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People who experience disability want to achieve the same life and career goals as everybody else; to work, live, play, shop and contribute meaningfully to community life.  They want to make a difference in their community just like anybody else.


Through SMILES Center for Independent Living, people are making that difference.  SMILES offers programs and services that assist people who experience disability to find and choose from available options in their communities and develop the skills they need to be able to act on their choices.  This is empowerment.  SMILES has been empowering people with disabilities for 23 years.


Denise Jaeger Empowered people such as Denise Jaeger help their community become more aware that access to community resources is the key to inclusion in community life.  This video clip features Denise Jaeger at the Block Party in Mankato, MN.  Click here to start video.


SMILES empowers people by providing a wide array of services to assist individuals with disabilities to live independently, pursue meaningful goals and have the same opportunities and choices as all persons. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               Programs such as Independent Living Skills Training motivate and empower people to be successful in their daily lives, sometimes with support or Assistive Technology, which is any devise that helps a person get through their day.

Assistive Technology includes ramps, for example so people with mobility impairments can leave home and return from work, medical appointments or other community activities.


SMILES makes a difference in the community through other disability related issues, too, such as assisting local employers who want to make reasonable accommodations in their workplace.  SMILES provides information and referral on resources and options, and technical assistance that allow employees to return to work or start a new job.


People who are empowered to make a difference in their communities define SMILES.  You can be a part of SMILES and make a difference, too, by giving a person with disabilities the opportunity to accomplish their goals and succeed like anybody else.  Choose to make the difference that means something to you.  It’s easy, just “click, contribute, change your world.”

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