WSIL strives to provide 5 Core Services
1) Information and Referral:
We provide individuals with resources and options that can assist them in making informed choices about living, learning, and working independently. The staff is available to both consumers and agencies to research individual requests for information and potential referral resources. In addition, the WSIL offers resources on issues related to disability, which is available to the public.
2) Peer Counseling:
More than 50% of the staff and board members have experience with a disability. It is generally believed that an organization that is run by individuals with disabilities can better identify and understand the barriers encountered by our consumers. Peer advisers with a variety of backgrounds are available to visit newly disabled individuals at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and mental health facilities to help facilitate their transition back to the community. They can offer emotional support and practical advice on issues such as education and vocational opportunities, housing, recreation, and adaptive equipment. Advisers can meet with individuals in the office or a mutually convenient location.
3) Independent Living Skills:
We provide assistance with developing the skills needed to live as independently as possible. Examples of training topics include: individual self-advocacy, personal assistance services, arranging transportation, budgeting, home management and job seeking. We also help to maximize health and well-being and provide education and assistance regarding your rights under the ADA. Training is, more often than not, provided by persons with disabilities.
4) Individual & Systems Advocacy:
WSIL works with individuals, community organizations, and state/national networks to:
- Promote full inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities
- Heighten awareness and understanding of disability-related issues and laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Improve the implementation of existing laws – federal, state, and local – that affect people with disabilities
WSIL’s advocacy services address access to equal opportunities in exercising one’s social, economic, educational, and/or legal rights.
We provide assistance with transitioning services to develop the skills needed to live as independently as possible. Transition typically takes place in two types of situations: Young people transitioning from school environments to the adulthood; and, Individuals of all ages who are living in an residential setting, such as a nursing home, who are capable of living in the community at large. Both types of transition include learning the skills necessary to find proper living arrangements, self care, medical care, employment or further education, transportation and all aspects of a high quality of life.