Business & Industry Review
The Times - Delivering Your Community
Thursday, April 5, 2018
IVCIL, serving people with disabilities, is ready to help Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living ADDRESS: 18 Gunia Drive, Suite 1, La Salle PHONE: 815-224-3126 WEB: ivcil.com
the life the person wants to lead. Independent Living Skills Training — The heart of independent living is being in control of your life. IVCIL offers training to equip people with disabilities with the skills and information to manage their lives and live more independently. This is done through building rapport with them and establishing goals they feel will increase their independence. Transition Services — This involves transitional services that: a. facilitate the transition of individuals with significant disabilities from nursing homes and other institutions to home and community-based residences, with the requisite supports and services; b. provide assistance to individuals with significant disabilities who are at risk of entering institutions so that the individuals may remain in the community; and c. facilitate the transition of youth with significant disabilities, who were eligible for individualized education programs under IDEA, and who have completed their secondary education and otherwise left school to postsecondary life up to the age of 25. IVCIL also offers specific programs. The Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living now operates a Mobile Meals program for Peru, La Salle and Oglesby. Not only do IVCIL Mobile Meals clients receive one hot and one cold meal per day, prepared by IVCH and delivered by IVCIL, they also enjoy some personto-person contact every day. Also, families know someone is checking on their loved one. The Personal Assistant Program — This program is designed to provide services that address the personal needs of individuals with disabilities. People who may benefit from these services have a permanent disability and want to stay in their own home. A personal assistant will help such people with daily activities. These activities may include personal care, meal preparation, shopping. Assistants allow individuals to remain at home, instead of
Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living staff members include: (front, from left): Office Manager Deb Cools, Associate Director Kesley Gonigan, Executive Director Brian Szuda, Independent Living Specialist Cynthia Panizzi; (back): Independent Living Specialist Ashley Purpara, Personal Assistant Coordinator Jenni Richards, Community Reintegration Coordinator Tricia Horaney, Services Coordinator and IT Specialist Marla Michalak, and Mobile Meals Coordinator Terri Sparling.
being placed in a care facility or an institution. All assistants undergo orientation and training, and then are placed on a referral list that is made available to consumers. IVCIL’s personal assistant program can help locate assistants to provide the compassionate care required for families who find themselves in such situations. The Community Reintegration Program — This program helps people currently living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities to live independently in the community. People with disabilities, who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, are often housed there because they are unfamiliar with the options that allow them to live independently. IVCIL’s Community Reintegration Program helps these people overcome such barriers and helps them return home. Youth Services Program — This program is another bridge to independence for persons with disabilities. Youth Services is for children with disabilities up to age 22 that are still attending high school and their families. Schools, agencies and community groups are eligible for services that focus on improving educational and community opportunities for youth with disabilities. Deaf Services Program — This program meets the needs of, and increases community options for, people whose hearing is impaired. One component of this program is the interpreter referral program. The IVCIL maintains a list of interpreters who are registered with the
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Illinois Deaf/Hard of Hearing Commission and who are state certified. IVCIL puts interpreters in touch with agencies that need them. IVCIL also is an ITAC amplified phone selection center. If you are an Illinois resident that is certified with hearing loss, we can assist you with applying for a free amplified telephone. Equipment Loan Program — The IVCIL has a variety of medical equipment and assistance devices available for use. Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches and other supplies are available free of charge. Community Education/ Disability Awareness Presentations — Upon
Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living is a nonprofit, nonresidential service and advocacy organization based in La Salle that assists persons with disabilities in opening doors to their independence. It serves the communities of La Salle, Bureau, Putnam, Marshall and Stark counties. The Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living works to ensure people with disabilities live fulfilling lives. “We put the person first, having a disability is only a part of the individual,” said Executive Director Brian Szuda. As a community-based, nonresidential center for independent living, we work to increase the involvement of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life. We strive to enhance their potential to achieve and sustain selfdirected living in home or community settings, depending on their choices. Essentially, independent living means experiencing life as everyone else does. IVCIL is consumer-driven and run by people with disabilities, who have successfully established independent lives. We believe no one can represent disability rights and independent living issues with more credibility than those whose lives are directly affected by a disability. IVCIL has five core services: Information and Referral — We offer guidance in locating services and products, as well as tips on how to use such services and products. IVCIL responds to inquiries on a variety of issues from all directions. Advocacy — Advocacy is another service offered at IVCIL. There are two types of advocacy. Individual advocacy focuses on the individual and services available within the community, encouraging persons with disabilities to assert themselves when seeking services. Systemic advocacy involves working together to eliminate barriers and allow people with disabilities to fully participate in their community. Peer Counseling — The foundation of IVCIL’s services is the peer relationship. Staff who have experienced disability and are achieving their personal goals, assist others who have similar disabilities, serving as role models, mentors and advocates. The peer relationship helps individuals work through matters, specific to their particular disability. Also, it offers encouragement as the transition is made to independent living. A person sits down with center employees, of whom more than 50 percent have disabilities themselves, and assesses
request, IVCIL provides community education and disability awareness presentations to the public. The IVCIL provides frequent workshops, dealing with such issues as the Americans with Disabilities Act. IVCIL serves a variety of people, empowering persons with disabilities to make their own decisions. Through our services and advocacy, the IVCIL ensures the continuation of positive social change to allow greater integration, fuller participation and total inclusion of all persons with disabilities into the mainstream of life. Please contact us at the
IVCIL if we can assist you in your journey to independence. In 2017, IVCIL served 87 consumers across its five-county territory. It provided information and referral services for 601 people. Teen outings and peer groups served 68 teens, and the Teen Summit helped 21 teens with disabilities prepare for life after high school. IVCIL secured sign language interpreters 25 times and provided ITAC phones or other listening assistance devices for 130 people. IVCIL is a United Way member agency! Funding is provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
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