As a center for independent living (CIL), SAIL embodies the independent living philosophy and culture of the independent living movement. The independent living movement is founded in the belief that people with disabilities, regardless of form, have a common history and a shared struggle. Independent living philosophy emphasizes consumer control, the idea that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, having crucial and valuable perspective to contribute and deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities.
Centers for Independent Living are community-based, cross-disability, non-profit organizations that are designed and operated by individuals with disabilities. CIL’s are unique in that they operate according to a strict philosophy of consumer control, wherein individuals with all types of disabilities directly govern and staff the organization. SAIL provides the following five core services:
- Information & Referral
- Peer Support
- Individual and Systems Advocacy
- Independent Living Skills Development
We’ve found that the best solutions involve addressing the individual as well as the big picture. For that reason, we serve two main audiences, the individual and the community
For The Individual
We offer people with disabilities and their family members assistance in:
- Accessibility: Solving accessibility challenges in the home or workplace
- Assistive Technology (AT): Matching individuals with technology to increase or maintain independence and assisting with acquiring funding for technology.
- Benefits Analysis (Social Security Disability Benefits Counseling): Provides assistance to individuals with disabilities who receive either Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or both, to understand and begin using work incentives to return to work. A Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) works with individuals who are currently working or seeking a job and helps them to plan for a more secure financial future through work incentives.
- Community Support: Securing services and supports to live as independently as possible in the community.
- Education/Transition: Developing skills for youth to transition from high school to employment or higher education.
- Employment: Entering the workforce or returning to work after an injury.
- Health and Wellness: Assisting individuals with social and recreational activities in the community through the SPAR (Single Point for Activities and Recreation) program.
- Housing: Finding affordable, accessible housing.
- Information & Referral: Providing information on options, resources and issues that influence their abilities to achieve independent. lifestyles. Services are also provided to other service providers and the community at large.
- Nursing Home Transition: Providing information and support to help people move from nursing homes to the housing of their choice.
- Transportation: Identifying transit solutions to get to work, medical appointments, grocery shopping, or social activities.
- Veterans Services: To help assist veterans and military families with resources and make connections to services across the U.P.
Advocacy/Peer Group Experience
If you are interested in building advocacy skills through peer support with other individuals in your community, consider joining one of the following groups:
Kiwanis Aktion Club
A community-service club for adults living with disabilities. Aktion Club allows members to develop initiative and leadership skills in serving their communities while enabling their integration into society.
Delta County Aktion Club – Escanaba
Superiorland Aktion Club – Marquette
Contact: Call Troy Connors at SAIL (906-228-5744)
Date: 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month
The Next Chapter Book Club is a community – based literacy and social program for adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Book clubs include five to eight people with a wide range of skills and abilities. Club members gather with two volunteer facilitators in local bookstores and cafes to read aloud and discuss a book for one hour each week.
For more information about the local book club in the U.P., please contact Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
For the Community
We team with businesses, governments, and other organizations to address the following key issues:
- Employment: Collaborating with employers to find creative solutions for disability-related issues in the workplace
- Housing: Partnering with builders, developers and realtors to increase the number of affordable, accessible housing options in the area
- Accessibility: Consulting with businesses and governments to ensure that buildings and recreational areas are accessible to everyone
- Transportation: Working with city governments and employers to expand public transit and find new solutions to transportation challenges