The term “center for independent living” has been inverted throughout the course of its existence so that some have come to know it as “independent living center.” The fact remains, the two are one in the same, where both are endowed with their respective acronyms CIL and ILC. The Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) website provides a textbook definition, informing us that “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” (Source). To put the matter more simply, a CIL/ILC is a place where persons with disabilities can go to gain independent living skills, to get help with learning how to live independently.
And while knowing what a CIL/ILC is and can do is important, it is from the center in Berkeley that we get a brief history: “The Center for Independent Living, Inc. (CIL) emerged from the independent living movement of the 1960’s as a powerful social catalyst on the University of California at Berkeley campus. There Ed Roberts, Hale Zukas, and Jan McEwan Brown joined forces to lead a movement that made the full academic and social life of the college accessible to all. In 1972, these students along with community members formally incorporated as the Center for Independent Living, Inc.” (Source). As seen in the previous post and here, the Ed Roberts center is a tribute to the work of these individuals.
Since then, and in addition to this incredible campus, CIL/ILCs have turned up all over America, with a screen shot of their locations in Northern California revealing their prominence in our state alone:
By clicking the ILRU Projects link from their website, you can find a guide to CIL/ILCs wherever in the United States, by clicking any state from the map:
Disability Services & Legal Center (DSLC) is proud to be a part of the vast number of CIL/ILCs that have sprung up around the country, going so far as to not only embrace its status as a center for disabled individuals, but by offering free legal services to those who come up against the barriers that still haunt the disabled community.
To learn more about DSLC, you can visit the website at any time, and you can drop by for one of our orientations, Mondays at 1:30pm. And if you’re interested in learning about our services and meeting the staff in person, you’ll have a chance when you come to visit Tech Expo 2015. We hope to see you there!