July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), legislation designed to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities in our county. Independent Living, Inc. and the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) are hosting a two-hour presentation on Tuesday July 28, 2020 from 10:00 – 12:00, featuring Judith Heumann, Internationally renowned Disability Rights Activist and James Weisman, President and CEO of United Spinal Association, and moderated by Denise Figueroa, CEO of the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley.
“As a person with a disability it’s remarkable to be a part of the advancements we’ve made in the past 30 years, especially improvements in the built environment”, says Doug Hovey, CEO of ILI, “yet, there’s much more to be done to address systemic discrimination and institutional biases that are all too prevalent for people with disabilities and members of the aging community.”
As an advocacy organization, we have been especially concerned and vocal about people living in congregate care facilities including nursing homes, psychiatric centers and group homes, particularly as it relates to COVID-19, as well as the understated effects of institutionalized treatment of our fellow human beings. Moreover, the disability community and communities of color are troubled by the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases being concentrated among people with disabilities and people of color. We recognize the civil rights battles and the common themes among people with disabilities, people of color and LGBTQ community are of major importance and cannot be ignored.
INDEPENDENT LIVING, INC. (ILI) Programs and Services
Fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities! Now more than ever our services are needed, and ILI continues to reach a diverse group of community members. Services range from crisis intervention to information and referral, and include daily outreach and engagement, employment assistance, consumer directed services, housing, peer behavioral health, and our home care services provide in-home supports to hundreds of people with disabilities in our region.
During the current health crisis, overall demand for services has increased and we’ve redefined service delivery to include creative use of technology that is quickly becoming an essential part of the evolving ‘new normal’. Our staff has been thoughtful and creative in identifying new ways to engage and support the people we are honored to work for. We’ve created virtual and telephonic supports to maintain engagement and continue working on valued outcome goals.
We have ongoing virtual Peer Support Meetings with hundreds of people participating, weekly Town Hall sessions and Wellness Meetups, virtual games and movie dates, virtual tours of museums, famous cities, zoos and other places of interest and are ongoing several times each week. We also host trivia sessions, vocabulary word sessions and ongoing activities and resources related to reading, math skills, crafts, healthy living and social and recreational resources to seek out. Our program staff also provide one to one counseling support by telephone or virtual meetings to creating opportunities for consumers to voice concerns, fears and trepidations about the current environment.