The MCIL 704 Report 2016

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Major Federal Report was late this year because the new Association on Community Living took time to include this report style into their website. MCIL completed the report last year for the reporting period October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Below is the MCIL Report as submitted to the ACL.

704 Part II for Memphis Center for Independent Living - 90IL0159-01 report through September 30, 2016

Agency Information

Fiscal Year: 10/01/2015 - 9/30/2016

Grant #: 90IL0159

Name of Center: The Memphis Center for Independent Living

Acronym for Center (if applicable): MCIL

Counties Served: Shelby, Tennessee

Section 1. General Funding Information

1.1 Sources and Amounts of Funds and Resources

* - Required field

1.1.4 Total Income

Total Income

Total Income

Current Year


1.1.5 Pass Through Funds

Pass Through Funds

Amount of other government funds received as pass through funds to consumers (include funds, received on behalf of consumers, that are subsequently passed on to consumers, e.g., personal assistance services, representative payee funds, or Medicaid funds)*

Current Year


1.1.6 Net Operating Resources

Net Operating Resources

Net Operating Resources

Current Year


1.2 Resource Development Activities

* - Required field

Briefly describe the CIL's resource development activities conducted during the reporting year to expand funding from sources other than chapter 1 of Title VII of the Act. *

MCIL continues to look at all aspects of resource development for greater staff retention, inclusion, training, outreach, stability and financial diversification.

MCIL saw many staff changes during the reporting period and for the second year in a row a significant loss of CIL funding. Funding sources are a priority and new ideas and energies placed on the Fee for Service Program saw a small increase over the reporting period. The Center continued to hold the annual Holiday Silent Auction and Italian Supper. MCIL established the Deborah Cunningham Access Awards and held a large gala to celebrate individuals that improved access in our community.

Section 2. Compliance Indicator 1: Philosophy

2.1 Board Member Composition

* - Required field

(A) Number of board members


(B) Number of board members with significant disabilities

2.2 Staff Composition



(C) Percentage of board members with significant disabilities

* - Required field

2.2.1 Percentage of Staff with Disabilities


Section 3. Individuals Receiving Services

3.1 Number of Consumers Served During the Reporting Year

* - Required field

3.2 Independent Living Plans and Waivers

* - Required field

3.3 Number of Consumer Service Records Closed by September 30 of the Reporting Year

* - Required field

3.4 Age

* - Required field

3.5 Sex

* - Required field

3.6 Race and Ethnicity

* - Required field

3.7 Disability

* - Required field

3.8 Individuals Served by County During the Reporting Year

* - Required field

List each county within the CIL's service area, as indicated in the CIL's application for Part C funds and the approved SPIL. Add additional rows as necessary. For each county, indicate how many individuals residing in that county were served by the CIL during the reporting year.

3.8.1 Individuals Served by County During the Reporting Year

County Name

Number of County Residents Served

Shelby, TN


Section 4. Individual Services and Achievements

4.1 Individual Services

* - Required field

4.2 I&R Information

* - Required field

To inform RSA how many service providers engage in I&R follow-up contacts regarding access to transportation, health care services or assistive technology, please indicate the following:

The service provider did engage in follow-up contacts with I&R recipients to document access gained to previously unavailable transportation, health care or assistive technology

Yes No

Describe how information and referral services and the other IL core and other IL services are provided to those who request such services in formats accessible to the individual requesting the services. Describe any innovative practices (not mentioned elsewhere in this report) to enhance the availability and effectiveness of IL services. *

MCIL Information and Referral maintains a focused database of referral resources for Shelby County and includes resources around the nation. MCIL keeps track of all I and R calls and does weekly follow-up. The Center believes that information is the most powerful tool that we can provide and MCIL staff works one-on-one with consumers who ask for those services. MCIL began a goal to better describe the things that the Center does not do. MCIL provides information in requested formats and we caption and describe videos that we use on our website.

4.3 Peer Relationships and Peer Role Models

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL promoted the development of peer relationships and peer role models among individuals with significant disabilities. *

MCIL has always had a person with a significant disability as the Executive Director and nearly all members of the Independent Living team have a visible significant disability. MCIL consumers work with a peer on the Independent Living team and see the agency administered by people with disabilities. Each new consumer is shown a video by the current and former Executive Director with the message that people with disabilities are a powerful and significant part of our community.

MCIL has several peer groups that reinforce the peer relationships of our community in Memphis. The young adult group shares information on independence, employment and involvement. MCIL has developed a Peer Outreach Program, POP that works to match peer mentors and the Peer-To-Peer program that trains mentors to work with individuals making the transition from a Nursing Home into the community. This year the Grey Panthers Senior Support Group has grown and continues to provide support, training and information to people with disabilities over 55.

4.4 Increased Independence and Community Integration

* - Required field

4.5 Improved Access To Transportation, Health Care Services, and Assistive Technology

* - Required field

In column one, indicate the number of consumers who required access to previously unavailable transportation, health care services, or assistive technology during the reporting year. Of the consumers listed in column one, indicate in column two, the number of consumers who, as a result of the provision of IL services (including the four core services), achieved access to previously unavailable transportation, health care services, or assistive technology during the reporting year. In column three, list the number of consumers whose access to transportation, health care services or assistive technology is still in progress at the end of the reporting year.

Note: For most IL services, a consumer's access to previously unavailable transportation, health care and assistive technology is documented through his or her CSR. In some instances, consumers may achieve an outcome solely through information and referral (I&R) services. To document these instances as successful outcomes, providers are not required to create CSRs for these consumers but must be able to report that follow-up contacts with these consumers showed access to previously unavailable transportation, health care and assistive technology.

4.6 Self-Help and Self-Advocacy

* - Required field

Briefly describe how the CIL has promoted self-help and self-advocacy among individuals with significant disabilities during the reporting year.*

All MCIL consumers work with peer IL Team members who model self-advocacy and suggest and explain self-advocacy techniques to accomplish the consumer’s goal. The Center also uses peer outreach and pear mentors in combination with any events, workshops and training that we do.

MCIL continues to use the “How to Be Your Own Best Advocate” training that was developed for the Peer-To-Peer Mentoring Project. The Independent Living Skills Training focuses on ways to be assertive without being aggressive and avoiding being too passive. The training includes several tasks each requiring a little more assertive behavior.

4.7 Additional Information Concerning Individual Services or Achievements

* - Required field

Please provide any additional description or explanation concerning individual services or achievements, including outstanding success stories and/or major obstacles encountered. *

One consumer MCIL served this year is a fifty-six year old gentleman who was hospitalized due to a stroke in February of 2015. MCIL became involved when the hospital refused to continue treating him after his condition improved. In fact, they were threatening to release him out in the streets if his sister couldn't find a place for him to go.

The hospital wanted to send him to a nursing home and had not told him that he had the option to remain in the community. MCIL helped him apply for CHOICES, a program of TENNCare (The Tennessee Medicaid Program) to help people live in their own home and not expensive institutions.

We met with the individual and his sister about his options as far as housing, healthcare, and the hospital responsibilities. We also had a meeting with the hospital social worker and the administrative representative about their responsibilities and discharging him into an unsafe environment.

The consumer was given resources to help him begin the process of getting insurance, finding housing, and medical care. He eventually received home and community based services through the CHOICES Program and he was also able to find affordable, accessible, integrated housing from the list MCIL provided.

Today, the MCIL consumer calls MCIL staff periodically about his progress and to thank the Center for all of our help and support. He is thankful for MCIL helping him to remain independent in our community. He is excited about the start of basketball season and tells MCIL staff that he can't wait to catch a live game.

