The Chippewa Valley Post reports on area nonprofit organizations with the goal of increasing the public’s awareness of their missions and activities, which are often “below the radar.”
Our “6 of Substance” series is part of this effort to provide information that otherwise might not be available. This series presents answers from area nonprofit organizations, in their own words, to six questions about who they are and what they do. These responses are edited only for length, grammar and style concerns.
Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin, Inc.
Who do you serve?
CILWW, a non-profit organization, is a non-residential, consumer controlled center composed of skilled staff, board of directors, and volunteers who are primarily individuals with disabilities. Our main goal is to advocate for any person with a disability, to help them exercise their right to full participation in society. We also work to empower consumers to make choices that maintain or increase their independence.
CILWW offers an array of services, and will work with anyone who has a disability, regardless of age. Our services include such areas as advocacy, independent living skills training, information and referral, peer support, transition, assistive technology, accessibility, benefits analysis and transportation.
Our New Freedom Transportation Program in collaboration with North Country Independent Living operates an 18-county volunteer driver program. We have over 3,000 riders who are elderly or have disabilities. The purposes of the trips provided include medical, social, training, employment and important personal business including shopping.
CILWW’s Personal Assistant Services program (PASS) provides help to adults and children with disabilities. These services are provided in the comfort of the individual’s home and can range from simple personal needs to supportive home care and respite to complex personal care.
How long have you been established in the Chippewa Valley?
CILWW has been an established agency in the Chippewa Valley since 1980.
What are the major issues you will be facing over the next 18 months?
CILWW will spend the next few years responding to changes in state and federal issues regarding health care, as well as potential federal and state budget cuts in services to persons with disabilities and older adults. We will also work on expanding our main office in Menomonie.
Aside from financial support, how can the Chippewa Valley community support you?
CILWW is always looking to recruit volunteer drivers for the New Freedom Transportation program and qualified workers for the PASS program. We also need to line up agencies to which we can refer persons with disabilities for assistance, as well as older adults who want to live independently in the community with access to services. We also look for referrals for individuals with disabilities and for the elder population.
Who are some of the key people in your organization?
Every person involved in our organization is extremely important to continuing to provide the best services possible to individuals with disabilities and their families. Our Board of Directors, Executive Director Tim Sheehan, Assistant Director Kyle Kleist, Fiscal and HR Manager Tammy Grage, Mobility Manager Denise Larson, Transportation Coordinator Bobbi Craig and, of course, all of our wonderful staff and volunteers!
What is the most important thing about your organization that people should know, but don’t?
CILWW advocates for the full participation in society of all persons with disabilities. Our strategy is to provide consumer-driven services in western Wisconsin, at no cost to the person with disabilities. We provide services to people with disabilities living in Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, and St. Croix counties.
— prepared by Amanda Miller, Independent Living Coordinator
Note: If there’s a nonprofit organization that you’d like to see featured here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this series regularly to introduce our readers to the many people and nonprofit organizations that help keep the Chippewa Valley functioning.
If you would like more information about CILWW, click here.
To see earlier “6 of Substance” listings, click here for the Archives.
To download a copy of the “6 of Substance” questionnaire, click here.