For more than 10 years Independence Now has hosted events as a way to teach independent living skills and provide information to consumers. When hosting an event, we touch upon nearly all of our five core services. Speakers at events provide information, teach advocacy or other skills. Staff follow up with referrals so attendees can access needed services. One of the greatest benefits of attending an event is the peer mentoring that occurs between consumers.
As the Executive Director, I am lucky to have the office that is right next to our conference room. Not only do I get to enjoy the amazing smells from cooking classes, but I also overhear the most natural peer mentoring. One day I heard a conversation about how to call and schedule paratransit. I’ve heard consumers talking about assistive technology and how they use different apps to make their lives easier. One day a consumer told her entire story of transitioning from a nursing facility back to the community to someone who was still stuck living in a facility. These conversations are just as valuable as what the speakers or our staff share.
Independence Now’s Independent Living staff have worked tirelessly during the pandemic to switch our events from in-person to virtual. Since April 2020 we have hosted hundreds of events online, teaching skills, sharing information, and supporting consumers to stay connected. If you haven’t attended our events lately, check them out at https://www.innow.org/events/