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TRPIL – Assisting People with Disabilities
By Lois Thomson

Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL) offers a wide range of services that assist people with disabilities in leading independent and productive lives. Included in these services are: an Employment Network that provides counseling, skills development, job matching, and ongoing support; Peer Support that provides opportunities for a person with a disability to meet someone in a similar situation, to share experiences and help meet challenges; Transition Services to help people who are changing their situation in life; and much, much more.

Matt Sabatini (along with Ray Pittman) is a wellness coordinator for the Health & Wellness segment of TRPIL. He provides personal training in the facility's fully adaptive 400 sq. ft. gym. "Our number one goal is prevention of secondary conditions," Sabatini said. "We have free personal training and fitness assessment, so we'll do the assessment and make a program from that. Most of the time we work one-on-one."

He said the facility has a considerable amount of equipment – most machines you would see at a commercial fitness facility – but the important thing is that these are adaptive for people with disabilities. "We have a rickshaw that we'll use to strengthen transfers from wheelchairs and the propulsion of wheelchairs. We have most basic arm bikes used for cardiovascular work, dumbbells, and a punching bag that a lot of people like. We also have a wheelchair scale that takes into consideration the amount of weight a wheelchair takes up, plus other cycles that vary between manual and resistance."

Located in Washington, PA, Transitional Paths to Independent Living also recently opened an office in Monroeville. Its programs cover Southwestern Pennsylvania, including the city of Pittsburgh. Consumers come to TRPIL through referrals from other facilities and organizations, by learning of the services online or in the news, and sometimes even through doctors' recommendations.

The gym is available for people with disabilities and for those who are 65 and older. Sabatini said TRPIL is trying to expand its reach to older adults, to help prevent falls and other issues that occur in the process of aging.

He said the hope is that consumers who utilize TRPIL's gym can eventually switch to another. "We've had people who have come here, worked with us, gotten a program, then transitioned to another gym because they've been able to work out on their own. The problem is that some gyms don't meet the needs of our consumers, that's why they keep coming to us. Other gyms' equipment is often not accessible – it could be a very simple thing like a bench not being able to be moved so you can get up to the machine. We're able to do that here.

"Our gym is not the biggest, but the people who come in get a good workout. They work hard and get results. We're proud of that. We try to use health and wellness to make a difference – because it does! Both physically and mentally, it does."

For more information, call (724) 223-5115 or visit www.trpil.com.

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