Independent Living Success Stories
Coalition for Independent Living Options, Inc. Palm Beach
CILO has successfully worked with a 53-year-old African American male with kidney and heart disease who lives in Fort Pierce, Florida. He has used a Jazzy Elite wheelchair for mobility since 2010, but his mobility has been seriously limited in the past few months because his wheelchair batteries would not hold a charge for more than an hour. He came to CILO to receive help to replace the wheelchair batteries and chewed up rear wheels. As a Social Security Disability beneficiary with a limited monthly income, CILO was able to obtain financial assistance from the Treasure Coast Fund and negotiate a good price with a durable medical equipment (DME) company as well as get them to pick up, repair and redeliver the wheelchair to the consumer with a two-hour turnaround. The consumer, who is thrilled and very grateful for CILO’s help, is equipped with new batteries and rear wheels, and is able to get back out into the community.
Independent Living Resource Center of North Florida, Jacksonville
Parent and grandparent, Sherry was born Deaf but it hasn’t stopped her from having goals for herself or her family. She is extremely proud of her three children – one who is a college graduate, one who is attending college and one who is in the military. They are all keenly aware of her mantra that ‘Deaf people can do everything that hearing people can do.’
Sherry came to the ILRC for assistance and ended up providing assistance to others, working with other consumers who are Deaf to help them find employment. From there, staff at the center assisted her to find a job that Sherry felt was a better fit. Today she is a devoted employee, working for Pitney Bowes in Quality Control.
“I have a lot of goals for myself,” she adds. “I want to be a good role model for the Deaf community and I want Deaf people to have the same attitude that I do – be assertive.”
Sherry wears hearing aids and communicates with the assistance of a sign language interpreter. Her motivation and willingness to engage with the community are a testament to her spirit.
As a participant in our HUD funded, permanent supportive housing program, which consist of housing with supportive case management, one of our participants was able to obtain their bachelor’s degree in social work and find employment. Another housing program participant was able to purchase a home and transition out of the program.
Center for Independent Living of Broward County
JS is a 31-year-old woman, who became quadriplegic after an accident injuring her spinal cord. She had purchased her dream home but it did not have all the features of accessibility to maximize her independence. Modifications were needed to remodel the bathroom, installation of accessible door handles, roof repairs, and installation of wheelchair ramps gave her the home for which she had hoped. CIL of Broward was able to assist in reaching these goals and because of those modifications, her level of independence and community integration is increased. J.S. has realized one of her dreams of owning a home that encompasses all the necessary features that she needs to be successful in her independence.
Living Well with a Disability: A 19-year-old student with Autism joined the Center for Independent Living of Broward’s Living Well program, quietly engaging in the activities and showing interest the programs goals of losing weight and increasing healthier eating habits. It didn’t take long for him to begin losing weight and really get on board with this series increasing his knowledge and journey towards a healthy lifestyle. He has grown to be able to get up before his peers and explain the conception of Living Well to others. At the end of the series, he reported significant improvement in his eating habits and received special recognition for serving as a Living Well Peer.