Annette Seabury, the AT Specialist for FREED Center for Independent Living (FREED), was kind enough to share this success story about a community member named Pauline who needed support to go hiking with her family. We at Where It’s AT were excited to see community members using AT to get out on the trail, and hope that our recently published Everyone Out and Hitting the Trail Blog might help others who want to follow Pauline’s trail.
Pauline, a consumer with a disability, came to FREED with her daughter, Lauretta and met with AT Specialist, Annette Seabury to discuss mobility options. Pauline is a consumer with mobility limitations and early stages of dementia causing further mobility and fall risk concerns. She wanted to go with her family to Yosemite and recognized her limitations and asked for help from her daughter, Lauretta, and FREED.
When Pauline and Lauretta arrived at the FREED office, Pauline was very eager to try all the different options we had set out to demonstrate with her. She walked through the office with 2 different 4-wheel walkers from the DLDC as well as 2 from FREED’s re-use program. Based on the various demonstrations Pauline experienced at FREED, she ultimately chose one from FREED’s re-use program because it was, “newer and pretty” and the brakes felt good to her. She also asked about borrowing a wheelchair for “long hauls in Yosemite”. FREED had several to choose from out of the re-use program and after sitting in 3 variations of wheelchairs, she chose one that felt the most comfortable. As we sat down to fill out paperwork Pauline kept repeating how grateful she was for all the help she was receiving. She asked if she had to return the devices right when she got back from her trip or if she could keep them for a while. I explained our policies and again, she was incredibly thankful and appreciative of all the time I spent with her as well as FREED’s services. Her daughter, Lauretta, emailed me this photo of the family in Yosemite at Half Dome expressing her thanks for all we do.
FREED Center for Independent Living (FREED) provides AT services with “the purpose [being] to let people know about the available options in AT, and to support people in learning how to use AT.” In addition, they have a robust reuse program that provides gently used devices for free to their consumers, they operate a Device Lending and Demonstration Center (DLDC) where people can learn about specific devices and even borrow them for a short time to try them out in-home and they are also a Voice Options provider, supplying iPads with communication software to individuals with speech-based disabilities. FREED serves Colusa, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter & Yuba Counties.