(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) The Freedom Bus rolled into Milwaukee and the first stop on our schedule was with our number one sponsor, IndependenceFirst.  Executive Director, Lee Schultz and his wife, Julie, treated the road crew — including the kids! — to lunch downtown. We then went on a tour of the center and met the staff of IndependenceFirst. The center is one of the largest independent living centers in the country with more than 90 in-house staff members and 1200 community care providers. 

More from IndependenceFirst.org:

IndependenceFirst was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization directed by, and for the benefit of persons of all ages, with disabilities of all kinds, primarily serving the four county Metropolitan Milwaukee Area. IndependenceFirst is your resource on accessibility and issues related to living independently in our community for persons with disabilities. On our website, you will find that IndependenceFirst provides many services for the community, businesses, persons with disabilities and their families.

Over 51% of IndependenceFirst’s onsite staff and Board of Directors have disabilities themselves. With our commitment to inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects, IndependenceFirst is truly consumer controlled and “walking the talk.” As a reward for our proactive employment policies in hiring persons with disabilities as well as people from cultural minorities and women, IndependenceFirst has received the prestigious Governor’s Diamond Award in 2002.