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The Center for Independent Living Western Wisconsin



The Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin (CILWW) advocates for the full participation in society of all persons with disabilities.

History – Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin (CILWW)
1968 Architectural Barriers Act – certain buildings and facilities designed, constructed, altered, or leased with federal funds after September 2nd, 1969 must meet accessibility standards.
1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act, Section 502, creates compliance board to enforce the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
1980 The beginning of CiL-Wisconsin’s first rural independent living Center. It was first called Pil (program for independent living) this program anticipates providing independent living services to 50 individuals per year and to provide disability related trainings to 300 community members

First Center Director, Sue Schmitt
1982 In-house independent living skills evaluations is added to the centers programs

Community Options Program (COP) starts as a pilot project
1985 Justin Dart, as vice chairperson of the national council on disability is a leader in the drafting of the document Towards Independence which was the impetus for the Americans with disabilities act

CIL expands services by setting up a demonstration apartment with accessible equipment.

Home Accessibility Consultations and ramp designs is added to the Center’s services
1986-87 Justin Dart serves as commissioner of the rehabilitation services administration
1986 Community Options Program (COP) available in all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

National FHNB initiates first Chapter at Hayward, Wi

Ray Hoople of rural Cadott advocated successfully for accessible parking and toilet facilities at the Chippewa Valley Country Music Festival.

Beginning of 8th year – since inception, over 700 people have received services from CIL
1988 Local legislative calling tree affects funding for two new IL centers in the state, proposal of a governor appointed task force for persons with disabilities.

Disability Awareness Day in Menomonie – Business and Community leaders get first hand experience with manuevering around the city while having a simulated disability.

CIL Board goes from functioning as an advisory council to governing the CIL Program.

Justin Dart participates in a disability right’s forum in Madison WI. The information gathered was used for testimony before the U.S. Congress to promote the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1988.

The U.S.Senate passed the Telecommunications Accessibility Enhancement Act to expand the National Telecommunications System for the benefit of hearing impaired persons.

The Fair Housing Amendments Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to prevent discrimination in selling or renting of private housing to persons with disabilities.
1989 CILWW sponsors wheelchair race in Menomonie called Sprintin’ Spokes.

First Statewide Conference For and About People With Physical Disabilities at Green Bay Wisconsin

statistic-47 percent of disabled teenagers do not finish high school

Highlights from Cil’s 87-88 annual report indicates that over 263 persons with a disability were served this year

Justin Dart appointed as chairperson of the president’s committee on employment of people with disabilities
1990 Wisconsin Assembly Bill 456 creates a state council on physical disabilities in the Governor’s office.Act this time existing statutes already have authorized councils for other groups with special-needs

Jim de Jong, director of the coalition of citizens with disabilities in Illinois states, “You need to make Wisconsin legislators smart regarding the independent living movement. If we don’t make them smart, no one else is going to do it. Not contacting legislators is to abdicate power.

CiL is one of seven Wisconsin centers to receive a rehabilitation technology grant through the division of vocational rehabilitation allowing the center to add more staff and expand the adaptive aid loan program. (WisTech)

Cil adds toll-free number to center services

First Wheel ‘N Walk-A-Thon raised over $4500 for the peer advisement program and the adaptive aids loan program

Easter Seals of Wisconsin launches a new program that will provide assistance directly to farmers with disabilities. It is called the Resource Center for Farmers with Disabilities.

President Bush signed the ADA Act – hailed as the civil rights bill for the disabled and provides standards to address discrimination

CIL Board of Trustees drafts a strategic plan for the Center, Draft of Mission and Assumptions

Dr. I. King Jordan, President of Gallaudet University states “deaf people can do anything but hear”.

Barrier Busters, a local advocacy group sponsors a two-day fair, “Accessing Independence”

Washburn and Burnett counties are added to CIL service area.

Rice Lake satellite office opens
1991 WISTech Grant Awarded, 1st chapter of ALDA (Association of Late Deafened Adults) started in Eau Claire. Barrior Free Menomonie dedication July 22. CIL Board of Trustees established five subcommittees. Marge Isham (CIL Board Member and Peer Advisor) of Rice Lake nominated Wisconsin Woman of the Year by the Wisconsin Federation of Women’s Clubs.

