Core Services of Independent Living
As a family of six agencies, Western New York Independent Living, Inc. aligns all of its services and programs with the five core services of Independent Living, which are:
First Core Service: Information and Referral
Information and Referral services are provided to people with disabilities, family members, caregivers, service providers, and the community in response to a request for information, program or services.
Information offered through the Independent Living Center includes:
Disability history, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and disability specific laws, Disability Rights, Advocacy, Links to Community Resources, and referrals to external programs which may assist in achieving short and long term goals toward independence and enhanced quality of life.
Second Core Service: Advocacy
There are two types of advocacy offered at the Independent Living Centers of WNY Independent Living: Individual and Systems
Individual or personal advocacy provides people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve equal access to social, economic, financial, and vocational goal. This form of advocacy is designed to protect personal and legal rights of each individual regardless of the type of disability that he or she may have.
Systems advocacy attempts to influence, enhance and/or change laws and community attitudes surrounding disability. A systems advocate challenges and addresses any local, regional, state or national issue which effects more than five individuals with disabilities, including access to public establishments, disability parking, voting regulations, and access to public figures.
Third Core Service: Independent Living Skills
Independent Living Skills provide a person with disabilities to achieve the maximum quality of life through integration and community participation. Independent Living Specialists work along each individual to create a customized plan with personal, vocational, recreational and social goals which will assist each individual to achieve the goals that he or she decides are important to obtain independence and equality.
Fourth Core Service: Peer Counseling
Peer Counseling and Supports: This core service provides the one-on-one informal support from someone who has "been there" and has "lived experience." A peer counselor, independent living specialist, or wellness coach provides non-clinical counseling and support to each individual who comes to the center. They serve as a peer mentor by understanding the day-to-day challenges faced by individuals with disabilities or diagnoses. The support provides each consumer the empowerment to achieve independence through their own examples of consumer control and by sharing their own personal experiences.
Fifth Core Service: Transition
Transition Services are defined in two ways:
1) From youth to adulthood: Individuals who are age 14 to 24 are developing and growing into the transition from teenager to adult and learning the skills that are needed to "transition" into living independently. Youth transition also facilitates support to young adults with disabilities into higher education, vocational training, employment, and integration into the community.
2) From an institutional setting back into the community: This definition describes the transition of people with disabilities from nursing homes, psychiatric institutions or other residential programs to home or a community-based setting in the community in which he or she decides. This transition process also provides support and assistance to those at risk of entering an institution.
Information and Referral (I & R)
Independent Living Skills
Click of the links above to read further about each of the Core Services as defined through the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and amendments thereafter.
3108 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 836-0822 (Voice/TDD) (716) 835-3967 (Fax)