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FRIDAY FOCUS - disAbility Resource Center of the Rappahannock Area

The disAbility Resource Center of the Rappahannock Area (dRC) specializes in helping individuals with disabilities, their families and community members. The dRC “helps people with disabilities to have a voice and a choice in their life,” giving them the opportunity to reach their fullest potential and live how they want to live. It was a pleasure learning from Kim Lett, Program Coordinator and Deputy Director, about their upcoming events and favorite moments at dRC.
 
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
The disAbility Resource Center (dRC) is a Center for Independent Living (CIL), one of approximately 400 nationwide and one of 17 in Virginia.  Our mission is to help people with disabilities of all kinds and of all ages to be as independent as they can be and to promote and advocate for accessibility and inclusion in our community.  We, like all CILs, offer five core services which include: independent living skills training, peer counseling, advocacy, transition services (from school to adult life and transition from nursing home/institutional care to home) and information and referral (I&R).  I&R is the biggest service we offer through calls we receive, people that visit the center and trainings we provide in the community.  We also have an "Equipment Connection" which is the dRC's durable medical equipment program.  The dRC receives donated equipment, cleans and repairs it and gives it back out for free.  Deaf and hard of hearing services, youth services and a health and exercise program are other services the dRC provides.
 
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
When people we have helped move into their own homes, get employed or successfully advocate for themselves.  We moved one man to his own apartment who was paralyzed from his neck down against the wishes of the nursing home whose staff said he wouldn't be able to do it.  By helping the man to acquire housing, personal attendant care and assistive technology, he successfully moved to his own place, made his own decisions about his life, and had a better quality of life.
 
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Funding our services is always a challenge.  As a non-profit, we have fundraisers (our Fall Gala, Spring Walk 'n Roll, Independent Living Expo), write grants and seek donations, but on-going work requires on-going funding. 
 
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
Currently, we are sponsoring two Sign Language classes (Mommy & Me and Basic Sign Language) and a Chronic Pain Self-Management class, along with upcoming classes in Culpeper about the Medicaid Waivers, becoming a personal attendant and Ticket to Work (a Social Security program that helps individuals go back to work). Our biggest event will be on October 20, 2018 when we celebrate the dRC's 25th Anniversary Gala at the Fredericksburg Expo Center.
 
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
People needing help, organizations that would like to sponsor our gala or volunteers can call us at 540-373-2559 (voice) or 540-373-5890 (CAPTEL) or email drc@cildrc.org.