CiL notes serving over 475 people in 11 counties.
1992 Wisconsin passes Wheelchair Lemon Law, CIL works with WestCap on a HUD Home Grant.Wisconsin recieves federal funds for PAIR Project, advocacy assistance. Wisconsin Telecommunication’s Relay Service starts operation.

Disabled deer Hunters sponsored event by D. N. R.

Rehabilitation act amended, funds independent living activities through title VII of the act. The purpose is “to promote a philosophy of independent living, including a philosophy of consumer control…”
1993 Federal Rehab Act Reauthorized. Necedah National wildlife Refuge, Wi provides accessible hunting blind.

CIL Board formulates plan for incorporating as a private, non-profit 501c3, choosing as its new name – Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin. Starting October 1,1993

Cil starts waiting list for the first time

CiL loses long-time board member and peer advisor Ray Hoople from Cadott Wisconsin. Ray was known to area people as a disability rights advocate, and a friend to CiL.

Opportunities with Assistive Technology event held at London Square Mall in Eau Claire

Traumatic Brain Injury support group started in Ladysmith, Rusk County. Fibromyalgia support group at Luther hospital in Eau Claire. Multiple sclerosis support group starts in Menomonie

CiL works with WestCap on a HUD home grant, CILWW receives federal grant to continue independent living services.

Federal court ruling orders the City of Philadelphia to install curb cuts in sidewalks whenever it resurfaces streets

CILWW provides disability awareness training to about 160 employees at Firstar bank in Eau Claire

Pat Sapp, peer adviser and friend of CiL participates in PVA games in San Antonio TX. He wins a gold medal competing in the 200 meter track event

North Western Wisconsin Deaf club holds its first meeting in Rice Lake

Disabled Outdoors Sportspersons of Wisconsin forms club in Chippewa Falls
1994 CILWW logo contest

CiL director, Karen Hodgeson and CIL board member, Linda Halvorson are appointed by Gov. Thompson to the statewide independent living Council (SILC)

CiL adds Clark County, North Country ILC adds Washburn and Burnett counties.

No Pity: People With Disabilities Forging A New Civil Rights Movement written by Joseph Shapiro. A new book at CiL, it chronicles the struggle for Civil Rights by people with disabilities in America

the Wisconsin Coalition Of Independent Living Centers (CILWW is a member) and Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy develops telephone tree for legislative advocacy due to budget limits and threatening potential cuts to reduce long-term support programs.

new support groups-chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndrome support groupmeets at the River Falls hospital. Huntington’s disease support group meets in the Eau Claire area

CILWW develops training curriculum on ADA title II (state and local governments) for local area.

DVR-initiates Order of Selection

WEAU TV-13, Eau Claire begins broadcasting their news with closed captioning.

Wisconsin assistive technology initiative ensures that every child in Wisconsin has access to appropriate evaluation and implementation of needed services and technology.

From CiL to CILWW, transition is completed. Board members included: Joan Johnson, Ken Bridell, Kathy Clark, Mike Ebert, Linda Halvorson, Kim Geving, Juanita Myers, Tim McEachern, Linda Rammer, Tim Sheehan, Jay Smith, Chris Short, Bill Stewart.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new accessible entrance to the post office in Menomonie WI

United Cerebral Palsy support group in Menomonie area
1995 First effort of the legislative calling tree was to pass on the word to our governor that he “keep the promise” as he designs a new state budget. That day it is said that the governor’s office required two full-time phone operators to handle calls from around the state.

CILWW receives grants from area United Way’s

Stroke support group forms in Menomonie

First Northern Alcohol, Drugs and Disability Conference held in Tomahawk Wisconsin

CILWW opens satellite office in Eau Claire WI

CILWW is a TALE(telecommunications and assistive listening equipment program) demonstration and loans site

CILWW develops managed care program through Wisconsin Partnership Pilot Program – an integrated managed care program that combines and coordinates long-term support and medical services, the goal is to keep people in the community living as independently as possible
1996 CILWW completes comprehensive listing of subsidized housing and assisted housing opportunities in the 10 County area

Employment benefits consultation services are added. This program is made available through the the Social Security Administration to help people understand various work incentive programs.

