Southwestern Center for Independent Living
The Southwestern Center for Independent Living (SWCIL) is a private, non-profit, consumer controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential organization whose direction is determined by and for people with disabilities consistent with the Independent Living philosophy.
Independent Living is based on the concept that persons with disabilities have the right to choose and live a lifestyle free from discrimination and segregation. It is this belief that directs SWCIL's philosophy of personal control, consumer responsibility, individual choice, societal inclusion and equal access.
Mission Statement: SWCIL is dedicated to working with and responding to the ever changing needs of persons with disabilities in Southwestern Minnesota to promote societal acceptance, inclusion, and equal access for all persons with disabilities.
SWCIL offers a wide array of services for individuals, businesses, and communities. Some of these services include:
-Consumer Services (independent living skills training, advocacy, peer counseling, and information referral, and assistance services)
-Youth Transition Services
-Community Group Services & Workshops
-Relocation to Community-Based Living
-Accessibility Assessments (home and community)
-Ramp Program (residential)
-Temporary Ramp Program (short-term rental for home access and safety)
CONSUMER SUCCESS HIGHLIGHTS
* A middle-aged man with multiple disabilities was unable to work, living in his son's basement, and needed assistance in applying for SSI. SWCIL assisted him in locating the resources to apply for subsidized housing and he rented an apartment. SWCIL helped him secure a donated refurbished computer package, which helped him access SWCIL services and other needed services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was awarded SSI five months to the day after applying.
* A transition age youth with disabilities, and a child of immigrants, was given a week-long work experience opportunity at a local dentist office. She was encouraged by the dental office staff to consider training as a Dental Assistant. She was able to identify a Dental Assistant program at a local college, applied, and was accepted. With assistance from SWCIL, she successfully completed the FAFSA and was awarded financial support for tuition, books, and supplies from multiple sources. SWCIL provided support as she began attending classes, assisting her in researching and utilizing support services.
* A young woman with multiple disabilities requested independent living skills training to expand her knowledge of Minnesota's traffic laws and road signs to obtain her MN Driver's Permit. SWCIL met with her for several weeks via Zoom during her school day to review and practice the materials included in the Minnesota Driver's Manual. Meeting virtually presented several challenges, but she was able to overcome them and learn the material by using a PowerPoint presentation and several videos. During her summer break, she was able to pass the knowledge test and received her MN Driver's Permit.