The IC News Archive

People voting Making Voting Easier for People With Disabilities - On November 7th and 8th, The Independence Center made history after opening as the first “Highly Accessible Polling Place” in Colorado Springs. Turnout was better than expected with close to 800 voters showing up to cast their ballots. There were scores of first time voters, including a group of students from the Colorado School for […]
The IC Provides the Opportunity to Learn from Multiple Sclerosis Ambassador - On October 26th, The Independence Center hosted a discussion on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Tom Falconer, Ambassador for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Falconer, whose wife has MS, has been the primary care giver for his wife for the last 27 years. During Falconer’s presentation, he discussed the symptoms, diagnosis, challenges, and […]
The IC Receives National Recognition from FEMA - On September 16th, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representative Carrie Roberts presented The Independence Center with the Outstanding Inclusive Initiative in Emergency Management Award. FEMA, a U.S. government agency best known for its disaster recovery efforts, also focuses on emergency preparedness training. The award was given to The IC for building eighteen Emergency Preparedness Kits […]
The IC Wins OIB Grant to Help People Experiencing Blindness - The Independence Center is pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded a three-year Older Individuals with Blindness (OIB) grant from the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The OIB grant will enable us to continue helping older individuals experiencing low vision or blindness to remain independently in their homes, and to continue their hobbies or activities. […]
Life Skills Class Gives - As a group of students in The Independence Center’s Wednesday cooking class prepare for their lesson, instructor Edgar Morales asks them what the first step is when preparing food. In unison, the class enthusiastically responds with “wash your hands.” Then the fun begins. On the menu is baked ham, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. […]
Angie Tenorio and Billy Allen smile for the camera holding the Susan J Elliott Award for Outstanding Service Colorado Commission for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Presents Susan J Elliott Award to The IC - Angie Tenorio, Coordinator for our Deaf & Hard of Hearing Department and Billy Allen, Board Chair for The Independence Center, accepted the Susan J Elliott award for Outstanding Service from the Colorado Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Thursday evening. The Independence Center is humbled by this award and so proud that our CEO, […]
Grant Funds Facilitate Ongoing Accessibility in Recreation and Jobs - Reports are in! The 2014 grant cycle of The IC Fund saw nearly $75,000 awarded to five organizations. Funds were given to support community projects in line with The IC Fund goal of increasing independence for people with disabilities. Community members will benefit from these projects through ongoing accessibility in recreation, transportation and jobs. Additionally, […]
Press Release: The IC Hiring Spouses as Caregivers Under New Colorado Law - Contact: Michelle West (719) 476-3143 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, May 17, 2016 – A Colorado law passed in 2014 (HB 14-1358) received approval on January 22, 2016 from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) on changes that now allow spouses to receive reimbursement for providing In Home Support Services (IHSS). Now The Independence […]
old trends= outdated legislation; new legislation for accessible telephone communications; Disabled Telephone users Fund will be signed into law May 4, 2016 Kudos Due For Collaborative Efforts for Accessible Telephone Communications - Kudos are due for legislative work that ensures that people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or deaf-blind will have access to accessible telephone communications in coming years. The Independence Center was instrumental in lobbying for HB 1414, the Disabled Telephone Users Fund, which will be signed into law by the Governor at a […]
Companion Animal Seminar for Landlords - Free Seminar: Bring your own lunch! Tuesday, May 17th 12 – 1 PM Come learn about the laws that address companion animals. This seminar will cover the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Assistance Animal Law. Enjoy your lunch while you learn about how these laws may pertain to situations that […]
The Independence Center CNA School Wins Best of the Springs - The 2016 Gazette’s Best of The Springs awards have been announced. The Independence Center (IC) CNA School has taken home two awards. As a Technical School, The IC CNA School has taken home the Voter’s Choice bronze award. In the Continuing Education category, The Independence Center CNA School has received the Voter’s Choice silver award. […]
Help Us Identify Inaccessible Medical Offices - The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) and the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC) are gathering information about medical providers that have barriers to people with disabilities, including people who are deaf or blind, people with mobility disabilities, and others. If you know of any medical office that has barriers to people with disabilities, please […]
Jeffrey Burkhart smiles fora photograph in his new apartment Professor Regains Independence after Two Years in a Nursing Home - Dr. Jeffrey Burkhart sits casually in his living room discussing his 30 year career that encompasses teaching in four universities and two private schools. The walker next to him is the only indicator of his partial disability. A glint of pride sparkles in his eyes as he recalls a particular student’s evaluation of him at the […]
Judy Gates poses for the camera in her new apartment Community Transition Success after 11 Years in Nursing Home - After a decade in a nursing home, Judy doesn’t take anything for granted; she appreciates the seemingly small things, such as the freedom to help herself to her own food in her own kitchen. She loves being able to get up any time of day or night to fix herself a sandwich. She also appreciates […]
The IC Presents at Board of County Commissioners meeting February 9, 2016 - Greg Monck, Emergency Program Coordinator at The Independence Center, presents at the February 9, 2016 Board of County Commissioners meeting. Presentation was on the new emergency preparedness kits that have been distributed to various Red Cross chapters and other public entities for the purpose of making emergency shelters more accessible for people with disabilities .
