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Article: Centers for Independent Living (CIL)

Centers for Independent Living

Table of Contents
  1. Centers for Independent Living

Centers for Independent Living are defined in Title VII, Section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential non-profit agency.  They are developed and run by individuals with disabilities and provide an array of services that promote living independently.

By the Act, their purpose is to “promote a philosophy of independent living, including a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and system advocacy, in order to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities, and the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society, by--

(1) providing financial assistance to States for providing, expanding, and improving the provision of independent living services;

(2) providing financial assistance to develop and support statewide networks of centers for independent living; and

(3) providing financial assistance to States for improving working relationships among State independent living rehabilitation service programs, centers for independent living, Statewide Independent Living Councils established under section 705, State vocational rehabilitation programs receiving assistance under title I, State programs of supported employment services receiving assistance under part B of title VI, client assistance programs receiving assistance under section 112, programs funded under other titles of this Act, programs funded under other Federal law, and programs funded through non-Federal sources.”

Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs)

Defined in Section 705 of the Act, The Council shall be composed of members--

(i) who provide statewide representation;

(ii) who represent a broad range of individuals with disabilities from diverse backgrounds;

(iii) who are knowledgeable about centers for independent living and independent living services; and

(iv) a majority of whom are persons who are--

(I) individuals with disabilities described in section 7(20)(B); and

(II) not employed by any State agency or center for independent living.


The Council shall--

(1) jointly develop and sign (in conjunction with the designated State unit) the State plan required in section 704;

(2) monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the State plan;

(3) coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Council established under section 105, if the State has such a Council, or the commission described in section 101(a)(21)(A), if the State has such a commission, and councils that address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under other Federal law;

(4) ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the Statewide Independent Living Council are open to the public and sufficient advance notice is provided; and

(5) submit to the Commissioner such periodic reports as the Commissioner may reasonably request, and keep such records, and afford such access to such records, as the Commissioner finds necessary to verify such reports.

Federal funding is provided for and the Authorized Uses of these funds are:

The State may use funds received under this part to provide the resources described in section 705(e), relating to the Statewide Independent Living Council, and may use funds received under this part--

(1) to provide independent living services to individuals with significant disabilities;

(2) to demonstrate ways to expand and improve independent living services;

(3) to support the operation of centers for independent living that are in compliance with the standards and assurances set forth in subsections (b) and (c) of section 725;

(4) to support activities to increase the capacities of public or nonprofit agencies and organizations and other entities to develop comprehensive approaches or systems for providing independent living services;

(5) to conduct studies and analyses, gather information, develop model policies and procedures, and present information, approaches, strategies, findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Federal, State, and local policymakers in order to enhance independent living services for individuals with disabilities;

(6) to train individuals with disabilities and individuals providing services to individuals with disabilities and other persons regarding the independent living philosophy; and

(7) to provide outreach to populations that are unserved or underserved by programs under this title, including minority groups and urban and rural populations.

  A Center for Independent Living:

51% of staff are persons with disabilities; 51% of Board of Directors are persons with disabilities; and provides four core services:

  1. Information & referral
  2. Independent living skills training
  3. Individual and systems advocacy
  4. Peer counseling

Looking for a CIL near you?  Here is a map oriented tool to find one!   https://www.ilru.org/projects/cil-net/cil-center-and-association-directory

Last Updated on 5/25/2021

Monday, May 27, 2024