While we love hearing stories of huge steps and strides that consumers have made toward independence we should also remember that even the smallest steps can lead to big things.
Jen was a shy, reserved young lady until she received a new power wheelchair. Jen transformed into an outspoken self-advocate. Her new found independence meant that she was no longer dependent upon others to push her wheelchair or to retrieve things for her. A completely new world was available and accessible to her. As a result, Jen experienced a tremendous boost in self esteem that has positively impacted other activities of daily living.
Alfredo’s initial contact with Suncoast Center for Independent Living was via our Mobility program in search of medical equipment. After receiving his medical equipment he learned about the SCIL Transition Program. Alfredo expressed interest in the computer skills classes offered and set an appointment to talk to the Independent Living Coordinator about the program. It was discovered that he had an interest in computers, but possessed very little knowledge and experience working with computers. He enrolled in a computer class June 2013 and over the course of four months, Alfredo became a daily fixture in the computer lab. He has made considerable progress moving from computer novice to his current project, learning PowerPoint in order to make a power point presentation for his church’s holiday celebration. The strides Alfredo has made are truly inspiring. His next goal is to enroll in our GED prep course in January 2014.
One of our consumers, Carlos’ mother recently called us to thank us for the transformation in her son’s life. Prior to enrolling in the SCIL Transition Center, Carlos spent his days watching television and playing video games. His life found greater meaning when he enrolled in the SCIL Transition Center. After enrolling in the SCIL Transition Center, the information he learned in our classes changed his life. Carlos began to set life goals and found the motivation to pursue the challenge of home ownership. He recently enrolled in a home buyer assistance program. Upon successful completion of the program, he would receive down payment assistance. He passed the course owing his success in the class to all the things he learned in the IL Transition center and now has the confidence to take the first step towards owning a home which is moving into his first apartment and learning how to live independently before he buys a home.
On his birthday, William received a gift that people often take for grant. No, it wasn’t a new car, clothes, or even a vacation. He received the gift of independence through the installation of a new wheelchair ramp for his home. The lack of a wheelchair ramp resulted in multiple falls in front of his wife, whose petite frame prevent her from assisting him. With no other recourse she was forced to contact 911 each time for assistance. After the installation of his new ramp William was excited to be able to exit his home for the first time in three years and enjoy his independence in the fresh air and Florida sunshine.