Category Archives: Newsletter Fall 2016

The Independence Center Brings Assistive Technology Home

screen readerThe Independence Center is a great place to start if you or someone you know needs a home modification or assistive technology device. Paul Spotts, Independent Living Specialist (Assistive Technology Emphasis) can help you walk through the process of finding out if you are qualified to obtain funding for your home modification needs. The qualification process can take anywhere from 2-8 months.

The most common needs Paul handles are ramps and bathroom modifications. Paul also handles Colorado’s Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program (TEDP), which provides telecommunications equipment and accessories to qualified deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind residents of Colorado.

Unsure if you will qualify? Paul says, “You aren’t going to know unless you ask.” Set up an appointment with Paul to discuss your specific needs by calling (719) 471-8181 x 122.


The Independence Center Sends Delegates to NCIL Conference

Carrie Baatz (left) and Nina Kamekona (right) proudly display their handmade signs for the march to and rally at the Capitol on July 26, 2016.

The Independence Center sent two delegates to the National Centers for Independent Living (NCIL) Annual Conference on Independent Living that was held in Washington, D.C. July 24 – 28, 2016.

Carrie Baatz, Community Advocacy Coordinator, and Nina Kamekona, Youth Advocate Specialist, attended the conference on behalf of The Independence Center. Nina attended on a youth scholarship awarded by NCIL that paid for her registration and up to $1,000 for travel expenses. Nina was one of only 10 youth around the country chosen for the scholarship.

Carrie attended workshops to equip her to effectively advocate for housing solutions in Colorado Springs. Nina attended workshops with the goal of learning how to strengthen youth programs at The IC. Both participated in a disability rights march and rally on the Capitol on the anniversary of the passage of the ADA on July 26, 2016.

Founded in 1982, the National Council on Independent Living is a national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. It represents thousands of organizations that advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.


Voting Information

Back page of The Independence Times Fall 216

Vote at

The Independence Center on November 7-8

729 S. Tejon Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

For other polling locations visit,



Monday, October 24th

Some local in-person polling placesBack page of The Independence Times Fall 216

open early

Thursday, November 3rd

Final day to send mail-in ballots

through the mail

Monday, November 7th

All polling places, including The IC,

are open from 8 AM – 5 PM

Election Day

Tuesday, November 8th

Final day to vote in person or drop your ballot at a drop box from 7 AM – 7 PM

If you are voting the day of the election, you must drop off your ballot at a drop off location or vote in person at a Voter Service Polling Center (VSPC). You may visit any VSPC to vote or receive a replacement ballot. Visit for more information about VSPC and drop off locations.

To register or update your registration, visit

To contact the County Clerk, call 719-575-VOTE
or email


Adaptive Bicycle Helps Calhan Man Move About in More Ways Than One

Ross Huddleson (left) and Francis Dorrance (right)

Ross Huddleson (left) and Francis Dorrance (right)

Ross Huddleson is a faithful consumer of The Independence Center’s east office located at the fairgrounds of Calhan. He lives with Parkinson’s Disease, a slowly progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes difficulty in regulating body movements. Because he is unable to drive and there is no bus service in Calhan, his only mode of transportation is walking. Walking in Calhan is no easy feat, partially due to it’s sprawled out, hilly country landscape; partially due to fluctuations in weather. Nevertheless, Ross takes care of his errands and visits by foot. He also visits his Independent Living Specialist, Fran Dorrance, at The IC office frequently, even in the snow.


Fran and Ross ran across a few articles that mentioned the healing benefits of bicycling for people with Parkinson’s. Intrigued, they decided to pursue obtaining a bicycle for Ross. The benefit of a bicycle would be two-fold: to help combat the degeneration of Parkinson’s and to help Ross with his transportation needs.

Fran set up Ross with Paul Spotts, Independent Living Specialist (Assistive Technology Emphasis) at The Independence Center, to help obtain funding for an adaptive bicycle and helmet. Funding was granted and Ross was fitted by Biketricity for a brand new adaptive trike with motor. The trike helps Ross maintain stability despite balance issues, while the motor is available for use when Ross tires.

Ross Huddleson rides his new bicycle

Ross Huddleson rides his new bicycle


Ross’ new mobility has freed him. “When he first got on it, we had to get in a car and chase him down.” Fran recalls with a laugh.

“When I go someplace now it doesn’t take me a half hour to get there,” Ross says.

Both Fran and Ross also mention that Ross’ coordination of movements has improved after riding.

“We’ve all noticed a huge difference. We really have. The therapy part of the trike has been very beneficial,” Fran says as she smiles at Ross.

Consumers of The Independence Center with assistive technology needs are encouraged to contact Paul Spotts at (719) 471-8181 ext. 122.

Share with:

Facebook Twitter Google LinkedIn


Sign up for email updates!

Find out what’s going on and how you can get involved by receiving our email updates and quarterly newsletter.

2 Internal: MailChimp email signups right sidebar
Stay informed about programs, advocacy updates and more. Your information will be kept private.



Do you need In-Home Health Care?

You can choose to receive care from our staff or a qualified caregiver of your choosing.

Find out if you qualify.


Meet new people,
Make new friends!

Check out our peer support and recreational groups that you can join!

Click here to find out more.