The Independence Times Newsletter

The Independence Times includes stories and information focused on the unique abilities of our local disability community, so all are known, valued, and included.

To see the most current issue, please browse the articles below or click on the archive link at the bottom of this page to view past issues.

Current Newsletter Stories

CEO Corner: Thank You to Our Staff

Late last year, The Independence Center (The IC) was named one of The Gazette’s “Best Workplaces” for 2020. This award is especially meaningful to me because it comes directly from our staff. Unbeknownst to me, a number of employees nominated The IC for the award. It speaks volumes about the good will staff members have toward The IC that they would take the time and care enough to do this.

Happy Trails: Making the City’s Open Spaces More Accessible

Drew Wills loves a challenge. On any given day, you can find the Colorado Springs attorney on a mountain biking trail in Stratton Open Space, attacking steep climbs and tackling technical tracks. But unlike most of the other riders on the trail, Drew pedals with his hands while flying down hills headfirst.

Partnership with County Ensures Equal Access to Vaccine Resources

Local, state, and federal governments are working quickly to get the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible. El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) is no exception. As of April 13, 2021, almost 200,000 residents aged 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. However, for people with disabilities, this can...

Accessible Masks: The Difference Is Clear

Imagine going to bed one night and waking up in a world in which you can’t understand anyone. To make matters worse, you find it impossible to tell if others are trying to communicate with you in the first place.  It may sound far-fetched, but this has been the reality for countless d/Deaf and hard of hearing (DHOH) individuals since mask mandates went into effect due to the pandemic.

Housing Q&A

Home. It’s a word that means different things to different people. Safety. Security. Stability. Comfort. A home is more than just four walls and a roof. It’s the place where we start and end our days. Where we prepare our meals and celebrate holidays. Where we make memories. The staff who work in The IC’s Housing Department understand the positive impact having a home can...

Removing Barriers, One Vote at a Time

The disability community in this country has a long history of advocating for change. From widescale protests to the simple act of asking for accommodations, people with disabilities have learned that advocacy is the key to creating a better world for themselves and others. One of the best advocacy tools we have is...

CEO Corner: Virtual Communication Platforms and the Fight for Equal Access

The pandemic has caused a seismic shift in how we work, learn, obtain services, and interact with each other. Before social distancing, meeting/communication platforms like Zoom, Go-To Meeting, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts were used for a few very specific purposes. Now they are almost a daily part of our lives. They allow many (though […]

Area Girl Scouts Make It Sew Easy to Reopen

  During Colorado’s stay-at-home order, issued to combat the pandemic, The Independence Center’s halls were empty for almost three months. So when restrictions were finally eased, the staff was eager to welcome people back into the building. To prepare, a re-opening committee was formed to discuss the precautions necessary to keep visitors and staff safe. […]

Mobile Food Pantry: Supporting Our Community

COVID-19 has not just had an impact on the physical health of those in our community. Job and income losses due to the pandemic have increased economic hardships such as difficulty paying bills, putting off filling prescriptions, and greater food insecurity. As part of its mission to help people with disabilities live more independently, The […]

Outreach Q&A

Living in a rural community has many benefits, including a lower cost of living, a feeling of safety, and a sense of belonging. But for people with disabilities, residing outside a city can make it more challenging to access the supports and services they need to live independently. That’s where The Independence Center’s Outreach program […]

Creating Connection with Online Classes and Groups

When Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis issued a statewide stay-at-home order in March due to the coronavirus, most of The IC’s staff had to figure out new ways of serving our consumers and clients. As the organization’s IL Skills Specialist, Edgar Morales was used to working in-person with consumers to help them develop the skills necessary […]

Celebrating 30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Each July, The IC celebrates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with an in-person event. Hundreds of people attend the free luncheon to network and learn more about the issues facing people with disabilities. This year, however, COVID-19 left the organization with two choices: cancel or get creative. With 2020 marking the […]

Grants Help The IC Continue Its Mission of Service

As a nonprofit, The Independence Center couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of individuals, foundations, and community partners. Recently, two Foundations recognized The IC’s work by awarding grants to further our mission of helping people with disabilities live fuller, more independent lives. We sincerely appreciate their support! Colorado Springs Health Foundation Tech […]

COVID-19: What the Deaf Community Wants Everyone to Know

The following is adapted from an op-ed originally published in The Gazette and written by Kelsey Sandella, The IC’s former Community Organizing Assistant. When this year started, no one expected a global pandemic that would change the way of the world. Wearing masks, gloves, and handwashing to a personal theme song is now the new […]

CEO Corner: Lessons from a Pandemic

Maya Angelou, the late Poet Laureate wrote, “When we know better, we do better.” After the Waldo Canyon Fire, our community took those words to heart and acted upon them. In the midst of that emergency, many of us – both with and without disabilities – weren’t sure what to do, where to go, or […]

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