April 2024

Empowering people with disabilities to lead independent and inclusive lives in the community.

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A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

This is the first time in my tenure at CILO that I am dedicating my monthly message to something of a personal nature, and I thank you for allowing me to do so.


Over the past few months, I have been dealing with issues related to my vision and overall ocular health. It has been a large challenge for me as I found it necessary to make adaptations to my daily routine, and I have had to depend on so many other people to help me get through my daily tasks. I am most grateful for the assistance of the excellent staff here at CILO, and for the support of my family and friends. I am proud to be the father of two fine young men who have been a tremendous help to me.


Living through this experience has given me the opportunity to experience first-hand what some consumers with vision loss may encounter their entire life. My new routine includes seeking curb cuts, contrast markers on steps, and listening for certain cues. I am unable to drive and have learned to navigate public transportation. I have a new appreciation for the audio description for my TV and computer. And as you might imagine, this list goes on and on.


What has been most meaningful to me has been learning about the various accessibility features of my iPhone. The one feature that has helped me the most is that my e-mail can be voice translated to me. I now have a better understanding of what accessibility is, and the challenges people with disabilities can experience. While I am thankful that this is only a temporary situation for me, through this experience I have developed a deeper respect for people with permanent disabilities and their need for accommodation.


As the Executive Director, I am thankful for the technology and applications I have found to assist me in my everyday work. In fact, this very article was created by voice dictation translated to text rather than by typing on a keyboard. Who would have ever thought that we would be able to do this! 


I would enjoy hearing your stories about your experiences or about people you know who are visually impaired and how they go about reaching their independent living goals. Please feel free to contact me by email or by phone at 513-338-5100. Learn about Low Vision Awareness.


Thank you again for allowing me this opportunity to share my experience. I wish you and your families a joyful April and season of growth.


Rob Festenstein

Executive Director


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Join us for PigAbilities at noon on Saturday, May 4th! Just select Center for Independent Living when you register. Registered participant shirts and packets will be available at CILO during the week of April 29th!

A few of our staff had the pleasure of visiting New Life Furniture Bank today. Thanks to Dana Saxton, CEO for the invitation and to Jill Keefe, Client Services Manager, for the tour. With over 3200 furniture deliveries in 2023, and a projected 3800 in 2024, they are always looking for gently used furniture and household items.

Learn more Furniture Donation Pick Up - New Life Furniture Bank (nlfurniture.org)

Shown in photo, Kyle Dixon, CILO's Director of Finance; Jill Keefe, and Debbie Moorehous, CILO's Director of Advancement.

The Kentucky Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) wants your input on their next Statewide Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)! They are inviting all stakeholders including individuals with disabilities, family members, service providers, advocates, and community members to participate in these public comment meetings.


The SPIL is a 3-year plan that sets goals for independent living and advocacy across the state of Kentucky for individuals with disabilities. There will be two virtual public comment periods held on April 30th. See the flyer below for more info, or email Megan Coleman.

From Our Friends at Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services:

Learn more here about how using your

Kroger Plus Card can support CILO!

Once you have signed up there is nothing more

to do other than use your Kroger Plus Card

at the checkout!

Help us increase the number of households participating by signing up today!


JAZZED ABOUT ART benefitting Art Beyond Boundaries

Friday, November 8th at 6pm

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