Photo of Rob Wrubel Financial Planning For Families With a Member Who Has a Disability - Colorado Springs Financial Advisor Rob Wrubel, with Cascade Investment Group, recently released his book Protect Your Family: Life Insurance Basics for Special Needs Planning, the first publication in the “Blueprints for Special Needs Families” series. The book is available on The Independence Center recently sat down with Rob to find out how his book […]
Press Release: Community Rallies to Find Lost Leprechaun - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, March 8, 2016 – Fewer than 72 hours after being reported missing, “Lucky” the leprechaun has been returned to The Independence Center. Aside from a broken wheelchair handle, the seven-foot tall painted wooden leprechaun is unharmed. Thanks to the Colorado Springs community for being on the lookout, “Lucky” will again be part of […]
Ty Smith skis downhill with adaptive ski equipment Adaptive Ski Experience Carves Through Mental Barriers - Ty Smith never slowed down as an active young adult in his early twenties. Then in November of 2011, life as he knew it came to a crashing halt. Ty lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a ditch. While Ty does not remember the terrible accident, his life took a dramatic turn in […]
El Paso County Press Conference for Text to 911 held at The IC - The Independence Center hosted a press conference by El Paso County on February 9, 2016. The conference announced the roll-out of the new Text to 911 capability in El Paso County. The entire press conference is available on video. Download the slide presentation in PDF format here.    
Press Release: Disability Services Hub of El Paso county Purchases CNA School to Train its Own Quality Caregivers - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, February 10, 2016 – Two homegrown local Colorado Springs organizations are merging. The Independence Center acquired Front Range Nurse Aide Training Program on November 30, 2015 and recently unveiled its new name: The Independence Center CNA School. The public is invited to an open house on Friday, February 19th from 4:30–6:30 PM […]
Press Release: The IC Teams Up with American Red Cross for Winter Weather Emergency Training for Local Residents - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, January 5, 2016 – The Independence Center has teamed up with American Red Cross for three Winter Emergency Preparedness Training presentations to be given in the Pikes Peak Region. The first session for Colorado Springs residents will be held January 20, 2016 at The Independence Center, 729 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, […]
Press Release: The Independence Center Presents Disability Access Kit to Colorado Red Cross Headquarters - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, November 23, 2015 – The Independence Center presented an Emergency Preparedness Access and Functional Needs Kit to the Colorado Red Cross headquarters on November 12, 2015. The kit contains over 45 accessibility items to assist seniors and people with disabilities with functional or access needs in an emergency evacuation shelter situation. Made […]
Press Release: People’s Access to Homes Emerges from The Independence Center Community Organizing Efforts - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, November 23, 2015 – The Independence Center housing study from December 2014 – April 2015 engendered a new community organizing group in Colorado Springs called People’s Access to Homes (PATH), which continues to coalesce while fighting the proposed Sit/Lie Ordinance. Affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities is a key issue of […]
UCCS Forum Panelists The Independence Center Teaches UCCS Public Affairs Students how to Affect Change Through Advocacy - About 40 public affairs students were introduced to The Independence Center at a community discussion hosted by UCCS School of Public Affairs on October 29, 2015. Attendees were given theoretical and practical perspectives along with real life stories about policy barriers for people with disabilities. The Community Discussion focused on Advocacy and Policy Development Supporting […]
Caregiver Finds Missing Piece at Caregiver Support Group - Thursday evenings you will find Alexia* spending time with the Family/Caregiver group at The Independence Center. Despite long days of caregiving for her daughter Brooklyn*, Alexia doesn’t miss this time to connect with others who face similar challenges. Connecting with the group has encouraged Alexia to see the positive strides that have been made and […]
Photo of Chain links Press Release: The Independence Center Participates in Colorado Linkage Lab - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Michelle West (719) 476-3143 COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, November 3, 2015 – In the interest of creating better health outcomes for people with disabilities, The Independence Center joins a cohort of eight community-based organizations in The Colorado Healthcare Foundation’s pilot program Colorado Linkage Lab. The Colorado Linkage Lab is a 19-month executive […]
Community members listen to the Stakeholder forum of the DVR merger with CDLE DVR Public Stakeholder’s Meeting a Welcome Forum - Leadership, staff and consumers of The Independence Center (The IC) as well as community members and DVR vendors attended a public stakeholder’s meeting hosted at The IC regarding the merge of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and Division of Vocational Rehab (DVR). CDLE and DVR leadership was well represented at the meeting on […]
State Rep. Teri Carver speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast at The Independence Center Press Release: First Annual Briefing for State Legislators Held at The Independence Center - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, September 29, 2015 – The first annual Legislative Breakfast occurred at The Independence Center (The IC) September 28, 2015. Six state legislators attended the briefing where eight specific issues faced by people with disabilities were presented and discussed. Presentations on each issue were given by staff members of The Independence Center. Discussions […]
A representative from Urban Gardens receives the grant check from an IC board member. Press Release: The Independence Center Awards $75,000 in Funding for Local Projects - COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, September 22, 2015 –The Independence Center (The IC) announces its second year of The IC Fund grant awards totaling nearly $75,000 for local community projects that benefit persons with disabilities. Checks will be awarded on Sept. 30, 2015 in a private ceremony with a light lunch being served in the Dart Room […]
