What is Community Living? People with disabilities and older adults have the same opportunities as everyone else to:
- Choose where to live
- Earn a living
- Lead the lives they want
- Make decisions about their lives
Why Community Living? People prefer it! It usually costs less! It’s a LEGAL right! Everyone benefits when everyone can contribute.
Independent Living Centers can help! Independent living centers have programs that help by:
- Connecting individuals with local services
- Assisting with job searches
- Teaching local transit skills
- Helping with assistive technology
- Educating individuals and groups about their legal rights
- Supporting peer mentoring
- Moving from institutions
- Helping with self-advocacy
- School-to-career transition
- Supporting healthy living
- Assisting with housing options
- Assisting with home accessibility
Definition of a Center for Independent Living from Section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended:
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.
A Center for Independent Living:
51% of staff are persons with disabilities; 51% of Board of Directors are persons with disabilities; and provides five core services:
- Information & referral
- Independent living skills training
- Individual and systems advocacy
- Peer counseling
- Transition: transition from nursing homes and other institutions to community-based residences; assisting individuals to avoid institutional placement; and transition of youth with significant disabilities after completion of secondary education to postsecondary life.
National Council on Independent Living-As a membership organization, NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.