Greetings | The Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida welcomes you! If you have any questions about the center or the services we provide, please contact us at 352-378-7474. Our number again, is 3, 5, 2, 3, 7, 8, 7, 4, 7, 4.
CIL’s are huge advocates of emergency management and preparedness, but why do we prepare our communities for emergencies to the extent that we do? Often times, people with disabilities get lost in all the commotion during disasters and they end up placed in an environment that may appear to meet their needs, but actually doesn’t, such as a nursing home or psychiatric institution. This is why it’s extremely important that everyone is prepared beforehand and aware of all their resources. The CIL does our best to make sure these resources are accessible to everyone!
If you’d like to learn more about why it’s important to prepare for disasters, and why CIL’s will always be heavily involved with disaster readiness, this article is an informative read. The Emergency Management sector of Government Technology goes into depth on this issue and explains why this happens and how best to avoid it.
On May 20th, the Center for Independent Living and The Villages Public Safety hosted an Emergency Preparedness Conference for people with disabilities, senior adults, and the community. This conference was aimed to update people on how to best prepare for emergencies and to ensure they’re exposed to all of the resources that are available to them.
We would like to thank all of the companies, vendors, and speakers for helping out with this conference. Without the support and contributions from these following organizations, we would not be able to put on conferences that address these crucial topics!
Rohan Recreation Center
The Village Public Safety
Sumter County Emergency Management
Lake County Emergency Management
Lowe’s of Wildwood
Dept. of Health
Dept. of Health volunteers’
Dept. of Health SNP
Dept. of Health MRC
Family Network on Disabilities Speakers:
Tony Delisle (CILNCF) & Beth Meyers (Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.)
David Casto (Sumter County Emergency Management)
Chris Littlewood (Instructional Technology Coordinator/St. Pete College)
Tralene Lucas (SECO Energy)
Thank you again to all of these organizations for your unwavering support and contribution!
Womber Hill, of Brooker, Florida, lived in a house with a crumbling back porch and a dangerously uneven back door frame. Womber has poor balance and lives by herself, and as a result she often fell while exiting her dangerous back door and accumulated many scrapes and scratches.
The Center for Independent Living coordinated with Amwake Home Improvement to provide Womber with accessible home modifications which were completed on March 23, 2019.
Benjamin Amwake and a student volunteer from Santa Fe College revamped Womber’s porch, cleaned her yard and built her an accessible ramp. Womber is now able to safely navigate in and out of her home, and the freezer, refrigerator and hot water heater that she kept outside are now safely braced thanks to the new porch.
“Blood, sweat and tears [put into these projects] are more valuable to us than money,” said Mark Brisbane, coordinator of the ramp program at CILNCF. “That’s just rewarding.”
Cynthia Khalsa, of Live Oak, Florida, had “no way in or out of her house” as a result of Stage 4 Bone cancer in her left hip- that is, until the Center for Independent Living got involved.
Before the Center built her a ramp, Cynthia relied on Alachua County Fire Rescue to physically lift her in and out of her home. She would call 911, request lift assist, and wait, she said. Fire rescue would lift her and her wheelchair out of her house, sometimes unavoidably bumping her body against the steps and causing her immense pain. She would go to a medical appointment (the only time she could use this assistance from Fire Rescue), and then have to endure the entire cumbersome process again when she came home.
On March 16, 2019 the Center for Independent Living coordinated with Custom Design Renovations to build Cynthia a ramp out of her house, empowering her to come and go as she pleased. The construction of the ramp has enabled Cynthia to live more independently and to take control over her everyday life.
“I cannot begin to tell what a blessing your organization has been to me,” she said. “This ramp will give me the freedom to even just get out in the sun for a bit.”