CILs Share Successes - SILC
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CILs Share Successes

CILs Share Successes

At the June 2017 SILC Quarterly Meeting Tennessee’s Centers for Independent Living Shared some great successes achieved in the past quarter.

Memphis Center for Independent Living

We are thrilled to inform you that  MCIL was selected for a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Nursing Home Transition (NHT) grant in the amount of $40,000. The reviewers were so impressed with the applications that that they increased the number of awards from 4 to 7. MCIL was grateful to be accepted and looks forward to expanding their work on nursing home transition.

Empower Tennessee

A.A. is a Hispanic transition-age young man with an Intellectual disability and a mental health diagnosis. He was originally referred to Empower TN by the Nashville Public Defender’s office Client Advocate. The first time he met with the IL and Advocacy Specialist, he was hesitant to speak for himself, constantly referring to his mother to answer questions, and only meeting to satisfy court recommendations. A.A. set up his first goal to be mobility/transportation, even though his mother expressed doubts and fears in his ability to use any transit service outside of her personally driving him places. The IL Specialist went over various transportation options and assisted A.A. in completing a paratransit pre-application worksheet. This assessment broadened A.A.’s mindset and helped him to recognize his ability to travel independently on a fixed bus route system. He is also thinking of applying for the local paratransit service, a new form of transportation the IL Specialist introduced to him and his mother. A.A. is still receiving services and working on goals, but the last time he met with the IL specialist he gently yet confidently asked his mother to wait in the lobby so that he could do the appointment on his own. Following that meeting, A.A. and his mother were both excitedly talking about the different ways A.A. having his own transportation could benefit his life and the family. After just over one month of working with the IL Specialist, he has demonstrated growth in self-awareness and self-advocacy. These small steps will make a substantial and positive impact in his life, and in his family/community relations.

Jackson Center for Independent Living

JCIL collaborated with the Down Syndrome Association of West Tennessee to present the first EMPOWER, MEPOWER one week camp for individuals with Down syndrome ages 18 and up.  The 12 participants explored the community while they learned valuable IL skills.  Activities included using public transportation, visiting potential job sites, emergency preparedness training, cooking, financial management, exercise and more.

TARP Center for Independent Living

TARP, in conjunction with TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, hosted a Youth Leadership Forum that helped youths with cross-disabilities be better prepared for their futures. It was the goal of this forum which was named S2L (School2Life) to bring in experts from all over the state to inform these youth of their rights, and help them make the decisions that would aid in determining their goals.  Other goals for School to Life were to teach self-advocacy to transition aged youths to prepare them for post-secondary training, education, and employment, and living more independently. And yet a grander vision of building a core of youth advocates to teach these skills to their peers. Peer-to-peer support has proven to be an incredible asset for everyone.

Some of topics included but were not limited to: self-advocacy, community resources, social media with networking, putting technology to work, healthy banking habits, independent living, educational and vocational attitudes and opportunities.

All the attendees realized that they need to roll up their sleeves and take a good long look at the reality check for independent living and start building skills. Other take-aways from S2L included that they needed to be community minded and help shape their community for success. Another positive take-away was understanding resources were not elusive and there are teams designed to help with all aspects of independent living inclusive of youth transitions.