Tax Exempt Savings Account for People With Disabilities – ABLE Act - Do you qualify for the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act? This Act was signed into law by President Obama to help people with disabilities become more independent by creating a savings plan. This improves the lives of people with disabilities since they were previously unable to save without sacrificing their benefits. To read […]
The IC’s ADA Celebration 2015 Award Winners - The IC’s 2015 ADA Celebration The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was established in 1990 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, in order to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and ensure equal access, opportunities, and participation throughout America. 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the historical signing of the ADA. The Independence […]
Pat Going leading the training class for The Red Cross Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities. The Independence Center Serves Up Accessibility Training for Colorado Red Cross - At what kind of training would you look around the room and see county officials, disability training consultants, service dogs, Red Cross district officials, and people with disabilities? You would be at a special training—the first of its kind in Colorado actually—an emergency preparedness training for Colorado Red Cross chapters emphasizing accessibility for persons with […]
The IC Helps with Video Phone Testing for El Paso County - The Deaf & Hard of Hearing program of The Independence Center is involved in making telephone communication more accessible to the deaf community in the Pikes Peak Region. Matthew Ruggles and Angela Tenorio, deaf and hard of hearing program staff at The IC, helped with testing the new video phones at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center in August 2015. Ruggles […]
Disaster Training for American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters in Preparation for Wildfire Season - Thirty-five American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters attended an Emergency Training Workshop on March 13th-14th.
The IC Fund: Local Nonprofit is Giving Back to Other Nonprofits - The Independence Center (The IC) is offering $75,000 to local nonprofits who are providing new programming that will benefit people with disabilities.
Empowering People with Spinal Cord Injuries - The Independence Center (The IC) has earned a grant from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) to create new programs for people with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). The grant, worth$20,000, will be used towards new support groups, activities, and supplying people with adaptive equipment necessary for their independence. Teri Ulrich, Director of Development at […]
Grant for Diabetes Education Will Help People with Disabilities - Healthy living is a topic frequently discussed in this country. People everywhere are trying to find ways to prevent and treat diseases like Diabetes. The Independence Center, a local non-profit organization, has received a grant of $7,500 from The Myron Stratton Grants Program to provide Diabetes education to staff and consumers at the agency. The […]
Social Change for a New Political Climate in Colorado Springs - With the mayoral candidate race in full swing, people in Colorado Springs are hungry for local governmental changes. The Community Organizing department of The Independence Center (The IC) and Midwest Academy from Chicago teamed together to bring community organizing training to non-profit and governmental staff, The IC staff, and citizens who advocate for disability rights. […]
The IC’s ADA Celebration - The IC is celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act! This historic enactment has changed the lives of many Americans, allowing for better access and independence across the country. The Americans with Disabilities Act not only opened the door to greater opportunities, but also gave the nation a greater understanding and awareness concerning people with disabilities.
Reinterpreting Beauty - Rick Guidotti, an award-winning former fashion photographer, is the founder of Positive Exposure, a non-profit organization founded in 1997 that uses art to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and cognitive disabilities or differences. His work has been published in many newspapers, magazines and journals. Visit for breaking news, world news, and […]
CDOT’s Statewide Transit Plan - The Colorado Department of Transportation, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG), Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and Mountain Metropolitan Transit would like to invite you to an open house for CDOT’s Statewide Transit Plan. The purpose of the meeting is to present information on CDOT’s Transit Plan, gather input on transit needs and priorities throughout the state and in the Colorado Springs metropolitan area, and provide information on PPACG and Mountain Metro's transit planning efforts.
Gaining Independence - The Independence Center and Friends of Man were able to collaborate to purchase an accessible van for Frank, a consumer of The IC. Frank had an automobile accident a little over a year ago and now is a wheelchair user. With the Friends of Man, in addition to The Home Modification / Assistive Technology grant, The Independence Center was able assist in the process of purchasing the van.
10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Beep Baseball - How much do you know about Beep Baseball? Here are 10 facts you may not have known.
View The IC’s Latest Commerical - Some stories are full of inspiration. Michael's is one of them.
Adaptive Sports America’s Past Time: Adapted - Adaptive sports are full of many inspirational stories. While some may go unheard or unseen, The Independence Center wants to share as many stories that inspire and motivate individuals with disabilities as possible. We’ve highlighted the world of sled hockey, and now we are shining the light on beep baseball.
Telecom Bill Will Take Funding From Land Lines, Putting Those Who Need Them At Risk - Colorado is overhauling past Telecom bills, and this may have a negative effect on certain communities. The package of bills, passed by the Senate committee, deregulates all telephone services and moves funding used for the maintenance of land lines to expand broadband in rural areas.
