Center for Living & Working, Inc. helps people with disabilities learn to live more independently. Independent Living Specialists provide one-to-one services to individuals in their homes throughout Central Massachusetts.
The four core include Information and Referral, Peer Support, Independent Living Skills Training and Advocacy. We also provide services in Intake/Assessment and Emergency Intervention.
Information and Referral
Information and referral (I&R) services are provided to people with disabilities, family members, services providers, and the community in response to specific requests. When working with IL Coordinators, consumers learn about the options, benefits and services provided by local, state and national organizations. Information is available on a variety of disability related subjects such as the ADA, advocacy, daily living skills, housing, recreation, etc. The staff has expertise and experience with Social Security benefits, vocational and community services from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Mass. Health, Housing authorities, elder services, PCA programs and other benefits and services available to people with disabilities. IL Coordinators work with consumers to make and follow a plan to resolve an issue, receive a benefit or service, or achieve a goal. If a target agency requires a referral or meeting, the Center for Living & Working provides the information and support as needed.
One-on-one peer mentoring helps people with disabilities develop mutual support, assistance, confidence and understanding. The Center provides peer support in a consumer-directed manner over the telephone, in person at the center, or at a consumer’s living site. Our staff have been trained in the philosophies and practices of independent living and communicate these strategies to consumers in peer support interactions. Some staff members have personal experience with disabilities and share their insights with other staff members and consumers within the Peer Support Services.
Independent Living Skills Training
Listed here is a subset of training areas for independent living skills:
- Consumer/Legal Rights
- Health Care/Nutrition
- Self-Care/Daily Living
- Self Advocacy means teaching a person how to obtain goals that may include issues such as housing, mobility or education. we encourage consumers to be assertive, articulate and effective when faced with obstacles to independent living goals. And when needed, the staff will support an individual’s rights in their community by filing complaints and taking action as needed to remove illegal barriers or obtain services.
- Systems Advocacy is the development and revision of policies that promote accessibility through the removal of discriminating practices. The Center participates in events and actions to advance community awareness and to advocate for continuous improvements. Most recently, several staff members and consumers braved icy sidewalks and rain to attend the PCA Rally (January 2011) at the statehouse to support current funding of the state’s PCA program.
- Community Advocacy includes working with municipalities, businesses and service providers to address discrimination and barriers in our society and to enforce compliance with existing laws.
CLW’s Spinal Cord Early Intervention Program focuses on working with individuals to achieve independence and quality of life while providing individualized supports to the consumers and their families. We will provide compassionate and comprehensive coordination of services in a manner that effectively achieves quality results while providing social outlets, recreational opportunities, vocational supports and promoting the prevention of further health problems by connecting individuals with the appropriate supports as well as providing four core services. Our goal is to make the consumer as comfortable as possible while coordinating services with the hope to give the individual with a recent SCI a sense of control over a situation in which they likely feel little independence.
SCI Team Members