Juneteenth celebrates freedom, but as we honor this day, let us also remember that many enslaved people also had disabilities, and their stories are often missing from the conversation. Their strength, resilience, and contributions deserve to be recognized.

This Juneteenth, we recommit to fighting for a world where ALL people have equal rights and opportunities, regardless of race or disability. We celebrate the progress towards liberation, but also acknowledge the work that remains.

Here are some ways you can learn more and get involved:

โค๏ธ Read about the experiences of Black disabled people throughout history.

๐Ÿ’› Support Black-owned businesses with accessible features.

๐Ÿ’š Educate yourself and others about intersectionality and disability justice.

ID: Graphic displays 3 illustrated hearts colored green, brown, and red. Beneath it reads, “June 19th” in red, “Juneteenth” in brown, and “freedom day” in white cursive.

Wheelchair Ramp Success Story!

Mr. John, a 75-year-old gentleman facing mobility challenges due to disability and dialysis, recently reached out to our Center for help. His home’s lack of accessibility made it difficult for him to attend crucial doctorโ€™s appointments and treatments without relying on family or friends to navigate the stairs.

Thanks to the generosity and support of our community, Mr. John now has a brand-new wheelchair ramp at his home! ๐Ÿก This ramp now allows him to independently come and go, making his life much more convenient and enjoyable.

Mr. John is deeply grateful for this positive change, and we’re honored to have played a part in enhancing his quality of life. ๐Ÿ’™

Thank you to everyone who contributes to making these transformations possible. Together, we’re making our community more inclusive and accessible for everyone!

ID: Graphic has two photos, a turquoise background with the CILNCF logo displayed on the top right corner. The top photo shows Mr. John’s home before the installation of this wheelchair ramp. The word, “Before” is written on tape across the top left corner of the photo. The bottom photo shows Mr. John’s home after the wheelchair ramp was installed. The word, “After” is written on tape across the bottom right corner of the photo. There is a white outline that borders both photos.

Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday – ends Friday June 14th!

๐ŸŒ€ Don’t miss out on Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, ending this Friday, June 14th! ๐Ÿ”‹

Prepare for hurricane season and save on essentials like generators, batteries, and pet suppliesโ€” all without the added sales tax!

And remember to mark your calendars for the second round of Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, from August 24th to September 6th. ๐Ÿ“…

Stock up and stay safe, Florida!

ID: Graphic is a photo of a satellite weather map of Florida with a hurricane on the coast. There is a blue overlay that includes all the information shared above.

2024 Emergency Preparedness!

Our dedicated CIL staff have been actively engaging with our community over the past several months, attending various expos to spread awareness about the CIL and help individuals with disabilities prepare for emergencies.

๐ŸŒ€ Hamilton County Emergency Management Expo: Kevin and Claudia attended this event, sharing crucial information on how CILNCF can assist during emergencies. With about 50 attendees and 20 vendors, it was a great opportunity to connect with the community and provide essential resources.

๐ŸŒ€ Dixie County Family Fun & Hurricane Preparedness Expo: Sada and Kevin were on the ground, distributing information about CILNCF and connecting with local residents. The event saw an impressive turnout with 309 attendees and 51 organizations. They made valuable new partnerships and look forward to the next year’s event, which aims to grow even larger.

๐ŸŒ€ Hernando County Hurricane Expo: Kevin and Andrea represented us at this well-attended expo at Challenger K-8 School in Spring Hill on June 1st. With over 1,200 attendees and more than 70 vendors, it was an incredible day of outreach. Hereโ€™s a photo of Andrea providing CIL information to a participant!

For more information on how to stay prepared and to stay updated on the latest news, be sure to bookmark these links:

www.weather.gov
www.floridadisaster.com
www.FEMA.gov
www.ready.gov/hurricanes

We are committed to being present in our communities, helping individuals with disabilities be as prepared as possible before, during, and after an emergency. For questions of additional resources, reach out to CILNCF at:

Voice (352) 378-7474
VP (352) 240-3079

ID: There are 3 graphics in total. Each graphic reads, “Emergency Preparedness” on the top left corner and the CILNCF logo in white is displayed on the top right corner.
Graphic 1: has a blue background with a photo of Kevin at the CIL table. The bottom right corner reads, “Hamilton County Expo”
Graphic 2: has a bright green background with a photo of Kevin and Sada at the CIL table. The bottom right corner reads, “Dixie County Expo”
Graphic 3: has a purple background with a photo of Andrea at the CIL table. The bottom right corner reads, “Hernando County Expo”

Hernando County Expo!

We had a fantastic time at the Hernando County Hurricane Expo! Kevin and Andrea represented CILNCF, sharing invaluable information about our services and hurricane preparedness. The event, held at Challenger K-8 School in Spring Hill, had an incredible turnout with over 1,200 attendees and more than 70 vendors.

Hereโ€™s a snapshot of Andrea engaging with a participant, spreading awareness about how we can help our community be better prepared for hurricanes. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth and to Hernando County for hosting such a vital event!

ID: Graphic has a bright purple background with a photo in the center of Andrea standing behind the CILNCF table, engaging with a consumer who is looking at brochures on the other side of the table. The table has rows of brochures available for consumers to take. Next to the table is a CILNCF vertical banner.

May ILS Group Activities Recap!

In May, our Gainesville and Ocala ILS groups got creative for Motherโ€™s Day! We made beautiful Flower Cards using upcycled TP and paper towel rolls, paint, glue, and lots of love. These unique cards were left to dry and then taken home to surprise moms on Motherโ€™s Day.

