Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hooray for Independent Living Centers - Happy Independence Day!

by Emily Flynn, Youth/Independent Living Specialist, Solano County

I started working for Independent Living Resources of Solano and Contra Costa County in May of 2013.  In the past year I have learned so much! I have learned how people with all different disabilities can live independently in their own way.  This may mean getting them tools to budget their finances or to be able to travel on their own to appointments.  It can also mean giving individuals the ability to practice and hone their advocacy skills, know and understand their rights, and how to navigate the institutional systems dedicated to protecting their rights. 

 When I started as our center’s Independent Living Youth Specialist, I had very little knowledge of what Independent Living Centers (ILCs) had to offer.  Being a student with a disability I received the accommodations I needed throughout my schooling, but I had no help outside of school.  Now, one of my biggest goals is to make sure people with disabilities have all the support -both in and outside of school- that they need to be successful in their chosen goals.  
picture of Emily and Rachel setting up an outreach table with AT Network yellow bracelets in their hands
Emily and Rachel setting up an outreach event for Ability Tools

An amazing benefit to my job is how rewarding it is to teach a consumer some of the skills they can utilize to reach their full potential. Our ILC has several different facets, offering  support, education, advocacy, and outreach. The direct services we provide to consumers include independent living skills training, educational support, assistive technology services, peer support, housing referral services and benefits counseling.  

My favorite work experience at our ILC is the one-on-one work I get to do with the consumers.  Sometimes this consists of just sitting with the individual and sharing our experiences and struggles we have both encountered as a person with a disability, and providing advice to one another.  At times I have the opportunity to do some advocacy work with the consumer in different situations such as housing and school accommodation rights. Or, I might receive a call from individuals who don’t know where to turn or simply have no idea what kind of help is out there and I get to point them in the right direction and give them helpful resources.   

 At our center we are also fortunate to have a benefits specialist on staff that is WIPA certified to answer questions and guide individuals  through the Social Security process.    

Another great service provided by ILCs that I myself have used, is the assistive technology service.  Ability Tools, California's Assistive Technology program, has a network of AT advocates across the state that work in ILCs. These AT specialists are able to find or loan out durable medical equipment and other AT to individuals with disabilities that may not be able to find or afford the equipment they need. They also assist consumers with connecting to the AT Exchange to find AT equipment for free, low cost or to borrow or for free.  The services at your local ILCs can provide you the support and skills to enable you to live a more independent life.

The services provided at Independent Living Centers can really change people’s lives.  I am grateful for the opportunity to assist people every day.   It has changed my life and hopefully it can change yours as well. My hope is that  consumers won’t  go through the same struggles that I have experienced with my disabilities. Since ILCs are managed by mostly people with disabilities, this gives them a uniqueness that not all other nonprofits have. The goal of ILCs is to empower individuals and promote independence.  I would encourage any person living with a disability that may have questions to contact their local Independent Living Center.  


  1. Very informative blog about independent living, i like this.

  2. Great Job Emily & Rachel!

  3. Thanks for this post. Independence should always be encouraged even if only a small amount of the activity can be undertaken, it is so important toward promoting self worth and maintaining an independent lifestyle.

  4. tnx for this ...

  5. خميس مشيط

    هل تبحثون عن شركة صيانة منزلية شاملة اذ انتم فى المكان الصحيح الان مع فرسان شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط
    تقدم لكم افضل الخدمات للتنظيف ومكافحة الحشرات فهى ارخص شركة تنظيف فلل بخميس مشيط
    وافضل و شركة تنظيف شقق بخميس مشيط
    وايضا شركة تنظيف مجالس بخميس مشيط
    و شركة تنظيف موكيت بخميس مشيط
    وكذلك نقوم بتنظيف المساجد فنحن افضل شركة تنظيف مساجد بخميس مشيط
    وايضا تقد م لكم خدمات مكافحة الحشرات بجميع انواعها فهى ارخص شركة مكافحة حشرات بخميس مشيط
    وايضا شركة رش مبيدات بخميس مشيط

    وكذلك شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بخميس مشيط
    فلا تترددوا اتصلوا بنا الان

  6. تعتبر حشرة الناموس او البعوض من اكثر الحشرات الطائرة انتشارا في العالم و هي تعد كثاني أكثر الحشرات الطائرة انتشارا بعض الذباب و تعتبر حشرة الناموس او البعوض واحدة من الحشرات التي تؤرق حياة الناس لما تتسبب به من مشاكل و اضرار عديد تجعل الانسان لا يشعر بالراحة في الاماكن التي تتواجد بها تلك الحشرة الصغيرة حيث تصيب الانسان بلدغاتها المتكررة و المؤلمة مما يثير ضجر و سخط الانسان بالاضافة الى طنينها المزعج للغاية و تتغذى انثى البعوض او الناموس على دم الانسان و الحيوان و الطيور فهي بتعتمد في غذائية على الدم لكي تحافظ على نسلها حيث تحتاج انثى الناموس الى الدم لكي تستطيع انتاج بيضها اما الذكورر فتتغذى على رحيق الازهار و النباتات و تختلف اعمار الذكور عن النساء حيث تعتبر الذكور سريعة الموت و لا تتعدى الاسبوع الواحد اما الاناث فأعمارها تتراوح ما بين الثلاث لاربع اسابيع .
    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام
    شركة مكافحة حشرات
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام