An Independent Living Center works with families and individuals of any age with disabilities of any type. Society's Assets is one of eight Independent Living Centers in Wisconsin. To meet government funding requirements, Centers offer five core services, and often others as well. The five core services are Independent Living Skills Training, Individual and Systems Advocacy, Information and Referral, Peer Support, and Transition. Descriptions of the services are listed below. In summary, we provide support systems to assist you in achieving and maintaining a life with dignity and full participation in your community. This is accomplished by providing information and resources that allow you to control and make decisions about your life. This is what sets Society’s Assets apart. Our goal is to offer a variety of services that can meet an individual's needs.
Responding to the community's needs, Society's Assets offers training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Staff also perform compliance assessments and provide technical assistance regarding this and other disability rights laws.
The ADA will observe its 25th year in 2015. Activities are planned to preserve and promote the history of the disability rights movement, to celebrate the impact of the ADA, and to educate the public to create opportunities for inclusion, access, and equal rights for the future. Find out more about the ADA Legacy Project. Visit the website adalegacy.com
A variety of devices can increase function for people with limited mobility, hearing, or vision. Adapted equipment includes telephones, memory aids, talking products, magnifiers, and mobility aids. Society's Assets has over 1,000 items available for demonstration and loan from the Try-Out Program. Staff provide assistance with identifying the most effective technology and locating options to pay for it.
Staff assist people with disabilities in securing or retaining financial and medical benefits. Guidance with application procedures and eligibility requirements is also available. A comprehensive benefit analysis will determine the effect that income from employment will have on continued eligibility. Veterans with disabilities may learn of additional resources and benefits.
Society's Assets offers assistance with managing the bills, checkbook, and mail for individuals that are no longer efficient or confident in doing it for themselves. Staff are bonded, insured and authorized "Fee-For-Service Organizational Representative Payees" for the Social Security Administration and Veterans Benefits.
Staff and volunteers are available to speak to organizations, groups and schools about understanding and interacting with people with disabilities. An annual youth art contest encourages students in grades K - 12 to think about ability. . .not disability.
Society's Assets assists people with locating accessible, affordable housing. Information about home modifications, low interest loans for accessibility projects, and the concept of "aging in place" are available. Transition services help individuals move from a nursing home to their own homes.
After assessing an individual's needs, staff teach money management, pre-vocational skills, utilizing transportation and other community resources, housekeeping, communication, self-advocacy, and socialization.
Consistent with the philosophy of independent living, people with disabilities learn to advocate for themselves. The agency may also engage in activities designed to affect positive change in local, state, and federal systems affecting people with disabilities.
A resource for information about any topic related to living with a disability, Society's Assets assists individuals with disabilities, families, employers, and the community. An Information Series, containing flyers and booklets with helpful information, is also available. Here are some of the topics.
Staff and trained volunteers who have personally experienced a disability provide support, encouragement, and guidance.
Students with disabilities can count on Society's Assets to be an active member of their IEP (Individualized Education Program) and Transition teams. Staff are a resource for students planning for life after high school. They provide information, advocacy, guidance for technology needs, and referrals to link students with community-based services when requested and appropriate. Supportive and personal care services may be offered by Society's Assets caregivers in a dorm or other college setting, i.e. at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. www.uww.edu/csd/ Society's Assets also presents annual Scholarship Awards (up to $25,000 in total awards) to students with disabilities enrolled full-time in college or vocational school.
Staff assist individuals living in a nursing home that want to return to their homes in the community. They coordinate services, review the home environment for necessary modifications, recommend adaptive equipment, and advocate as needed.
Society's Assets assists people with locating specialized transportation services, vehicle modifications such as ramps and lifts, and adaptive aids.