top of page

Listos California Partner Spotlight - The Center for Independent Living

Text via Listos California's Blog on August 16th, 2023

Zona Roberts and Joan Leon playing a Wheel of Fortune game at CIL's Disability Pride event. Joan Leon is pointing at a name on the Wheel of Fortune spinner.

The first organization of its kind in the country, the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Berkeley has worked to build resilience in older adults and members of the cross-disability community since it was founded in 1972. Their peer-based services are so successful that CIL served as a model for what is now about 400 independent living centers nationwide.

As a Listos California partner, CIL’s Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency programming supports individual and community resilience and provides readiness planning to prepare for disaster recovery and power outages. The peer-led program focuses on areas often left out of traditional emergency response conversations, like accessibility, assistive technology and mobility devices, and accessing critical community resources for disabled people and older adults.

Disaster Ready Guides and preparedness tips are integrated into everyday interactions at CIL. A staff member working with someone to get their wheelchair serviced will bring up the importance of having a back-up battery in a disaster. Preparedness planning is discussed during an intake appointment with a new client. Building disaster resilience is included as part of the larger conversation that keeps client-driven goals and needs central to the services provided.


A group of 7 people sitting in a circle in CIL's office, having a discussion. Miscellaneous office things in the background.

CIL acknowledges the importance of having peer-to-peer conversations about emergency preparedness and response in an inaccessible world.


When talking with their community about preparedness, CIL elicits any creative ideas people may have come up with, recognizing the wisdom people with disabilities develop and apply every day in response to living in an inaccessible world. CIL’s philosophy holds that each individual knows best what will work for them in any situation, which ultimately serves to enhance confidence and resilience in their participants.

Preparedness training has been very well-received by the communities CIL serves. “Serving people with lots of different kinds of disabilities, bringing people together to focus on emergency and disaster readiness, we hear people’s awe and gratitude—and almost always—‘it’s about time we were doing this,’” Community Engagement Program Manager Emma Martin said. “There’s great value in talking about emergency preparedness with other people with disabilities who share some of the lived experiences, to be able to have honest, open, vulnerable conversations about access, about our fears and our hopes. It feels different when you are talking within your community and are able to open up about how scary it is when the elevators go down and share the ideas and hacks that we all come up with on our own.”

Through Listos California, CIL was able to purchase resources designed to help individuals with a disability during disasters and power outages, allowing them to show participants the range of tools available for increased preparedness. One example is the recently acquired stairway evacuation chair, which they demonstrate in their training with members of the cross-disability community and their caregivers. CIL staff plan to advocate for affordable housing units in their service area to purchase these assistive devices to ensure all residents can be evacuated when needed.

CIL recently announced its Peer Ambassador Training, which is made possible by Listos California funding. The first cohort of this new six-month program includes 10 people with disabilities and an interest in disaster preparedness. After completing a two-month training phase, each Peer Ambassador will go on to develop their own unique disaster preparedness project which they will take back to their communities to continue the spread of critical disaster preparedness and resilience education. There is already a waiting list for the next cohort.

“The model of empowering and training peer trainers is at the root of most successful grassroots movements. It is so important that we learn from each other,” Emergency Preparedness Outreach and Training Coordinator Henry Maeko said.



CIL staff member behind a table talking to a person in a red sweatshirt in a wheelchair. CIL brochures are on top of the table.

Ensuring that the voices of members of the cross-disability community are heard and uplifted is central to the mission of the Center for Independent Living.


As it has since its founding over 50 years ago, the Center for Independent Living continually uplifts the voices of the people they serve through their “by disabled people for disabled people” staffing model, their peer-centered programming, and the advocacy efforts and initiatives that are so central to their mission.

“The voices of people with disabilities must be in the room where planning is taking place,” Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Sheela Gunn-Cushman said.




16 Comments


rx Shop
rx Shop
2 days ago

Generic Modalert, a medication primarily used for conditions like narcolepsy, ADHD, and cognitive enhancement, has also shown promise in helping individuals manage depression. While depression is a complex and buy modalert multifaceted condition often requiring a combination of treatments, including therapy and other medications, some research suggests that Generic Modalert may offer additional benefits in certain cases.

Like

Natürlich bringt das Leben in einem Tiny House auch Herausforderungen mit sich. Platzbeschränkungen erfordern sorgfältige Planung und kreative Designlösungen, um Funktionalität und Stauraum zu maximieren. Mehrzweckmöbel wie Schrankbetten und ausklappbare Tische sind in tiny haus üblich und ermöglichen, dass Räume den ganzen Tag über mehreren Zwecken dienen. Darüber hinaus kann das Zusammenleben auf engstem Raum mit anderen starke Kommunikations- und Grenzsetzungsfähigkeiten erfordern, um Harmonie und Privatsphäre zu wahren.

Like

ketansomaia12
ketansomaia12
5 days ago

Somaia's career began in Kenya, where he established Dolphin Group, a conglomerate with interests in hospitality, automotive sales, Ketan Somaia and real estate. The company quickly grew, and Somaia's knack for networking and deal-making earned him a reputation as a formidable businessman. His empire expanded beyond Africa, reaching into the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Notable among his acquisitions was the purchase of the Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi, a symbol of his success in the hospitality industry.

Like

In 1998, Ketan Somaia was arrested in Switzerland on charges of fraud and embezzlement related to his business activities. This marked the beginning of a protracted legal saga that would span several years and involve multiple jurisdictions. Somaia's extradition to Kenya was sought, but legal wrangling and procedural hurdles delayed the process.

 

Like

Ketan Somaia
Ketan Somaia
6 days ago

Beyond his individual achievements, Ketan Somaia's impact extends far and wide, Ketan Somaia touching global markets and influencing diverse sectors. His ventures have not only created economic value but have also contributed to societal progress through job creation and innovation.

Like
bottom of page