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FAQ

Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. If you don’t see an answer to your question please reach out to us by calling 510-841-4776 or by visiting our contact page.

Do I need to have an appointment or can I just drop by the office?

Appointments are encouraged, but you can also drop by during business hours which are 9am to 5pm. You can make appointments online for the program or service you are interested in and/or call our office to get more information about what services and programs are available and/or for a referral to other resources. 

Do I need to become a CIL consumer to receive services from CIL?

Anyone can receive information and referral services without becoming a consumer. In order to access our other services and programs, we complete a short intake form that creates a consumer profile and allows access to all of our programs, services and resources. Consumers are then added to our contact list and are updated about special events, workshops, programs, services and available resources and tools.

How does CIL support independent living?

CIL was founded to support and advocate for people with disabilities to secure the rights, accommodations and resources needed to live and be supported in their/our communities. Those resources include advocating and referrals for housing, benefits, transportation, quality health care, employment, education and social/community support. The staff and board, most of whom have disabilities, are strongly committed to supporting others with disabilities in their efforts towards self-sufficiency.

What type of services does CIL offer?

Our programming includes peer support, community building and advocacy, assistive technology consultation and provision, assistance finding accessible and affordable housing, consultation and facilitation of residential access in support of independent living, technology and vocational training, youth engagement, college and job readiness and mentorship through work incentives, wellness and transition support for seniors, diversion and transition support from institutions in favor of community living, transportation planning and travel training, disaster preparedness and emergency response, caregiver support and benefits counseling and application support. Additionally, we have a robust wheelchair repair program which has become one of the only consistent operations of its kind in the Bay Area.

Who does the CIL serve?

CIL provides advocacy and services that increase independence, agency and equity for people with disabilities in Northern Alameda County, including those who are non-ambulatory or have reduced mobility, visual and hearing impairment, cognitive, mental health and neurological disabilities, chronic illness, and reduced capacity due to aging and trauma. The majority of program staff and much of the leadership of CIL themselves have disabilities.

Is there a charge for services?

All of CIL services and programs are free-of-charge and paid for through government, private foundation, and individual donor funding. For consumers interested in purchasing new assistive technology rather than access or wait for a donation, we can refer people to vendors.

Can CIL help me find housing?

We are not a housing organization so do not have access to available housing. However, our Housing Advocates can provide connections to housing providers, accessible and affordable housing lists, and promote housing availability when we receive announcements.

Will CIL accept my device as a donation?

We are glad to accept clean, working devices on a case-by-case basis. Our decision will depend on the storage space we have available, the condition of the item, and the type of the item. We usually do not accept standard, 2-wheeled walkers, or standard underarm crutches (we have so many already). Sometimes we will accept a non-working device if all that is needed is a new set of batteries. Contact our Assistive Technology team for more information.

Are all Independent Living Centers connected? Are they the same organization or are they independent from one another?
We are not connected organizations, each region's ILC operates independently from other ILCs across the country. We refer to other ILCs when necessary, but each ILC has different structures and boards.

Do I need to have an appointment or can I just drop by the office?

  • Appointments are encouraged, but you can also drop by during business hours which are 9am to 5pm. You can make appointments online for the program or service you are interested in and/or call our office to get more information about what services and programs are available and/or for a referral to other resources.

Do I need to become a CIL consumer to receive services from CIL?

  • Anyone can receive information and referral services without becoming a consumer. In order to access our other services and programs, we complete a short intake form that creates a consumer profile and allows access to all of our programs, services and resources. Consumers are then added to our contact list and are updated about special events, workshops, programs, services and available resources and tools.

How does CIL support independent living?

  • CIL was founded to support and advocate for people with disabilities to secure the rights, accommodations and resources needed to live and be supported in their/our communities. Those resources include advocating and referrals for housing, benefits, transportation, quality health care, employment, education and social/community support. The staff and board, most of whom have disabilities, are strongly committed to supporting others with disabilities in their efforts towards self-sufficiency.

What type of services does CIL offer?

Who does the CIL serve?

  • CIL provides advocacy and services that increase independence, agency and equity for people with disabilities in Northern Alameda County, including those who are non-ambulatory or have reduced mobility, visual and hearing impairment, cognitive, mental health and neurological disabilities, chronic illness, and reduced capacity due to aging and trauma. The majority of program staff and much of the leadership of CIL themselves have disabilities.

Is there a charge for services?

  • All of CIL services and programs are free-of-charge and paid for through government, private foundation, and individual donor funding. For consumers interested in purchasing new assistive technology rather than access or wait for a donation, we can refer people to vendors.

Can CIL help me find housing?

  • We are not a housing organization so do not have access to available housing. However, our Housing Advocates can provide connections to housing providers, accessible and affordable housing lists, and promote housing availability when we receive announcements.

Will CIL accept my device as a donation?

  • We are glad to accept clean, working devices on a case-by-case basis. Our decision will depend on the storage space we have available, the condition of the item, and the type of the item. We usually do not accept standard, 2-wheeled walkers, or standard underarm crutches (we have so many already). Sometimes we will accept a non-working device if all that is needed is a new set of batteries. Contact our Assistive Technology team for more information.

Are all Independent Living Centers connected? Are they the same organization or are they independent from one another?

  • We are not connected organizations; each region’s ILC operates independently from other ILCs across the country. We refer to other ILCs when necessary, but each ILC has different structures and boards. To find the ILC closest to you, please refer to the ILRU Directory.
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