Getting to Know Doris Donley - Sled hockey has been a fixture with The Independence Center recently and can be seen in various IC materials like television commercials and the newsletter.  However, we’d like to focus on the person behind the team. Doris Donley, Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association (CSAHA) VP Disabled Hockey, plays a huge role in the sled hockey […]
Is the Safety of Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing at Risk? - Letter to the Editor – The Gazette As a Deaf man and father of two toddlers, and a Deaf wife living in Colorado Springs, and as the Chair of The Independence Center board of directors, I am writing to express my concern about the deregulation of telecommunications systems in this state and the possible loss […]
Are Cell Phones Reliable in an Emergency? - Letter to the Editor – Denver Post It is widely agreed that landline telephones will eventually be replaced by cell phone usage.  This poses the question: will this happen before the technology is robust enough to replace that ultra-reliable system?  (Colorado Needs New Telecom Regulation, 3/31/14) Consider: For seniors and those of us who are hard of […]
The Independence Center Honored - The Independence Center received a Collaborative Partner Award from the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, the largest and longest-standing locally managed pooled trust in Colorado. The Independence Center donated $15,000 to the Fund to build capacity and continued collaboration in the area. The Representative Payee Program supports organizations appointed by the Social Security Administration […]
A Letter from Our CEO - Below is a letter outlining the concerns that Patricia Yeager, CEO of The Independence Center, has with House Bill 1328, House Bill 1329, House Bill 1330 and House Bill 1331. RE:  Access to Telephone Services for Persons with Disabilities, Seniors Threatened Dear Sponsor: Below is a letter outlining the concerns that Patricia Yeager, CEO of […]
Abuse of People with Developmental Disabilities by Caregivers - The goal of caregiving is to help someone maintain an independent lifestyle as long as possible. Being a successful caregiver means finding a balance between providing care and helping the care receiver to be as independent as possible. Unfortunately, abuse by caregivers is not uncommon, especially among individuals with developmental disabilities. These Power & Control […]
Funding for Homeless Prevention Activities Program (HPAP) through Tax Check Off - This is a very important part of the year for funding our Homeless Prevention Activities Program (HPAP) through tax check off contributions. Colorado residents are able to make voluntary contributions when they file their Colorado state income tax return. The HPAP funds are distributed annually through a competitive process to non-profit organizations serving the most vulnerable citizens throughout […]
People with Disabilities: To Work or Not – The Choice is Yours - Below is a piece regarding people with disabilities, employment, and the question of why some individuals with disabilities choose to work and others choose not to. This was written by our own CEO, Patricia Yeager while obtaining her doctorate and we wanted to share! A Real-Life Story            One day in Kansas, a man who’d been a […]
Caregiver Stats - Each year, more and more Americans are caring for a loved one with a chronic condition, disability, or the frailties of old age. There are as many as 90 million family caregivers in the U.S. today. Two out of every 5 adults are family caregivers.  39% of all adult Americans are caring for a loved one […]
Yeager leads by example at Independence Center - Our own Patricia Yeager was featured in the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s One on One column. Learn about her past, interests, favorite parts of the job and her passion for the disability community. Click here to read the article online.
What Do Those Winter Weather Warnings Mean? - This list has the Watch, Warning, and Advisory criteria for Colorado east of the Continental Divide.  Save this list for use throughout the winter. Heavy snow criteria for eastern and central Colorado are representative values applied over a large geographic area: Mountains:  Eight inches of snow in 12 hours or 12 or more inches of snow […]
Senator Corker Abandons Disability Community - NCIL recently reported that Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) walked away from negotiations on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. According the NCIL, Senator Corker made the judgment that the disability community is less powerful than the Astroturf special interest groups pedaling lies against the CRPD. Below is our CEO’s, Patricia Yeager’s […]
The Puck Stops Here: Accessible Sled Hockey - The IC’s own Lisa Harrison-Hall participates in sled hockey. What is sled hockey, you ask? Sled hockey is an alternative sport that uses the rules of hockey. Players use the same equipment as in “stand-up” hockey with the exception of the skates.  Instead, they use a sled which consists of a cushioned seat mounted on […]
To Drive or Not to Drive - A recent report shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Colorado’s largest urbanized areas, Denver and Colorado Springs. In addition, both cities saw greater use of public transit and Denver saw greater use in biking. The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based […]
Disability Rights Activist Highlight: Wade Blank - Wade Blank led a national disability rights movement that lobbied to make buses, street corners and other public places accessible to the disabled and worked to allow them to live independently instead of in nursing homes. Blank was not disabled himself but was inspired to help the disabled after working in a nursing home. Working […]
Give Where You Live - Are you looking for ways to support the disability community? Here at The Independence Center, we work towards ensuring people with disabilities have the same rights, access and opportunities as do others in the community who are living without a disability. Our mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families and the community. […]
Waldo Canyon Fire Forum Report Released - The Independence Center and The Rocky Mountain ADA Center Release Waldo Canyon Fire Forum Report Colorado Springs, Colo., Nov. 2, 2012 – The Independence Center (The IC) and the Rocky Mountain ADA Center (ADA Center) released their After Action Report, a report of key findings from the Waldo Canyon public forum co-hosted by the organizations on Aug. 30, 2012. […]
Artists with Disabilities Showcase a Success - The Independence Center hosted its first Artists with Disabilities Showcase with great success last Friday at The Warehouse in downtown Colorado Springs. The fundraising event showcased various works of art by artists in the community that have a disability, with all proceeds from the showcase benefiting the center’s assistive technology program. “For our first event […]
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Why They Matter - It’s important to always be prepared for any type of emergency, and one way to do that is to keep up-to-date on current weather alerts, AMBER alerts or national emergencies. You can do this through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Below are some FAQ’s about WEA that may clear up any confusion or doubt. 1. Why […]
A True Self-Advocate - You can hear Chris Thomas before you see him. His laugh is loud, genuine and contagious. Thomas’ entire aura is one of positivity and light-heartedness. Though he’s experienced many things, Thomas doesn’t seem to let the outside world affect him. Years ago, Thomas was in a car accident that resulted in traumatic brain injury. The […]
