The Independence Center Blog


Calming Room Design for Child on Autism Spectrum Calming Colors, Restful Space: Designing a Bedroom for a Child with Autism - By Jenny Wise   Parents are inclined to decorate a child’s bedroom with bright colors and lots of fun knick-knacks, creating an engaging, often whimsical environment designed to delight a child. For parents of autistic children, the reality is somewhat different. A child on the autism spectrum does much better in a calming, distraction-free space […]
Home Health caregiver attends woman Home Health Caregiver Credentials: Does a Caregiver Need to be Certified? - If you hire a home health agency to handle your home health care services, they will handle staffing and making sure your home health caregiver credentials are valid. While they do take care of this aspect for you, it can be helpful to have an understanding of what these caregiver credentials mean, and how it […]
weekly pill box from Sunday to Saturday filled with medication How to Choose a Home Health Agency - What is Home Health Care? Home health care is a broad term that describes a variety of medical and assistive services provided in the home. About four million Americans require the services of a home health provider to help keep them living independently. Forty percent of these are under the age of 65. It’s less […]
Autism Ribbon “Just Like Everyone Else” – Life on the Autism Spectrum - by Deborah V   A world of color, sound and social interactions surround us. However, what happens when your environment and your daily activities are strained due to the perceived normality’s in the world. Every day, a person with Autism wakes up and copes with the world. The Autism Spectrum is diverse. Nonetheless, we all share […]
Smart Home Technology and Adaptive Technology Live More Independently with Smart Home Technologies - by Beth Casey   Living with a disability or caring for someone with a disability is not without its challenges. Individuals with disabilities have the right to live as independently as possible, but some aspects of homes can make that difficult. Light switches, ceiling fans, door locks and other switches and controls are out of reach […]
Tim Ashley with Tony Wilkins Overcoming Challenges with Assistive Technology - The following is the text from an impassioned speech that The IC’s Tim Ashley gave last year at The Independence Center’s Annual ADA Celebration Luncheon about one of the consumers he works with. “My name is Tim Ashley, and I‘m an Independent Living Coordinator with Peer Support Emphasis here at The Independence Center. There are […]
Who is on your Health Care Team? - Contributing writer: Pam Burgoa, Individual Advocacy Specialist at The Independence Center   Navigating the medical world can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t familiar with the roles of everyone on your healthcare team. We’ve created a cheat sheet to help you keep everyone’s titles and roles straight, from your MD or NP to your RN, […]
Brain Trauma How Trauma Changes the Brain       - by Carrie Baatz                                                      Many of us experience trauma at some point in our lives. Traumas are deeply distressing events that threaten our life, safety and well-being. They can be […]
Person in wheelchair looking up a flight of stairs Call to Action: Education and Reform Act of 2017 - This Thursday, 2/15, the House of Representatives will vote on The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (HR 620).   HR 620 would change how architectural barriers are removed, making It harder to hold the building community and design community accountable to federal law. Experience has shown us in the disability community that it often […]
Carrie Baatz Make Real Connections: Transforming Each Other in Community - by Carrie Baatz   If you asked Americans to tell you what their greatest health concern is, a growing number of people would say, “loneliness.” Human connection is so important to our well-being that when we go for a long time without it, our brains shift into self-preservation mode, we have a higher risk for […]
Art of Accessibility - Don’t miss out on Art of Accessibility this upcoming Friday, February 2, 2018. Folks from within the people with disabilities community from the local Colorado Springs area will have a night to show off their art work. Below are profiles for the artists who will be featured. If your interested, the gallery will be open […]
Marsha Unruh Supporting Independence for Veterans - by Marsha Unruh   Proudly serving her country in the Army for 12 years, Marilyn has spent an entire lifetime taking care of others and living life on her terms.  As the years passed, her health began to decline. Soon she found herself struggling with the most basic tasks like bathing, dressing, and navigating stairs. Marilyn […]