Section 5. Provision of Services

5.1 Compliance Indicator 2: Provision of Services on a Cross-Disability Basis

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL has ensured that IL services are provided to eligible individuals with a diversity of significant disabilities and individuals who are members of populations that are unserved or underserved, without restrictions based on the particular type or types of significant disability and in a manner that is neither targeted nor limited to a particular type of significant disability.*

MCIL has been working to expand services to our diverse community. Community groups representing marginalized populations are welcomed at MCIL. A transportation advocacy group meets monthly and homeless support group meets weekly to reinforce outreach to all people with disabilities. Likewise MCIL has regular meetings of a cross-disability youth group and a group of seniors with disabilities called the Grey Panthers. These groups welcome individuals with physical, sensory, psychiatric and cognitive disabilities.

5.2 Alternative Formats

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL has ensured the availability in alternative formats of all of its written policies and materials and IL services, as appropriate. *

MCIL has a Braille embosser to ensure that we can produce materials for Braille users. All MCIL materials are produced so that they may be enlarged, embossed in Braille or provided digitally to individuals that wish alternative formats. MCIL also will provide extended documents in a Daisy Books format.

5.3 Equal Access

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL has ensured equal access of individuals with significant disabilities, including communication and physical access, to the center's services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities, whether publicly or privately funded. Equal access, for the purposes of this indicator, means that the same access is provided to any individual with a significant disability regardless of the individual's type of significant disability. *

The Center promotes equal access and equal communication in its informational and marketing materials. Everyone is welcome at MCIL and the staff makes effort to ensure that people with disabilities and marginalized populations feel welcome at the Center. During the reporting period, MCIL continues to use audio information about MCIL and the center’s mission in a looped video that plays in our lobby. MCIL uses captioned, described videos about MCIL and the Personal Assistant Services to our website.

The Center provides and promotes public events at MCIL and in community locations that include access to all, including communication. This reporting period MCIL produced an access awards lunch and a job fair, both events were physically accessible with accessible communication and alternative formats.

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL has advocated for and conducted activities that promote the equal access to all services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities in society, whether public or private, and regardless of funding source, for individuals with significant disabilities. Equal access, for the purposes of this indicator, means that the same access provided to individuals without disabilities is provided in the center's service area to individuals with significant disabilities. *

MCIL works to exemplify equal access at our public events. Several groups host meetings and events at MCIL we work so those events that are a model of equal access.

The Center takes action where we find failure of access in our community. MCIL continues to work with the city, county and state departments to build accessible sidewalks, construct and repair curb-ramps and other public access issues.

During this reporting period, MCIL responded to consumer systemic needs for access and demanded the paratransit service make next-day reservations as well as other required changes. Additionally MCIL has a long history of work on access issues with the local chapter of ADAPT. MCIL works to produce events at the Center and in community locations that exemplify equal access for all members of our community.

5.4 Consumer Information

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL has ensured that consumers have the opportunity to develop and achieve their goals (either with or without an ILP) and that the consumer has the opportunity to express satisfaction with the center and such consumer satisfaction results are evaluated by the center. *

The Independent Living Team works one-on-one with an individual that has a disability, requests an independent living service from us and will benefit from that service. For the past four years, MCIL has kept a steady percentage of consumers that request and develop an Independent Living Plan, while about 10 percent work with MCIL staff but waive the plan. This reporting year, 91% of consumers had a signed ILP.

Most of the initial contact with MCIL is through the Information and Referral Specialist, who helps the individual decide if they may need Independent Living services. The Information and Referral Specialist and all members of the Independent Living Team help individuals to know what the Memphis Center for Independent Living does and does not do. MCIL has a complaint and grievance procedure that allows individuals to record their satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the Center.

5.5 Consumer Service Record Requirements

* - Required field

Briefly describe how, during the reporting year, the CIL ensured that each consumer's CSR contains all of the required information *

The Consumer Record at MCIL includes a signed ILP or ILP Waiver. Only consumers with a goal are counted for the 704 and MCIL does periodic checks to ensure that all consumer services are progressing. The Memphis Center for Independent Living uses a custom database that records all necessary 704 compliance issues. The database includes checks so that all required information is entered by the Independent Living Team. MCIL does not include in the reporting numbers those CSR that do not include all required information.

