The Core Services
Disability Achievement Center provides the same four core services as do all centers for independent living:
(1) Information and referral services;
The center identifies, tracks, and databases the constantly growing and changing array of resources, programs and projects available to people with disabilities at the local, state and national levels. The entire team has access to and provides consumers with answers to their questions about needs, wants and desires on a daily basis. Usually starting with a phone call or E-mail and a question this is often a consumers first step toward achieving the independent life style the center promotes.
(2) Independent living skills training;
Independent living skills training can take many forms. Often it is the same kind of training opportunities that anyone would like to take advantage of, but with the disability perspective, adaptation and accommodation included. Many government and community organizations offer skills training of all kinds. Skills include everything from agriculture to zoology and everything in between. The center looks for opportunities to form alliances with other organizations to better include people with disabilities in their skills training classes and events. The center offers its facilities to host events put on by other organizations when needed.
Internally the center has for some time hosted a budget training workshop in recognition of the necessary fiscal skills needed by consumers. Another skills workshop that has been well received is Living Well With A Disability workshop.
(3 ) Peer Mentoring (including cross-disability peer counseling);
What Is a Peer Mentor?
- Someone Who Cares About Your Dreams.
- Someone who is willing to spend time and effort to help You succeed.
- Someone who has expertise, experience and resource networks to help you meet your needs.
- Someone who has reached their own goals.
- Someone who is willing to be there to talk to and support you.
- Someone who is willing to share themselves with you.
- Someone who is a positive thinker.
Peer mentoring is an especially necessary part of the centers ongoing activities. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective on disability from personal experience. Throughout their interaction with consumers they use these experiences to offer mentoring support that can assist the consumer in understanding and managing their disability.
(4) Individual and systems advocacy.
The center offers direct coaching to consumers who have personal issues that self advocacy can assist with. An advocacy support group made up of the centers leadership and contract expertise is available to assist team members in their support of each consumers self advocacy development.
Throughout its history Disability Achievement Center has played an active part in systemic advocacy at the local, state and national levels. It has lead the way on issues as diverse as adaptive accessible technology, education, employment, healthcare, transition, transportation, and voting. Often times, the personal self advocacy of a consumer points the way for the systemic advocacy efforts of the center.