The Center expands outreach to the Hmong community to provide independent living services

The opening of Wild Iris Shores, a year-round recreational facility for persons of all the abilities

CILWW receives grant from Very Special Arts Wisconsin-art programming for people with disabilities

CILWW holds recreation workshop in Eau Claire

TEPP Program(telecommunications equipment purchase program) to assist people with disabilities in paying for telephone related equipment needed for accessibility.
1997 The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is available to assist with making reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

Wisconsin long-term care redesign to include consumers input.

The Center publishes its first web site: www.Menomonie.com\cilww

Disabilities hotline is a service to provide assistance to families affected by W-2

PASS (Plan for Achieving Self Support) is an SSI work incentive

Barron County Multiple Sclerosis Group starts in Rice Lake, Saint Croix Group starts in Woodville.

SeniorAIDES Employment Program and the Help When Needed Chores Service is available in Eau Claire County

Computer recycling program added to provide free recycled computers to consumers

The Center hosts annual volunteer appreciation picnic

Tim Sheehan elected president of the CILWW Board of Directors

Federal grant provides mobile dental care for people who can’t afford to go to the dentist
1998 CILWW to lease new building at Technology Drive in Menomonie

Lottery system set up for people to apply for wheelchair accessible seating at the Green Bay Packers home games

CILWW and Wilderness Inquiry sponsors canoeing and kayaking event in Menomonie.

North Country IL center sponsors Rendezvous Days

The Center has grown from three direct service staff in 1980 to the current number of 8.

speech to speech relay(STS) is a new service in Wisconsin provided by the Wisconsin telecommunications relay system

CILWW receives a grant from the state independent living Council to provide disability related training to people with disabilities and their families. Training involves Transition, IEP’s(individualized education plans) IDEA(individuals With Disabilities Act)
1999 The Center adds a computer exploration program and Braille printing services

Karen Hodgson, the director of CILWW for 12 years resigns to become the director of the community health partnership that managed care program established by CILWW. Randy Sommerfeld becomes the new director.

Pathways to Independence Project provides unique employment services for people with disabilities

Fibromyalgia support group becomes available in Barron County in the city of Barron

Wistech experiences 60 percent cut in funding, CILWW through the Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers prepares for a legislative initiative to ensure the continuation of assistant technology services

The Inner Light Support Group for vision loss meets in Menomonie
2000 Gov. Tommy Thompson signs into law and hourly increase for personal care services. This is considered a major victory and many people and groups of people provided advocacy.

CILWW celebrates 20 years of creating options. It is noted that in 1999 over 550 people with disabilities received ongoing independent living services at 3000 people were provided some type of disability related training from the Center staff

ADA tenth anniversary celebration, CILWW recognizes the people involved with making the Red Cedar State Trail in Dunn County accessible

National Organization on Disability (NOD) spearheads for 2000 campaign. The goal is to increase the number of voters with disabilities by 700,000 in the year 2000 elections. Statistically people with disabilities vote at a rate 20 percent below that of people without disabilities

CILWW homecoming program established to help people moved from nursing homes into the community

The Center receives a grant from the Hugh J. Anderson foundation of Bayport MN to support the assistive technology and computer exploration project

Disability Vote makes history
2001 Tim Sheehan becomes the Center’s director, Randy Sommerfeld moves to DVR.

CILWW participates in the Disability Empowerment Project. The Menomonie group chose to be called Defending Our Rights (DOR), and Barron group named themselves Wisconsin Disabled for Social Justice (WDJS)

the legislative calling tree is renamed the legislative advocacy network

First Camp Quest

Self Help for Hard of Hearing at CILWW initiated new Menomonie chapter SHHH
2002 CILWW raises its own US flag on 9/11

Wisloan is added as an alternative Loan Program

Wisconsin No Call List

Rheumatiod Arthritis Group, Eau Claire

Indianhead Federated Library Service System – Books by Mail Service

Barron Polk and Rusk Transportation Focus
2003 WCILC Value Statements

Accessible Hunting Adventures for Youth

WISH Wisconsin Initiatives in Sustainable Housing

CILWW source of assistive Technology for people – deaf – hard of hearing and AODA

WI passes laser sight legislation for blind hunters

Autism Support and Connection created in Dunn Co
2004 Peer Power Project

Alzheimers Support Group, Spring Valley

PIES new program

State of Wisconsin Prescription Drug Resource Center using Canadian Pharmacies
2005 25 Years of Service