5.6 Community Activities

* - Required field

5.7 Description of Community Activities

* - Required field

For the community activities mentioned above, provide additional details such as the role of the CIL staff board members and/or consumers, names of any partner organizations and further descriptions of the specific activities, services and benefits. *

Transportation is a major aspect of the community engagement at MCIL. Our consumers demand equal access to public transportation including paratransit. When our consumers and staff noticed that there was a huge discrepancy in the numbers that the public transportation provider was giving us and the personal experience of the paratransit users, MCIL made a system change action and invited staff, board and consumers to undertake a customer survey of the Memphis paratransit system called MATAplus.

There were 181 responses over the three weeks of the survey. MCIL created a survey tool on the web that was intended to capture information about actual performance and times over the duration of the survey. The accessible tool gathered all the responses of the survey participants but it was MCIL staff that did the data entry for each day of the survey.

MCIL partnered with many local agencies to produce a Memphis Job Fair and we collarbrate with a local agency to provide a weekly accessible fitness class at MCIL.

Section 6. Annual Program and Financial Objectives

* - Required field

6.1 Work Plan for the Reporting Year

* - Required field

6.1.1 Achievements

Discuss the work plan's proposed goals and objectives and the progress made in achieving them during the reporting year. *

The Memphis Center for Independent Living’s Work Plan is a product of all of the IL Staff and administration with input and guidance from the Board of Directors. We display the Work Plan on our website for the public to see. The plan was developed at the beginning of the reporting period and help direct all staff in system change and reporting throughout the year.

The MCIL Work Plan for 2015 and 2016 included general system advocacy goals with various planned activities to determine outcomes. The general areas the plan covers are Housing, Transportation, Healthcare, Barriers to full integration, Assistive Technology and Resource Development.

In the general area of housing MCIL is working to increase affordable, accessible, integrated housing and expand the knowledge of access to housing and resources. During the reporting period MCIL identified and applied for additional modification funding to make housing more accessible to our community. The Center used these resources to provide access for 4 families. The additional housing goals of removing barriers with local policies and ordinances, collaborating with partners are still underway.

In the general goal of Transportation MCIL had the objective of increasing the availability of affordable, accessible and reliable transportation. MCIL completed a Customer Survey of the Memphis Paratransit system in the reporting period that included participation of consumers and informed the public about compliance aspects of the system. The Center first was successful in expanding the attendance, activities and support for the Memphis Bus Riders Union. MCIL has worked with other organizations including Citizens for Better Service for improved public transportation. MCIL provides direct information and support for people who apply for paratransit. The Center is working on the long range goal of developing tracking tools and indicators of effectiveness.

MCIL has an objective to assist people with disabilities to obtain or maintain healthcare and needed services for community living. The Center has been successful in finding and training peer mentors to assist people moving into the community and working to build a sustainable home. MCIL has also successfully met the goal of outreach to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. MCIL is continuing to support efforts of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign to expand Medicaid coverage in our state. Although the Center was successful in the work toward this goal, this continues to be a statewide issue that MCIL will work locally and with our state partners to accomplish successfully.

MCIL is working to expand our community’s knowledge and access to Assistive Technology. The Center has been successful in recruiting and training technology mentors and we find that this need is continuing. The Center also has been successful in training seniors and other people with disabilities in basic computer and mobile device use, focusing on affordable appropriate Assistive Technology. MCIL is continuing these goals and working to document using accessible, affordable Assistive Technology for use in the community.

The Center has a goal of eliminating barriers to the full integration of our community. We have identified physical barriers, attitudinal barriers and socialization barriers that may isolate and segregate our community. MCIL was successful in educating consumers and business owners of many barriers in the community. MCIL provided in-depth inspection and analysis for properties at their request while individuals were involved in self and system efforts to see better compliance of local businesses.

MCIL’s objective for attitudinal Barriers is to expand disability awareness and decrease stigma attached to disability. The Center had a major success with the summit “Transition to Community Life” that highlighted community integration and featured a MCIL consumer who had transitioned in the past. Additionally during the reporting period the Center held the Rolling for Independence event that was intended to be very visible in our community and naturally included disability awareness. The Center also produced a twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the ADA with many community partners and media coverage. MCIL continues to include language and disability awareness as a part of all public presentations.

