CIL Event in Hernando County!

During the first week in April, Andrea attended the Hernando County Schools Career and Transition Fair at Lead Foot City to tell students about all of the services the Center has to offer. While she was there, she met up with several of the students she works with from Project Looking Ahead.  A great time was had by all!

ID:  Picture of Andrea at the event wearing sunglasses and a grey CIL polo
shirt.  She is standing behind the CIL table that holds CIL brochures and is
covered with a royal blue tablecloth.  Andrea is surrounded by seven of her
Project Looking Ahead students from Hernando High School.

FAAST Demonstration and Training at Discount Daze!

At the beginning of April, the CIL FAAST Program had a demonstration and training at Discount Daze in Ocala.  Troy Leonard, the owner of Discount Daze, demonstrated the Independence Bed, which can help anyone who has difficulty getting out of bed or is worried about falling out of bed.  The bed can assist someone with sitting up independently, and has an automated self-reclining machine, and a lift which can bring someone close to the ground.  CIL staff Andrea Melvin, Brandon Palermo  and Claudia Avendano attended the presentation and learned all about the various features of this assistive technology.  Thank you Discount Daze and Troy Leonard for providing a great presentation to our team and participants!

ID:  Picture of (from left to right), Brandon Palermo, Troy Leonard and Andrea Melvin at Discount Daze, standing in front of the Independence Bed.

FAAST Coping with Caregiving Series!

Last month, the CIL and FAAST Program partnered with Elder Options to provide the third session of the Coping with Caregiving series. This is a free course (four sessions total) for caregivers and clients who care for individuals with dementia, chronic illness, or any other disability, to learn how to de-stress and better manage daily life.

The topic for the third session was, “Coping with Frustration” and Teri Saunders Lonon with Elder Options did a great job providing information and strategies for caregivers who face various challenges and frustrations throughout the day, such as breathing techniques.

ID: Two pictures within the image. The picture on the top is Claudia taking a selfie of two participants and Teri, the guest speaker, in the background. The bottom picture is Teri to the left, and two participants to the right.  In the middle is a border separating the two pictures with different colors from left to right: blue, turquoise, fuchsia and green.

ADA Paratransit and Reception Team Social!

At the end of February, the ADA Paratransit and Reception teams got

together for their Team Social, and enjoyed a fun time out traveling back in time and playing all kinds of pinball, videos games and carnival games from the times of yonder, and not so long ago. The place was Bragging Rights Arcade in Gainesville (@BraggingRightsGNV). We definitely recommend it! We enjoyed some delicious pizza and soft drinks from Peppino’s Pizza

(@PeppinosPizzaPasta), and started the rounds of playing games. There were all kinds of arcade games to satisfy any heart’s delight, but the best part of the event was to be able to spend time with co-workers and have some fun together!.

ID: Four pictures within the image. The top left picture is Sada (left) and Destini (right) playing the Dance Dance Revolution game. The top right picture is Destini sitting and playing a large piano game. The bottom left picture is Alex taking a selfie with (from left to right) Cammeron, Destini, Eric, Christie, Sada and Peter in the background. The bottom right picture is Cammeron (left) and Sada (right) playing the Dance Dance Revolution game. Each image is separated by lines with CIL logo colors of fuchsia, dark blue, and turquoise.

CIL tables at UF HHP Internship & Job Fair!

Early last month, Sada attended the University of Florida HHP Internship and Job Fair. Sada graduated from the College of Health and Human Performance, so it is always great to be back! She got to meet many prospective interns and connect with a diverse array of community organizations and businesses. We thank UF and the HHP college for inviting us back!

ID:  Picture of Sada at the event, smiling and standing behind the CIL table with the CIL banner standing to the left.  She is wearing a white CIL polo shirt with tan pants.  The table is covered with a royal blue tablecloth, and displayed on top are CIL brochures, flyers and swag items such as pens, post-it notes and chip clips.

Upcoming FAAST Program Presentation!

Please join us on Zoom for a FAAST Program presentation on April 19th at 10:00am!  John Palmer from Magnifying America will be showing off the Patriot Magnifier, Reader Tablets, as well as other devices.  He will discuss how their technology limits the digital divide for people who are low vision or legally blind by helping them read documents out loud, magnify real world media, and more.  Please pass along to anyone who will benefit from this demonstration!

