Independent Perspective 1740 with guest Rae Frank on the expansion of the ILGR Loan Closet
Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Rae Frank, Director of Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), and I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Rae.
Guest: Thank you Ernie.
Host: You’re welcome. It's our pleasure. You're here because you're going to tell our listeners about some exciting news at the Batavia center about how you've been able to augment one of your services thanks to some support from friends in the community, you might say. Can you tell us who gave us this grant and what's it used for?
Guest: Yes, we're very happy to have been awarded money from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. This is the National Paralysis Resource Center 2022 Priority Impact Quality of Life grant. We're very happy to have received these funds to improve the life of people experiencing paralysis.
Host: And I believe most of that is going to enhance one aspect of your service, the Loan Closet. Can you tell us how that works?
Guest: Sure. We have a loan closet that is full of free durable medical equipment. People can use this simply by being a resident of Genesee, Orleans or Wyoming (GOW) County. The loans go out for 90 days at which time we ask you to either return the equipment or let us know whether or not you need it for a longer period. And you can certainly keep things for a longer period if there's no waitlist for them and you continue to need it.
Host: Alright, but I guess the expectation is that in the 90-day period, individuals should be lining up an alternative source for equipment that they need on an ongoing basis.
Guest: We do have independent living specialists that can meet with individuals to try to help them identify that resource to purchase the equipment.
Host: Alright, and I believe you said that the only actual requirement is being a resident of one of the GOW counties. So, they don't have to get a doctor's confirmation that they have this or that disability I gather.
Guest: No we don't need any documentation but for this particular grant, we do need the person who receives this equipment to be experiencing paralysis or using a wheelchair.
Host: Alright, well, since you now do have this fund that has enabled you to not only expand your stock of existing equipment like walkers and wheelchairs, but to bring in some new things. Can you give us some example?
Guest: We have portable ramps; they're aluminum ramps and we have a variety of sizes. They’re 10-foot, eight-foot, six-foot and five-foot ramps. We also have grabbers; we have resistance bands that are exercise equipment to help upper body strength. We have mini exercise peddlers that people can use for their arms. To build strength. We have some dumbbells; we also have some wheelchair table trays. We have transfer chairs and shower chairs. We also bought some high-end roll in the shower wheelchairs that can move someone directly right into a roll in shower.
Host: And just to clarify, when you say grabbers, you mean, extended reachers that allow people to pick up stuff from the ground when they can't bend over and things like that?
Guest: That's right. Yes.
Host: Alright. And I don't know if you mentioned it and I missed it; didn't you get some internet connectivity hotspot devices also?
Guest: We did. I didn't mention that yet, because we're still in the process of actually getting that equipment in and turning it on but we intend to be able to give out what are called Little MiFis. So, in the rural community, some people cannot access the internet. And these devices would allow them to have an internet plan right in their house.
Host: Alright. So that's something to look forward to in the future. We're running low on time. How can people apply to be part of the program?
Guest: Contact us at ILGR by calling 585-815-8501 extension 400.
Host: Oh, very good. And thank you so much for being with us and telling us about this exciting development in your services.
Guest: You're very welcome. Thank you, Ernie.
Host: You're welcome. You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today has been Rae Frank, Director of ILGR, and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell