By Susan Roemer, Independent Living Resource Center
Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) first opened our doors in 1997 serving Cole, Southern Callaway, Moniteau, Miller, Morgan, Osage and Camden Counties. We are one of 22 Independent Living Centers in the state of Missouri and serve persons with disabilities including youth, young adults, the aging and veteran populations.
ILRC offers the Five Core Services; which includes Advocacy, Peer Support, Independent Living Skills, Information and Referral and Transition. Additionally, we have programs designed to support our community such as Consumer Directed Services, Care Closet (offering needed cleaning and hygiene products to those who are in need), and our Durable Medical Equipment Program offering new and gently used equipment to individuals in need.
In 2018 we were the recipients of a United Way grant allowing us to purchase a driver simulator. ILRC teaches drivers permit curriculum assisting individuals to prepare for the drivers permit exam. Drivers Permit classes are taught in classrooms in our region as well as individual instruction as requested. Once a permit is obtained, our driver simulator allows individuals to practice for their road test. These are just a few of our many added-value programs and services. Our goal is to assist individuals to live a life of independence and community involvement to whatever extent they choose. ILRC is proud of the work we do within our seven-county area including our partnerships with United Way of Central Missouri, local schools and other organizations.
ILRC is excited to announce the United Way Community Support Grant we recently received. This grant will allow us to remodel our teaching kitchen to universal design specifications and ADA compliance affording our community a model for design and our consumers an accommodating learning experience. In addition to working one on one with individuals, we are developing a curriculum to include workshops featuring local nutritionists and chefs teaching specific dietary needs cooking classes and developing kitchen skills in those seeking greater independence. Our kitchen will feature accommodating cooking utensils and assistive technology that will benefit many to learn the kitchen skills necessary to care for themselves. We are so thankful for our many business partners who are working hard to remodel and supply our kitchen; including Meeks Lumber Company, Lages Cabinet Shop, Kitchen Craft, Bernskoetter Plumbing, Stokes Electrical, Coleman Appliances and more.
ILRC is embarking on a new path this year expanding services and increasing community outreach. We are underway of a much-needed facelift in our Center and will be hosting an open house for all to attend in the fall and learn more about our consumers and center. We are so appreciative of United Way of Central Missouri for selecting us as one of the many outstanding agencies that was awarded funding this year, and we are looking forward to this incredible expansion of services for our consumers.