That's My IL

What does “That’s My IL” mean? It means something different to each person who comes through our doors. IL philosophy values dignity, resourcefulness, and freedom of choice for all people with disabilities. The way someone overcomes barriers to living independently is a core part of what “That’s My IL” stands for. It is the personal journey that leads someone to becoming more independent, examples include: learning how to use the public transit system, advocating for personal needs, requesting an accommodation at work, or getting an accessible apartment. That’s My IL stories are here to celebrate the strength of ingenuity that lives in the disability world.

Do you have a story to share? Call Independence, Inc., at 701-839-4724.

Brittney Hogan


Gaining my Independence 
  
At the age of 21, when most young adults are in college and applying for their future careers, I was applying for Social Security Disability. I was born with a form of Muscular Dystrophy called CMT. It affects the nerve signals that control muscle movements causing weakness and muscle loss. At that point I felt as if I would have no hope at working again and I felt lost.
Luckily for me, unlike many others, I found an organization in my hometown that had my back the entire time and made me feel like I was not alone. Independence, Inc. was there for me when I needed help applying for Disability. Through their Information and Referral program, I was able to learn the best way to start the long process. When I needed to find required documents, they knew which ones were best—making an extremely stressful process easier.
During this time, I was also blessed to find support in my local Vocational Rehabilitation center, allowing me to take college classes online. But to graduate, I was required to do a one-semester internship. As someone who had recently gone on Social Security Disability, I was frightened. But I knew I had support through Independence, Inc. During my internship, Independence, Inc. did an accessibility survey of the location to help improve services to those with disabilities and help me make it a great place to work. I was able to start working there part-time while on Disability.
In 2013 I was asked to be a member of the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council by the Executive Director of Independence, Inc., Scott Burlingame. This was a changing moment in my life; now I had the opportunity to represent those living with disabilities in my own state. Over the next year, through encouragement from Independence Inc., I found employment that has allowed me to transition off of Social Security Disability.
Now at 25, I am the Executive Director of a non-profit in my hometown. I know it would not be possible if I had not made that first phone call to Independence, Inc.
 
  Brittney Photo.jpg
Brittney Hogan is the Executive Director of the Minot Public School Foundation and a member of the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council.
 


Brittney Hogan

Gaining my Independence 
  
At the age of 21, when most young adults are in college and applying for their future careers, I was applying for Social Security Disability. I was born with a form of Muscular Dystrophy called CMT. It affects the nerve signals that control muscle movements causing weakness and muscle loss. At that point I felt as if I would have no hope at working again and I felt lost.
Luckily for me, unlike many others, I found an organization in my hometown that had my back the entire time and made me feel like I was not alone. Independence, Inc. was there for me when I needed help applying for Disability. Through their Information and Referral program, I was able to learn the best way to start the long process. When I needed to find required documents, they knew which ones were best—making an extremely stressful process easier.
During this time, I was also blessed to find support in my local Vocational Rehabilitation center, allowing me to take college classes online. But to graduate, I was required to do a one-semester internship. As someone who had recently gone on Social Security Disability, I was frightened. But I knew I had support through Independence, Inc. During my internship, Independence, Inc. did an accessibility survey of the location to help improve services to those with disabilities and help me make it a great place to work. I was able to start working there part-time while on Disability.
In 2013 I was asked to be a member of the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council by the Executive Director of Independence, Inc., Scott Burlingame. This was a changing moment in my life; now I had the opportunity to represent those living with disabilities in my own state. Over the next year, through encouragement from Independence Inc., I found employment that has allowed me to transition off of Social Security Disability.
Now at 25, I am the Executive Director of a non-profit in my hometown. I know it would not be possible if I had not made that first phone call to Independence, Inc.
 
  Brittney Photo.jpg
Brittney Hogan is the Executive Director of the Minot Public School Foundation and a member of the North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council.
 




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