News from LIFE, Inc

Peer Providers – Experience can really help

   Living, learning, and working with a disability can be challenging. Sometimes, the best person to understand what you are going through might be someone who’s also been there. A peer provider is someone who draws on their own lived experience of disability, along with training and professional support, to provide services like counseling and coaching to people with the same type of disability.
    According to recent studies, peer providers are a rapidly growing part of the workforce supporting people with disabilities and chronic conditions. Peer providers can be found at Centers for Independent Living across the United States. In some settings, peers provide support on a volunteer basis, but in other settings it is more formal.    
    Most of these staff positions have a certain level of education ant training, and they self identify as a person with a disability. The work is rewarding when they see their peers learn, grow and reach their goals. It can be challenging to maintain the boundary of “doing for” instead of educating the peer to “do for themselves.”
    These programs enhance leadership skills for people with disabilities through self-empowerment and self-advocacy. They can offer leadership training, exposure to others with the same disability, a social network of people who have been there, done that.

Goals may be as simple as accessing a service the person has experienced a barrier to such has employment, housing, Social Security or health care. It’s as easy as coming in and explaining the problem you are dealing with. Chances are, the peer provider has experienced it too, and has access to resources that can help. After determining a goal (such as employment), then a plan is formed with the persons input to reach that goal. Coaching continues until it is met. Then…why stop there? Maybe improved housing, getting an accessible vehicle and training to drive, finding assistive technology to allow you to live on your own, accessing more education… the list goes one. There is no limit to what you can achieve, and a CIL is here to help you do just that!

   There are a number of CIL office across Idaho to serve you!

LIFE, Inc. – Living Independently for Everyone!
640 Pershing Ave Ste 7, Pocatello ID 83204
(208) 232-2747 VOICE/TDD
(208) 232-2754 FAX
(800) 631-2747

570 W. Pacific, Blackfoot ID 83221
(208) 785-9648 VOICE
(208) 785-2398 FAX

250 S. Skyline, Idaho Falls ID 83402
(208) 529-8610 VOICE
(208) 529-8610 TDD
(208) 529-6804 FAX

2311 Park Ave. Ste 7, Burley ID 83318
(208) 678-7705 VOICE
(208) 678-7771 FAX