CIL Impact Report: 2021-2022

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HTML/Plain Text Version of the CIL Impact Report 2021-2022

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Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe


2021 – 2022

Image description: Color photo. CIL staff members Izzie, Krystina, Eric, and Felicia sit outside in their staff t-shirts, at an informational tent.

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Image description:Grayscale photo with light blue overlay. CIL staff member, Anna, and her service dog, Sailor, at the Michigan capitol building.

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Message from the Executive Director: 4

Impact at a Glance: 6

Our Work: 8

Our Community: 12

What’s Ahead: 16

Donor Support: 18

How to Help: 22

Staff Members: 24
Board of Directors: 25

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As the first of 15 CILs in Michigan, The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (CIL) has been advocating for and empowering people with disabilities living in Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe counties since 1976. This is based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, choice, and full participation.

Empower the lives of people with disabilities and advocate for a more inclusive community for all.

Independent Living means many different things to many people. Our work is tailored to the wants, needs, and expressed desires of our communities. We provide Peer Support , teach Independent Living Skills , provide support and direction with Employment Navigation and Benefits Counseling , along with assistance accessing Information and Resources in our communities. Our virtual Social, Arts, and Recreation classes and support groups are some of the best! We provide Disability Awareness Trainings (DATs) and advocacy to employers and, through schools, we provide Disability Awareness Workshops (DAWs). We conduct Community Outreach and Advocate with and on behalf of people with disabilities, participating in commissions and networks to promote inclusion throughout our communities.

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Many times, people with disabilities get to a crossroads in life where it is decision time. We provide support with Youth Transitioning to adulthood, connecting young people with guidance and access to services and support for which they may be eligible. In partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we support Medicaid-eligible nursing facility residents to transition or return to community living, if that is their choice. We invite you to let your voice be heard through participation in our Disability Community Action Lab (DCAL) and other advocacy efforts . We educate people on how to advocate for full inclusion and participation , regardless of ability, in every facet of our communities.

As a private, non-profit organization, we rely on contributions from donors to provide excellence in our services and support to the disability community. We are excited by all we have accomplished. If you would like to contribute financially to our efforts, please see our website or contact us at (734) 971-0277 or Thank you in advance.


Alex Gossage
Executive Director

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We provide numerous services for our participants: advocacy to make our community more accessible, friendlier, and livable, assistance accessing community resources, career services, disability training for businesses and organizations, independent living coaching, peer support, recreation and arts programming, transitions from nursing facilities back into the community, and volunteer and training opportunities.


      • • Less than 14-years-old: 1.
        • From 15- to 26-years-old: 145.
        • From 27- to 35-years-old: 57.
        • From 36- to 45-years-old: 65.
        • From 46- to 55-years-old: 92.
        • From 56- to 65-years-old: 100
        • Over 66: 128.


    • • Recreational Programming: 10.9%.
      • Consumer Services: 16.5%.
      • Independent Living Services: 5.8%
      • Information & Referral Services: 66.7%.


    • • AD/HD: 26.
      • ALS: 1.
      • Alzheimer’s: 6.
      • Amputation: 13.
      • Arthritis: 19.
      • Asthma/Emphysema: 4.
      • Autism/Asperger’s: 38.
      • Autoimmune Disorder: 6.
      • Back Injury: 20.
      • Blind/Visually Impaired: 33.
      • Bone/Joint Disorder: 23.
      • Brain Disorder: 2.
      • Brain Injury: 23.
      • Cancer: 23.
      • Cardiovascular Disorder: 8.
      • Carpal Tunnel: 2.
      • Cerebral Palsy: 29.
      • Cognitive Impairment: 15.
      • Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 9.
      • Dementia: 8.
      • Depression: 12.
      • Developmentally Disabled: 24.
      • Diabetes: 19.
      • Emotional Impairment: 11.
      • Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder: 4.
      • Fibromyalgia: 1.
      • HIV/AIDS: 1.
      • Kidney Disease: 9.
      • Learning Disability: 14.
      • Mental Health: 74.
      • Morbid Obesity: 1.
      • Multiple Disability: 40.
      • Multiple Sclerosis: 20.
      • Muscular Dystrophy: 3.
      • Parkinson’s Disease: 1.
      • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: 9.
      • Pulmonary Disease: 11.
      • Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder: 25.
      • Stroke: 23.
      • Substance Abuse: 5.
      • Other/Not Specified: 356.

