Join EPIP St. Louis at Bloom Café for a lunch and learn about the Independent Living Movement and Disability Rights! We will be hearing from Paraquad President & CEO Aimee Wehmeier during lunch at the Bloom Café. The Bloom Café is a recently opened social enterprise of Paraquad, the Disability Rights Experts, designed to help people with disabilities prepare for employment. This is a great opportunity to support a unique social enterprise while learning about a social justice movement.
You may view Bloom Café’s menu here. Attendees will be responsible for their own lunch and EPIP St. Louis will provide dessert!
About the Speaker: Aimee Wehmeier
Aimee Wehmeier serves as president and chief executive officer of Paraquad, Inc., member of the Missouri State Rehabilitation Council; Diversity Awareness Partnership; the Regional Chamber of Commerce; Fontbonne University College of Education & Allied Health Professions Advisory Board; Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy Academic Advisory Board; and MO Better Foundation Advisory Committee. A recipient of the 2010 Governor’s Council on Disabilities Inclusion Award and the 2015 St. Louis Business Journal Diverse Business Leaders’ Award, Aimee has been described as “the face of disability.” She has a passion for public policy, advocacy, and increasing opportunities for people with disabilities. Employment and economic self-sufficiency are her highest priorities. Aimee joined Missouri Foundation for Health’s Community Advisory Council in 2015. She most recently was elected as a member of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council Board of Directors
Bloom Café serves a fresh take on casual dining while helping people with disabilities grow their independence through a unique job training program.
The History of Independent Living
The Independent Living (IL) movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970s when society was in the midst of a growing civil rights movement. Ed Roberts, one of the founders of the IL movement, was denied admission to the University of California at Berkeley because of his disability. He challenged that decision and won, but was forced to live in a medical facility on campus . Fighting against the restrictions and the perception of being sick, Ed worked with other students to organize practical supports, such as accessible housing and personal assistant services. This allowed them to live on their own. Hearing of their success, many people contacted them for information and support. In 1972, the first Center for Independent Living (CIL) was formed in Berkeley.
The Independent Living Philosophy
The philosophy of independent living holds to principles that contrast the IL model with the traditional rehabilitation model. In the IL model, the society with barriers and negative attitudes toward disability is the problem and in need of change, rather than the individual with a disability. The IL movement has fostered a particular definition of independence: “Independence is the ability to control one’s own life by making responsible choices from acceptable options.” To ensure “acceptable options” exist and prevent inappropriate institutionalization, CILs offer a variety of services, called the five core services: advocacy, independent living, information and referral, peer consultation and transition.
August 08, 2018 at 11:30am - 1pm
Central Time (US & Canada)
Rachel D'Souza-Siebert D’SOUZA-Siebert
Tori Umstattd Cope