Tag Archives: emergency preparedness

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 .

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, CO 80903 from 1:00–2:00 PM. Community members are invited to learn how to prepare well for winter weather. The second session for Teller and Park County residents will be held January 25, 2016 from 1:00–2:00 PM at the Aspen Mine Center, 166 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, Colorado. The third session for rural residents in eastern counties will be held at the Paulson Senior Center at 205 5th St, Calhan, CO 80808 on January 29, 2016 from 1:00–2:00 PM. The presentations are free to residents. Residents who want to attend are encouraged to RSVP to lulam@the-ic.org.

About The Independence Center

The Independence Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living, and advocacy services for people with disabilities.  These services range from providing peer support, skills classes, and employment assistance to individual and systems advocacy. In addition, The IC runs a Certified Nurse Aide school to equip the area with qualified CNAs. The IC’s mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families, and the community to create independence so all may thrive.

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 possible by a grant from the Daniel’s Fund, The Independence Center is creating over 20 of these kits with an accompanying instruction manual. Each kit is valued at $1,300 and contains items to assist with eating/drinking, mobility, hearing/communication, low vision, service animals and facility barriers to accessibility. The kits are being distributed to Colorado Red Cross Chapters, county emergency preparedness managers and independent living centers.

“This kit of assistive devices will be invaluable when they set up an emergency shelter because these items are typically not provided, or quite frankly, even thought of,” Pat Going, contractor for The Independence Center said.

The Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires brought to the forefront the need for an understanding of accessibility for persons with disabilities. When persons with disabilities are evacuated from danger zones, significant accessibility and etiquette issues arise.

John Monteith, independent contractor for The Independence Center who created and assembled the kits stated, “Having a professional and personal perspective as an occupational therapist with a spinal cord injury, I can relate to how important these items are for helping those with access or functional needs while they are at a disaster shelter.”

The Independence Center has risen to the occasion to educate local officials and Red Cross staff with help from two grants, one from Disability-Benefit Support Contract Committee (DBSCC) and one from The Daniels Fund. The two grants worked synergistically; the DBSCC grant funded the production of a training video and The Daniels Fund grant paid for the creation of Emergency Preparedness Access and Functional Needs Kit to be given to all the Colorado Red Cross chapters.

The accessibility assessment and training video is available for viewing online here.

 

 

About The Independence Center

The Independence Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living, and advocacy services for people with disabilities.  These services range from providing peer support, skills classes, and employment assistance to individual and systems advocacy. The IC’s mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families, and the community to create independence so all may thrive.

Press Release: First Annual Briefing for State Legislators Held at The Independence Center

State Rep. Teri Carver speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast at The Independence Center

State Rep. Teri Carver speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast at The Independence Center

State Rep. Teri Carver speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast 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 included input from staff, legislators and The IC board members. The briefing was moderated by Patricia Yeager, CEO of The IC.

Issues on the table were housing, transit, employment, community transitions (referring to transition out of nursing homes into independent living), home modifications/ assistive technology, emergency preparedness, rural issues and home health. Each issue was framed as an opportunity for the legislators to observe that cost savings to the state and independent living for those with disabilities are not mutually exclusive.

“If we can get in the door, if we can get on the bus, if employers will hire us, we will be taxpayers,” Patricia Yeager, CEO stated regarding the need for accessibility in buildings, transportation, and the private employment sector.

The briefing took on a notable tone of dialogue, with legislators often providing comments, asking questions, and providing status updates regarding certain issues. Current issues were raised in this manner such as the status of CDOT Bustang collaboration with El Paso County and the impending merger of the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

State Sen. Kent Lambert Speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast at The IC

State Sen. Kent Lambert Speaks at the First Annual Legislative Breakfast at The IC

What became apparent during the briefing was the significant interrelationship between the issues, and that solutions to one issue may very well serve as solutions to other issues accordingly. For example, housing is interrelated with community transitions. Because the Pikes Peak region lacks affordable, accessible housing, oftentimes people with disabilities reside unnecessarily in nursing homes, costing the state thousands of dollars each month in Medicaid costs. Working to solve the problem of lack of affordable housing inventory will also help save money in Medicaid dollars to nursing homes.

The breakfast discussion remained largely non-political and incorporated facts as well as anecdotal stories. For instance, Rep. Terri Carver spoke of experience from her early work as a 19-year-old in home health care and Rep. Janak Joshi spoke of his experience as a physician treating patients with transportation needs in rural areas. The officials were clearly engaged, concerned, and expressed gratitude to The IC with an ovation at the conclusion.

State legislature attendees were Sen. Kent Lambert (R), Rep. Terri Carver (R), Rep. Janak Joshi (R), Rep. Pete Lee (D), Rep. Paul Lundeen (R) and Rep. Gordon Klingenshmitt (R).

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The Independence Center Serves Up Accessibility Training for Colorado Red Cross

Pat Going leading the training class for The Red Cross Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities.

Pat Going leading the training class for The Red Cross Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities. 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 disability. This groundbreaking training was put on by The Independence Center, the hub of the disability community in the Pikes Peak region.

The Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires brought to the forefront the need for an understanding of accessibility for persons with disabilities. The Pikes Peak region began to understand that when persons with disabilities are evacuated from danger zones, significant accessibility and etiquette issues arise.

The Independence Center has risen to the occasion to educate local officials and Red Cross staff with help from two grants, one from Disability-Benefit Support Contract Committee (DBSCC) and one from The Daniels Fund. The two grants worked synergistically; the DBSCC grant funded the production of a training video and The Daniels Fund grant paid for the creation of Emergency Preparedness Disability Kits to be given to all the Colorado Red Cross chapters.

The first screening of the new video was held during the training for the Southeastern Colorado Red Cross on September 9, 2015. Trainings for the other Red Cross chapters will follow. At the September 9th training, local Red Cross staff were presented with the first Emergency Preparedness Disability Kit, a kit valued at $1,200 worth of accessibility items that may be needed at shelters holding evacuees.

Persons with disabilities who are concerned about their own personal level of preparedness for an emergency can download a “Personal Emergency Preparedness Workbook” from The Independence Center free of charge here.

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