The Center’s goal to improve socialization of our community is to avoid isolation and segregation of people with disabilities in the community. MCIL has been successful in expanding many of our peer groups including our Peer Outreach Program for adults with disabilities, The LIFE group for youth and the Grey Panthers for seniors.

Finally the Center had planned activities for our work plan and a goal to strengthen our business and resource development. MCIL followed a communication plan during the reporting period that outlined basic communication and communication procedures of the Center. The Center is putting great effort in our a blog, the MCIL Journal as a news and information source. MCIL is continuing to train and staff to effectively use Social Media. MCIL was unsuccessful in updating the strategic plan.

6.1.2 Challenges

Describe any substantial challenges or problems encountered by the CIL, and the resolutions/attempted resolutions. *

MCIL is struggling with funding. The Center has a need for a new database for reporting and management, however our federal and state funding has decreased over the past two years while the need in the community has not declined.

The Center has a long commitment to nursing facility transition and have continued to assist people transiting into the community even though we get no resources from the state for our efforts.

6.1.3 Comparison with Prior Reporting Year

As appropriate, compare the CIL's activities in the reporting year with its activities in prior years, e.g., recent trends. *

This reporting period MCIL has struggled to keep the momentum we had including minority populations. We have seen the advances that we made have plateaued. The current MCIL consumers demonstrate a trend to complete an independent living goal rather than remain as dormant consumers.

6.2 Work Plan for the Year Following the Reporting Year

* - Required field

6.2.1 Annual Work Plan

List the CIL's annual work plan goals, objectives and action steps planned for the year following the reporting year. *

MCIL Work plan 2016 - 17 Systems Change Activities


Issue: lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing

MCIL Objective: Increase access to affordable, accessible, integrated housing. Inform the community on the protections of the Fair Housing Amendments Act.

Planned Activities:

  • Educate our community and legislators of the need for visitability with a general article of the need for visitability and a community forum in the spring 2017 about visibility in Memphis.

  • Educate consumers on Fair Housing rights with a workshop in April 2017. Reinforce Fair Housing rights for people with disabilities throughout the year with 4 original blog posts and supplemented with social media.

  • MCIL will continue providing home modifications as funding permits and develop materials for alternative resources to make accessible home modifications. Advocate for more local funding for Minor Home Modifications for critical accessibility.

  • MCIL will publicly support creating or making changes to local policies and ordinances to increase accessible, affordable and integrated housing. MCIL will monitor the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission to report on issues relating to accessible, integrated and affordable housing.

  • Collaborate with funders and other partners to create and maintain a clearinghouse for current accessible housing information and referral and other issues.

  • Give in-kind support to the Memphis Homeless Organizing for Power and Equality (HOPE). Report on homeless issues that impact the disability community in the MCIL Journal with at least 6 original informational articles.

  • Develop and use an online Housing tool to provide consistent and quality information to individuals about housing in our community.


Issue: need for reliable, affordable, accessible transportation

MCIL Objective: Increase awareness of accessible transportation options and improve public transit

Planned activities:

  • Provide in-kind support for the Memphis Bus Riders Union.Inform consumers and the Memphis community about public transportation and accessible public transportation with a workshop in January and September 2017.

  • MCIL will reinforce the workshop information with two complementary newsletter articles, original blog articles and social media.

  • MCIL will produce an original monthly informational article about paratransit in the area.

  • MCIL will develop and promote a “Transportation Toolbox” that will inform consumers on how to use accssible transportation resources.

  • Monitor, respond and collaborate with groups and other organizations working to increase availability of all forms of transportation.

  • MCIL will create a user survey of MATAplus and report to MATA and the media the consumers’ findings.

  • MCIL will advocate with local and state partners for an increase in the state budget for transportation.


