Other Programs That Address Local Need
In addition to the 5 Core Services that all Centers for Independent Living offer, Disability Achievement Center offers additional programs based on the needs of the local community.
- Medical Equipment Recycling Program
- Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance
- Employment Services
- Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services
- Tobacco Cessation Workshops
The Center has assisted hundreds of consumers to enhance their independence by obtaining equipment from our Medical Equipment Recycling Program, or MERP. Donations of equipment such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, walkers and Hoyer lifts etc. are made to the Center which we in turn give to individuals who cannot afford to pay for these items.
The equipment is professionally cleaned, evaluated and eventually matched up to someone in need. Repairs will be made if needed and as funds are available, before giving the equipment away.
Equipment available through the MERP is 100% dependent upon what has been donated to the Center.
You can help!!
If you or someone you know no longer needs a piece of equipment please consider donating it to Disability Achievement Center. Medical equipment can be costly. Your donation could mean independence to someone in our community. We will see that gets to an individual in need. A letter of receipt will be mailed to you. All donations are tax-deductible. For health and safety reasons we are unable to accept donations of medications or edible products.
We welcome the following donations in functioning condition:
|Power chairs||Manual wheelchairs||Battery chargers|
|Hoyer lifts||Rollators||Transfer benches|
|Porch lifts||Shower chairs||Adaptive exercise equipment|
|Chair lifts for stairs||Portable ramps||Knee Walkers|
To address accessibility issues and to promote inclusion, Disability Achievement Center implemented the Consumer Equipment and Modification Assistance (CEMA) Program to provide for durable medical equipment and minor home modifications that enable people with disabilities to maintain their independence and contribute to their community instead of being placed in assisted living, a nursing home, or homelessness.
Through the CEMA Program, we install modular aluminum ramps at no cost for eligible individuals for as long as they need them. The modular ramps are maintenance-free and are moved to another location once they are no longer needed. Disability Achievement Center learned that the recyclable aluminum ramps are more cost-effective than traditional wooden ramps because they can be installed in a few hours and the components can be used again and again. The CEMA Program also provides for installation of new grab bars, handrails, deaf alerting equipment, repairs to and batteries for wheelchairs, and the purchase durable medical equipment. Deaf alerting equipment includes light activated doorbells and smoke detectors, shaker alarm clocks and baby monitors. Our Medical Equipment Recycling (MERP) Program complements our CEMA program by providing refurbished/repaired donations of wheelchairs, walkers, etc., to those who cannot afford to purchase them.
Our Employment Services Program assists people with disabilities in finding and retaining meaningful competitive employment. Our services are free of charge to the employee and employer. Disability Achievement Center Facilitators assist people who come directly to our agency and those referred by other agencies. We partner with federal and state agencies to provide the best options available. The Disability Achievement Center is partnered with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. We provide Preplacement Training, Employment Services and On the Job Training for Vocational Rehabilitation. Our Facilitators will be there to help with possible accommodations and assure the new employee transitions smoothly.
An Employment Services Facilitator works with each person to help them design an employment plan tailored to their unique needs. Facilitators will be there, as needed, to educate, assist, guide and encourage during the entire process. An initial assessment leads to development of a support network and design of a step by step job search plan. Each step of the way we work together. Any areas of concern are identified and addressed. The job search includes exploration of new possibilities and techniques to obtain the goals set by each person. The facilitator will be in the community working job development and encouraging outreach as part of the job search process.
The Disability Achievement Center networks to educate perspective employers about the many advantages to businesses when they hire people with disabilities. We can introduce businesses to a large and growing consumer market that opens up when they hire people with disabilities. Employers are encouraged to participate in state and federal programs. These programs can even provide salary reimbursement. The Disability Achievement Center will prescreen employees, help with job accommodations, assist with job training and alert businesses to the full advantages they can obtain when they hire people with disabilities. We are ever mindful of the pressure of today’s competitive market and look to improve the bottom line with each job placement.
Employment provides so much more than a paycheck. Meaningful employment helps a person feel like a productive member of our society. A job provides a variety of personal contacts that enrich every facet of one’s life. Successful employment is important to self-esteem. People who become employed in the community have greater social interaction; they suffer less abuse and form lasting relationships. Disability Achievement Center strives to provide the services each person needs to make employment part of their road to independence.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services
Many deaf service centers are closing doors for one reason or another all over the country and it is especially true in Pinellas and Pasco Counties. For this reason, we are experiencing an increase of service needs from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Disability Achievement Center works closely with the Deaf & Hard of Hearing population because Independent Living Facilitators are fluent in sign language and communicate well with the deaf community. Staff are specialized in specific areas such as advocacy with Social Security, whether or not there is an over-payment record. We clarify documents that may be confusing to a consumer. In short, we provide services for our consumers much like a deaf service center with the exception of case management.
A private communication room set up with a videophone is available for consumers who do not have videophones in their homes. This service facilitates appointment setting and other needed calls.
Through our Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance (CEMA) Program, equipment such as doorbell flashers, alarm clocks, fire alarm alert systems, and baby cry signalers is offered to our families who are in need of such equipment to be safe and independent in their home.