Information & referral
Independent Resources can assist and be a contact point for people with disabilities, their families, and the community in locating available services and products such as affordable, accessible housing, transportation options, adaptive equipment, support services, and more. In addition, we offer guidance and tips on how to locate these services and products. Referrals will be made to as many outside resources as applicable.
Independent living skills training
Independent Resources teaches a wide range of skills needed to live independently and manage life with a disability. Training topics are designed to help individuals increase their skills that will help them gain more control of their lives.
Some examples of the training that is provided includes budgeting, homemaking, shopping, education, self-advocacy, personal assistant management, effective interpersonal communication, recreation and leisure, transportation and self-care. The training given to each individual is customized based on the personal and social areas that they identify as needing help in.
Individual and systems advocacy
Central to a Center for Independent Living’s mission is Advocacy. We offer both individual and systems advocacy.
Individual advocacy is assisting an individual with a disability to become aware of the existing disability laws and individual right protections so that they gain self-advocacy skills to help them communicate and negotiate with employers, service providers, and other agencies to obtain the needed benefits, services or accommodations they need. IRI also encourages individuals to participate in the legislative process and register to vote.
Systems advocacy is advancing civil rights and equal access for all persons with disabilities on the local, state, and federal levels. IRI carries out public awareness activities and participates in community accessibility committees to promote and put in place public policies that allow full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the communities they live.
Peer support is a very fundamental services provided by Centers for Independent Living such as IRI. Peer mentors, who themselves have disabilities can understand first-hand all the challenges a person with disabilities faces. Experiences, feelings, and awareness issues are shared in peer support workshops. Listening to other people’s challenges heightens that individual’s awareness and self-acceptance.
The workshops are designed to provide a platform for brainstorming, problem solving, and sharing of concerns, successes, and ways to address issues. The peer mentors are individuals with more experience in the disability community and serve as a positive role model to even person whose disability might be new or more recent.
Transition is assisting people with disabilities to move out of nursing homes and other institutions into independent lifestyles of their choice; helping to prevent people with disabilities from entering institutions; and assisting youth in transitioning from high school to adult life including next steps such as going to college, becoming self-employed or obtaining employment.