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About Community Access Center

Welcome to the Community Access Center (CAC) Web Site, an Independent Living Center.  Community Access Center is a non-profit organization; one of 29 similar programs throughout the state of California.  CAC is a community resource, advocate, and educator for Riverside County residents with disabilities.

CAC has achieved community recognition and has substantially expanded its services since its establishment. As a result of our efforts, a Branch Office opened in 1997 in Indio with funding from the Department of Education, to serve the Coachella Valley region of Riverside County.  This was in response to the needs of residents in this rural area, especially the parents of children with disabilities who do not speak English.  This office has had a large impact on that under-served region of the County.

The mountain pass region is now receiving independent living services at the CAC satellite office in Banning/Beaumont, which was opened in October 1999.

As an independent living center, the agency is structured by the following principles:

  • Organizational policies and programs are developed, directed, and delivered primarily by persons with disabilities;
  • Services are provided on a cross-disability basis; and the Agency operates as a non-residential, non-profit organization.

The composition of the Center's staff and Board of Directors is diverse and reflects the principle of consumer control.  The Board of Directors consists of 10 members and reflect the diversity of the community we serve. CAC has 30 employees.  They also reflect the diversity of the community we serve and 87% have disabilities.  Their disabilities include sensory, mobility, psychiatric, developmental disabilities, chronic disease, and multiple disabilities. In addition, the agency has four advisory committees, 70% of whom have disabilities or are the parents of children with disabilities.  These advisory committees are Riverside Services, Indio Services, Parents of Children with Disabilities, and Assistive Technology.  Each group meets quarterly.  Membership is opened to the public and anyone interested should call the Program Managers: Faustino Alvarez in the City of Riverside (951) 274-0358 or Reginald Heron in Indio (760) 568-9301.

The principle of cross-disability service delivery is confirmed through analysis of Community Access Center's (CAC) current consumer base.  In this program year, CAC has served 580 consumers at the three offices.  The distribution of disabilities as reported by the consumers include 44% individuals with physical disabilities, 16% with mental disabilities, 21% sensory disabilities (visual and hearing impaired), and 19% cognitive disabilities.  This includes developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.  2% of the consumers served reported having multiple disabilities.

Compliance with the third governing principle is evidenced through the Center's observation of the criteria established for tax exempt nonprofit agencies and defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Incorporated in early 1995, the Community Access Center received its first AB204/SSR allocation in November of that same year.  In over the 14 years of operation, the agency has become a recognized presence in Riverside County.

Community Access Center has gained the support of many organizations and individuals in the community.  As a result of our efforts, a Branch Office opened in 1997 to serve the desert region of Riverside County.  This office has had a large impact on that under-served region of the County.  The mountain pass region is now receiving independent living services at the CAC satellite office in Banning/Beaumont, which was opened in October 1999.  The service area of Community Access Center is the County of Riverside. Approximately 7,300 square miles in size, this area includes both urban and rural communities.

Riverside County currently ranks third of the most rapidly growing county populations in the state, having averaged 2.8% annual growth in the years from 1990 to 1996 and is the most rapidly growing county in the southern half of the state.  It is also one of the largest counties in the state.  Among Southern California counties, Riverside County ranks first in population growth with a forecast average annual growth rate of 3.7% in the years 1996 to 2000.  There was an 82% growth in the number of residents in the decade between 1983 and 1993.  The estimated number of county residents with disabilities exceeds 190,000 persons.

The need for independent living services in Riverside County was defined by the Department of Rehabilitation in a State Independent Living Plan adopted in 1986.  Funds were initially provided to the Dayle MacIntosh Center, an independent living center in Orange County, to operate a branch office in Riverside.  At that time, consumers were assisted to acquire and use adaptive devices or equipment and were assessed to fulfill their unmet independent living needs and referred to the Department of Rehabilitation's Independent Living Resource Specialist for support services.  Requests from consumers for extended services were numerous.  Within months of the establishment of the branch office, additional funding was given to provide core independent living services to consumers in Riverside County.

At a public hearing in San Bernardino held by the State independent Living Council on June 15, 1995, local residents confirmed the need for an independent living center exclusive to the area.  The Department of Rehabilitation issued a Request for Proposal in order to fund the establishment of such an agency and the Community Access Center was selected as the grantee.


COMMUNITY ACCESS CENTER'S
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President Mark Dyer
Vice President Janet Newcomer
Secretary Perry Halteman
Treasurer Chuck Reutter
Board Member Ernesto Vazquez
Board Member Leslie Robinson
Board Member Doreen Ferko
Board Member Raymond Kirk


We Advocate for you!

Investigation of discrimination claims and mediation on behalf of people with disabilities in order to resolve conflicts that impede the attainment of needed benefits and services.


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Copyright 2012 Community Access Center
Last modified: 04/24/13