Issue: lack of adequate healthcare and long-term care

MCIL Objective: Assist people with disabilities in Shelby county or surrounding areas to obtain or maintain healthcare and needed services for community living

Planned Activities:

  • MCIL will inform consumers about the Disability Integration Act and will collaborate with ADAPT to end the institutional bias.

  • MCIL will collaborate, monitor, network and support efforts of Tennessee Healthcare Campaign to expand Medicaid coverage in Tennessee. MCIL will provide peer mentors to individuals transitioning from nursing homes as requested to assist with maintaining successful community integration.

  • MCIL will participate in “day on the hill” activities in the spring and will encourage consumers to participate.

  • MCIL will produce two informational newsletter pieces, and blog articles on Medicaid issues for Tennessee.

  • MCIL will inform consumers of healthcare with a workshop in March 2017 on managing attendants and will update consumers on state issues as needed through the year on the MCIL blog, newsletter and with social media.

  • MCIL will monitor and respond to any disability issues arising from attempts to sign up for TennCare and Affordable Healthcare

  • MCIL will advocate with State and Federal legislators to maintain and expand long term care and home and community based services.

  • MCIL will collaborate, monitor and advocate with Tenncare, MCOs and other related agencies to ensure that all needed services are provided for people with disabilities.

  • MCIL will advocate for the state Employment and Community First CHOICES program to emphasise Independent Living.

Assistive Technology

Issue: lack of knowledge and access to Assistive Technology

MCIL Objective: Increase the use of appropriate affordable AT by people with disabilities

Planned Activities:

  • MCIL will produce an Assistive Technology Fair in June of 2017. The AT Fair will inform consumers and allow hands-on testing of AT equipment. MCIL will reinforce lessons learned about AT with two additional blog articles.

  • MCIL will create and produce a model and guide for use of selected AT in the community that MCIL will provide for free and promote on our website, in the newsletter and through social media.

  • MCIL will collaborate with other agencies and organizations for people with disabilities to remain knowledgeable of current AT that will enhance independence.Train Peer Mentors as Technical Mentors in appropriate affordable AT.

  • Promote use of the MCIL computer lab, accessible software and Internet connection for consumers.

Other – Barriers to full integration

Issue: Community Access barriers

MCIL Objective: Educate, advocate and participate in groups supporting a more accessible and livable community

Planned Activities:

  • MCIL will work with community partners to create a Memphis ADA plan.

  • MCIL will educate consumers, business owners and community partners in access requirements, regulations and laws.

  • MCIL will work with consumers on self-advocacy for gaining ADA compliance and give information and referral to businesses that wish to comply with the ADA.

  • MCIL will produce at least two newsletter articles and blog pieces on the ADA, one in July of 2017.

  • MCIL will find, document and respond to problems related to public access and teach consumers to use system- and self-advocacy tools to remedy access issues in our community.

  • Work with the SILC and Tennessee Centers for Independent Living to ensure accessible elections and polling sites.

Other – Barriers to full integration

Issue: Attitudinal Barriers, segregation of people with disabilities and regressive language.

MCIL Objective: Expand disability awareness and decrease attitudinal barriers and social stigma

Planned activities:

  • MCIL will work with community partners to create at least one annual citywide summit or conference related to an identified issue or barrier to independence in the fall of 2017.

  • MCIL will expand disability awareness through group community activities.

  • MCIL will produce an open house and resource development party December of 2016.

  • MCIL will produce a celebration of the 27th Anniversary of the ADA in July 2017 and will produce the annual Access Awards event in honor of Deborah Cunningham.

  • MCIL will use language and etiquette awareness presentations, and will integrate language and etiquette training in all presentations, community forums, workshops and training when possible.

  • MCIL will produce one original newsletter and blog article on language.

Other – Barriers to full integration

Issue: Increase Socialization and decrease isolation

MCIL Objective: Increase opportunities for education, socialization and community inclusion

Planned activities:

  • MCIL will develop “Community Forums” on topics of general concern and invite community members, partners and consumers to discuss and share information.

  • MCIL will collaborate with the Federation of the Blind to hold a camp for youth with visual impairments in the summer of 2017.

