“We are thrilled to be able to have a local board and to directly address community needs,” said Maia Santamaria, Executive Director. “Our staff and services are the same, but now we are able to be more flexible in serving others who have disabilities, and seeking partnerships and local support.
The center also changed its name in the process. Santamaria said: “No one wants to be known solely by one characteristic, especially when it can have a negative connotation. We wanted to shift the public focus of our organization away from ‘disability’ to the empowerment of ‘independence.’”
NWGA CIL provides services and programs and works in partnership with each person with a disability to achieve their chosen goals. “We serve people with all types of disabilities and of any age,” said Santamaria.
“One person may want to be able to access their garden and go to the store and church, another to get an education and a job, and another to take a shower by themselves. These are just ordinary things in life that we all should be able to take for granted, even though some of us accomplish these goals differently.”
There are Centers for Independent Living worldwide, and nine in Georgia. NWGA CIL serves the second largest area in Georgia, both in terms of general population and population of people with disabilities.
NWGA CIL is located at 242 North 5th Avenue in Rome and their phone number is 706.314.0008. their new blog/website is www.nwgacil.org and they have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWGACIL.
The center will hold an Open House in the spring.
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