Other Services and Programs

Disability Achievement Center

Other Services and 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.

These include:

  • Medical Equipment Recycling Program

  • Consumer Equipment & Modification Assistance

  • Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

  • Employment Services

Medical Equipment Recycling Program

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.

For a full list of equipment needed, please click here.

Have equipment you would like to donate?

Complete the form below and we will contact you and make arrangements to pick it up!

PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO PICKUP POWER CHAIRS OR SCOOTERS AT THIS TIME.

Fill out my online form.

Consumer Equipment and Modification Assistance (CEMA)

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.

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.

How does this program work?

Program operates on a first come first serve basis and is dependent on available funding.

Equipment is given to consumer not loaned. Only items the Center retains ownership of is Modular Ramps and Porch Lifts. These ramps are reused when no longer needed.

An individual requests equipment, all potential resources must first be exhausted before using CEMA funding.

What does this program offer?

Purchase of Durable Medical Equipment: mobility devices, shower/bathing equipment & deaf alerting equipment.

Deaf alerting equipment includes light-activated doorbells and smoke detectors, shaker alarm clocks and baby monitors.

Repairs to Equipment: either consumer owned or MERP (donated equipment).

Home Modifications: Installation of new grab bars & handrails most requested.

Modular Ramps and Porch Lifts: These are the only items that there is currently a waiting list.

Modular Ramp Program

Through the CEMA Program, we install modular aluminium 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 aluminium 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.

Important Modular Ramp Program Guidelines

  • Modular ramps will be on loan to you for as long as you need it at your current home. It does not become part of the property nor does it become personal property of whomever is tenant/owner of the property.

  • This program requires you to complete and sign a Modular Ramp Loan Agreement every year.  

  • A staff member will come by at least once a year to take a picture of the ramp to ensure the ramp is still installed and in good/safe condition. You need not be home for this.

  • Please let DAC know if your phone number changes.

  • If a situation arises where you no longer need the ramp, for example, because you are moving and no longer need the ramp, or need it moved to a new location, please contact DAC immediately to make these arrangements.

  • If you are renting the property where the ramp is located it is your responsibility to contact DAC if you move, NOT the Landlord.

Deaf and 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. . 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.

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.

Employment Services

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.

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, Self -Advocacy 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 the 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.

 

Self-Advocacy Training

Learnhow to better communicate your strengths, abilities, interests, and needs when interviewing with potential employers or applying to trade schools, colleges, or universities.

One of the Employment Services we provide through Vocational Rehabilitation is Self-Advocacy.

Training includes:

  • Self-Awareness Profile

  • Learning Style Inventory

  • Understanding Your Rights

  • Setting Smart Goals

  • Learning to Self- Advocate

Students who participate in this service learn how to represent themselves and make decisions that affect their lives. Throughout the training, students learn skills that increase confidence and self-esteem while helping them develop a sense of independence and self-empowerment.

Students will leave the Self-Advocacy Training with meaningful and relevant tools that can be used as they transition out of high school. A Self-Awareness Portfolio will provide students an opportunity to highlight their strengths and skills while identifying reasonable accommodations necessary for success. A Professional Portfolio, which builds on the Self-Awareness Portfolio, allows students to document their skills and abilities through evidence and letters of recommendation.