Last year, LIFE CIL impacted the lives of 855 people.

 While this is a lower number than usual due to COVID-19, we were still able to provide our services in new and unique ways during this unprecedented year. Most notably, eight people with disabilities were able to regain their independence and move out of a nursing home into their own home. A record transition year for LIFE CIL even during a global pandemic!

  • A 55-year-old former teacher and social worker was able to leave the nursing home after a four-year stay following an accident. He now enjoys having his “life back”.
  • A 45-year-old man was able to move out of the nursing home and be reunited with his son after a year of isolation due to the pandemic.
  • A couple in their early 50’s from southern Illinois were able to move into their own home together in Ford County to be closer to their family after over three years in a nursing facility.
  • An 83-year-old woman who contracted COVID-19 in a nursing facility and was hospitalized for end-of-life care was able to return home for the first time in over three years to be reunited with her family, receive hugs from her loved ones and survive.
  • A 45-year-old man is now enjoying time with friends and family in his own home after being confined in a nursing home during the entire pandemic without visitors.
  • A 40-year-old woman who spent over eight months of the pandemic in a nursing home is now able to enjoy being able to do her crafting and scrapbooking activities in the comfort of her own home.
  • A 50-year-old male who moved downstate from the Chicago area to escape the pandemic, only to find himself homeless and winding up in a nursing home due to his disability, is now living his life independently.

On July 26 we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We invite you to join in our celebration and donate $31 (or any other amount that you can) to help LIFE CIL continue to provide our valuable services that promote Living Independence For Everyone!

 

 

COVID-19 Vaccination

Please review the following questions and let LIFE CIL staff know if you would like our assistance.

  • Have you gotten your COVID-19 vaccine?
    • If so, and you got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, have you gotten your second dose?
      • If not, would you like LIFE CIL to remind you of your next appointment?
    • If not, would you like information about the importance of getting the vaccine?
  • Do you have access to the internet?
    • If so, do you know where to go online to find a site and schedule a vaccination appointment?
    • If not, would you like assistance scheduling an appointment for your vaccination?
  • Do you need assistance arranging transportation to/from your vaccination appointment?
  • Do you have or need a Personal Assistant (PA) to assist you when you go for your vaccine?

LIFE CIL staff in our Bloomington and Pontiac offices are available to assist you with information and/or scheduling your COVID-19 vaccination.

 

Equipment Loan Available Curbside

We are currently providing equipment loan services curbside at our Bloomington office. Please call to make an appointment to reserve and pick-up the equipment you need or to return or donate equipment no longer needed.

Appointments are required. Schedule yours today by calling 309/663-5433. We can schedule appointments up to a week in advance.

 

 

Our Summer 2021 Newsletter is Available

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

  • Celebrating the ADA Anniversary – July 26, 1990
  • P.A.’s make a difference!
  • An IMPACT Story: Home is Freedom
  • An IMPACT Story: “Making my quality of life better”
  • LIFE CIL Executive Director to Present at the ACLU of Central Illinois Virtual Film Festival
  • Movie Review: CRIP CAMP: A Disability Revolution (2020)
  • Last year, LIFE CIL impacted the lives of 855 people.
  • July 26 Fundraiser at Gill Street Sports Bar & Restaurant
  • August 14 Fundraiser at Oberweis Ice Cream and Dairy Store
  • Low Vision Services Update
  • Stay Tuned: LIFE CIL Staff are still available by phone, email, and online during regular business hours.
  • Locations

Check out the newsletter!

 

Shopping on Amazon

"Support us with amazon smile You shop. Amazon gives.For those of you who do any shopping on Amazon, please consider making a small change to how you do it.

Instead of going to www.amazon.com to make your purchases, go through Amazon Smile and choose LIFE CIL as your charitable organization to give a portion of your purchase to.

You can go straight to the site by clicking here: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/37-1177773

It will show that you are giving to: Living Independence For Everyone Center for Independent Living (that’s us!  LIFE CIL)

We appreciate your support!  Happy shopping!

 

Follow the Safety Guidelines

Please follow the safety guidelines to keep the spread of COVID as minimal as possible:

wear face mask, wash hands, keep 6 feet apart, stay safe

  • Stay home if possible
  • Wear your face covering
  • Social distance
  • Wash your hands
  • If you are not feeling well – STAY HOME!

These simple safety precautions are important and help reduce the exposure and spread of the virus to others. Individuals with disabilities and those with pre-existing conditions are at higher risk. So, for the sake of yourself and for others, please do as recommended to keep everyone as safe as possible.

To learn more information, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s website regarding COVID:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

 

LIFE CIL’s ANNUAL REPORT 2020

Unaudited Fiscal Year 2020:

July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Below is the letter written by LIFE CIL’s President of the Board of Directors, Erin Engle. Following the letter is a link to the Annual Report in its entirety.

Letter from the Board President:

Dear Friends,

It is a privilege to again address you as together we reflect on what the last year has meant for LIFE CIL and the consumers we serve.  Without question, no one could have predicted what was to come in 2020, and I stand in awe of what this center has been able to accomplish despite the odds.

Last year, I addressed the ongoing challenge of access to public transportation in Bloomington Normal community.  The tireless advocacy in promoting access to transportation for all by Conan Calhoun, LIFE CIL Disability Rights Advocate, and Ms. Benecke, continued into 2020.  Today, I’m pleased to share that after years of advocacy, Connect Transit pledged that 100% of its stops will be accessible by 2024!  This marks a significant reduction in the implementation timeline, with the original plan to occur over a twenty year (rather than the current four year) period.  Additionally, during an earlier COVID re-opening phase when only outdoor dining was permissible, our team successfully advocated for accessible outdoor dining in the towns of Normal and Pontiac.

Operating in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic has required creativity and adaptability by our team and the consumers we serve.  In the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, staff continued to serve consumers through remote work.  The team leveraged Zoom to connect with each other and with consumers, and once safely back in the office, implemented new ways to meet consumer needs (i.e., curb-side pick-up and drop off of equipment loan items).  Transition classes continued uninterrupted by utilizing technology and, believe it or not, we were able to move people out of nursing homes through virtual meetings and apartment showings.  In fact, we have helped five people transition from nursing homes to their own homes in 2020 already, four of which transitions occurred in a COVID-19 environment!

With so much change throughout 2020, I take comfort in knowing LIFE CIL’s mission holds steady:  to advance equality and integration of all persons with disabilities through local, state and national advocacy, through education of those with disabilities about their rights and responsibilities, through provision of support services, and through increasing community awareness about disability issues.  We continue to fulfill our mission under the leadership of our Executive Director, Rickielee Benecke, who continues to rise to the many challenges and opportunities her role provides.  COVID-related budgetary pressures will continue to challenge the center in the months and perhaps years ahead, yet with the utmost confidence in LIFE CIL staff and with the support of all of you, I know we will continue to overcome obstacles and fulfill our mission. 

All my best to you and yours for a happy and safe holiday season!

Sincerely,     

Erin Engle

ANNUAL REPORT 2020