Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Consumer?
A Consumer is a person with a significant disability who agrees to accept the services of the Access Independence (AI) by participating in an intake process consisting of:
- An intake interview with an employee of AI in initiate and document the individual’s status as a Consumer;
- Development of an Independent Living Plan (ILP) with appropriate goals, or signing a waiver of an ILP; and
- Completion of other appropriate documents: voter registration, Client Assistance Program, etc
What is an Independent Living Plan?
A Consumer has the right to develop an Independent Living Plan (ILP) that sets goals for the Consumer to reach independence. The ILP is Consumer driven and AI staff will only act in an assistive role in this process. Once a Consumer learns about the services offered by the Center, the consumer has the right to develop goals that she or he would like to achieve. Goals will include actions steps and identify roles and responsibilities of Consumer and staff. An ILP includes a Consumer/Staff Agreement that both people sign to ensure that both will work together on these established goals.
Am I required to complete an Independent Living Plan to receive services?
No, the Consumer has the right to sign an ILP waiver that states you would like to delay creating an ILP at this time. If you choose not to complete an ILP, you may still participate in services and this will be documented in your Consumer Service Record.
What does Consumer Control and Consumer Driven mean?
Access Independence (AI) is a Consumer controlled and Consumer driven organization. This means the Center gets Consumer input on what services are being provided and direction on how AI is operated. Consumers are also involved with governing Board of Directors via Consumer Advisory Council.
Will the staff keep my information confidential?
The Center staff is advised that all information gained or shared, either directly or indirectly, about Consumers is private and shall remain confidential. Consumer Services Records (CSR) are kept in a locked file cabinet to ensure confidentiality. Only Access Independence (AI) staff and representatives of funding sources have access to the CSR’s. Consumers have the right to review their file at any time. Consumers may request in writing to have AI release copies of its records. No information shall be released to a third party unless a Release of Information form is signed by a Consumer giving such permission. Confidentiality may not be breached except in the following circumstances: 1) when the Consumer poses imminent danger to him/herself or others, 2) when abuse or neglect is suspected, 3) court order, or 4) in certain situations as a result of a subpoena.
How do I become eligible for service?
Information and Referral services are available to anyone calling or writing Access Independence (AI) . For other services, recipients must possess a significant disability, have a record of possessing a significant disability or be regarded as possessing a significant disability. With permission of the Consumer, family members, employers, employees, coworkers, landlords, and friends of Consumers may receive services of an advocacy or training nature which will directly assist the Consumer. Services will be provided to or on behalf of a Consumer only with his or her permission. Consumers must live in the 7 county region served by AI.
Can I be suspended from services?
A Consumer may be suspended from utilizing Access Independence (AI) program and from receiving personal services. Justificaiton for suspension will be put in writing and the Executive Director will make the final decision. A Consumer will always be referred to another agency that might help the Consumer. When, in the judgment of the Executive Director, the situation has been satisfactorily resolved, AI may continue to provide services.
Who do I contact if I have a complaint about the Center?
The following procedures have been developed for Consumers who are not satisfied with Access Independence services or staff:
Discuss the matter directly with the staff member that you feel is not assisting you.
If not satisfied, then submit a written or taped statement of your grievance to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will make a decision within two weeks.
If still not satisfied, you can submit a written statement/tape to the Board of Directors who will make a final decision within one month.
Consumers may also file a complaint with the Client Assistance Program (CAP). You may contact CAP at the following address or phone:
State of Connecticut
Office of Protection & Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
Client Assistance Program
60B Weston St., Hartford, CT. 06120
(800) 843-7303 (voice/TTY)
Consumers can access any of these options at any time.
Would my group be able to use the Center for a monthly meeting?
Access Independence (AI) offers the use of its building to disability related organizations for meetings, classes, or social functions. To ensure security is maintained, an AI staff member must be present at all times when the office is in use.