A Gathering of People with Disabilities at our Florida State Capitol, including Senate Chambers

We want to thank our fellow CILs and partners. We also met with Senator Broxson, Representaive Hill, Representative Williamson’s Legislative Aide Sydney Fowler, Senator Gainers Legislative Director Kim Rodgers, and had many additional conversations at the capitol and are appreciative of everyone involved.

Thank you,

Carolyn L. Grawi, MSW, LCSW, LMSW, ACSW, ADAC
Executive Director
CIL of Northwest Florida

Florida CIL Day 2020 Group Shot

Letter From:

Jane E. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living
325 John Knox Road, Bldg. C, Tallahassee, FL 32308

Many, many thanks to all of you who came to Tallahassee for CIL Day yesterday! Your collective visits and voices really made an impact – throughout the Capitol. Even though the official Legislative Session doesn’t begin until January 14th, we are already off to a great start!

If you have any doubt about your impact, just go to minute 10:32 on the video coverage of yesterday’s House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee (link) and see the CIL network in action.

The bill that passed (HB 39) was amended to include a more inclusive definition of disability thanks to successful advocacy by Corey Hinds! Tony Delisle and Carolyn Grawi gave compelling testimony on behalf of the CIL network! Other CIL stakeholders filled the meeting room and submitted comments on the record in support of the bill! Behind the scenes making everything run smoothly: Kristen Herron, Beth Meyer, Robert Cox and Shelly Gurr turned the 22nd floor of the Capitol into the perfect venue for our midday meeting. And out front leading the way!  Georgia McKeown – our fearless (and tireless) lobbyist and friend!

If you would like to send a note of appreciation to any of the special guests who took the time to speak to our group, their contact information is below:

Senator Aaron Bean

Rep. MaryLynn Magar

Rep. Randy Fine

Rep. Mike Gottlieb

Rep. Loranne Ausley

Dept. of Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom

AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew

VR Director Allison Flanagan

Able Trust CEO Tony Carvajal

Thank you again for your time and effective advocacy!


Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI)   

Can You Hear Me Now?

Photo of Karen Jackson and Allison Bell

Pictured is Karen Jackson, IL/FTRI Specialist with Allison Bell, consumer.  Allison is one of the many individuals who has received Independent Living Services from the CIL of Northwest Florida and the FTRI.

Ms. Allison Bell was referred to CIL of Northwest Florida and the FTRI Program by her Audiologist due to her hearing loss. We looked at her choices of the hearing impaired phones bases on what would be best for her. Karen set up the XLC3.4 and made a few test calls with her while adjusting the volume, ring styles and the  tone for her. Allison states “I am very excited that CIL of Northwest Florida and the FTRI Program were able to improve my ability to understand and communicate with others.” Allison also reports that she is a top ranked associate at JC Penny Department Store and discussed how it is hard to hear and understand customers. Allison was provided a demo with a pocket talker. She will submit an ADA Reasonable Accommodation request to her employer from the advocacy services she received at the center. Allison says, “I am striving to not just be one of the top associates in the district, but to be able to excel in the region.” People with disabilities are able to do anything anyone else can do, some times we just do things a little differently. The center is a place where all may come to work toward their individual success.   Thank you Allison! Great work Karen!

Making a Difference – Hunter

CIL of Northwest Florida is committed to removing barriers to achieving goals for independence. Sometimes, those goals are related to assistive devices.

CIL of Northwest Florida provided funding for replacing batteries on a power wheelchair for a teenager. Hunter said “I am independent now, Mom”!

From Roseann, mother of consumer Hunter:

“As a parent to a child who has many health concerns, completing daily living skills can be a difficult task. That is until I was introduced to the Center for Independent Living. The people here assist anyone with a disability in any way they can. Not only did they get my son’s battery operated wheelchair up and running, but they also purchased a shower chair that was able to fit in my tub perfectly!! ‘I’m taking a shower like the big kids!’ – Hunter

Roseann stated “the services Hunter received not only has had an effect on him, it has decreased the intensity of the labor involved in the crucial care I provide for my son, which has now been turned into an effortless, uncomplicated and manageable job.”

CIL of Northwest Florida is proud to assist consumers and their caregivers to have successes in the community.

The FAAST Gulf Regional Demonstration Center Demonstrates Assistive Technology to Assisted Living Facility