Independent Living Center Programs and Services
Information and Referral (I&R;)
The Center provides information continuously to individuals with disabilities, their families and friends, representatives of human service agencies, and cities and towns regarding resources and services available throughout the North Shore and Cape Ann Service Area. I&R; keeps people informed about IL possibilities, expands awareness about the mission and activities of the Center, and reinforces the fundamental IL principle of participation in generic resources and services to the fullest extent attainable.
Independent Living Skills Training
Independent Living Skills Development provides guidance for a person with a disability to obtain the essential skills necessary to function in today's complex society. Categories could include: benefit application and appeal; health maintenance; emergency planning and preparedness; housing search; landlord/tenant relations; financial management; transportation access; civil rights; individual advocacy; consumer-directed Personal Assistance management tips.
Working with a Peer Guide, a Consumer will determine his/her own goals for independent living, which will in turn determine the skill areas for training. The Consumer will then master these skills through a combination of visits with the Peer Guide, written practice, homework and actual hands-on experience at the market, on the bus, in a social setting or at a relevant community setting, and/or referral for training in other arenas such as local community college.
For success in IL, it is necessary to have confidence, to understand how to cope with being "out there" in society and being constantly viewed as "different." Family issues, sexual identification, as a man or woman with a disability, and assertiveness in social and business situations are common areas of concern. The same Peer Guide providing IL Skills training will also assist the consumer on these personal issues. Learning to cope with challenges is equally important for success in Independent Living as any practical skills training.
Advocacy and Education
ILCNSCA brings together its Members and acts in collaboration with other organizations such as the Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council and the other ten MA Independent Living Centers to eliminate barriers to full social participation by individuals with disabilities in society. Advocacy may take any one of several forms including information in the ILCNSCA quarterly newsletter, technical assistance on laws and regulations to other organizations to assist them to take informed, appropriate individual or group action to improve access to their activities and services, or education of elected and appointed local and state officials on rights and benefits of participation by persons with disabilities.