About the Disability Achievement Center
Opened in 1992 as Caring & Sharing Center for Independent Living Inc, the center has grown from a two person organization with a start up grant, to a fourteen person organization. Created by concerned disability advocates and community leaders the center looked to fill a need in the community that had been missing.
A gentle and natural approach to the community and solid financial management perspective put the organization on a reliable foundation with a deep understanding of the needs in the community.
A reach into and understanding of the disability community molded the organization into the place people could go for advocacy, training, mentoring and information and referral to the resources needed.
Tied closely to the community as a membership organization it has always been a consumer driven and response to need based entity. The membership is now concentrated in the members of the Board of directors which has always reflected the communities the organization serves in Pasco and Pinellas counties.
In 2011 the center's Board of Directors launched a concentrated effort to develop a new name, image, logo and personality for the organization that is in keeping with the vibrant growth and needs of the community. With team, consumer and community input at the local, state and national level the Caring & Sharing Center for Independent Living became Disability Achievement Center on July 1, 2011.
The new name and brand reflects the twenty first century goals of people with disabilities who are striving to achieve. This approach is based on person centered achievement and now permeates every aspect of the centers life and that of its consumers.
What makes Disability Achievement Center different?
Fortunately, people with disabilities don't have to do it all on their own. The purpose of the Disability Achievement Center is to support the kinds of programs, services and activities which are designed specifically to assist people with disabilities in achieving and maintaining an independent lifestyle.
Disability Achievement Center is an extraordinary organization like all centers for independent living. It is run by people with disabilities who themselves have been successful in establishing independent lives. These employee team members have both the training and the personal experience to know what is needed to live independently. They have deep commitment to assisting other people with disabilities in becoming more independent and achieving the personal goals they have set for themselves.
How Disability Achievement Center differs from other service organizations?
There are many different types of organizations which serve people with disabilities-- state vocational rehabilitation agencies, group homes, rehabilitation hospitals, sheltered workshops, nursing homes, senior centers, home health care agencies and so forth. These organizations provide valuable services and are important links in the network of services that help people with disabilities maintain independent lifestyles.
What makes Disability Achievement Center very different from many of the other organizations is that it has substantial involvement of people with disabilities making policy decisions and delivering services. Why this emphasis on control by people with disabilities? The basic idea behind Disability Achievement Center is that the ones who know best what services people with disabilities need in order to live independently are people with disabilities themselves.