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Featured RAMP Site - RCIL

Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)

RAMP youth working on high-tech projects

RCIL is a civil rights organization offering a wide range of independent living and advocacy services for and — most importantly — with people with disabilities. The basic human right of participating in society as a self-determining individual must extend to all citizens. Each of us has the capacity — and responsibility — to be a proud, contributing member of our society. Our core independent living center functions include peer counseling, independent living skills training, information and referral, and individual and systems advocacy. Our beliefs fit the core components of RAMP; that of utilizing a combination of group, peer, and one-on-one mentoring to promote the successful transition of all youth, including those with disabilities, to employment, continued learning opportunities, and independent living.

Our Youth's Career Goals...

RCIL RAMP youth have a wide variety of creative and technology-related career interests, including:

♦ Veterinary Technician  ♦ Military Service  ♦ Pre-School Teacher  ♦ Cartoonist  ♦ Wood Worker  ♦ Optometry  ♦ Meteorology  ♦ Carpentry  ♦ Mechanic

Our Youth's Weekly Goals...

Each week, RCIL RAMP youth set and achieve goals related to Learning (in school), Connecting (positive social skills and behaviors), Thriving (physical and emotional wellbeing), Working (vocational skills and experience), Leading (civic involvement and personal goals), and disability (accommodations, awareness, etiquette, and history). Some of their recent goals have been:

  • "Find a study technique that works for me."
  •  "Help my mom until she gets better."
  •  "Try out for the musical."RAMP youth pose for a picture
  •  "Work on my anger."
  •  "Walk one mile a day for a week."
  • "Pass my Regents test."
  • "Pass my driver’s license test."
  • "Fill out 3 applications."

Our Recent Exciting Activities...

  • Over the Summer, RAMP youth at RCIL toured Smith's Dairy Farm where they learned about the new STEM technology that is used in the dairy industry.
  • During the fall, RAMP youth visited Parker Aerospace where they learned about the new STEM technology used in the flight industry.
  • Youth and families visited Montezuma Wildlife Reserve to learn about the various wildlife animals and some youth were allowed to put feed carrion on platforms for the eagles!

Our Youth Say...

  • “RAMP gave me the courage and the practice to get the job.”
  • “I like RAMP because of the projects and I can be a foreman.”
  • "I like the interviewing practice it made me feel less nervous."

Our Mentors Say...

  • “I have seen a tremendous amount f growth and maturity in my youth since the beginning of the year. They are a joy to work with. Without RAMP I often wonder where they would be in their lives.”
  • “RAMP is a great program; I have seen the positive effects that it has on the youth.  For example, one student was so self-conscious that she refused to speak. Now she is one of the leaders in our groups. What a wonderful change that RAMP has made in her life.”

Our Innovative Partnerships...

  • One of our partners is a pizza parlor where the youth create their own pizzas. During the process she points out the different math, science, and technology that are used. The youth come away with a better understanding that these skills are needed in the everyday workforce.


  • RAMP has partnered with a local temp agency. The manger has shown RAMP groups the qualifications that the local workforce is looking for in the work world.  She explained that a strong foundation in math and technology would increase their chance of being hired to a permanent position. 

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