Independent Living

What is a Center for Independent Living?

The term “center for independent living” means a consumer‑controlled, community‑based, cross‑disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.

Independent Living Philosophy

Centers for Independent Living have been uniquely successful because of how we operate.

Our philosophy is…Consumer focused.

We believe:

  • People with disabilities are the experts on what they need.
  • The Consumer can best determine what they want for themselves
  • Opposite of the “Medical Model”

Freedom of Choice

  • Making a life decision requires unbiased information on all the options
  • Family members, caseworkers, and medical providers don’t always know “what’s best.”

Dignity of Risk

  • Learning requires taking risks.
  • If you are making “Informed Choices” you understand the risks and consequences.
  • You’ll never know what works and what doesn’t if you never try.

Individual Paradigm

  • What skills does the consumer already possess?
  • What knowledge does the consumer already have?
  • How can this skill set be useful in achieving his or her goals?
  • What information and skills does the consumer need to acquire to accomplish his or her goals?

According to Title VII, Part C of the Rehab Act of 1973 (as amended) Centers for Independent Living Provide the Following Five Core Services:

  • Information and Referral
  • Independent Living Skills Training
  • Peer/Non-Peer counseling
  • Individual and Systems Advocacy
  • Transition Services (youth supports and relocation services)

Centers for Independent Living can offer other services.