A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a non-residential, community based organization, directed and managed by persons with disabilities, which is dedicated to the philosophy that all people with disabilities have the right and the responsibility to make choices to control the direction of their lives and participate fully and equally in their communities. CILs differ from traditional service agencies in many ways, the first being that they are staffed and governed primarily by persons with disabilities. Federal and State laws, which define CILs mandate that at least 51% of staff and board are persons with disabilities. This brings a positive perspective based on personal experience with disability and an understanding of issues and barriers faced, and the potential for success.
CIL Services – Illinois CILs provide a variety of independent living services. The core independent living services provided by all CILs are:
- Information and referral
- Peer support
- Independent living skills training
Depending on the needs of the community, individual CILs may also provide:
- Interpreter/reader referral
- Transportation arrangement and housing location assistance
- Technical assistance and information on laws and compliance requirements
- Disability awareness training
There are currently 22 CILs in Illinois, and the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL) is their statewide association. SILC’s mission is to provide leadership, research, planning and education required to support independent living services in Illinois. We do this by identifying and reaching out to persons currently un-served and underserved by CILs; increasing awareness of independent living services and the independent living philosophy; helping existing CILs to better serve persons with disabilities; and promoting the development of new CILs.
SILC’s Planning Supports CILs Services – Through the State Plan for Independent Living, SILC works to expand existing CILs and independent living services. SILC also supports the development of new programs where services are not currently available. The Council works to ensure that independent living services and CILs are accessible by all persons with disabilities.
Find your local Illinois Center for Independent Living