Independent Living means that as people with disabilities, we demand the same choices and control in our everyday lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted. Since we are the best experts on our needs, we need to show the solutions we want, need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves - just as everybody else. Adolf Ratzka, 2003.
The Suffolk County Independent Living Organization (SILO) is one of 37 Independent Living Centers in NY State. Our goal is to work with those with disabilities to help them realize their goals of independence. What is independence? Since we're a center focused on the needs of our consumers, we don't determine independence - you do! Independence can be about where you live, where you go to school, where you work and how you live. It's all about what you want it to be.
If you live in Suffolk County and you want to be the one that determines how you live, call us or visit us. Our services here are free to all and you'll have the opportunity to work with one of our trained staff, most of whom are people with disabilities themselves, to develop an Independent Living Plan (ILP) and bring to life your plan for independence. One of our Independent Living Skills Specialists will happily help you take the first steps - and we'll work with you until it happens. If you leave that direction to someone else, you may not get the results you want. And let's face it - nobody has to live your life except you.
The Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO) has been a staple of the disability community in Suffolk County for nearly 25 years. During that time SILO has worked with individuals, businesses and agencies to promote equal access for people with all disabilities. SILO is not a "case management" agency; rather, our focus is on empowerment, mentorship, knowledge and advocacy. Most of our service staff are people with disabilities themselves, and this peer model facilitates a better relationship between the Independent Living Skills Specialist and the individual being served. A question we ask all consumers before getting involved with us: How badly do you want to achieve your goals? Are you willing to work hard to accomplish them? SILO isn't about doing it for you. SILO is about helping you to acquire the tools you need to accomplish your own goals. SILO's services are person-centered so individuals determine their individual goals, not other people. SILO works with children, adults and seniors with disabilities to help them reach their individual goals. SILO receives its primary funds from the NY State Education Department, so we play a crucial role in the education of children with disabilities as well.
SILO also works with businesses and agencies. Our broad knowledge of disability-related issues makes us the natural choice for information on issues surrounding employment of people with disabilities, questions about physical access to buildings, laws and regulations.
This center belongs to the Suffolk County community of people with disabilities. We need your support to help continue the great work we've been doing within the community. If you're a person with a disability living in Suffolk I urge you to become more involved in SILO. Whether it's attendance at a peer support group, advocacy training or just visiting us during lunch, we need you. Your skills and abilities can help SILO achieve our goal of full integration of people with disabilities throughout Suffolk County. I encourage you to contact us and find out how you can help SILO create access for all in Suffolk County. We need you to become involved!