News from LINC

Individual Advocacy & the IL Plan

As a Center for Independent Living (CIL), LINC provides five core services to our consumers. Those services are information and referral, advocacy (systems and individual), peer support, independent living skills, and transition or diversion assistance. This month, we want to talk about individual advocacy – what it means and what it does not mean.

At LINC, our individual advocacy is done mostly by our Independent Living (IL) Specialists. This means they have had specific training and have knowledge of many of the systems our consumers commonly use (like Social Security) that can be complicated and confusing.

The IL Specialist’s job is to walk alongside the consumer while they work toward their goals. In a way, they are more like a coach. They guide you through the process but they don’t do the work for you. By coaching you through the process, you learn the skills you will need when you come across a similar situation again.

When you first sit down with an IL Specialist, you may come up with an Individualized Independent Living Plan (ILP). This is simply a document that shows what independent living goal you are working toward. Then it outlines who is responsible for which tasks in that plan. Some may be yours, as the consumer, and some may be the IL Specialist. Know that you will need to touch base with your IL Specialist periodically to update them on your progress. Having a written plan also allows for clarity and can also be kept as a good reminder for future goals and projects that you may choose to tackle on your own. In many ways, this becomes part of your roadmap.

By having gone through the process with this knowledgeable person, you gain new skills learning what to do, how to do it and what to avoid. If the IL Specialist did these things for you, the learning stops there. This is what makes a CIL different from other agencies that do similar work. Having the right to make one’s own decisions also requires taking responsibility for implementing those decisions and dealing with what comes next. By working with a person who knows the system, you get more control of what happens next.

LINC has three offices to serve you.

1182 Eastland Drive North
Suite C
Twin Falls ID 83301
(208) 733-1712 VOICE
(208) 733-7711 TDD

1878 West Overland Road
Boise ID 83705
(208) 336-3335 VOICE
(208) 336-3335 TDD
(208) 384-5037 FAX

703 S. Kimball Ave
Caldwell ID 83605
(208) 454-5511 VOICE
(208) 454-5511 TDD
(208) 454-5515 FAX