Floods Bring Coordination Between FEMA and Disability Organizations - As the floodwaters rose around the state of Colorado, so did pressure on the state to improve its emergency response for individuals with disabilities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Office of Disability Integration and Coordination contacted the Nick DeSutter, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at The Independence Center, for assistance in communication and synchronization of leaders […]
Disability Awareness Month Advocate Highlight: Justin Dart - Justin Dart, Jr., was a leader of the international disability rights movement and a human rights activist. Dart has earned the title of “the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act” and “the godfather of the disability rights movement.” Dart was a leader in the disability rights movement for three decades. Dart contracted polio as […]
Guest Blogger: Community Organizing Take a Trip to Chicago - The Community Organizing department of the Independence Center received a huge influx of knowledge and energy after attending a week-long community organizing training in Chicago at the Midwest Academy. Midwest has been known for training thousands of effective organizers on how to win real improvements in peoples’ lives by effectively strategizing issue campaigns on topics across the […]
A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities - The inability to find employment and fulfill their full potential is a harsh reality for too many Americans with disabilities and their families. Twenty-three years after the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, only 20 percent of the 54 million Americans living with a disability are employed or seeking employment. As of July 2013, the […]
Disability Etiquette Words Do Say Don't Say Disability Etiquette in News Headlines - I was skimming through the news today and something caught my eye. There was an article about a young man who is a wheelchair user that has revolutionized the field of action sports by performing extremes stunts, flips, etc. in his wheelchair. This man is a great role model and inspiration for young wheelchair users […]
Disability Awareness Month - Today marks the first day of October, as well as the first day of an important month for The Independence Center. Nationally, October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. We celebrate […]
Home Health Customer Service at The IC - In this day and age, a business can live or die based on its approach to customer service. The Independence Center holds customer service in extremely high regards. We work with many people whether it is consumers, vendors, community partners, clients, etc. It’s key to treat everyone you interact with quality service and respect. Our […]
Stop. Look Right. - With the amount of road closures and flooding, many of you will be taking alternate routes to work, school, home, etc. We want to remind you to always pay attention to pedestrians attempting to cross the street, especially if you aren’t familiar with the road or intersection. Drivers tend to look the way of oncoming […]
Service Animal vs. Companion Animal - More Service Animal Resources! What is a Service Animal? The ADA defines a service animal as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” For the full definition click here. For a […]
Preparedness for Individuals with Access and Functional Needs - How to prepare if you or someone in your life has access or functional needs September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). It is a time to prepare yourself and those in your care for emergencies and disasters. This September, please prepare and plan in the event you must go for three days without electricity, water […]
- Our CEO, Patricia Yeager, responded to an article titled, “Seeds of two rights movements were planted in August 1963 march” published by the Gazette on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The article focuses on the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and its results. In her letter to the editor Yeager argued that the 1963 march […]
The IC Gives to Blue Star Recyclers - The Independence Center recently made a donation to Blue Star Recyclers, a local nonprofit that employs and empowers individuals with disabilities. The decision to donate to Blue Star was reached by the board of directors at The Independence Center due in large part by the alignment of missions for both organizations. “Meaningful jobs for people […]
What is the Organizing Committee on Transit (OCT)? - Are you interested in joining forces with a citizens’ group that advocates for expansion of public transit? The Organizing Committee on Transit (OCT) is a group of Colorado Springs citizens who advocate for the expansion of public transit in the city. In 2012 the OCT advocated strongly for the top priority that was found in […]
The History of The IC - In 1987, The Independence Center was founded by people with disabilities who saw a need for independent living services and home health care services in the community. The IC serves people with all disabilities in El Paso, Teller, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Park, Lincoln, Cheyenne and Elbert counties and over 500 people annually. After 25 years The […]
The Independence Center is On Pinterest - The Independence Center has joined Pinterest! Through this social media medium, we hope to provide our consumers with inspirational stories, adaptive equipment options, news stories and advocacy pieces. What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing information, interesting finds or things you enjoy all in one place online. Check out our Pinterest […]
The Six P’s of Evacuation - In the wake of the recent flooding and wildfires over the summer, we wanted to remind everyone the things to remember in the event you must evacuate your home during an emergency or disaster. Previously, we’ve discussed what should be in your emergency kits and the Do’s and Dont’s of evacuating, so here are just […]
Resume Myths Busted - It’s difficult enough to find a job as it is and job-searching is always a challenge. Having a bad resume is a huge roadblock in that process. Like many things in life, job-hunting and resume-building are full of myths and misconceptions. Below are some resume myths from an employer. If you need help building a […]
50 Ways to Take a Break - Life can be overwhelming at times. We all have problems and struggles we face, and the stress of daily tasks can sometimes be too much too handle. At The IC, we want you to know the importance of your mental, physical and emotional health. It’s okay to take a break, charge your batteries and mentally […]
Visually Impaired Photographer Shoots Beautiful Storm Photos - Storm chaser, Terry Rosema, captures some of Mother Nature’s fury firsthand. His photos are incredible, and what’s even more incredible is that Rosema is partially blind. Visually Impaired Terry discovered he could adjust his camera settings appropriately to help him see better—simply by using magnifiers, zooming in a certain way through his viewfinder and even adjusting […]
Online Dating for Individuals with Disabilities - It can be hard to meet that special someone. For individuals who are disabled that same challenge exists. This challenge to find the perfect match leads many people to online dating. There are some online dating sites that are catered to those with disabilities, but like all online activity, one should always use cautious behavior. There […]
