Emma & Dan’s Annual Journey

Thank you for supporting Emma & Dan’s Annual Journey and for wanting to learn more about them– and their chosen nonprofit for 2023, Voices for Independence.

About Emma & Dan
Utilizing Emma’s buggy, Dan & Emma have completed 6 large-scale walks since starting the tradition in 2015, with goals of raising awareness about inclusion and to help support various organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. They feel as though there is no better way to open the conversation than by traveling and doing what they love– walking. Emma was born with cerebral palsy, and looks forward every year to the annual walk with her father, Dan, who is also the men’s soccer coach at Penn State Behrend. This year, the duo is traveling throughout Vermont– marking the third time they have traveled outside of Pennsylvania for their trek. For more information on their incredible journey, please visit/like their Facebook page, here: Emma & Dan’s Annual Journey on Facebook.

About Voices for Independence
Voices for Independence is a Center for Independent Living (CIL), headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania. Proudly serving individuals with disabilities for nearly 30 years, Voices for Independence offers a wide variety of services throughout 27 counties in Western Pennsylvania. The primary service that will be impacted by your donation is our Fitness & Wellness program. In addition to hosting adaptive self-defense classes, yoga sessions, and more from local professionals, Voices for Independence has a dedicated Fitness & Wellness staff on-site, providing support in a number of ways. Dedicated, certified staff can not only develop nutrition plans for individuals who are looking to change their habits, but can also work to build an individualized exercise regimen for someone with a disability, allowing for any needed accommodations. Best of all, these exercises can take place right at the Voices for Independence office in our Fitness Center, which hosts a large amount of workout equipment, made accessible for individuals with disabilities.

To donate to Voices for Independence, simply click the blue button below. To learn more about the wide variety of services Voices for Independence offers to individuals with disabilities, continue reading below.

In addition to the Fitness & Wellness program, Voices for Independence offers a number of services to individuals with disabilities, including the following:

Personal Assistance Services (PAS)
These services allow for individuals to receive vital in-home care, allowing them to live independently in the community, as opposed to in a nursing facility

Nursing Home Transition (NHT)
Our NHT program provides support for individuals who are in a nursing facility, looking to return to the community and live independently. NHT works on an individualized plan to locate affordable, accessible housing, establish utilities in the individual’s name, provides them with all necessities to begin living in the community again (first month’s rent/security deposit, new furniture, groceries, household items, etc), and more.

Home Modifications
Home Modifications can be anything from addressing a simple doorway threshold to installing a brand-new wheelchair ramp, or even making a bathroom or kitchen accessible to use. The goal of Home Modifications are to support the individual by means of removing any and all barriers to independence within the home.

It is our mission to empower people with disabilities and promote independent living, and Advocacy is a major part of this mission. While we work diligently to address concerns within the community, we also promote self-advocacy, to ensure that individuals with disabilities find and use their voice.

Independent Living Skills Training/Peer Counseling
These services are provided by staff who also have a disability, working with those who are looking to learn a new skill that will allow them to be more independent, or are working to become acclimated to life with a disability. Independent Living Skills Training is focused on goal-based, measurable outcomes, in regard to learning skills, whereas Peer Counseling allows for individuals to address concerns and develop mitigation strategies with someone who has encountered the same issues.

Voices for Independence is proud to offer daily on-site activities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy while visiting, free-of-charge. Just some of the activities we host at the office in our gymnasium/kitchen areas are craft class, cooking class, group workouts, movie day, and more. Our monthly activities calendar can always be found on the homepage of our website, and on social media.

• Information & Referral
Our dedicated I&R staff work with individuals who are seeking additional information and/or resources, and connect them to the appropriate agencies, programs, and services. We work to ensure that every inquiry is answered in full, with a robust variety of options for said individual.