One of the original Independent Living Centers in New York
State, WILC first opened its doors in 1981. WILC has a long history of
providing services designed by, directed by, and, in most cases, delivered by
qualified individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Programs reflect the
requirements of WILC's consumers and the demands of our evolving society. As
people and needs change, so do WILC's programs and services in order to fulfill
WILC's mission of supporting self-sufficiency and self-determination.
The Educational Advocacy Program is a program
of WILC and its satellite office, Putnam Independent Living Services (PILS).
Its purpose is to reach out to families of children (ages birth - 21) with
special needs to aid in the advancement of their development and security of
their future. It assists parents of children with special needs to make
informed decisions about educational rights, choices, responsibilities, and
long-term outcomes; provides on-going support navigating the Special Education
system; and identifies and links parents with appropriate community resources.
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCACY
Mental Health Advocacy Program has been providing services throughout
Westchester County, since 1991, that support the empowerment of individuals
with a mental illness, including those with psychiatric and emotional
disabilities, through Systems and Peer Advocacy. It was one of the first
programs in New York State to embody BOTH the Independent Living Model and the
Recipient Recovery Model to serve persons with mental illness. Joined together,
these two models assist recipients to take control of their lives and actualize
their potential for full inclusion in the community.
PARTNERS FOR SUCCESS
for Success Program is a work readiness/vocational & social rehabilitation
training program designed and developed by WILC to provide information and
supports that assist individuals with disabilities to better understand
themselves, to successfully engage and participate in the vocational
rehabilitation (VR) process, to obtain/retain employment, and to define and
pursue a desired future, i.e., education, work, wellness, housing, etc. The
program is based on 3 key tenets - personal awareness, personal responsibility,
and personal empowerment.
Outreach Program works to ensure that Hispanic and African American persons
with disabilities and their families have access to available resources and an
equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of community life. Services are
provided in a culturally appropriate manner. Spanish speaking staff are
available at WILC's main office in White Plains, satellite office in Brewster,
and outreach office in Yonkers. In 2012, WILC developed La Fuente - a unique
coalition of organizations united by a mutual commitment to reach/better serve
the Latin community in Westchester.
ACCES-VR PEER INTEGRATION DEMONSTRATION PILOT PROGRAM (PIP)
The goal of Peer Integration Demonstration Pilot Program (PIP) is to increase the success rate of ACCES-VR consumers in securing and maintaining successful employment.
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) awarded Westchester Independent Living Center, Inc., the ACCES-VR Peer Integration Demonstration Pilot Program, a three year pilot program, effective July 1, 2016.
The PIP will provide ACCES-VR consumers with Peer Specialists who will work with consumers with peer support and assistance in removing barriers affecting their success with ACCES-VR. In addition, consumers will have access to 250 hours of consumer trainings per year. These trainings will vary as they relate to work readiness and will aim to enhance consumerís chances of re-entering the work force, as well as increase independent living.
Additionally, WILC will provide 150 hours of professional trainings to ACCES-VR counselors and community partner agencies per year. These trainings are intended to enhance professionalís skills, awareness and skills working with people with disabilities. For a list of upcoming trainings, please review our training page: www.wilcnews.eventbrite.com
Services Program provides information to and advocates for persons who are deaf
or hard of hearing. Sign language interpreters are available. WILC and WILC's
satellite office, PILS, utilize a video phone. WILC's Deaf Services Specialist
also provides sign language classes to White Plains police detectives and
Community Outreach Program heightens community awareness and understanding of
disability-related issues through presentations to schools, businesses, civic
groups, agencies, faith-based organizations, health care facilities, etc. The
program provides education and training for community residents, public
officials, and local businesses on access, disability awareness, the ADA -
Americans with Disabilities Act, voting rights, etc. Programs can be tailored
to specific needs upon request.
ROLLIN' KNICKS WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL
The Rollin' KNICKS is a wheelchair basketball team co-sponsored by
WILC and the New York KNICKS/Madison Square Garden. The team consists of
individuals with varying physical disabilities. The team is in the championship
division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. It practices in
Queens, NY and plays in tournaments throughout the United States.