A core element for Independent Living Centers (ILCs) is to foster the linkages that promote open communication and dialogue among staff and consumers. Despite all the differences in experience, we have considerable commonality in hope, fear, sickness, change, family and every other emotion and aspect of life. Our mission statement includes the bold belief that each person has “the basic human right of participating in society as a self-determining individual.”
You have the right to remain you.
We all must strive to connect with those who are isolated or otherwise limited in their ability to access information that can lead to choices and options that would have gone unknown. Every one of us without exception should be part of this effort.
The opportunity to share information that can enhance the lives of those we meet cannot be underestimated. Sometimes the setting can make the connection more meaningful. RCIL has hosted a “Community Forum for those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing” several times a year. It has helped create an environment conducive for this unique group to both converse with each other as well as to become aware of topics and ideas that might have otherwise been missed.
All of us should continually be alert to occasions formal and informal, individual and group, where new connections can be made. Some may grow into lasting relationships and others may be a one-time learning experience. Either way it’s about passing on a chance for a more fulfilling life.
- Dave L.