MISSION

 

To offer choices and opportunities to people with disabilities so that they can live as independently as they choose by removing barriers and empowering the individuals.

 

APPROACH

 

We are a non-profit organization that provides a variety of programs including life skills training, resource referrals, and person-centered planning to individuals with disabilities.

 

We adhere to the consumer control philosophy. It is the consumer who “takes the lead” in working towards their goals, while the staff offers opportunities and support in partnership with the consumer. 

 

Eligibility If you identify yourself as a person with a disability, then you are eligible for some, if not all, of our services free of charge.

 

HISTORY

The Independent Living Movement grew out of the Disability Rights Movement, which began in the 1960s. The IL Movement works at replacing the rehabilitation experts’ concept of integration, normalization and rehabilitation with a new paradigm developed by people with disabilities themselves.

 

The first IL organizers where people with extensive disabilities such as Ed Roberts who had contracted polio as a child. As a disabled person, he dealt with discrimination in many different aspects of his life. In his day-to-day life, people made comments that alluded to the fact that it may have been better if the polio had ended up killing him and he was told by others that they would rather be dead than be like him.

 

Ed Roberts organized the first Center for Independent Living while attending UC Berkeley. The Center provided resources to those with disabilities so that they could live more independently. The model was so successful that it quickly spread across the United States, from California to Bucks County. CILs are now codified in law and offer independent living services under government payment structures.