CILs are independent, consumer-driven, cross-disability, community-based nonprofit organizations committed to Independent Living principles.
Iowa currently has six centers for independent living (CILs). They are not residential facilities—CILs actually work to eliminate the institutional and facility bias in long term supports for people with disabilities. CILs are unique in that people with disabilities must comprise over half of their governing boards and over half of the CIL staff. CILs are run FOR people with disabilities, BY people with disabilities!
The federal government certifies centers in compliance with the Independent Living principles and standards in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which makes them eligible for federal funding (though federal funding is currently insufficient to adequately fund all eligible centers).
Federal standards require CILs to be responsive to their local communities, to provide their services to anyone regardless of their disability type, to work with consumers to achieve their goals, and to manage their resources in compliance with the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
All centers must provide the five “Core Services” as follows:
- Information and Referral
- Independent Living Skills Training
- Peer Support Counseling
- Individual and Systems Advocacy
- Transition Services
a. Transitioning youth from high school into post-secondary education, training, and employment.
b. Transitioning individuals with disabilities out of residential facilities and back into community living.