Yolanda Bolden, MOBILE in Columbus, Ohio

August 23, 2023

Video Transcript

Why are Centers for Independent Living important?

Hi, my name is Yolanda Bolden. I am interim executive director of Mid-Ohio Board for an Independent Living Environment, also known as MOBILE Independent Living. And some of you may know us as MOBILE disability resource center. I have been with MOBILE for over the past 16 years, I started out as a consumer, went to the volunteer, uh got hired on as the receptionist and just recently started the position of administrative assistant, not so recent in 2018 and most recently may 2023 in her own director of Mobile and MOBILE means a lot to me to be able to provide advocacy, peer support, um independent living skills classes, advocating for people, assisting people to pay their rent utilities, helping them sign up for whatever doctors they may need different things like that. It's all a part of independent living and that is what we do. I like to say that we are independent living because having a disability, I not only work for mobile but I also utilize um the services that they have. And without MOBILE, I would not be where I am today. So it is a dream for me to come in every day and provide the same services to our consumers, even those that are not our consumers, just those that may even need just information and referrals. It's a blessing to be able to assist them to live as independently as possible in their communities being the person that's utilized the services myself. I mean, it's awesome. It's provided me the opportunity to do job training to work at a wonderful place that I consider a career because some people consider their places just a job because they don't love what they do. But I do, I love helping people advocate for themselves, helping them finding out the resources that they need in order to achieve their goals in this world. You know, and even as a consumer, you know, independent living is what makes it possible for me to be able to raise four grandchildren, having full custody of those grandchildren and being able to provide for them and do things that they, they need to do to live independent in the community because they have their mental health challenges as well. So independent living is what it's all about. So be a part of the independent living philosophy, whether you're a person with a disability or not, because even without a disability, you can help that person with a disability, achieve their goals and live independently. You may be surprised the person with a disability may be able to help you achieve your goals and you live even more independently just because that's what they do, don't give up on life. You can work, you can go to school, you can participate in activities, you can raise Children, you can do whatever you put your mind to with a disability. And if you are a person with a new disability, get connected to your center for independent living that is closest to you here in Ohio. And there are many of them. If the centers cannot help you to achieve your goals to live as independently as possible, the Centers will get you to the right place of where you need to be, what better place to go. There's somebody that already has a disability that has been where you are, you know, that has done the things that you're trying to achieve who best to cut out that middle man and give you the exact answer that you need to live. The independent living philosophy, but centers for independent living, they're awesome. That's all I can say is that they are awesome and without centers for independent living, I think the independent living life and philosophy that so many people believe in would not be achieved, independent living, independent living, independent living, independent living. It is all I can keep saying over and over again because it's possible it's achievable. You just have to believe and want to get out there to do it because I know you can now, you know, you can, so let's go live that independent living life.

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