By the time Sue* arrived at the T.A.R.P. Center for Independent Living (TARP), she had completely lost her vision in both eyes. Though Sue was born blind in her left eye, she had led a successful and engaged life until her vision began to fail in her right eye as well. Sue was told surgery could save her vision, but financially, it was out of her reach. Without her sight, Sue lost her job as a nurse, and without a job, the loss of her home was soon to follow. TARP stepped up right away, connecting Sue with surgery at a reduced price. The huge impact TARP’s services had on Sue’s life was obvious when she pulled up to the offices on her scooter months later.There were hugs of thanks, and tears all around, as everyone celebrated Sue’s new freedom – thanks to her local center for independent living.
Kayla* lived in a nursing home for seven years before she partnered with the Memphis Center for Independent Living (MCIL) to develop a plan for independent living. Her move into the community wasn’t easy, but MCIL was with her all the way to navigate the challenges of her transition. MCIL identified with Kayla the support she needed and then provided unique peer support and training including: guidance for obtaining her necessary documentation to live on her own; independent living skills training to get an apartment, hire a personal attendant, and navigate public transportation; connections with programs to provide wheelchair and durable medical equipment repair; and empowerment based self-advocacy training to enhance her self-confidence as an included and engaged member of her community. Now Kayla lives happily and independently in her community, connecting with her neighbors and participating as an engaged citizen of Memphis.