Independent Living Skills
Woman in wheelchair using phone and kitchen and preparing a meal

Program Description​

Independent Living Skills Training is one of the five core services provided by centers for independent living.  The Independent Living Skills Team coordinates weekly classes that discuss various topics relating to independent living, self-advocacy and self-determination.  Representatives from various community-based organizations are invited to introduce their services and supports and discuss disability related issues affecting people with disabilities residing in El Paso County.  Classes are held every Thursday from 10 AM to Noon.

ILS Team

Jose G. Lara

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Coordinator

Education: Degree in Journalism

Experience: DJ in radio and TV stations in Juarez, Mexico for 16 years.

Special Education Instructor 1980 – 1984.

Independent Living Skills (ILS), Peer Counseling and Transportation services Coordinator since January 2003.

Served on several local and state boards such as the Coalition of Texas with Disabilities.

He is a graduate of the prestigious Partners in Policymaking class of 1996..

Arrived in El Paso in 1986 and became associated with Volar CIL and D.I.O. (Dignidad, Igualdad y Oportunidad)

A Hispanic Group of people with disabilities. Mr. Lara is also a member of ADAPT: the largest national grassroots disability rights organization in the country.

Interests: Spending time with family

Favorite Quote: “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am to be happy in it.” – Groucho Marx

Christina Ohnmacht, - ILS, Peer Counseling Assistant Coordinator

Christina Ohnmacht

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Assistant Coordinator

Education: Medical Assistant Degree

Experience: 18 months representing VOLAR CIL

Interests: Watching Dodgers games and spending time with my kids

Favorite Quote:  In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Woman in wheelchair using phone and kitchen and preparing a meal

Independent Living Skills

Program Description

Independent Living Skills Training is one of the five core services provided by centers for independent living.  The Independent Living Skills Team coordinates weekly classes that discuss various topics relating to independent living, self-advocacy and self-determination.  Representatives from various community-based organizations are invited to introduce their services and supports and discuss disability related issues affecting people with disabilities residing in El Paso County.  Classes are held every Thursday from 10 AM to Noon.

ILS Team

Nathan Coleman - Independent Living Skills, Peer Counseling Coordinator

Nathan Coleman

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling Program Coordinator

Education:

Bachelor of Arts Electronic Media from the University of Texas at El Paso

Experience:

Consumer Directed Services (CDS Option) Consumer experienced with the intake process for consumers who opt to the option with a qualifying

Waiver Program with the help of the assigned Case Manager who provides client with a list of participating CDS statewide agencies. 

Served as a Mentor for high students with disabilities through Paso Del Norte Children’s Development Center 2007-2009; experienced with

helping students identify their individual short/long term goals with activities such as self-reflection.

10 years of call center experience

Interests:

Bowling, wheelchair hockey,

Keeping up-to-date on the latest news and current events

Favorite Quote:

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present” – Bill Keane 

Christina Ohnmacht, - ILS, Peer Counseling Assistant Coordinator

Christina Ohnmacht

Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling/Transportation Program Assistant Coordinator

Education: Medical Assistant Degree

Experience: 18 months representing VOLAR CIL

Interests: Watching Dodgers games and spending time with my kids

Favorite Quote:  In a world where you can be anything, be kind. – Jennifer Dukes Lee