By Holly Glen Gearhart, Contributing Writer
Senior Services of Snohomish County and North Sound Center for Independence are co-hosting an Aging and Disability Community Forum in Monroe, seeking input from members of the community who live with disabilities, as well as their caregivers, family members and service providers.
Annual funds set aside to serve the needs of the disabled are granted according to need; if there is no input from the community, funding is lost. If more is needed it is granted according to those needs.
That is why your voice is important in determining the amount of money set aside.
Too often, funds for services are available but are cut because there is no apparent need for them. Silence can be deadly.
North Sound Center for Independence is the local chapter of the nationwide independent living movement whose purpose is to provide advocacy for the rights of disabled people for “self-direction and autonomy” and the right to choose where and how they live.
The independent living movement grew from the civil rights movements begun in the 1950s and 1960s and opened the door for disabled people to seek more control over their quality of life.
The decision on housing options were few; often people with disabilities were sent to nursing homes with no discussion from the patient. The independent movement and the development of the Aging and Disability Resource Network offers a real chance for people to live independently with services provided in-home.
Employment, housing and service are rights for people with disabilities.
Awareness of the rights of individuals in determining their quality of life led to the drafting of and subsequent passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA opened doors to jobs and housing for 50 million disabled Americans, some of whom left the rolls of government assistance as they moved into jobs which provided them with self-sufficiency. The ADA today is evolving with the growing number of service members returning from war.
The North Sound Center for Independence is committed to advocating for removal of architectural and communication barriers and the right to have control over support services and assistive technology, according to the organization.
Snohomish County seeks to create an Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN) to serve the needs of the county.
The Monroe meeting marks the start of the development of the ADRN for Snohomish County.
Older adults, all ages living with disabilities, family members, caregivers and service providers are encouraged to attend Monday, July 28, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Monroe Library, 1070 Village Way.
The Monroe Library is an ADA accessible facility. Community Transit bus stop #2580 is nearby.
For more information:
Senior Services of Snohomish County
11627 Airport Rd., Suite B
Everett WA 98204-8714
Center for independent Living-North Sound
Crown Plaza Building
114 West Magnolia St., Suite 104
Bellingham, WA 98225
Toll Free: 888-482-4839