Yolanda Bolden, MOBILE Columbus, Ohio

August 08, 2023

Video Transcript

Yolanda Bolden

Mid-Ohio Board for an Independent Living Environment (MOBILE)

Good morning. My name is Yolanda Bolden. I am Interim Executive Director of Mid-Ohio Board for Independent Living Environment, also known as MOBILE Independent Living Center, which is one of many centers for independent living here in the state of Ohio. And I would like to share just a little bit about independent living and what it means to me and what is done for me. So for MOBILE Independent Living Center, that's the center that I actually started out with as a consumer when I was in need of training, being a person with a new disability, not knowing if I would ever work again, not knowing if I would be able to go out in the community and do things as a person with a disability, a paraplegic in a wheelchair after 33 years of life, not having a disability. I thought my world was over until I found MOBILE, MOBILE, not only assisted me to live independent as a consumer, providing me with peer support IL skills training, information and referrals, helping me advocate for myself. The many services that they provided, I was able to utilize every single one of them and getting to the point of where I am today. In 2006 to 2008, I was blessed to be employed by the independent living center as a receptionist and even as a receptionist, I was and am still a consumer and still utilized the independent living services of MOBILE. And again, we have many, many centers for independent living here in the state of Ohio. Just look up the closest one to you. If there are services that they do not provide that you need, they'll still be able to guide you to whatever you need to do to remain and live independent and successfully in your community. Um So from 2006 to 2014, I had to take off for a while due to illness. In 2014, I was able to return back to MOBILE as the receptionist. Um And then 2018, I was blessed to take over the administrative assistant position at MOBILE and in May of 2023. I am now the Interim Executive Director of um but all the services that they provide are just awesome and they allowed me to make it to where I am today. They assisted me with beginning to get custody of my grandchildren, you know, provided me the encouragement the means and a way to be able to still be employed and still take care of them in order for us all to live independent in the community because they all have their mental health diagnosis as well. So I have a physical disability and they have mental disabilities. Um So I like to say that we're both raising each other and learning how to live independent in this world. Um So the bottom line is if you think you can't work, you think you can't raise kids have a family, you think you can't go places, you can't travel, you can't do things with other people without a disability. You can do anything possible if you go to do something and it's not a disability accessible. You know, there's ways to go about that to, to change the norm, to make things more accessible for people to live independent in the community. So never give up on anything that you want to do your dreams, anything you can do it and live independent in your community, independent living philosophy is the way to go. And as long as you got that mindset to achieve living your life, you can do it in your community as independently as possible. And if not center for independent living, I think people will have a harder time to go in achieving that goal. So call one of the many centers in Ohio closest to you, as I stated before. If the centers don't have the resources, the means and the way for you to achieve your independent living goal, they'll guide you to the right place. Thank you and give us a visit 1829 East Long Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43203. MOBILE Independent Living center. And you all have a wonderful day. Independent living is what we do. We are independent living.

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