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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights, Human Services

Mission: IndependenceFirst is a non-profit agency directed by, and for the benefit of, persons with disabilities. We primarily serve the four county metro Milwaukee area.  Our vision is for full inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of our community.  With over 20 programs to benefit independent living and access for people with disabilities, we serve thousands each year.  We’re the community’s FIRST resource when they have questions about disability and access, answering nearly 6,000 information and referral calls each year.  We serve people with all kinds of disability, in all age groups.  Over 51% of our staff, managers and Board have disabilities themselves.

Target demographics: People with disabilities of all kinds, in all age groups.  Family members or other service providers who are interested in independent living for people with disabilities.  Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties primarily, but some statewide programs.

Geographic areas served: Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties primarily, some statewide programs

Programs: Advocacy - individual and Systemic, Assistive Technology Consultation, Independent Living Skills training for youth and adults, Benefits & Employment Counseling, Job Club, Peer Support, Information & Referral, Accessibility Consultation, Counseling & Services for Victims of Abuse who have disabilities, Personal Assistance Services, Attendant Referral, Wheelchair Sports & Adaptive Recreation for Youth and Adults, Youth Leadership Training and Skill Building, and MUCH MORE!

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an accessibility consultant who has toured the IndependenceFirst facility as well as received disability-related facts, insights and and suggestions. The facility is all around amazing. It is obvious that each and every detail in its construction -- from flooring to the bathrooms to the tables/chairs to the kitchen, etc -- was designed to make everything easier for the disabled visitors and staff. The staff with whom I've interacted have all been extremely friendly and insightful. It is really clear that they are passionate about their advocacy. My previous employer donated computer equipment to IndependenceFirst as well -- a service that many local business participate in.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff of Independence First are experts in all types of disability. I have worked with them getting services so that people can move from nursing homes to the community. I have worked with them helping people get transportation they need and working to prevent homelessness.