Republished from Connecticut Association of Centers for Independent Living (CACIL)
As an Independent Living Advocate, Katie Smolinsky supports and guides people with disabilities through finding ways to live life in the community, such as learning how to use transportation, applying for benefits and finding affordable housing. She also helps with day-to-day living skills, like budgeting.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic closed Connecticut’s five Independent Living Center (ILC) offices, Katie met with consumers in-person to establish their goals and plan to help them reach maximum independence.
Today, Katie can’t meet in person, which is especially challenging when working with deaf consumers and more important than ever for every consumer during this crisis. But through video phone and other conferencing technology, where she utilizes her fluency in American Sign Language, Katie is able to maintain a connection.
“I’m the person who stands behind them, cheering them on with encouragement and accountability,” Katie says. “Working as an advocate is an incredible way to empower individuals to live independently.”
Connecticut’s ILCs are one of the state’s most cost-effective programs, making it possible for thousands of people to live in their communities. Katie is just one of dozens of ILC staffers across the state who continue to work every day to provide essential services.
Thank you for your continued support of Connecticut’s Independent Living Centers!
You can reach out to the Centers Independent Living in your area
- Independence Unlimited, Hartford, 860-523-5021
- Independence Northwest, Naugatuck, 203-729-3299
- Disabilities Network of Eastern CT, Norwich, 860-823-1898
- Access Independence, Stratford, 203-378-6977
- Center for Disability Rights, West Haven, 203-934-7077
For more staff spotlights and information on CACIL visit their page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cacil.net