Advocacy, by formal definition, is the process by which a cause or policy is supported. In day to day practice, advocacy is working to ensure that the people’s voices are heard on issues that directly affect them. As an Independent Living Center, advocacy is a core service at ILR and it is interwoven into all services that are offered. There are several types of advocacy provided by ILR:

  • Individual advocacy: ILR staff can provide advocacy services to individuals in a variety of areas: benefits, housing, community resources, educational needs, etc. While providing the advocacy services, the ILR staff will also work with the individual to increase their own self advocacy skills so that they are more comfortable in the future acting as their own advocates.
  • Self advocacy training: ILR staff can directly work with individuals who would like to increase their self-advocacy skills overall, helping them to not only understand how to be an effective self-advocate but also helping them to learn systems navigation skills.
  • Systems advocacy: Systems advocacy is advocacy that is directed towards changing policies, rules and laws that directly affect individuals with disabilities. However, systems advocacy focuses on the larger service delivery system such as agencies, organizations, service providers and government entities. Systems advocacy includes legislative advocacy on legislation that could affect people with disabilities.

For individuals who are interested in becoming systems advocates for issues relevant to individuals with disabilities, consider joining Act Now:

Be part of a locally based advocacy network led by people with disabilities tackling difficult issues and making a difference…call ILR and find out how you can become involved in ACT NOW!

Additional Services

Benefits Assessments
Home Modification Assessments
ADA Assessments

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protections for individuals so that they may have equal access to employment, public services from state and local government, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, and telecommunications.  Architectural accessibility on new and existing buildings continues to be a barrier for many individuals.

ILR has specially trained staff who can evaluate public accommodations including; hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, day care centers, movie theaters, etc. to assess for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance.  Staff will come to the agency or business, take measurements and pictures, and discuss how the public accesses their services.  We will  write up a report explaining any barriers and possible remedies to these barriers.

Assistive Technology

ILR is receives funding from the Wisconsin Assistive Technology (WisTech) Program that is funded through the Department of Health Services (DHS). With this funding we are able to purchase equipment for our consumers to try or borrow for a short time. The types of equipment ranges from low-tech devices such as magnifiers to high-tech devices such as wearable technology and iPads. This unique program gives consumers the opportunity to try out and explore assistive technology options before purchasing equipment.

We also receive donations of durable medical equipment (DME) from community members. Because these items come in as a donation, ILR is able to give them out to people in need for free. Examples of frequently available DME includes walkers, wheelchairs, commodes, shower chairs and tub transfer benches. This program is available to anyone who may have a short or long-term need for equipment at no cost.

If you have a donation, please call the front desk at 608-787-1111 and schedule a time to discuss it with a staff person ahead of time. We cannot accept donations of diabetic and wound care supplies, personal care products like incontinence products, or large pieces of equipment like hospital beds and lifts.


Public Education & Training


Mental Health Services


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