Independent Living Provides Choices and Control
Post Falls Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
Disability Action Center NW is a non-profit advocacy center that has been in operation since 1990. They have an incredibly diverse and adaptable board of directors and staff. These people form a partnership with the community and work to promote the independence and equality of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of society. Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control over our everyday lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends take for granted. We all want to grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work jobs in line with our education and interests, and start families of our own. It also means people with disabilities have the right to make choices and possible make mistakes in their lives.
DAC’s five core services include:
- Information & Referral – because information is power! They can help people find resources and information on the ADA and accommodations, fair and accessible housing, removing architectural barriers, and assistive technology and equipment to help with daily life.
- Advocacy – DAC works together with an individual, the community, and the state to remove barriers and make systemic and physical changes for people with disabilities.
- Peer Advocacy Counseling – because taking new risks can be challenging, talking to someone (a peer) who has been in a similar situation can help. DAC also has peer group activities and meetings to become a part of.
- Skills Training – Everyone has to learn new skills to be independent. DAC staff can help a person with a disability learn to do daily tasks in a new way, communicate effectively, how to become assertive, manage their finances, and live as independently as they want to be.
- Transition Services – DAC helps people with disabilities to live in the community and get out of institutions. They also help young people move on to the next state of their life, whether it’s work, post-secondary school, or something else.
DAC also provides in-home personal assistant services through private pay and Medicaid, where the consumer controls the hiring, training and more.
DAC NW recognizes that systemic racism and personal biases still exist. They support people of color with disabilities and both commit to and call for more equitable practices, increased advocacy and support services.