd. L.C. N.M. 88012 . SILC  is a consumer controlled organization which develops, monitors, and evaluates the federally funded State Plan for Independent Living in the state of New Mexico , which promotes the Independent Living philosophy statewide. The SILC also provides support and technical assistance to the entire network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) like The Ability Center.


Keeping with the Halloween Theme, This month’s recipe is Wicked Cupcakes to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.



  • 1 1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cups prune juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 4-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 drop food coloring (green), optional
  • Chocolate wafer cookies
  • Licorice strips
  • Toasted coconut
  • Small candies
  • Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners


For the cupcakes: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F. Set liners in muffin cups.

Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.

For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth. Add food coloring as desired. Refrigerate the frosting until firm.

To decorate the cakes: For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the hole and to come over the cake to make a face. Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before serving.




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:

·        Blas Rel

·        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

·        Independent Living Resource Center of Albuquerque

·        Our Dedicated Board of Directors

·        Our Dedicated Staff

·        Rehabilitation Services Administration

·        San Juan Center for Independence

·        Sandra Williams

·        Social Security Administration

·        The McCune Charitable Foundation

·        The New Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons

·        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