Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations,
Mission: To empower persons with disabilities to lead inclusive lives through advocacy, community engagement and self-directed services.
Programs: Transportation for independent living - til provides accessible transportation for persons with disabilities in cuyahoga, lake and geauga counties. Access to reliable, affordable and accessibility transportation has allowed individuals with disabilities to work, attend family and community functions, serve as volunteers, go to medical appointments and take advantage of recreational opportunities. This past year, til provided 5797 rides to 169 individuals.
home choice transition program - this valuable service is part of the federal money follows the person program whereby eligible individuals are provided supports to relocate back to the community from institutions. Supports are intensive and highly individualized, and include assistance in planning for relocation, locating housing, securing goods and services and coordinating the move and other supports. Sil also provides independent living skills training and community support coaching for individuals post transition to enhance their skills and ability to remain in the community. During this fiscal year, sil transitioned 29 individuals from nursing homes to homes in the community.
ilst/peer support - these two core services often go hand-in-hand with each other. Independent living skills training (ilst) helps individuals develop skills needed to live in the community of choice and/or become more independent. Examples of topics covered under ilst include: budgeting, using the computer/internet, cooking, laundry, washing dishes, safety in the home and community, developing personal emergency plans and managing a personal care attendant. Peer support services are provided to individuals by someone who has a disability, either staff or trained volunteers. The support person is able to help with the person receiving services from a place of personal experience. Issues covered in peer supports may include: supported decision making, problem solving, accepting disability, identifying accommodations, setting and achieving life goals and general sharing of experiences to ensure the person involved does not feel alone.
advocacy: sil advocates on behalf of persons with disabilities to increase access to community and control over their lives. Activities include participation on local, state and national coalitions, committees and taskforces. In addition, sil hosts an active transportation equity coalition to address transportation barriers. Community education: sil staff are often called upon to present at local and state workshops/conferences on a variety of topics including: disability basics, empowering persons with disabilities in midst of health care reform, transportation equity, managing your personal assistant, and the americans with disability act. In addition, sil hosted two forums on transportation equity (one regional and one statewide). Sil trained 1104 professionals and other community members, to increase skill levels and accessibility in order to enhance their ability to work/serve persons with disabilities. Sil also maintains an active facebook site and continues to increase their presence on twitter. Equipment loan program: sil maintains an equipment loan closet that also includes soft supplies such as adult diapers and pads. The program is free to recipients and relies upon equipment donations from individuals and medical supply companies. During this reporting period, sil provided 128 pieces of equipment and temporary ramps to 80 individuals. Information and referral: sil serves as a resource to the community with regards to information. In addition to helping individuals with disabilities access services/supports and information, sil staff answered 1079 calls for information from 652 community stakeholders on issues ranging from housing, employment, transportation and benefits to how to access waiver supports or help to rid their home of bed bugs. Leadership academy: this is one of sil's newest programs. The premise is that people with disabilities should be involved in the decision-making process as laws and rules are being developed impacting their lives. This 8 week course helps persons with disabilities gain skills to effectively participate in leadership boards of directors and community committees, coalitions and taskforces. Pca program: opportunities for ohioans with disabilities, ohio's rehabilitation services agency contracts with sil to provide administrative and programmatic support to 41 individuals with disabilities in ten counties in northeast ohio. This program assists individuals who are working, looking for work or are pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities with funding to hire personal assistants. This program was ohio's first publically funded consumer-directed personal assistance program. The role of sil staff is to promote the program to the community, provide options counseling to potential participants, orient new participants to the program, provide technical assistance on personal assistance management issues, trouble shoot any other issues that arise and enter billings into state database for processing. Youth transition: a new program providing supports to youth with disabilities in four classes in three area high schools. The program currently serves 55 youth and focuses on skill building and providing information to assist students in preparing for transition to life post- high school, which may include employment, further education or other community living opportunities.