Independent Living Resources

Centers for Independent Living (CILs)

The independent living philosophy holds that individuals with disabilities have the right to live with dignity and with appropriate support in their own homes, fully participate in their communities, and to control and make decisions about their lives.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is an organization that advances the independent living philosophy and advocates for the human rights of, and services for, people with disabilities to further their full integration and participation in society. Services include advocacy, counseling, training, information and referral, and others.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are nonprofit community-based non-residential organizations that are run by and for people with disabilities. CILs are required by the 1992 Amendments of the Rehabilitation Act to have a majority of individuals with disabilities on their Governing Boards and on their staff, including those in decision-making positions.

CILs provide services to individuals with disabilities from cross-disability, multicultural populations. The core services that CILs provide are advocacy, peer counseling, independent living skills training, and information and referrals. CILs can also provide help in obtaining accessible housing, financial benefits counseling, equipment loan and or repair, personal assistance services, services related to hiring, training and firing a Personal Assistant, and employment readiness services.

Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs)

Statewide Independent Living Centers (SILCs) are private, nonprofit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. Their goal is to create opportunities for independence, and to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum level of independent functioning within their families and communities.

SILCs also serve as a strong consumer voice on a wide range of national, state, and local issues. They work to assure physical and programmatic access to housing, employment, transportation, communities, recreational facilities, and health and social services.

For the ILRU Directory of Centers and SILCs, click here.


NCIL supports housing that reflects the principles of: cross-disability, equal access, consumer control, integration, non-discrimination, and de-linking housing and services, which means, a person with a disability should not have to receive services in order to obtain housing. 
NCIL’s housing subcommittee has focused on ensuring the availability of accessible, affordable housing, building support for the Inclusive Home Design Act (HR 4202), and applying pressure on the Department of Housing and Urban development for more aggressive enforcement and responsiveness to concerns of stakeholders with disabilities.