Total Number of People Served in Washtenaw, Livingston, and Monroe Counties in 2021-2022: 1340

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Image description: Graphics depicting statistics from previous page.

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Whether you want to find housing that works for you, look for a career, or connect with others to add meaning and enjoyment to your life, we help you develop a plan to achieve your goals and work with you to help you get there. We also advocate within the community to make our region more inclusive for people with disabilities.


The Information and Referral team (I & R) assist consumers in getting access to the resources that their community offers. Whether it is receiving assistance applying for a door to door transportation service, accessing a walker from our loan closet, or finding out how to access emergency shelter, our team is ready with the resources you need or to use their partnerships in the community to get you connected to the tools necessary to reach your independent living goals.


The CIL provides consumer driven employment programming and services that allow people with disabilities to make informed choices about working while disabled. Our programs include tools and assistance which guide consumers to reach their employment goals.


The CIL is utilizing new technology and experience gained throughout the pandemic to offer a different type of accessible option for our participants.


The Disability Awareness Workshop, or DAW, is a one-day program to teach school-age students an empathetic understanding of physical, developmental, and learning disabilities. The hands-on activity-based workshop is designed to help the students learn how difficult and complex daily living can be for individuals with disabilities and how innovative and resourceful they are at finding solutions. Approximately 500 students participated during the last year.

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The CIL offers a wide variety of recreational activities and experiences. Participants can learn new things with friends in a relaxed environment.
We’re always thinking of interesting opportunities for engagement. We recently were honored as Agency Partner of the Month for Spirit Club, a nationwide virtual inclusive fitness program. Trivia Tuesdays is a fun and challenging way to socialize. Our Virtual Movie Club allows participants to watch a movie on their own time and meet with friends to discuss it. The CIL Art Program has expanded to virtual and in-person options and is opening an on-site gallery space.


Image description: Megan, a woman with fair skin, chin-length wavy brown hair, and purple glasses, stands outside on a summer day. She is presenting a painted self-portrait to the camera.

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PROGRAMS continued


Disability Community Action Lab, or DCAL, is a group where like-minded community members come together to identify issues, seek out information, and take action to make a difference. We also can educate and guide individual citizens to take action on an issue they feel is important to them.


Peer Support is connecting with others who share similar life experiences and gain strategies to manage every day challenges. With peer support, you can feel less alone in your disability experience. At the CIL, you can join in on a social group to have fun and connect with peers in recreational opportunities or specific support groups such as SCI meet-up, “Your World,” a support group for those who are blind or low vision, or “Caring Connections,” a support group for parents with disabilities.


Volunteering and training opportunities include student internships with area universities in a variety of programs. Serving as a site for on-the-job trainings, the CIL hosts collaborative events, presentation, and focus groups with community organizations and members who want to offer their time and talent.


Independent Living is the ability to make personal choices about every day activities such as how you’re going to spend your day, where you want to live, and with whom you choose to spend time. We can provide group- based and individual skill development in the following areas to promote personal independence: Budgeting, time management, personal assistant management, self-advocacy, and more.


The Nursing Facility Transition Services Program, or NFT, is a Medicaid program that assists nursing facility residents that would like to explore community-based living options. Services are offered to assist in securing housing and facilitate a successful discharge to the community.

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Simply put, the CIL is run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. We prove that what you want for your life is possible. Since 1976, we have worked hand-in-hand with you to help you live the life you want to live. In addition to providing individualized services, community advocacy, and group workshops for your self- improvement, we are a dynamic community enrichment and recreation center filled with events and activities to help you connect with people and your passions.

Color photo. CIL staff members Nike, Kim, and Jean sit behind a table in their staff t-shirts. A woman talks with them.

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Image description: Full-page color photo. Nicholas, a young man with tawny skin and short dark brown hair, smiles warmly as he stands against an exterior white wall. His hand rests on a wooden railing.

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We work with people of diverse abilities and disabilities to help you solve problems and achieve your goals. We also work throughout the community to expand awareness about people with disabilities and promote full inclusion. We are YOUR CIL.


