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: SAIL strives to be the conduit in making sure all locations, services, and information is accessible to everyone in our community, including people who live with a disability.
- Assistive Technology (AT): SAIL strives to increase awareness to help match people to the specific low cost assistive devices they need to maintain or increase their independence in the home, workplace or in the community.
- Benefits Analysis (Social Security Disability Benefits Counseling):SAIL provides benefits counseling to help Social Security beneficiaries to understand and use work incentives to start or return to work through Certified Work Incentive Counselor (CWIC). Our team works individually with people who are currently working or seeking employment and help them plan, through using work incentives, to build a more secure financial future and a better life. Additionally, our CWIC’s work with Employment Networks, Michigan Works One Stop Career Centers, local Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) offices, Bureau of Services to Blind Persons (BSBP) offices, and other community agencies.
- Education and IL Skills Training: SAIL strives to connect all individuals living with a disability with independent living skills training to ensure information, knowledge and power to live a full, productive life.
- Employment: SAIL strives to improve the knowledge and skills of employees that live with disabilities through work-related training, assistance, and consultation. In addition, SAIL strives to support employers with their base of knowledge about the value of hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Health and Wellness: SAIL strives to assist individuals living with a disability with a health and wellness program to provide support in increasing independent living skills.
- Housing and Community Living Supports: SAIL strives to connect individuals living with a disability to the affordable, accessible housing of their choice in the community through working and collaborating with many local organizations.
- Information and Referral: SAIL strives to provide information about local community resources and connecting individuals to those resources that can help them. It’s the art of bringing people and resources together.
- Native American Services: SAIL strives to assist tribal members with independent living skills education and awareness through relationship building and collaborations with U.P. tribal members and their community.
- Transition: SAIL strives to support transition – age youth with improving workplace skills to improve independent living and nursing home residents with transitioning to community housing options of their choice.
- Transportation: SAIL strives to support individuals by connecting them to daily transportation options in their community in order to get to work, school, medical appointments and activities in the community.
- Veterans Services: SAIL strives to assist veterans and military families with resources and make connections to service 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
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.