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What is the Center for Independent Living?

 

About Us

Founded in 1972, Center for Independent Living (CIL) was the first independent living center in the country and the nation’s first disability rights advocacy group organized and operated by persons with disabilities. CIL became the center of the emerging independent living movement, based on the principle that people with disabilities are entitled to the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their lives as people without disabilities.

For the past 50 years, CIL has led advocacy that reflects this commitment, starting with the role of our founders in the passing of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA. Founded by and for people with disabilities to secure the rights, accommodations, and resources needed to live and be supported in their/our communities, CIL serves as a model for 400 independent living centers nationwide and in 20 countries.

For over fifty years, we have provided advocacy, programming, and services for people with diverse disabilities; who are non-ambulatory or have reduced mobility; visual and hearing impairment; cognitive, psychiatric, and neurological disabilities; chronic illness; and reduced capacity due to aging.

CIL’s CORE Services are the programs that our organization was founded upon, including advocacy, counseling, housing assistance, assistive technology, mobility management and information and referral services. Today, our programs have expanded to include Residential Access, Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency, Benefits Counseling, Living Well (Peer Counseling for Seniors), Youth Programs, and more!

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Alameda County ADRC

CIL is part of Alameda County ADRC. The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) initiative is designed to streamline access to long-term care. The ADRC program supports State efforts to develop “one-stop shop” centers in local communities that help older adults and individuals with disabilities make informed decisions about their service and support options and serve as the single point of entry to the long-term care system.

Position Statement

The Center for Independent Living empowers, supports, and unites individuals with diverse disabilities, as staff, board members, providers, and participants. Founded and operated for and by people with disabilities and their allies, we are committed to fostering an inclusive community where people of all abilities can thrive. By championing accessibility, advocacy, education, and our own lived experience we strive to break down barriers, challenge societal stereotypes, and affect political change, enabling all people with disabilities to live their fullest life. We remain firmly rooted in our rich history while reaching toward a more accessible future. We celebrate the unique strengths and experiences of our community, working collaboratively to create a world where disability rights are valued, upheld, and expanded. Together, we are forging a path towards a more inclusive and just society with Access For All.

Meet the Staff

Our dedicated team is the heart and soul of our mission, working to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Meet the Board

Our board members are the stewards of our mission, vision, and values. They provide fiscal oversight and play a crucial role in guiding our organization towards achieving its goals.
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Got Questions?

We invite you to look through the most commonly asked questions on our FAQ page. If you find that your question is not represented there, please contact us!

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A group of people some who are in wheelchairs posing for a photo.
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