My experience being a part of the Sterling State Park DNR + CIL Program was great. The kids and the leaders that I worked with were awesome. The parts I found most for this program, I don ’t think I would have ever been seen for the job I have now. Having a job at the DNR program helped me learn even more skills then I knew before and how to take those skills and use enjoyable were working hands on with the equipment and learning new skills each and everyday — and also working with all the nice people. This program led to the job I have now. It helped me get my start in the working world with my first real hands-on job. It helped show me that if I worked hard enough, bigger and better them at my new job. The advice I would give young folks looking
to enter the work force is don ’t be scared to follow your dreams or go get a job. It might be scary at first but I promise it will get better. Because that very first job you have things would come…and they did! It most definitely helped me find and maintain employment. If it weren’t in your life will take you places and the jobs after that will too.

Don’t be scared to follow your dreams… It might be scary at first but I promise it will get better!

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Image description: Renee, a fair-skinned woman with shoulder-length light blonde hair, smiles broadly as she sits on a bail of hay, with her service dog, Yvette, a pale yellow lab.


I came to the CIL through BSBP(Bureau of Services for BlindPersons). When I contacted them,I was ready to start working again after being a stay-at-home parent for several years and I knew I needed assistance in re-entering the workforce. They suggested the AACIL for employment services, which is where I began
working with Tennery in January of 2022. Tennery provided soft skills training in a warm and welcoming environment that was approachable and an open dialogue. They also spoke about employment accommodations and advocacy, which later helped when a job opened at the CIL in Information and Referral. In society, it feels important to contribute with working. Working is a central component to finances, social participation, and contributing to the community at large. I was able to feel more effective. Professionally, I have been able to advance in my social work career and work towards full licensure. I have learned so much about other disabilities being in an environment where so much of the staff are also peers with disabilities.

Working is a central component…I was able to feel more effective.

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Image description: Megan stands against light blue wall in the CIL gallery space, next to her artwork: a large still life painting of pitchers and an apple, a floral collage, and a watercolor painting of a silhouetted building and fence against a sunset.


I first joined the CIL’s art program at the beginning of the pandemic. I joined because I like painting. While learning different techniques, I enjoy the openness to do it in whatever way we want. Claire is an awesome facilitator and I love working with her. It has also been great to create in person with everyone art. Also, like a lot of people, I had to stay isolated at home. The virtual art classes gave me a way to socialize when I had no other opportunity to do so, as well as getting me back into a hobby I love! I’ve gotten to learn various techniques in drawing and at the CIL. Besides making art it has been great to socialize with people whether virtually or in person.

The virtual art classes gave me a way to socialize when I had no other opportunity to do so…as well as getting me back into a hobby I love!

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The Center for Independent Living is always looking for new ways to engage with our community. As we move into another year of providing innovative, compassionate, and impactful support for our participants, we want to honor what we’ve all experienced over the pandemic. Keeping everyone safe is our main priority. Slowly and carefully reopening the offices for walk-in assistance, in-person classes and workshops, and social events will allow us to intentionally engage with our community.

    • • Reopening the offices for in-person classes, workshops, and events
      • Offering hybrid and fully virtual classes, workshops, and events for participants who prefer this option
      • New programming, including:
            ° Summer Youth Camp, a youth-focused program for developing independent living skills and offering employment training and social recreation
            ° OREO Club, a fun and friendly club for snackers who want to share personal experiences
            ° Your World, a support group for those who are blind or low vision
            ° Caring Connections, a support group for parents with disabilities
      • Officially launching our on-site art gallery space, Gallery Be, at the Washtenaw office
      • Continuing to provide past programming favorites like Movie Club, art classes, SCI Discussion and Support Group, Safe Connections, and more
      • Employment training and job opportunities for individuals who receive Social Security through our new affiliation as an Employment Network via American Dream Employment Network (ADEN)
      • Continuing our dedication to supporting everyone who contacts the Center for Independent Living at any and all of our offices

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Keeping everyone safe is our main priority at YOUR CIL.

Image description: Color photo. CIL staff member, Claire, stands next to a picnic table, talking with participants working on art projects.

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Without your generosity, we wouldn’t be able to provide our community with all of these amazing programs, powerful support groups, and such a variety of resources.

