"As a center for independent living," said Kathy, "our whole goal is to help people with disabilities of all kinds to remain in the community of their choice. So, we have a number of services and supports that are available … along with community education and advocacy efforts[.]"
A Variety of ServicesWith specifics varying from service to service, SIL cares for people of all ages who are dealing with disabilities, from newborns in NICU to elderly people in the final stages of life.
"We have independent living skills training," Shannon shared, "peer support, advocacy and information referral, which are four core services. We're now adding a fifth, which is transition [where] we do nursing home relocation through the Ohio Department of Medicaid. We're also starting youth transition where we … partnered with a specific school district in the southwest area of Cleveland."
"On the community side," Kathy went on, "we can help community agencies, colleges, businesses, hospitals [and other community entities] with understanding what their requirements and obligations are under the Americans with Disabilities Act. We can also go in and do an ADA survey of the physical facility [as well as] their business practices. [We] do a lot of community education around ADA. For example, we just did a disability awareness and ADA [presentation] as it pertains to hospitals[.]"
Helping People Help ThemselvesThrough the various programs SIL offers, from peer support to education to transition into independent living, the organization aims to help people to obtain the life skills and confidence they need to thrive.
"Individuals are being taught how to become better self advocates," Kathy said. "[They're learning] how to speak up for their rights, how to speak up for their wishes. That, I think, is what sets us apart."
With their new transitions program, they are not only helping people move out of nursing homes, but they are helping young people to live on their own for the first time, learn how to balance a checkbook, learn how to do their laundry. The SIL's array of services goes beyond simply addressing ADA law and advocacy to addressing the whole person and helping them to learn necessary life skills, many of which aren't taught anywhere else.
Housing, Transportation, Employment, HealthcareHousing, transportation, employment and healthcare accessibility issues are big ones when it comes to those who are living with a disability. SIL helps people to navigate these major areas while also working with companies, systems and communities to create more accessible choices.
"We do an awful lot of work on the systems change side of the fence," said Kathy, "because the reality is that while we envision a society that's accessible to all, we don't have that yet. We're moving towards that, but we're not there yet. So, we bring the voice of the consumer to the table on systems chance efforts, whether it's local, state or federal."
If you would like to find out more about the programs offered through Services for Independent Living, Inc., you can find them on the web at www.sil-oh.org or reach them by phone at 216-731-1529.
Here at HandyPro, we make your well-being our priority. Our interview series goes hand in hand with that effort, and we hope you find it helpful! For more information on how we can help you make your home a home for life, visit us at www.StayAtHomeModificationsINC.com or call me (Brian Pritchard) at 216-212-7531.
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