Center for Independent Living Returns to Allegheny County
Disability Options Network Chosen as Grantee
(Pittsburgh, PA) – Disability Options Network, a 501c3 nonprofit organization serving Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties, has been awarded a grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., to re-establish a Center for Independent Living for the western Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Armstrong and Westmoreland effective October 1, 2017. This will replace Three Rivers Center for Independent Living, which closed in the fall of 2016.
“We are excited for the opportunity to serve the people of this region,” says Chris Lloyd, Executive Director of Disability Options Network. “Our Disability Options Network Center for Independent Living (CIL) has been serving Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties for 15 years.”
Disability Options Network (DON) is bringing new innovations into the world of Independent Living to address the many barriers people with disabilities face on a day to day basis. DON supports more than 3,000 individuals with disabilities annually through the provision of five (5) core services: Advocacy, Peer Support, Information & Referral, Skills Training and Transition Services supporting School-to-Adult Life and Nursing Home transition back to the community. Funding for DON is provided by a federal grant and local matching funds.
“Accessible transportation, housing and employment are some of the major barriers for people in today’s society,” says Tom Franz, Director of Disability Options Network. “We are looking forward to creating a new Center with a mission of empowering people with disabilities to live as independently as they choose.”
The concept of local control by local people is fundamental to the foundation of Centers for Independent Living, as it promotes control by people with disabilities who know their communities and the respective needs. The new Center for Independent Living serving Allegheny, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties will be known as Disability Options Network Allegheny (DONA) at its new office located at 10606 Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. The Center will provide the following services free to anyone with a disability:
- Advocacy – helping people negotiate and speak for themselves
- Peer Support – connecting people with similar life experiences to each other
- Skills Training – providing guidance and support to learn new skills and refresh existing skills
- Information & Referral – advising/assisting individuals to access services and useful information
- Transition from Nursing Home to Community – supporting people to live as independently as they choose in the community
- Transition from School to Adult Life and Work – helping youth and families navigate the journey to adulthood and careers.
“It is important to remember where these programs came from,” says Lloyd. “Programs such as the CIL and other Home and Community Based Services were a result of a civil rights movement which has been active since the 1950s and is still active today as there is much ground to cover.”
All persons interested in connecting with Disability Options Network Allegheny (DONA) should contact the Center at 724-652-5144 ext. 163 or email Tom Franz at firstname.lastname@example.org