What We Do
WILC, and our Putnam County office, PILS, serves people with all disabilities. We are a not-for-profit, community-based, cross-disability resource, advocacy, and training center dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.
In keeping with the Independent Living Philosophy, all our services provide information and peer support to help people with disabilities achieve independence and self-direction. Our staff reflects the diversity of disabilities and ethnicities of our community.
Locally WILC works with individuals, families and service providers disseminating information, training and referrals for:
- Health benefits
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Food Stamps
- Peer Support and Advocacy
- Educational Advocacy…
Regionally, we provide a variety of services to counties in the lower Hudson Valley:
- Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Regional Resource Development Center
- NY Connects, No Wrong Door
- NYS Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Olmstead Housing Subsidy Program
- Open Doors Transition Center
- Traumatic Brain Injury Regional Resource Regional Resource Development Center
- Parent Training and Information
- Program Peer Integration Demonstration Pilot Program
The Westchester Independent Living Center is a peer-driven, community-based organization that empowers people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives in the community through advocacy, training and referral to resources that promote independent living.
Promoting full community inclusion for people with disabilities by breaking down barriers.
The Independent Living (IL) philosophy is based on the belief that persons with disabilities have the same basic human rights as persons without disabilities to participate in and contribute to community life. It is about persons with disabilities having the right and seeking the opportunity to be self-determined in matters such as living arrangements, transportation, social life, employment, and physical care.
Independent Living (IL) is a drastic shift away from the ‘medical model’ that thinks persons with disabilities need to be looked after/cared for because they’re disabled. IL’s fundamental principal is empowerment rather than ‘care’. It is about choice. And, it respects each person’s understanding of what independence is for them. It means being as self-sufficient as possible. It means taking risks and being allowed to succeed and fail on your own terms.
The bottom line is that Independent Living is BOTH a philosophy of life AND a philosophy for service provision.
WILC values and promotes personal awareness, personal responsibility, recovery, self-advocacy, self-image, and self-determination/self-sufficiency. WILC strives to provide a wide spectrum of services to people of all ages who have disabilities, empowering them to take responsibility for living healthy and meaningful lives in their own homes and communities, not in ‘community-based’ nursing homes or other congregate care settings. We develop/enhance opportunities for collaborations among and between state and local level service providers and stakeholders. We marshal all available resources to help meet people’s needs, including natural supports such as family and friends, support from community-based organizations, and government supports and entitlements.