• James & Jamie Abelson
• Lynette & Jeff Adamo
• Don Afflerbaugh
• Alaudhi
• Geraldine Allen
• Peter & Sally Allen
• Layla Ananda
• Troy Barnett
• Mark Behnke
• Robin Bennett
• Michael Bersuder
• Doug Betcher
• Rosalyn Biederman
• Herbert & Christine Black
• Blue Oak LLC
• Dr. David Boden
• Stephanie Bojkowski
• Dan Borucki
• Djamel Bouzit
• Charles Brock
• Andrea Brown
• Karen Buczkowski
• LuAnne Bullington
• Steve Burleson
• Micah Campbell
• Arvin Carson
• Timothy Cash
• Katherine Caskey
• Chris Cerbus
• Albert Chan
• Roger & Christina Chang
• Micah Chappel
• Christopher Clark
• Kevin Clark
• Comcast Heartland Region
• Matt Cook
• Darin Corcoran
• Bill Cox
• Vinny Craig
• Eric Craig
• Max Curtner
• Arick Davis & Mark Laman Robert Dekker
• Christopher DePaola

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• Steven Derry
• Shelley DeVries
• Brent DeYoung
• Christ Doulos
• Andrew Dykstra
• James Egerdal
• Daniel Elkus
• Emicity, Brooke Poyhonen
• David & Jill Esau
• Sean Evans
• Richard Farrell
• Tara Farris
• Kimberly Farver
• Elizabeth Ferguson
• Margaret Fillion
• Martin Forchheimer & Nancy Firestone Mayellen Fowler
• Frontstream
• Tim Fulton
• Rosemary Garvin
• Jon Gaspar
• Anthony Gemus
• Kimberly Gjeltema
• Vijaya Goli
• Graves Family Foundation
• Brooks Gregory
• John Gunnis
• Adam Haas
• Thomas Haffner
• Joffer Hakim
• Jill Hanshue
• Joel Hanson
• The Harrigan Family
• Michael Harris
• Connor Harris
• Patt Hayes
• Valerie Heacock
• Katherine Healy
• Jaycee Heilner
• Gary Heitman
• Katy Held
• Jason Hendrickson
• Bob & Gail Henry
• Chris Herman
• Mark Hill
• Maurita Peterson Holland
• Heather Hollins
• Cassie Holman
• Michael & Nina Homel
• Mark & Vicki Hopper
• Jerry Hubbuch
• Tim Hull
• Huron Valley Sunrise Lions Club
• Micah Irrer & Brent Maze
• Jeff Jackson
• Loren Joostberns
• Leonard Kaminski
• Adam Karsten

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• Dave King
• Daniel & Heidi Koester
• Michelle Koin
• Barbara & Josef Kolling
• Joel Koning
• Seth Kott
• Kristine Kovac
• Jodi Kreschmer
• Kristen & Matthew Kurtz
• Greg Kuypers
• Walter Kwik
• Mary Lamkin
• DeAnn & Andrew Lazere
• James Leonard
• Rebecca Lewis
• Ann Arbor (Host) Lions Club
• Hannah Lippman
• Mary Lirones
• Christina Lirones
• Alfonso Lopez
• David Lovelace
• George Lowrie III
• Helen Kay & Errol Ludeman
• Rick MacDonald
• Justin Main
• Ron Majeske
• Jason & Tammy Marentette
• Sally & Bill Martin
• Jordan Martz
• Guy & Beverly Mattinson
• Heather McCullough
• Alex McCullough
• Darrin McCullough
• Kirk McCullough
• Griff & Pat McDonald
• Holly McKinney
• Pat McLaughlin
• Lisa Montes
• Dan Mowid
• Julie Murtha
• Glenn Nelson & Margaret Dewar
• Chris Newman
• Els Nieuwenhuijsen
• Steven O’Keefe
• Joe & Karen Koykka O’Neal
• Tom O’Neill
• Derk Oosting
• Kyle Overla
• Kara Painter
• Mark & Sue Pascoe
• Priscilla Petty
• Karen Pollard
• Aimie Popper
• David Potgeter
• Dave Pott
• Brett Reed
• David Reed
• Susan Reighard
• Robert Richards

