EOCIL provides information and referral for a variety of disability-related issues. EOCIL has assisted individuals by showing them where to go to get a wheelchair; helped them find accessible housing; and provided information on disability-related laws and civil rights issues affecting people with disabilities. These services are provided to individuals with disabilities, businesses, schools, state and local government, and others free of charge. Contact EOCIL for further information.
Individuals with disabilities who have received training provide assistance to other individuals with disabilities. The peer support can be one-on-one or in groups. The purpose is to identify barriers to independent living and to work together to eliminate these barriers. For example, an individual who has been in an auto accident and now uses a wheelchair may experience depression and feel less valuable to his/her family or community. Someone who already uses a wheelchair and lives independently can assist the new chair-user with rediscovering self-worth and personal value to family and community.
Past clients have shared that this is the most valuable service EOCIL provides. EOCIL’s goal is to help individuals to feel good about themselves and accomplish their dreams.
EOCIL provides training and support to assist individuals to live independently. This may include training with budgeting, cleaning, meal preparation and shopping, identifying the need for and planning appointments, taking a bus, and learning to supervise homecare workers.
Some persons may be learning these skills for the first time; others may be relearning them as a result of a newly acquired disability or other condition. For example, an individual who recently experienced a logging accident and now lives with a brain injury must relearn how to plan a meal. The person may need to relearn to write a shopping list, budget and shop for the food needed, and prepare the meal.
EOCIL will refer people to other community service programs that offer the services the individual with disabilities is seeking. When other community service programs are not available, EOCIL will provide the training.
Individual and systems advocacy are central to EOCIL's mission. Individual advocacy is delivered through direct services as described in a client’s Independent Living Plan or in self-directed goals; systems advocacy is provided through the staff, volunteers and board of directors of EOCIL.
Individual advocacy can be assisting a person who feels they have been discriminated against with identifying action steps to follow to resolve the issue, training on self-empowerment and responsibility, or requesting an accommodation that enhances participation and independence. An example of individual advocacy would be providing training that would empower an individual with a hearing-impairment to request a listening device — reasonable accommodation — at a movie theater.
Systems advocacy issues include, but are not limited to, equal opportunities for housing, transportation, employment, access to community activities and public services. Systems advocacy is attempting to ensure that law, regulations, programs and services protect the civil and human rights of all individuals.
This is a powerful tool because it changes systems, which affect everyone who has a disability today or will in the future.
EOCIL has formed an access committee composed of clients, board members, staff and other community members to identify system barriers that prevent participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life and to collectively work together to alleviate those barriers.
The access committee is responsible for:
- identifying and alleviating system barriers;
- recognizing businesses that promote full participation of men, women and young adults with disabilities (Community Access Award Project); and
- organizing an annual ADA celebration day.
EOCIL’s access committee is actively recruiting individuals from our 13-county service area: Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler Counties to serve a two-year term.
EOCIL has been a vital link for people wanting to move from parent housing, group home living, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities into the community. By providing the five core services and assistance in obtaining accessible housing and Personal Assistant Services (PAS), EOCIL has enabled many individuals with disabilities to leave custodial care for independence every year and have assisted hundreds more to stay out of nursing homes and remain in the community. EOCIL also assists young people with school-to-work transitioning.
EOCIL assists persons with significant physical, sensory, cognitive or mental disabilities, their families and the Eastern Oregon community at large to become aware of and to use services and options available to them in their community.
Significant disability means a severe physical, mental, cognitive or sensory impairment that substantially limits an individual's ability to function independently in the family or community or to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment and for whom the delivery of Independent Living services will improve the ability to function, continue functioning or move toward functioning independently in the family or community or to continue employment. There are no restrictions based on disability, age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or veteran status.
A disability could be:
- Physical, orthopedic
- Learning disability
- Developmental disability
- Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties (ADD or ADHD)
- Brain injury caused by accident or stroke
- Blindness or nearsightedness
- Deafness or being hard of hearing
- Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or environmental illness (EI)
If you are not certain or think you might not qualify, contact any EOCIL staff member.
There is no direct fee required to obtain services. If you are receiving services from an agency that contracts with EOCIL and you are interested in working with us, please feel free to arrange a free pre-service interview with an independent living specialist to determine your needs.
Note: If you live with MCS or EI, you may request an intake meeting for services in a self-identified safe environment by calling an EOCIL service coordinator or the center director.
EOCIL provides individualized services at its three office locations:
- In Ontario:
Postal Box 940
1021 SW 5th Avenue
Ontario, Oregon 97914
Voice: (541) 889-3119
711 relay service: 711
Fax: (541) 889-4647
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment. If no one answers the phone, please do leave a message. We really want to hear from you!
- In Pendleton:
322 SW 3rd Street
Pendleton, Oregon 97801-2174
Voice: (541) 276-1037
711 relay service: 711
Fax: (541) 276-1125
- In The Dalles:
Columbia Gorge Community College
400 East Scenic Drive, Building 2, 3rd Floor, Suite 2.382
The Dalles, Oregon 97058
Voice: (541) 370-2810
Fax: (541) 296-1471
711 relay service: 711
In addition, EOCIL staff travel through each county, meeting with individuals and providing services. Individuals seeking services should contact the nearest office to schedule an appointment in their community or contact EOCIL via Web.
To access services from EOCIL, please provide the following information or any information that you are comfortable with. All information provided will be kept confidential.
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