Holiday Decorating at the CIL!

This past week, some of our CIL team members took time out of their very busy schedules, to help make our Gainesville lobby, hallways and activity room a little bit brighter and festive this holiday season!  Special thanks to everyone who was able to help.  Our Center is now ready to celebrate the holidays in style! 

ID:  Images consists of five pictures:  first picture on the left is of Destini in the activity room wrapping a picture, smiling at the camera, second picture top center is of Tony in the activity room assembling the Christmas tree, third picture on the right is of Amy and Holly in the activity room, holding up decorations and smiling at the camera, fourth picture in the center is of the fully decorated CIL Christmas Tree in the activity room, and the fifth picture covering the very bottom is of the fully decorated front lobby.

CIL Celebrating the Season of Gratitude!

It’s the season of gratitude and the CIL will be spreading tons of gratitude cheer throughout this holiday season!  Starting with this testimonial from Julie, daughter of John, a recent FAAST Program recipient who received a new power wheelchair!  Please enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

“Claudia with FAAST has been extremely helpful and accommodating. We would not have been able to get the power chair for my dad without her help.

“My dad is 84 and has just recently moved into a private home with the caregiver. We don’t have a lot of money, so we do need a lot of help. He has a deformity in one foot making it very difficult and painful for him to walk. Poor circulation and many other issues mean the power chair is life-changing for him.

“He can now get around the house to get his own food from the kitchen. He already feels more independent and happier.

“Thank you, Claudia and FAAST! You have made a huge difference in my dad’s life!”

ID:  Picture of John using his new power wheelchair in his kitchen at home. He is smiling and giving a thumbs-up.

Join us for Friday Night Fun Night!

Friday Night Fun Night for young adults with disabilities, is kicking off this Friday, November 18th from 7pm to 9pm at the CIL! Start the weekend off right with bingo, karaoke, pizza, and fun for all!

Please RSVP for in-person or online attendance, by 12pm on Friday the 18th at:

*There is a $5 cost per person to defray the costs of refreshments and prizes.

For more information, call Trish Thoburn at 352-339-6278.

Event Sponsored by:

Independence and Opportunity Network of Gainesville (ION)
Gator’s Domino’s

ID: Bingo flyer that includes all of the information listed above, with a colorful border containing bingo cards in the bottom left corner and numbered bingo balls in the remaining corners.

CIL Team Attends McIntosh 1890 Festival!

CIL Team Members tabled at the McIntosh 1890 Festival last week, the largest fundraiser of the year for several local organizations. Kevin, Cammeron, and Claudia spoke with hundreds of attendees throughout the day about CIL services and all we have to offer to community members and families.

It’s wonderful to be back attending community events in person again after all the challenges we faced with outreach during Covid. The festival was twice as large than last year, with over 1,000 attendees.

For more information about the event, visit:

ID: image includes 2 photos. Top picture is staff standing behind their table filled with brochures and giveaways at the CIL booth: Consumer Specialist Kevin Towles (left), ADA Paratransit Coordinator Cammeron Smith (center), and Assistive Technologies Specialist Claudia Avendano (right). Bottom picture is of attendees walking the festival, surrounded by vendors booths and streets shaded by massive oak trees.

Happy Veterans Day from the CIL!

Happy Veterans Day to all those who served and currently serve bravely in the U.S. Armed Forces!  Everyone here at the CIL is so grateful for your service and sacrifice to our country, and we are proud to serve you with our programs and dedicated staff. We have a variety of services that benefit veterans with disabilities, such as Employment, Wheelchair Ramp Building, Advocacy, and Housing.  Please check out our website today to learn more about how we can help!

ID:  Background of a field with orange flowers with a person standing in the middle foreground, holding and spreading out the American flag behind them. The person is facing away from the camera.  White, capitalized text across the middle says, “Happy Veterans Day”, and smaller white capitalized text below that says, “Thank you for your service.”

CILNCF Tropical Storm Nicole Update!

The CILNCF will be closed Thursday, November 10th due to the impending storm, and Friday, November 11th for Veterans Day. As much as possible, our team will continue to work remotely and provide CIL services throughout the storm. We will re-open our doors on Monday, November 14th.

Please check out our Hurricane Preparedness page on our website for any resources you need:

Stay safe and please reach out to us if needed by calling 352-378-7474 or e-mailing

The FAAST Program strikes again!

Last month, the CIL FAAST (Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology) Program attended the Oak Run Health Fair at the Palm Grove Club in Ocala.  FAAST is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for Floridians with disabilities by increasing access to assistive technology through empowerment and collaboration. 

CIL staff members Claudia Avendano, Assistive Technologies Specialist, and Brandon Palermo, Consumer Specialist, met with several Marion County community members throughout the day, and discussed the variety of assistive technology equipment we have in stock at the CIL!    

Special thanks to Claudia and Brandon for continuing to attend these community events and spreading the word about FAAST services and the AT that is available to individuals with disabilities!  If you, or anyone you know, needs AT equipment to live a more independent life, please be sure to contact Claudia Avendano at or 352-378-7474.

ID:  Picture of Claudia (left) and Brandon (right) standing behind our CIL table at the health fair.  The CIL banner is standing to the right of them.

High School High Tech students are moving along FAAST!

Our Levy County High School High Tech students had a high tech guest speaker from the FAAST Program at a recent workshop last week! Claudia Avendano, CIL Assistive Technologies Specialist, provided a great presentation all about FAAST at Bronson Middle/High School, and demonstrated the amazing assistive technology that is available to them if needed!

ID: Pictured from left to right are Rebecca Hood, ESE Teacher at Bronson Middle/High School, Drew Dees, HSHT Program Coordinator and Claudia Avendano. They are in front of the main office doors outside of the building, and in the background is a picture of their mascot with Go Eagles.

Happy Halloween from the CIL!

We hope everyone is having a spooktacular day!

ID: Image includes four pictures. Top left is Destini sitting at the front desk with cat make-up on her face. Top right is Tony holding up a sign in his office that covers his face below his eyes, that reads, Happy Halloween! Bottom left is Clara kneeling outside of her office beside a decoration of a child trick or treating as a ghost, with white crepe paper hanging off of the arms. And bottom right is a close up shot of chocolate cupcakes with alternating orange, purple and white frosting, as well as fun Halloween decorations with sprinkles on top.

Join us for CIL classes in November!

The fall season is well under way, and the CIL has been celebrating!  We are so excited that in-person classes have been BACK at the CIL, so please join us this November!  We are still offering one online class per week for those of you who prefer that option.

Independence Hacks (ILS) classes will be on Tuesdays in Ocala, Wednesdays on Zoom, and Thursdays in Gainesville.  All classes will be from 10:30am – 12pm.

Youth Leadership and Social Group classes are still on Tuesdays from 3:30-5pm.  So far, they will continue to be conducted online until further notice. 

For every online class, the meeting username is 352-378-7474 and the password is cilclass!

Please be sure to share this with anyone who would like to participate, and contact Terri Poucher at 352-378-7474 or with any questions.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Image Description: Dark brown, wood floor background with the CIL logo at the top left and to the right of the logo is an orange text heading that reads, “November Calendar”.  Underneath to the left are pieces of pumpkin pie with dollops of whipped cream with “Tuesdays”, “Wednesdays” and “Thursdays” inside, in white text.  The class titles and meeting times are to the right in bright orange text, next to their corresponding weekday, and the meeting ID and password is written in bright orange text at the bottom of the image.