Community Programs & Services
The emphasis of Service for Independent Living’s Community Services is primarily to provide information to professionals and other members of the community to improve service delivery, increase access, and address physical, attitudinal, legislative, and systemic barriers to community living.
ADA and Accessibility
SIL ‘s ADA/Accessibility Program is designed to assist businesses, municipalities and nonprofits understand and comply with the ADA. Services are also available to individuals to understand their rights and responsibilities as well as to increase accessibility in
their homes, communities, and workplaces.
SIL wants to help your business or entity understand and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
SIL is available to assist your business or entity in reviewing its programs, policies and procedures, and to develop best business practices.
SIL can assist you in making your facility barrier-free to ensure compliance with the ADA.
SIL will conduct accessibility evaluations of buildings and facilities to identify barriers for individuals with disabilities. SIL will provide “readily achievable” recommendations on how to remove these barriers, maximize accessibility, and make efficient use of your space.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was designed to eliminate barriers which people with disabilities encounter in employment, state and local government programs and services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications. It only takes a second, due to illness or injury, to become an individual with a disability who could benefit from accessible buildings and programs. Access to buildings, employment, programs and services will make a difference in the personal, professional, academic and social lives of individuals with disabilities. Greater access will likewise bring increased business and afford individuals with disabilities the opportunity to take advantage of what their communities have to offer.
Advocacy and Systems Change
SIL works with individuals with disabilities to gain self-advocacy skills so they are equipped to deal effectively with barriers to community living. Staff also advocate on behalf of a single individual to ensure their needs are being met. In addition, staff are involved with system change efforts on local, state and national levels in order to increase choice and community based options and to address barriers to community living.
SIL provides opportunities for professionals, individuals with disabilities, families and other community members to learn about and gain skills to address barriers faced by the disability community. SIL sponsors small and large workshops and forums throughout the year. Staff are often called upon to present and train on local, state and national levels.
The equipment program provides individuals with disabilities new or gently used items such as walkers, wheelchairs, canes, crutches, bedside commodes, shower chairs, incontinence supplies, and more. The goal is to help individuals who are not able to purchase or obtain equipment through their health insurance. A physician’s prescription must be provided. Recipients must be able to arrange for items to be picked up and returned. Equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. SIL accepts donations of new or gently used equipment. More information on this program is available under the Equipment Program page.
Information and Referral
SIL staff provide crucial, up-to-date information on a variety of disability related topics and community living issues. Staff help problem solve and provide access to accurate information and community resources. Examples include information on adaptive equipment, transportation, accessible housing, benefit maintenance, and community resources.
SIL offers an eight (8) week course designed to help persons with disabilities gain skills needed to participate on community boards of directors, committees, and taskforces. The programs incorporate a series of small group learning sessions followed by hands-on internship experiences. SIL strongly believes that persons with disabilities need to be “at the table” when issues impacting their lives are being addressed. More information on this program is available under the Leadership Academy page.