Independent Perspective #1663
Guest: Norman Sweet
Topic: ILNC's areas of service
Published: September 14, 2021
Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Norman Sweet, Independent Living Specialist and Home and Community Based Services Peer Specialist with Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC). And I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Norman.
Guest: Thank you. Great to be here.
Host: We're glad to have you. It sounds as though you get to serve something of an array of people with a title like that. And first, as an Independent Living Specialist, who do you serve and what sort of services can you provide them?
Guest: As the name implies, our mission is to help those who seek to do so, to live independently. As you become older, if or if you have had an injury, or suffered some sort of mishap, it becomes more difficult to live independently, meaning that you live without the need for support from as many people as possible. Now, each of us as we age in life, our desire is to be independent. From being a child, you know, we start out as kids. And as we mature, we seek to have as much control over how, where and what we live, what type of lifestyle, we live as possible. That's perfectly natural. So, we'd like to hold on to that as long as we can. And my job is to help people who are having difficulty in holding on to that, hold on to that.
Host: Norman, you've stressed people that have disabilities through aging or mishap, but you also help people who have congenital disabilities that are born with them, right?
Guest: Oh, yes. There is a state agency called OPWDD, the Office of People With Disabling Disabilities, something to that effect, that is not us. (Office for People With Developmental Disabilities). Those are children who are born with congenital defects or congenital disabilities. We deal with people who come into the area of disability after 21 years of age mostly. The state deals specifically with people that are born with disabilities.
Host: Well, OPWDD is a funding source, but it's agencies like ILNC that provide most of the services they need. The other aspect of what you do, Home and Community Based Services or as we like to say HCBS has a particular populace in mind, who do they serve?
Guest: HCBS is part of the HARP program under Medicare. HARP is Health and Recovery Plan. It deals with people who seek to improve health, whether it's physical or mental health, and helps people to recover in a loss of ability through disease or mishap. HCBS simply means Home and Community Based Services. We seek to provide services that people may have ordinarily had to go to an institution to get. We try and help people to deal with disabilities or problems that may have been administered through an institution. We like to provide those to a person in their home setting. So we do a lot of face to face work with people in their homes.
Host: And of course, you work in concert with colleagues at your agency who can supply particular needs such as home care attendance under our CDPAS Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services program. How can they talk to you about signing up for these services?
Guest: You can call us direct here at ILNC. That's 284-4131 my extension is 216, but the person answering the phone will be able to direct you to the service you need or a service provider you need. We have people who are individual peer specialists here who can help.
Host: Thanks so much for being with us, Norman, you have a good day.
Guest: Thank you.
Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Norman Sweet, Independent Living Specialist and Home and Community Based Services Peer Specialist at ILNC, and your host was yours Ernie Churchwell.