Alliance Center for Independence Interview
Fortified Roofing, local roofers from Levittown, New Jersey, recently started a new local project with the goal to promote non-governmental and non-profit organizations from New Jersey. We’ll be sharing several short interviews so more people can find out about their presence and work. In the following interview, read about The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) who supports people with disabilities through different educational programs and many useful activities.
The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI)… they love to meet new people and are always looking for more volunteers, so if you have any drive and will, joining their community could be a great mutual experience!
- What do you do exactly?
The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) recognizes disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. ACI is a 501(c)(3) community-based, a grassroots organization that supports and promotes independent living for people with disabilities in Middlesex, Union, and Somerset counties in New Jersey.
ACI provides information and referral services and develops and implements educational programs and innovative activities that promote activism, peer support, health and wellness, employment and independent living skills for people with disabilities and their allies.
- Why do you do that?
ACI supports the philosophy of independent living for all persons with disabilities.
Any fun moments to share?
Our staff is serious about helping individuals with disabilities live independent lives but the ACI staff is a family that likes to have fun while working to assist our community. Check out our Facebook page and our other social media links on our homepage to see some of the fun that goes on at ACI. ACI has a painted pet turtle named Carly!
- What was one of the hardest or toughest moments you had to deal with?
ACI struggles with funding. Increased funding would help us to expand our programs and services. We welcome anyone who wants to fundraise for us!
- What separates you from the rest? Why you?
ACI assists people with ALL disabilities and all ages. We do not have waiting lists and most of our programs are free of charge. We are a small staff and can provide individual assistance.
Is there a reason you couldn’t join a similar existing organization? Are they not skilled or professional enough to address the problems you had to face?
ACI is a grassroots organization that has a small dedicated staff of individuals (most with disabilities) that work very hard to make sure people who use our services receive the assistance that they are looking for. We are one of 11 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state and over 400 nation-wide. ACI provides 6 core services: Independent Living Skills, Peer Support, Systems and Individual Advocacy, Information and Referral, Transition Services from High School and Transition from nursing homes into the community.
We also provide social recreation events and volunteer opportunities for young adults. ACI provides pre-employment instruction through referrals from the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
We have presentations and workshops that cover independent living instruction and also other interesting topics such as history, health and wellness, emergency preparedness and many more. ACI promotes voting and voter education among people with disabilities through the REV UP NJ chapter (part of the national REV UP movement.) We teach advocacy skills through workshops, peer groups and one on one training.
ACI has a small food pantry run by people with disabilities and serving people with disabilities and their families in Middlesex County.
- Do you have any upcoming events for this year?
To see what we have going on at any moment, visit our website and social media!
ACI is the proud host and organizer of the NJ Disability Pride Parade and Celebration which is held the 1st Friday in October in Trenton, NJ. The celebration features an array of artists, singers, dancers, musicians all who are disabled. We just celebrated our 7th parade!
We would love to meet more people in our community and welcome volunteers! Please stop by our Edison office at 629 Amboy Avenue and