"Individuals living with disabilities have the same hopes and dreams, wants and desires as individuals living without disabilities have." This statement opens many of ILR's grant applications, seeming to bring conciseness to a very complicated situation.
25 years ago on July 27, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President Bush Sr. Five years later, Independent Living Resources began serving individuals with disabilities in a 13 county area in Wisconsin. With a service area touching the states of Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, stretching as far north as Buffalo and Jackson Counties and as far east as Juneau and Sauk Counties, ILR has worked with individuals living with disabilities to remain or become as independent as possible, able to contribute to their communities, their workplace, their schools and their families. In just the last 12 months, ILR served 1,755 individuals living with disabilities. One thousand seven hundred and fifty-five individuals.
Often, the work ILR does is connecting people living with disabilities to existing resources such as Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for employment services, or Couleecap for transportation through Work 'n Wheels, or Scenic Bluffs Clinic for healthcare. Employers, schools and other agencies will refer consumers to ILR for Assistive Technology such as telephones with special amplification features or over sized numerical buttons. Benefits analysis, working with consumers to understand SSI/SSDI details pertaining to their specific situation. RAVE * Recovery Avenue Mental Health Drop-In Center, providing a safe and supportive place for those in recovery. Nursing Home Transitions, assisting consumers recovering in nursing facilities prepare to live safely at home again. Skills training for consumers such as learning to use public transportation or social skills in the workplace. The Art of Recovery, developing enures for consumers to share the successes of their recovery efforts through original artwork. Youth Transitions, working with youth leaving a high school environment to become independent outside of school. The examples of the work done by ILR over the last 20 years would fill volume after volume of newsletters!
Why does this blob begin with "Thank You"? Because ILR does not function in a vacuum. We could not begin to accomplish the work we do, nor the results people obtain, without you. Whether you have supported ILR by referring consumers to us for help, or have been a consumer yourself and told your friends about what we do, or have provided funding for our programs and services so that others could benefit...THANK YOU! there is much yet to do, but thank you for all that you do!