Along with your interest in volunteering, understanding what we can offer, what you may get out of the experience, and many other things will help to ensure that your volunteer experience is beneficial for everyone.
Whether you’re interested in volunteering with us directly or you would like our help in finding a volunteer position within the community, we look forward to hearing from you.
At times, the needs of someone may go beyond the peer support groups we offer at ILRC. In these cases, we encourage people to find a group that works for them within the community. As well, we are able to provide support to ensure that this group is accommodating.
Through our Full Steam Ahead program, we offer help in a variety of ways, but only when it is requested. As part of our independent living focus, this program is flexible to the needs of those who request our help.
Simply adapting a few changes to your actions and attitudes towards those with disabilities can lead to great change, which is crucial to not only improving the lives of every person with a disability, but also everyone else.
Asking is a great way to learn about our environment, the people we interact with, and so much more. When interacting with a person with a disability, if you’re unsure how to approach a certain topic or situation, it is usually best to just ask them.
Understanding how to discuss topics involving disabilities, and how to address those with disabilities, is an important part of promoting equality and an inclusive environment. Our language is a strong influencer of how we perceive and feel about things, even when we don’t realize it.
By promoting an inclusive environment through providing information on appropriate language, etiquette, questions, and more in regard to people with disabilities, we hope to demonstrate just how easy it is to achieve the equality that everyone deserves.
Although we have understandings of a variety of types of disabilities, it is important to acknowledge that each individual has a unique experience with their disability. Thus, the focus must remain on the individual and what their needs are to adapt.
In order to develop programs and services that benefit the whole community, we invest in research that acknowledges and respects people who have disabilities as experts. Through partnering with other organizations on a number of projects, we are able to develop what we offer based on sound research, which leads to better results for everyone.
With any organization, volunteers play an important role in ensuring programs and services are offered and the needs of those who use them are met in the best manner possible.
Erin Holland Recipient of the 2014 IL Social Inclusion Award