You can join this meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.  To join please click on the link below:

Zoom ID:  352-378-7474; Passcode:  cilclass

For more information about the Zoom meeting, please contact Brandon Palermo in our Ocala office at  or call (352) 363-3788, or please contact Claudia Avendano in our Gainesville office at or call (352) 378-7474.

ID: The image includes all the information provided above. The CIL logo is shown at the top left and the top middle of the image reads ” FAAST Program Presentation: Magnifying America” in yellow lettering. The background is blue, and wording below the title is separated into three different boxes; one is light green to the left, with one fuchsia and one teal that are smaller to the right. The FAAST logo is shown at the bottom left and the Magnifying America logo is at the bottom right.

Latest Wheelchair Ramp Build!

Our Wheelchair Ramp Building Program continues to make a difference for our consumers!

Last month, Gail Bullock received a ramp through our Wheelchair Ramp Building Program. She was in a terrible car accident last year that caused bone and nerve damage on the right side of her body, causing difficulty walking and standing for long periods at a time. Gail let us know that without the help of the Center for Independent Living, she would be isolated in her home and would need help getting in and out. She is now able to go out independently into the community, as well as to important therapy and medical appointments! She is forever grateful to the CIL!  Special thanks to Mark Brisbane, CORE Services Director and Custom Design Renovations, for making this ramp build possible!

ID: The video includes before and after photos of Gail’s ramp, as well as a brief video of Gail describing how she obtained the ramp and her experience with CIL.

CIL staff represents at Santa Fe College!

At the beginning of March, CIL Staff Sada attended a Disability Awareness Month kick-off event at Santa Fe College.  It was a wonderful time to connect with community members and students at Santa Fe to share information about the Center for Independent Living and its services.  One of the participants even made this awesome balloon hat for Sada!  We can’t wait to be back to Santa Fe’s campus for our Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo, set to take place on Friday,

April 14th, from 8:45AM-1:00PM.  You can register for the free event by clicking the link below:

P.S. The balloon hat maker has signed up for the event so come on out and you may get one too!

Thanks so much!

ID:  Image consists of two photos of CIL Staff Sada. The top picture is of Sada standing behind the CIL table which holds flyers for CIL services and CIL swag items. Sada is wearing a white CIL polo shirt, silver sunglasses, and a black lanyard that holds her CIL badge. The bottom picture is of Sada signing peace while wearing a balloon hat (blue, green, and white). The background is purple and blue up top, and turquoise and green at the bottom.

Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo!

There is just one week until the 2nd Annual Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo for People with Disabilities!

Theme: How to protect yourself/families for any type of emergency. 

Friday, April 14th, 2023, 8:45 am – 1:00 pm

Santa Fe College:

3000 NW 83rd Street, Building R-01, Gainesville, FL 32606

For any questions or assistance with registration, please call Kevin Towles at 352-368-3788 or e-mail at

To register, please go to:

We hope to see you there!

ID: Graphic includes all the information shared above.

CIL Staff attend Wellness Resource Hub in Starke!

In mid-March, CIL Staff Claudia and Sada went out to the Bradford Community Partners Health & Wellness Resource Hub. They talked to several community members about services available through CILNCF and assistive technology available through FAAST. It is so great to get to meet the people of Bradford County in their community! If you live in Bradford county and are looking to learn more about The Center for Independent Living, please come visit us. We will be represented at the Hub on the third Thursday of each month from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. The Hub is located at the Bradford County Faith Community Center until the official location is made available. The address is 721 Old Lawtey Rd, Starke, FL 32091. We hope to see you there! 

ID: Image includes a picture of CIL Staff Claudia (left) and Sada (right) at the event. They are each positioned at the opposite end of two tables, which are draped in the FAAST and CIL tablecloths. The longer table in front of Claudia contains different FAAST AT devices, and the smaller table in front of Sada contains information about CIL services. A CIL banner stands to the right of Sada, and a FAAST banner stands to the left of Claudia.