“Lives Worth Living” Documentary Influential at Community Celebration - The Independence Center celebrated the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it has affected the lives on those with disabilities on July 25th at Stargazers Theatre. The ADA Celebration included a silent auction with items donated from around the community, a screening of the PBS documentary “Lives Worth […]
The Independence Center Hires Emergency Preparedness Planner - The Independence Center (The IC) has hired Nicholas DeSutter as its Emergency Preparedness Planner. DeSutter brings a depth of information to the position, which will require engagement with The IC’s consumers, the community, as well as county and city officials around the issues of emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. “The emergencies of the last […]
Movies and Books that Depict Individuals with Disabilities - There are thousands of movies and books out there with an array of themes, stories, characters and genres. With so many options, everyone is bound to have at least one favorite book they can crawl up with on a rainy afternoon and read over and over again. Or, that movie that you can watch every […]
Do you know the purpose for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? - When President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law—the world’s first comprehensive civil rights law for people with disabilities—in front of 3,000 people on the White House lawn on July 26, 1990, the event represented an historical benchmark and a milestone in America’s commitment to full and equal opportunity for all of its […]
Lessons From the Fires - In the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon Fire, The Independence Center (The IC) held a forum for officials from the City of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and The Red Cross to discuss what the fire was like for people with disabilities. The forum provided a public avenue for those with a disability who were affected […]
ADA Celebration - The Independence Center will be hosting an educational event celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 25th at Stargazers Theatre. This ADA Celebration will include a silent auction with items donated from around the community, a screening of the PBS documentary “Lives Worth Living” and participants involved in […]
People with disabilities have been present throughout American history - Many stories and events related to people with disabilities never make it into the history books or shared public memories. Familiar concepts and events such as citizenship, work, and wars become more complicated, challenge our assumptions about what counts as history, and transform our connection with each other when viewed from the historical perspective of […]
Creative Maladjustment Week: Day 3 - For Creative Maladjustment week the theme today is centered around Kindness.  Challenge yourself to be kind, even if you’re hurting. Share your company with someone who might be lonely or volunteer at your local community center.  
Creative Maladjustment Week: Day 2 -   Creative Maladjustment week continues with today’s theme of Laughter and Noise.  We challenge you to create joy in public places, transforming them! Print out your favorite puns, riddles and jokes and hand them out to the people around you. Share some of your favorite jokes with us! Check out our Twitter and Facebook throughout […]
Creative Maladjustment Week - “There are some things in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. What is Creative Maladjustment? It’s about not allowing ourselves to become content with the problems we see in the world around us. It’s about not giving in to social pressure to align the way we think […]
Building Remodel Creates More Accessible Center - Beginning in November, The Independence Center began our building remodel. Our staff has shared the building with consultants, construction crews and contractors. The construction has caused a few smelly days, and some noisy ones as well, but upon its completion everything was worth it in the end. Our building is beautiful, friendly and welcoming, but […]
Disability Law Series: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. At the Independence Center, part of our mission is to empower persons with disabilities […]
American Red Cross Logo Red Cross Wildfire Tips - Tips from the Red Cross to lessen the threat of a wildfire: If a wildfire is burning near someone’s neighborhood, they should back their car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. People should confine pets to one room so they can find them if they need […]
Disability Access Has Improved: A Letter From Our CEO - In wake of the Black Forest fire Patricia Yeager, CEO of the Independence Center, responds to emergency efforts of the city, county and local media in regards to disability access. “What a difference a year makes. This year’s response to the Black Forest disaster for people with disabilities seems to have gone much better. Kudos […]
A female voter in a wheelchair opens an accessible door to a polling place Disability Law Series: Voting Acts - The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. This week’s feature looks at three different acts that deal with voting. First, we […]
Public Accommodation - In previous posts, we discussed reasonable accommodation in the workplace and housing accommodations. In this post, we will highlight reasonable accommodation in a public place. Some places of public accommodation include restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, day care centers and public events like lectures or movies. Public […]
How Do You Get the Reasonable Accommodations You Need? - Continuing with our reasonable accommodation series, today we detail the process of how an individual should go about receiving the reasonable accommodations they need. To be successful in getting the accommodations you need, it pays to be prepared. Think through what the employer needs to know to make a decision and put that information into […]
Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes - One of the most important aspects of living independently is knowing how to keep yourself safe during an emergency. Emergency preparation starts with you. Having a plan in place for any type of emergency is one of the best ways to be prepared. It will not only keep you safe, but could help others as […]
Third Annual Expo a Success - The Independence Center and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) hosted the third annual Yes We C.A.N. (Cultural Awareness Network) Expo! at the Colorado Springs Event Center on June 7th. The expo showcased exhibitors and information on resources specific to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf-Blind needs and on-site demonstrations of products and services. In its […]
Knowing How an Emergency Might Affect Your Disability - Disaster situations can be overwhelming – both physically and emotionally. It is important to understand how stress related to a disaster can impact your disability. Anyone affected by a disaster may experience one or more of the following symptoms:  Thought  Behavior Poor concentration Confusion Slowness of thought Limited ability to communicate verbally or in writing […]
Air Quality Tips During a Wildfire - With so much smoke in the air from wildfires, it’s important to take your health in to consideration. Even those who aren’t near evacuation zones can be in danger of smoke inhalation and health problems that can arise from it. If you can see or smell smoke, children, elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing […]
100 Words: The Life Of A Sibling With Disability - 100 Words is a series in which photographers describe their work in their own words. This 100 Words series depicts the sibling of an individual with a disability. The photographer, Giovanni Cocco, describes the special bond between himself and his sister, Monia.