  • MCIL will promote with social media and newsletter and blog articles.

  • MCIL will collaborate with the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities to hold a youth leadership academy in the summer of 2017.MCIL will provide in-kind support for a weekly inclusive exercise class.

  • MCIL staff, board and volunteers will be involved in community activities, governing boards, advisory committees and local government to ensure equal participation of people with disabilities.

Business and Resource Development

Issue: Limited funding and local resources.

MCIL Objective: Expand general funding and unrestricted development funds. Have a strategic planning to prepare MCIL beyond the next fiscal year.

Planned Activities:

  • MCIL will have a strategic planning meeting with all staff and board in the spring of 2017. The strategic plan will provide new guidance, reporting and tracking for MCIL staff.

  • MCIL will continue and increase funding streams including fee for service programs, grant based projects and fundraising throughout the year.

  • MCIL will work to promote the Deborah Cunningham Access Awards and Silent Auction as separate fundraising and outreach events.

6.2.2 SPIL Consistency

Explain how these work plan goals, objectives and action steps are consistent with the approved SPIL. *

MCIL has worked to keep the goals of the SPIL and is cooperating with the SILC and Tennessee CILs to improve service in our state. MCIL will contribute to the development of the new State Plan and work with the goals of the SPIL. The Center has a good relationship with the SILC Coordinator, and the MCIL Executive Director has been newly appointed to the SILC.

Section 7. Other Accomplishments, Activities and Challenges

* - Required field

Describe any additional significant accomplishments, activities and/or challenges not included elsewhere in the report, e.g. brief summaries of innovative practices, improved service delivery to consumers, etc. *

My First Visit to the Memphis Center for Independent Living

MCIL is a unique environment with great people

By Douglass Hall

My name is Douglass Hall and I am going into my tenth year of being diagnosed as legally blind. At age 60, needless to say the last ten years has been nothing short of a real game changer. I was forced to leave a job and profession that I truly loved – Information Technology.

For my first eighteen months I wandered aimlessly stuck between denial and anger with the world. By happenstance I was at the Southern College of Optometry for an eye examination and was told about an agency located nearby that offered braille training. I decided why not go and check them out since I was already in the neighborhood.

My first visit was very memorable and continues to be one of my laughable moments since I started this journey. I entered the Memphis Center for Independent Living and a gentleman was sitting behind the front reception desk. I must have been standing there right in front of him for a good 45 seconds. He did not acknowledge me, yet answered the phone several times with me standing there in front of him.

Underneath my breath I mused “what in the heck kind of organization is this? Was this the kind of service and respect I was going to face from here on out?”

Just as I was getting ready to let go with the massive attitude, someone else came in and the gentleman behind the desk asked: ”Can I help you?” Looking him directly in the face it became immediately obvious that he was responding to the sound of the automatic door opening. Boy, did I ever feel stupid, I then realized he was blind and could not see me.

Also, in that very same visit I had the opportunity to meet a very special person named Christina, an Independent Living Specialist. I was impressed with her sense of personal connection. She was very friendly and helpful. Not by words, but example she has inspired me to re-think my attitude about what it means to live with blindness. She is an ocean of information, always willing to share her knowledge with others, and give the best example of what it means to be an advocate.

Thanks to her and many others I have been able to start my own assistive technology training company with the dream of hiring as many blind persons as possible.

Section 8. Training and Technical Assistance

8.1 Training and Technical Assistance Needs

* - Required field

8.2 Additional Information

* - Required field

Provide additional information, comments, explanations or suggestions not included elsewhere in the report *

Two of our consumers did not feel the descriptions of either Male or Female accurately described their gender.

During the reporting year, in each category, transportation, healthcare and assistive technology, we had more individuals achieve access than required access in the reporting year. The report does not seem to allow us to accuracy report that in this reporting period we documented 28 individuals who required access while 54 consumers were able to achieve access in transportation. Likewise, 37 and 41 people required access to healthcare services and assistive technology while 61 and 44 consumers achieved access in this reporting period.