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• Christopher Rinehart
• Kelvin Robinson
• Roman Rodriquez
• Wendy & Brian Rogers
• Brian Rondo
• Karen Rose
• Mark & Kelly Rummel
• Damien Sanchez
• Jan Schaap
• Joe Schreurs
• Susan Schultz
• Arthur & Mary Schuman
• Marsha & Chuck Seigerman
• Paul Sheffield
• Cliff & Ingrid Sheldon
• Sheryl Stumbaugh
• Clark & Amy Shuler
• Parker Sinclair
• Joan & William Smith
• Alma Smith
• Edwin Smith
• Robert & Carol Spaly
• Carol St. Henry
• Jeffrey Stanzler
• Gary Suits
• Nancy Sullivan
• Jordan Swavel
• Ben Sybesma
• Terry Tackett
• Denise & Peter Tate
• Adam Taylor
• The Blackbaud Giving Fund
• Steve Timmers
• Francis & Kathleen Tinney
• Thom Turpin
• Jeff Ulrich
• Shawn Vallery
• Gene Van Hoosear
• Chris Vargo
• Laura Voelz
• Ryan Walls
• Jesse Ward
• Rick & Gretchen Weir
• Richard White
• Corey Whitney
• Ed Wicker
• Gordon Wiersma
• Cory Willett
• Jack Wilson
• Kimberly & Kevin Wolf
• Melissa Wolford
• Eric Woodward
• Melvin Wootten
• Nathan Worthing
• Eric & Jennifer Yape
• Chris Yu
• Phillip Zazove & Barb Reedon

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Empowering the lives of people with disabilities & advocating for a more inclusive community for all.



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Support the CIL ’s mission to bring needed services to people with disabilities. Talk to us or make an online donation today.


Time is our most valuable resource. When you donate your time to the CIL, you’re supporting the many facets of our work.


By donating financially, you’re directly funding our team’s ability to serve our community.


Ask us if we can share your talents with our community: music and the arts, writing, athletics, gaming, and more.


The CIL accepts donations of goods and services year-round. Contact us about our current donation requests.

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• Robin Bennett: Independent Living Program Assistant
• Joyce Blair: Administrative Specialist
• Izzie Bullock: Employment Program Manager
• Eliot Carter, LLSMW: Advocacy & Technology Access Program
• Eleanor Chang, LSMW: Information Referral Specialist
• Shannon Clark, LSMW, CWIP: Information & Referral Program Manager
• Dana DeBord: Office Assistant
• Anna Dusbiber, LLMSW: Recreation & Independent Living Services Manager
• Renee Echols, LLSMW Information & Referral Specialist
• Eric Evans: Youth & Pre-Employment Transition
• Tara Farris: Information Referral & Receptionist
• Alex Gossage: Executive Director
• Shawnnika Guenther: Community Transition Specialist
• Cynthia Harrison: Returning Citizens Program Manager
• Andrea Henry: Business Operations Manager
• Tom Hoatlin: Social Support & Disability Consultant
• Mark Hymes: Livingston Program Coordinator
• Kim Jagielo: Community Transition Specialist
• Krystina Johnson: Community Program Manager
• Bev Mattinson: Director of Finance & Administration
• Tennery McCutcheon, MS, CWIP: Employment Program Manager
• Kelly Meadows: Director – Monroe
• Karen Meints: Disability Awareness Workshop Coordinator
• Claire Moore, MFA: Arts & Social Support Program Manager
• Janeen Musselman: Information & Referral Specialist
• Josh Nocella: Computer Training Specialist
• Will Purves, MS, GCGSS: Director of Planning & Program Development
• Felicia Rebottaro: Independent Living Coach & Employment Specialist
• Amy Robinson: Information & Referral Specialist
• Jean Strzempek, LLBSW: Community Transition Team Lead
• Sheryl Stumbaugh: Information & Referral Specialist
• Celeste Williams: Information & Social Support Referral Specialist

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• Carrie Pilarski, Ph.D.: CHAIR
• Ben Hunholz: VICE CHAIR
• David Esau: TREASURER
• Christina Lirones: SECRETARY
• Audrey Bagnowski, CRC, LPC: MEMBER
• Daniel Elkus: MEMBER
• Rebecca Lewis: MEMBER
• Pam McGuinty: MEMBER
• Feranmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S.: MEMBER

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3941 Research Park Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

15515 S Dixie Hwy.
Monroe, MI 48161