Reasonable Accommodation: Housing - Last week we took a detailed look at reasonable accommodation in regards to employment. However, reasonable accommodation doesn’t always have to involve employment or the work environment. This week we will explore how reasonable accommodation pertains to housing and the rights that come along with it. Reasonable accommodation is a right individuals with disabilities have in […]
What is Assistive Technology? - Assistive technology is any device that helps a person with a disability complete an everyday task. Assistive technology can be “low-tech” (something very simple and low-cost), or “high-tech” (like a computer). “I think (assistive technology) is definitely moving towards the (high) tech side of things,” said Paul Spotts, Assistive Technology Specialist for The Independence Center. […]
Disability Law Series: The Fair Housing Act - The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.  The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination for housing on the basis of race, color, […]
Personal Support Network - A Personal Support Network is a group of people who come together to help keep one another safe in an emergency. The people in your Personal Support Network will work with you to prepare for a disaster. You might practice evacuating together, or work with one another to prepare emergency kits for your car, home, […]
The “Yes We Can” Expo Is Back for Its Third Year! - The Independence Center and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are hosting the third annual Yes We C.A.N. (Cultural Awareness Network) Expo! at the Colorado Springs Event Center. The expo will be on Friday, June 7th and run from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. It will showcase exhibitors and information on resources specific to Deaf, Hard […]
Disability Law Series: The Air Carrier Access Act - The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. This week we are highlighting the Air Carrier Access Act. The Air Carrier Access […]
Safety Tips to Follow DURING a Flood Event - Safety Tips to Follow DURING a Flood Event: Move to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding. Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams, drive through flooded roadways or allow children to play in drainage areas (just 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet). If water rises in […]
Tips for Evacuating During a Flood - As the threat of flooding becomes more imminent, it is vital for your safety and the safety of your loved ones that you are prepared for any type of emergency situation. There are various areas in the city and county that is at higher risks than others. During a flood there is always a chance […]
What Our Support Groups Offer: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - The Independence Center provides numerous support groups for those who are in need of guidance, assistance, and a welcoming and friendly environment.  The support groups are a part of our Independent Living program, which provides the information and encouragement for people to believe they can create the life they want and provide training and support […]
Disability Law Series: The Telecommunications Act - The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. This week we are highlighting the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This act requires manufacturers […]
What Our Support Groups Offer: Older Individuals with Blindness - The Independence Center provides numerous support groups for those who are in need of guidance, assistance, and a welcoming and friendly environment.  The support groups are a part of our Independent Living program, which provides the information and encouragement for people to believe they can create the life they want and provide training and support […]
Disability Law Series: The Americans with Disabilities Act - The Americans with Disabilities Act The road to civil liberties and rights for those with disabilities has been a long one.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the most influential Federal civil rights law that ensures equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. The most notable act is the Americans with Disabilities […]
Manitou Springs and El Paso County Hold Meetings to Prepare for Flooding - Last month, Manitou Springs held a community meeting to address how its citizens can prepare for flash flooding events. El Paso County also held a town hall last month at Ute Pass Elementary in Chipita Park, Colorado. The purpose of the meeting was to update area homeowners on the status of the Waldo Canyon Fire […]
Accessible Mobile Alerts - Emergency Preparedness starts with YOU! It’s key to stay informed during an emergency with the most up-to-date information. In this digital age the best way to get information is through your smart phone. Most phones now have a warning system built into them that works with the National Weather Service, meaning if you are traveling […]
What Should Be In Your Emergency Kits? - Emergency Preparedness Starts With YOU A disaster can happen at any time, so it’s important to be prepared. One important way to prepare is to have an emergency kit. There are different types of emergency kits for different aspects of your life. What Types of Emergency Kits Should You Have? Personal Kit: A kit to […]
Evening Service Returns - Last Monday evening members of the Organizing Committee on Transit (O.C.T.) gathered with Independence Center staff at the Mountain Metro Transit terminal to celebrate the initiation of evening bus service.  Since the committee’s formation in October of last year this group has worked with great diligence to improve bus service in Colorado Springs.  By applying […]
