Disability Services Organization
WHO WE ARE:
DIAL – Center for Independent Living is part of a statewide network of non-residential independent living centers designed and operated to provide services to individuals with disabilities residing in Passaic and Essex Counties. DIAL is organized and operated as a 501© 3 non-profit organization. The agency has a proud history of serving consumers living with disabilities since 1980. We encourage our consumers and the community at large to seek involvement in this self-governing organization to the fullest extent.
SERVICES THAT OUR CENTER PROVIDES:
Information and Referral
The Center maintains files on resources and services available in their regions and refer
persons with disabilities to appropriate vendors/providers such as: accessible
housing, transportation, personal assistants, adaptive technology, interpreters for the deaf, employment opportunities, and legal services. Other information and referral topics may include: disability legislation, disability-specific organizations, financial benefits programs, and information on other social service organizations.
Individual advocacy entails assisting people in removing barriers to full inclusion. This may involve providing support with obtaining legal and economic benefits, working toward the removal of architectural barriers, and coordination with other agencies that provide essential services. The Center also promotes systems (community) advocacy; working to make changes to expand physical or service related access and safeguard the civil and legal rights of people with disabilities.
Peer Counseling Services
The Center provides peer counseling groups based upon interaction with others who have similar disabilities and life experiences, individuals can gain insight into strategies which have been used successfully to cope with challenges to various independent living goals. People who have recently sustained their disability or who have lived in segregated environments often benefit greatly from the support of positive role models.
Independent Living Skill Programs
The Center provides instruction in areas such as money management, use of adaptive technology equipment, social skills, and interviewing techniques. Independent living skills instruction assists individuals to develop the skills and self-confidence to achieve their goals. Independent living skills instruction can be provided individually or in group situations.
Facilitating Community Transition
The Center already assists people in returning to community living from institutions, avoiding institutional placement. Services are provided to youth with disabilities who have completed secondary education to transition to adult life. Now, these three types of transition activities are combined to become a fifth Core Service. The focus in all three areas is to keep consumers in their communities and to enhance their inclusion in those communities. For transition from, or prevention of, institutional living, center activities include outreach to potential consumers, referral to housing and other community living resources, and support of consumers in accessing those resources. For graduated or soon to graduate high school students, activities focus on lifestyle and vocational goals for life after school and on planning what to do in both the present and the future to achieve those goals.
Deaf Outreach Services
The Center has a Deaf Services Specialist proficient in American Sign Language is available by appointment twice a week to provide access to independent living services to consumers who are hard of hearing and/or deaf. These services may be accessed via video phone, relay calls, email or TDD.
The Center operates a therapeutic recreation program weekly for adult residents of Passaic County with disabilities and the frail elderly. DIAL has been providing therapeutic recreation services to Passaic County residents with disabilities since 1997 and serves 70-75 consumers annually. The program has been highly effective and has consistently provided participants with a wide range of therapeutic recreation activities and programs. The program has regularly offered trips in the community to accessible facilities focusing on a wide variety of recreational and social experiences such as college art galleries, museums, community theaters and bowling. A variety of programs have been offered on pet therapy, music therapy, arts and crafts, health education, home economics, and horticulture. Referrals to the program may be initiated via individuals, family members, provider agencies or nursing facilities.
NJ Transit Access Link Assessment Site
Access to the public transportation system is an integral part of an individual's ability to fully participate in all aspects of community living. Center staff trained and certified by NJ Transit to conduct assessments for the NJ Transit Access Link Program are available weekly to meet with consumers applying for the service. Appointments must be scheduled through NJ Transit.
Student Transition Services
"All About Work" is a unique, 3-Tiered Program that offers transitioning high school students and post-school adults with disabilities, assistance in identifying life goals, particularly career preferences, to prepare for permanent, integrated and competitive employment. High School students participating in Tier I and/or Tier II may receive DVR Services prior to graduation and as early as age 16. The Center's program works with local school districts and local offices of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) to meet participants’ needs in individual or group settings.
Benefits and Work Incentives Practitioner Services
Work incentives pave the way to work and financial independence for recipients of public benefits. All public benefits programs and pensions provide incentives for recipients with disabilities to return to work. Benefits and Work Incentives Practitioners are able to provide services that review the various federal programs that provide benefits to individuals with disabilities, such as and including TANF, Workers Compensation, and Veterans Benefits, as well as how each relate to one another and the impact by any earned income. This service is also able to provide suggestions as to how the complex variety of work incentives, critically needed benefits and earnings should be understood and explained to individuals with disabilities in order to both return to work and achieve financial independence.
Certified ADA Training and Support
Certified ADA Training services are provided through the use of the curriculum provided by the ADA National Network, which is able to educate local communities about the ADA. This service is able to provide information about the rights and responsibilities of employers, service providers, municipal entities, and private businesses under the ADA. Through the use of more than 40 modules in the curriculum, each with its own facilitator's guide, this service through the ADA National Network curriculum covers all Titles of the ADA, as well as disability awareness, serving customers with disabilities, and information about accessible technology. ADA Training Service and Support is an excellent resources within the community that offer help to foster relationships between individuals with disabilities and entities that have responsibilities under the ADA locally.