A local non-profit that serves persons with disabilities received a large grant for the second year in a row to help assist against domestic violence. The Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living recently received a $25 thousand grant to continue their Deaf Wings program.
Executive Director Peggy Davidsmeyer outlines how the grant will be used. “It will be used to support the continuation of a program that we started to work against domestic violence particularly in the deaf community of women. The two ladies that are involved in this program have been trained and are assisting individuals who are victims or have been victims of domestic violence in the past. Last year was a building year. We did a lot of the training. We worked with the Jacksonville Police Department. The women also did training sessions for interpreters. We trained interpreters while they are in trauma.”
The Deaf Wings program, as it is called, looks to grow this year. Davidsmeyer talks about the potential of the program. “We are going to improve our communication system so that we can get deaf-to-deaf advocacy going when someone is a victim of domestic violence. We will also provide additional training to the advocates that we have who have received training last year to ensure that they stay up-to-date. We will begin support groups with individuals who have been victim of domestic violence, and beginning the process of furthering what [the program] needs to do and exploring what we need to do so this very important program can continue in Jacksonville.”
Davidsmeyer said that anyone who would like to get in touch with the Deaf Wings program can do so by contacting JACIL’s office at 245-8371 or talk to advocates with the Jacksonville Police Department or Passavant Area Hospital.
Davidsmeyer also pointed out the fact that JACIL has now received the grant two years in a row from Sangamon County’s Community Foundation Women For Women Program. “This is a Sangamon County organization. We are the first organization outside of Sangamon County to receive grant money from them. To get the grant two years in a row is pretty exceptional.”
Women For Women’s Giving Circle put out calls for applications in February for this grant. They received applications for over 30 agencies asking for nearly $831,000. JACIL was 1 of only 2 agencies to receive reward money in 2019. JACIL is the only organization based outside of Sangamon County to receive the grant in the program’s decade of existence.