Sharon King Appointed to Colorado Springs Housing Authority Board - The Independence Center would like to congratulate Sharon King, dear friend of The IC and member of the Organizing Committee on Transit for her appointment to the Colorado Springs Housing Authority Board of Commissioners! At the formal City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 26th, City Council confirmed Sharon and two othew new Commissioners to the […]
Disability and Suicide: The Social Factors that Put People with Disabilities at Risk - At The Independence Center, we believe that the challenges faced by people with disabilities are influenced more by negative social expectations and tacit ideas about disability than to any physical, emotional, or cognitive impairment an individual may have. Every day, we work to educate the public on what life with a disability is like. In […]
Transit Letter - Earlier in January, our CEO wrote a letter to City Council about the 2013 budget and the need to reexamine some of the ideas being proposed for people with disabilities and transit. One of the main concerns is a taxi voucher option for some Metro Mobility customers. Below is Patricia’s letter.  The Mayor’s Office Responded. See […]
Emergency Shelter Preparedness - With the first winter storm of the season hitting our community today, we wanted to remind people in our community how to stay safe in the winter weather. The IC also compiled an emergency preparedness workbook to help people plan for emergencies. Tips are reprinted from the Fairfax County website. People with disabilities may want […]
An Open Letter to Ann Coulter - After the debates last week, Ann Coulter tweeted that Mr. Obama was a “retard” for his performance. When he heard about it, decorated Special Olympian John Franklin Stephens took exception, and crafted a response that at once takes the highest of all high roads while still managing to show why the R-word is offensive. Mr. Stephens’ words […]
Waiting to be Evacuated - For a person with a disability, getting evacuated took a little extra planning. Geraldine is a power wheelchair user. She lives in Manitou and watched the Waldo Canyon fire on the TV. She trusted and relied on the organizations that exist within Manitou (the police, fire department, etc.) to evacuate her when the time came. […]
Expectations in an Emergency - Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability when it comes to state and local government services. That means that our community is not to be excluded from participation or denied benefits from programs, activities, and services including emergency services that the state and […]
Against The Traffic - Kevin watched from Centennial and Fillmore as the Waldo Canyon Fire came over the ridge. He had been watching the fire progress over the mountain since Saturday, watching the planes drop water and the busyness at the Command Center, then located at Coronado High School. All weekend he had watched people come into the King […]
Letter to The Gazette about Transportation - To the people who run the city Re: Retirees seen as economic engine. (Feb. 24) I wonder if local policymakers and taxpayers are paying attention to the report on the number of senior citizens in Colorado Springs expected to triple in the next 30 years as baby boomers and others retire in large numbers? One […]
The IC on KRDO - The IC was featured on KRDO. The story follows Bob Alarcon, who is working with Yvonne, our Employment Specialist, in getting back into the workforce. Bob became disabled after a car accident, and found The IC while searching for services. The story ran on KRDO’s evening news and can be seen online here.
Just How Many People with Disabilities Live in Colorado Springs? - Just How Many People with Disabilities Live in Colorado Springs? According to the 2008-2010 American Community Survey (ACS), 60,733 residents of El Paso County are estimated to have disabilities. This translates to 10.5% of the estimated 580,646 residents living in the County. In 2013 there will be more complete numbers based on the rolling 3 […]
Nothing about us, without us - (via The Gazette) Kudos to Gazette staff writer Daniel Chacón for his straightforward and balanced report about the unmet needs of and paternalistic response to persons with disabilities who were affected by the Waldo Canyon fire. Like other residents of El Paso County, the needs of people in the disabilities community are varied, our perceptions […]
DVR Director Visits The IC - Nancy Smith, Director of the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) stopped by The Independence Center (The IC) to meet with Patricia Yeager and the Independent Living (IL) staff. She came to hear more about The IC, our programs, staff, and to answer questions that will further communication and cooperation between the two agencies.  DVR […]
Staff Win ARC Award - Two staff members and a consumer were honored at the Arc’s Annual Awards Dinner on May 19th. Patricia Yeager (CEO) & Angela Tenorio (Deaf & Hard of Hearing Specialist) were honored for for their work on behalf of people with disabilities. Craig Bracewell was honored for his personal achievements in the area of literacy. Craig […]
Calhan Outreach Coalition - The IC is working in Calhan through The Calhan Outreach Coalition. The Coalition is a member based organization that is working towards establishing the St. Paul Community Outreach Center (COC). Established in 2009, the COC will serve the surrounding communities of eastern El Paso County and has an opportunity to build on land adjacent to the St. […]
Bell’s Response - Give officials a bus ride People with disabling conditions in Colorado Springs often have very low incomes, but place a very high value on social and financial independence. Yet for many, the biggest barrier to securing and maintaining employment, attending school, seeing a physician or getting together with family and friends is lack of accessible […]