Center for Independent Living logo  butterfly with center for independent living written horrizontally

2900 Beale Avenue, Suite 118, Altoona, PA 16601
Tel/TTY: (814)949-1905
Fax: (814) 949-1909
Toll-free: (800) 237-9009
cilscpa@cilscpa.org

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You can choose your quality of life.

A picture of Leslie Kelley's sign language class in front of 1019 Logan Blvd. The CIL, a Consumer controlled Agency, offers five core services and many secondary services to our Consumers and families.  All services are provided at the Consumers' request and are provided free to our Consumers.

The CIL’s Core and Secondary Services are as follows:

Core Services

I) Peer Counseling:

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition (pub. 1991), defines peer as;
A person who has equal standing with another.
Peer refers to an equal, not a superior.

The same dictionary defines counsel as;
An act of exchanging opinions and ideas; consultation.
Advice or guidance.

The CIL teams their Consumers with Peer Counselors who have Life Experience with a disability.  Peer Counselors are not psychologists or psychiatrists, they are Peers that have ‘been there-done that’.  The counseling provided is one-on-one and informal.

The goal of Peer Counseling is to assist the Consumer in establishing realistic goals and exercise choice to enable them to live more independently.

II) Advocacy:

Let’s go back to the dictionary where advocate is defined as;
To speak in favor of; recommend.
A person who speaks in another’s behalf.

Lastly, advocacy; Active support as a cause, idea, or policy.

Individual Advocacy deals with issues or concerns to individuals with disabilities.  The topics vary from person to person, but may include transportation, attendant care services or housing.

Systems Advocacy is conducted to protect civil rights and support disability-related, positive Legislative changes.  Emphasis is on empowering Consumers towards becoming Self-Advocates.

III) Independent Living Skills Training:

ILST is the development of daily living skills of people with disabilities.  Consumers may want to develop or improve on one skill or many.  The CIL’s Skills Trainer has a background in daily living activities as well as assistive technology and devices to make those tasks easier.

Examples of Independent Living Skills:
• Housekeeping
• Meal Preparation
• Laundry
• Financial Management
• Assistive Technology and Equipment Training

IV) Information and Referral:

I&R is the core service that is present in all of the CIL’s services provided.  I&R services are integral to people with disabilities and their communities.

Information on Community resources, housing, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, Social Security, OVR employment services, legislation, recreation and other disability-related information is available.

Referrals are made to the appropriate community/provider agencies, equipment providers and financial resources.

V) Transitioning:

Nursing Home Transitioning into the Community of choice is part of the evolution of equal rights. Residents of Long Term Care facilities are shown they can thrive in their community with appropriate supports.  The CIL staff works with the Consumer on where they want to live and then identifies the appropriate Community resources needed to obtain and maintain an independent lifestyle.  The Consumer is presented with an array of Community-based, specialized services.  The services are then coordinated to provide an individualized support network.

High School Transitioning also involves a wide variety of services to graduating students with disabilities.  Students are offered services to prepare for entry into the world after Graduation.

Secondary Services

The CIL offers many secondary services to our Consumers.  The Secondary services described below are ones most often requested.  As with our Core services, all are provided free.

VI) Service Coordination:

Service Coordination is yet another provided service that is interwoven in all other services delivered by the CIL.  Service Coordination ensures appropriate I&R and develops the community support network.  This service includes being involved with Task Forces, Advisory or Governing Boards and/or other Human and Social Service Committees to keep current on available programs and services throughout our seven county service area.

VII) Technical Assistance:

Technical Assistance regarding compliance with the ADA building specifications on new construction or existing structures being remodeled or rehabilitated. Including accessible parking requirements, ramp elevations and entrance/exit widths, etc.

VIII) Voter Registration:

The CIL offers Voter Registration applications and assistance available on-site.

IX) Multi-Media Resource Library and Computer Lab:

The CIL provides an extensive Multi-Media Resource Library to conduct research on Federal, State and Local resources for independent living.  Reference materials include legislation on Fair Housing, Employment practices, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Information on accessible housing, grants and other financial resources are also available.  The library also has TV/VHS/DVD with closed captioning equipment.
The CIL’s Computer Lab has high speed internet access and is equipped with Screen readers or magnifiers.

How do any of these Services work?

Once the Consumer contacts the CIL, an appointment is scheduled either at the Center’s office or at the Consumer's primary residence.  During this interview the Staff and Consumer get acquainted and discuss all that the CIL has to offer.  At that time the Consumer informs the CIL staff of their needs or wants.  They discuss available options.  The Consumer then decides which direction they want to take.  The Consumer and Staff develop a written plan outlining the Consumer's action steps and desired outcomes with target dates.  Each goal is revisited and revised at the Consumer’s discretion.  The CIL does not deliver pre-packaged or ‘canned’ service plans.  All Consumer Goal and Service plans are tailored to the specific Consumer’s choices.  Each plan is as unique as each Consumer.

How can you provide all this free to your Consumers?

The CIL is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

Last updated 12:44 PM Thursday, September 10, 2015