Independent Living


Just because someone may have a disability doesn’t mean they can’t make the most of their lives. That’s the purpose of a local organization, and they have a new way of helping people do that.

Dano Lash loved to create art when he was a child, now that he’s an adult, he’s gone back to those artistic roots. He and several other clients of the Independent Living Center of Joplin come out to the Spiva Center for the Arts for that very reason.

“We had this showing of our works called “The Walls” at the Independent Living Center and I was invited by a lady here at the Center to come join as a working artist,” says Dano Lash, Independent Living Center client.

So how did he, someone with a traumatic brain injury, and the rest of his friends, with a host of other conditions, get there? Thanks to their brand new ride.

“Brand new 15 passenger Ford Transit Van, and we got it obviously because we want to improve our transportation within the community with our consumers and non consumers as well,” says Ali O’Dell, Independent Living Center.

Thanks to a fundraising event as well as a few generous donations from community members, the center has a new transport vehicle. O’Dell says it can carry more passengers in more comfort than the model it replaced. And when it’s not taking people to Spiva, or fishing, or other events, it’s used to help take them to doctors appointments.

In addition to upgrading their transportation capabilities, the Center has also greatly expanded their line of durable medical equipment. She says the center carries or can order all types of items to help keep people independent and on the go, and usually at or near cost.

“We want people to understand that they can come to us for walkers, toilet risers, canes, of course stuff like that, we’re just trying to spread that word a little bit more,” says Ali O’Dell.

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