Empowering Virginians with Disabilities through Centers for Independent Living
April 2022 | Issue 12
Invisible disabilities
Not all disabilities are visible. This issue highlights some of the ways Centers for Independent Living support those whose disabilities may not be readily apparent. The results? More Virginians with “invisible disabilities” achieving their employment, housing, and communication goals.

Virginians achieved 807 of their community-living goals over the past year working with CILs. 
CIL Success Stories
RIC helps traveling nurse find local medical care
Resources for Independent Living in Richmond worked with a local resident with heart failure and hypotension (low blood pressure). She is a traveling nurse originally from Oregon and was diagnosed while working in Virginia. After her release from the hospital, she wasn’t stable enough to travel back and COVID made her extremely high risk to travel. Without work, she quickly ran out of money and lost her insurance, but was able to move in with a family in Goochland County.

RIL staff accessed local medical care for her, helped her apply for Medicaid, access stimulus money, food stamps and paid for her storage bill where she put all her possessions. She is continuing to receive follow up medical care and her health is slowly improving.

IRC remedies reasonable accommodation denial
Independence Resource Center in Charlottesville worked with two consumers with autoimmune issues to help them remain employed. Both individuals are public employees who were denied reasonable accommodation requests based on their disabilities.

IRC helped each employee gain their reasonable accommodation by cooperatively educating the ADA coordinators and management of the respective organizations about ADA/EEOC guidelines. They also assisted the employees with their grievance procedures to assure a favorable outcome without requiring litigation.

Endependence Center helps local resident find housing
Endependence Center in Norfolk worked with a consumer who is deaf to find housing. The coordinator gave him information about Section 8 vouchers and the Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority. He applied for the voucher but his income was over the eligibility guidelines. He then contacted the rental office regarding housing availability, but did not have any luck as it was during the pandemic. However, staff at ECI encouraged him not to give up and continued to work with him, providing resources and support. He finally found a suitable apartment and accomplished his goals.
Center connects resident with assistive technology
Junction Center for Independent Living in Big Stone Gap worked with a local resident to arrange for communication technology that allowed him to participate in a court proceeding. Staff at the center helped him identify appropriate technology and connect with the Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority.
Program Highlight
CILs recognized by communities
disAbility Resource Center was featured in the Free-Lance Star for sending durable medical equipment to injured soldiers, civilians and others with disabilities in Ukraine (Right: photo of dRC staff Eric Barnes)

Valley Associates for Independent Living - Nominated for best nonprofit services in the Shenandoah Valley's Best of the Valley competition for 2022.

Access Independence - Nominated as nonprofit of the year by their local Chamber of Commerce.

Resources for Independent Living was recognized by Community Builders Inc. for their outreach efforts during COVID. Representatives from the state and national leadership team gathered in Richmond to recognize RIL and other key partners that played significant roles in assisting their communities.