Everyone had a blast with this project, and it was wonderful to see the smiles and anticipation as they prepared to give their handmade gifts to their moms. Thanks to all who participated and made this project a success!

ID: Graphic has a blue background with a collage of 5 photos from the ILS group activity. CIL staff Colleen is pictured with a CIL consumer in one of the photos; the consumer is working on her flower card that is laid out on a table with a red tablecloth. Two additional photos from CIL Ocala are shown with consumers working on their flower cards. Two photos from CIL Gainesville are shown with consumers smiling and working on their cards in the activity room.

Meet CIL Board Member Hannah!

Today, we wanted to highlight one of our wonderful CIL Board Members, Hannah McArdle! Hannah has served proudly on our board for 2 years and weโ€™re so appreciative of her dedication to the Center and our consumers. Additionally, she serves as the Human Services Program Consultant I at the Division of Blind Services, Florida Department of Education. We are so thankful for her volunteerism and support of the CIL. Please read below to learn a little more about Hannah!

1. Why did you choose to become a Board member for the CIL?
I wanted to make a difference in the lives of individuals like myself who live with disabilities. I also wanted to give back to the community.

2. What are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for my family. ๐Ÿ˜Š I recently got married and my husband and I have an 11 month old daughter who brings us so much joy. I am also grateful for my parents, extended family and friends. Their love and support has been paramount.

3. What is your favorite treat?
That would be a tie between cheese cake and chocolate moose cake! Yum! ๐Ÿ˜Š

4. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I will share an experience from when I was in middle school at Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. In honor of Ray Charles after his passing in 2004, myself along with other middle school students from FSDB were invited to sing along to America the Beautiful live on the field at Superbowl 39. We sang along-side Alicia Keys and the deaf students signed the words. Definitely a once in a life time opportunity. Ray Charles also attended FSDB and this performance was a tribute to his life after he passed away.

ID: The picture shows a selfie portrait of Hannah. Hannah appears to be a young woman with a gentle smile. She has long, wavy medium blonde hair styled to cascade over her shoulders. Her makeup is subtle, enhancing her features, which include clear skin and light blue eyes. She is wearing a black top layered with a blue cardigan, which is only partially visible. She accessorizes with a delicate necklace. The photo was taken indoors with the background softly blurred. There is a purple and green background behind Hannah’s photo.

Governor’s Hurricane Conference

Exciting News from the CIL at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference! ๐ŸŒŸ

Kevin Towles, representing CILNCF & FILC, recently joined forces with other CIL’s at the 38th Governor’s Hurricane Conference. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the incredible work we do in our respective areas! ๐Ÿ’ช

Collaborating with CIL’s from CIL of South Florida, Disability Resource Center, DisAbility Solutions For Independent Living, Inc., and Center For Independent Living Of The Gulf Coast, we highlighted our unique contributions and connected with representatives from diverse regions.

This collaboration is opening doors in new areas, allowing us to expand our impact and support for individuals with disabilities. Together, we’re making strides toward a more inclusive and resilient community!

ID: There are 4 graphics, each with a blue background with a photo in the center. Above the top left of the photo reads, “Governor’s Hurricane Conference” and below the photo on the bottom right reads, “CILNCF & FILC”. The CILNCF logo in white is displayed on the top right of each graphic.
Photo #1: Kevin with FILC members in front of the FILC booth
Photo #2: Kevin and Lindsey representing CILNCF and AgrAbility at the conference from their booth
Photo #3: a group photo of CIL and FILC enjoying lunch out at a restaurant
Photo #4: A group photo of CILNCF and FILC at the conference

Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday!

๐ŸŒ€ Get ready for hurricane season with Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday! Starting June 1 through June 14, stock up on essentials like generators, batteries, and pet supplies without the added sales tax. A second round is set for August 24 to September 6.

Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website for a full list of suggested items: https://www.floridadisaster.org/kit

Stay prepared and stay safe, Florida!

ID: Graphic is a photo of emergency supplies with a blue overlay that includes all the information shared above.

Memorial Day: Honoring Our Fallen Heros

Today, we pause to remember and honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Their courage and dedication ensure our freedom and safety, and we are forever grateful for their sacrifice.

As we commemorate this special day, we also recognize the strength and resilience of veterans with disabilities who continue to inspire us with their unwavering spirit. At The CIL, we are committed to supporting these heroes and providing resources and programs that empower them to live fulfilling, independent lives.

Join us in paying tribute to our fallen heroes and supporting those who have returned home with disabilities. Letโ€™s come together to ensure they receive the respect, care, and opportunities they deserve.

How You Can Help:

๐Ÿ’™ Donate: Your contributions enable us to offer essential services and support to veterans with disabilities.

๐Ÿ’™ Volunteer: Join our community of dedicated volunteers making a difference in the lives of our heroes.

๐Ÿ’™ Spread Awareness: Share this post and help us reach more people who can join our mission.

Thank you for honoring those who have given so much for our freedom. Wishing you all a safe and meaningful Memorial Day!

ID: Graphic had a navy blue background. On the right is a watercolor drawing of a flower with red petals and a green stem. A watercolor American Flag is displayed on the bottom left corner; underneath the flag reads, “Memorial Day” in bold white text. Directly under this text reads, “Remember & Honor”. A thin red line runs directly under the text.