Holiday bag containing gifts This Holiday, Give Yourself a Gift - by Carrie Baatz   The holidays are wonderful, and they can be hard. If you’re someone like me who deals with a mental health challenges, the holidays can bring up a mixed bag of emotions. Maybe your family isn’t happy and together, and the holidays are a painful reminder. Between the busyness of all the […]
Daniel with his ESight Glasses Independence Through Assistive Technology – Daniel’s Electronic Glasses - Here at The IC, we have a great group of people, and one of those great people is Daniel Ratcliff. Daniel is our Benefits Specialist, and he does a great job of connecting people with disabilities with the benefits they need to live independently in their community here in Colorado Springs. At a young age, […]
Depressed man looking off of an over pass How to Offer Hope to Someone who is Suicidal - by Carrie Baatz   If someone in your life is suicidal or showing signs that they might be suicidal, you can help them stay safe. By being there for them, having some supportive tools and knowing the right resources, you can  offer the hope that they need to recover.1   If my loved one is […]
Depressed man looking off of an over pass Is My Loved One Suicidal? - by Carrie Baatz   Signs to Look For   More often than not, people will show one or more warning signs if they are suicidal. Paying attention and noticing warning signs is the first step to helping.1   These are common warning signs: (You may notice others that are not on this list). Threatening to […]
Depressed man looking off of an over pass Suicide in Our Culture - by Carrie Baatz   You are not alone   When I was a kid, my family took yearly road trips to New Mexico. My grandparents owned a few acres of land in a small, rural town. I remember riding with my Papa in his tractor, smiling my biggest smile because I felt free, and I […]
Ross Huddleson on Electric Bike Veteran Gains Independence Through IC Programs - Fran Dorrance, Independent Living Outreach Coordinator at The Independence Center, talks about her work with Ross Huddleson Ross Huddleson is a posterchild of success at The Independence Center. From his introduction to The IC’s Independent Living services, to the Veteran in Charge Program, and now as a peer support mentor, Ross has increased his independence […]
Home Health Worker with Patient Home Health – A Path to a More Independent Life - Home health care is a service for people requiring continuing medical care, which allows them to remain in their home, rather than in a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility. For people requiring this level of care, the ability to stay in their own home can greatly improve their quality of life and reduce […]
Photo of a swimmer with her service dog Know Your Rights With Your Service Animals - by Nikki Stewart   Air Carrier Access Act – Part 4   To round out the four part series on service animal laws we are concluding our “Know Your Rights With Your Service Animal” series by taking a look at what your rights are upon airplanes with the Air Carrier Access Act. Where does the […]
Icons of the Disability Rights Movement – Part 2 - In the second part of this two part series on icons in the disability rights movement, we will discuss the contributions Edward Roberts, Laura Hershey, and Justin Dart on the disability rights movement. To read the first part of this two part series, click here.            Edward Roberts The Father of […]
CEO of The IC, Patricia Yeager Make Real Connections: Leading with Her Internal Compass - by Carrie Baatz   “Everyone has an internal guide. If they follow it, it works.” Dr. Patricia Yeager likes to say that we choose our lives; we have a choice about how we will respond to all the people, events, opportunities and barriers that life presents us with. As Chief Executive Officer at The Independence […]
Photo of Kathy McDevitt, Home Health Training Specialist at The Independence Center Make Real Connections: Teaching Home Health Caregivers - by Carrie Baatz   Make Real Connections: Teaching Home Health Caregivers “If someone hurts themselves, I’ll offer to carry them on my back. I’ve always been that friend,” says Kathy McDevitt, the Home Health Orientation and Training Specialist at The Independence Center. Her desire to work in the Home Health field stems from her passion […]
Photo of a swimmer with her service dog Know Your Rights With Your Service Animals - by Nikki Stewart   Fair Housing Act- Part 3 In the third part of our “Know Your Rights With Your Service Animal” series we take a look at the Fair Housing Act. Where does the ADA allow my animal access? Access for service animals and emotional support/assistance animals permitted: Housing receiving federal financial assistance State […]
Icons of the Disability Rights Movement – Part 1 - As an organization that has grown-up throughout the disability rights movement, The Independence Center owes much of our history and success to the foundational work laid by the individuals who fought for the rights of the people with disabilities community. For far too long, people with disabilities were treated as less than human. The disability […]