What Is The Independent Living Services Program
The Independent Living Services Program assists people who have significant disabilities to live more independently in their homes and communities. The program provides and arranges needed IL services subject to the availability of funds. The program is also an advocacy program for people with disabilities and their families.
What Are Centers For Independent Living
Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living provide independent living services for people with disabilities. CILs are at the core of ACL’s independent living programs, which work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.
This graphic illustrates how CILs make community living possible.
Dear Colleague Letter: October 27 2017
I hope that all of you have enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. As we look forward to the coming year, I want to update you on the priorities which I shared with many of you this July at the NCIL conference as well as urge your input on several matters.
On September 11th, ACLs new Administrator Lance Robertson and several of us on his team met with NCIL leadership to discuss his vision for the agency and key steps we will take to improve the stewardship and effectiveness of the IL programs. These include the following:
Subchapter C Funding Distribution:
In response to ongoing questions and concerns regarding how funding to the CILs is determined and how the funding formula is applied, we are developing a Subchapter C Funding Distribution FAQ to explain the process that ACL follows. We also will host a teleconference on the topic on October 19, 2017 at 1 pm EDT to explain the process as well as provide an opportunity for Q& A and offer feedback to ACL on how we can make the distribution process as easy to understand, fair and transparent as possible. The FAQ will be available prior to the teleconference. Please save the date and time. Further details on how to participate in the call will follow.
On Site Monitoring:
Indicators of SILC Minimum Compliance:
Program Performance Report:
Highlighting and Building on Results:
First Annual Report on Centers for Independent Living:
Emergency Preparedness and Management:
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Specialized And Clinical Supports
Specialized clinical services help adults with a developmental disability who have higher support needs.
Ontarios Community Networks of Specialized Care provide direct support coordination to adults with developmental disabilities with high supports and complex care needs, or support those who require appropriate diversion from the Justice System, including coordinating support and service within and across sectors. This includes people with a dual diagnosis – someone who has both a developmental disability and a mental health need.
You can work with your local Developmental Services Ontario office to assess your needs and connect you with available services and supports.
Getting Ready For Independent Living At The Age Of Majority
October 2015 | Links updated, March 2017This resource is part of the series Getting Ready for When Your Teen Reaches the Age of Majority: A Parents Guide.
When young people with disabilities reach the age of majority, they gain the right to manage their own affairs, including where they will live and what they will do. In most states, this happens at age 18. Legally considered as adults, they may take charge of their own housing and daily-life decisions, both large and small. But will they be ready to make such decisions for themselves? Will they have the skills and basic information they need to live as independently as possible?
This tip sheet considers steps that you and others can take to help your young person with disabilities learn and practice the basic skills that underpin independent living, skills that will certainly come in handy in the future.
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center National Post-School Outcomes Center
In collaboration with:Center for Parent Information and Resources ________________________
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Who Is Eligible For Services Through This Program
To be eligible, you must:
- Have a significant physical or mental disability which severely limits your ability to function independently in your family or community
- Be able to function independently in your family or community with assistance from IL services and,
- Be able to plan your IL services independently or with assistance.
Eligible individuals are served in the following order:
Please note that there may be a waiting list in place for these services. Contact Alpha One for further information.
Assisted Living Options For People With Disabilities
Seniors and people with disabilities often need supportive living options. When the time comes to start considering your options for assisted living, its easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of housing options. Not only are there different categories of assisted living to choose from, there are also a plethora of homes from which to choose. The right choice depends on a number of factors, including support needs, expense, and personal preference.
Once a home is chosen, theres still a significant barrier to overcome: figuring out how to pay for it. There are a number of different options, but its important to choose the option that will allow for comfortable living now, while also ensuring your resources arent used up too quickly.
This guide helps those searching for assisted living homes overcome the two main barriers: choosing a home and figuring out how to pay for it. In this guide, you will learn about the different types of assisted living homes, how to choose the right home for you, how to pay for that home, and state-specific resources to assist you in your search.
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Materials Used In Developing This Tip Sheet
Millar, D. S. . Age of majority, transfer of rights and guardianship: Considerations for families and educators. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 38, 378-397.
Millar, D. S. . Guardianship alternatives: Their use affirms self-determination of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 48, 291-305.
Millar, D. S. . Addition to transition assessment resources: A template for determining the use of guardianship alternatives for students who have intellectual disability. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 49, 171-188.
North Dakota Department of Human Services. . Guardianship handbook: A guide for court-appointed guardians in North Dakota. Bismarck, ND: Author.
Rhode Island Disability Law Center. . Guardianship and alternatives to guardianship. Providence, RI: Author. Online at:
Thanks to reviewers | We extend our appreciation to the many stakeholders for their generous ideas, support, and time in the development of these tools.
Special thanks to Parent Center reviewers | Special thanks goes out to Barb Buswell, Bebe Bode, Laura Nata, and Dorie France for providing guidance throughout the project. Without their contributions, these fact sheets would not have been possible. Thank you.
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Find The Centers For Independent Living For All Us States And Territories
The Centers for Independent Living Program provides 354 discretionary grants to CILs, which are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private nonprofit agencies that provide IL services. At a minimum, centers funded by the program are required to provide the following IL core services:
Centers also may provide, among other services: psychological counseling, assistance in securing housing or shelter, personal assistance services, transportation referral and assistance, physical therapy, mobility training, rehabilitation technology, recreation, and other services necessary to improve the ability of individuals with significant disabilities to function independently in the family or community and/or to continue in employment.
To continue receiving CIL program funding, eligible centers must demonstrate minimum compliance with the following standards:
– Promotion of the IL philosophy – Provision of IL services on a cross-disability basis – Support for the development and achievement of IL goals chosen by the consumer – Efforts to increase the availability of quality community options for IL – Provision of IL core services and, as appropriate, a combination of any other IL service – Building community capacity to meet the needs of individuals with significant disabilities and- Resource development activities to secure other funding sources.
Resources and Useful Links: ILRU website
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What Is Independent Living
Independent living can be considered a movement, a philosophy, or specific programs. In the context of ACL, independent living programs are supported through funding authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended . Title VII, chapter 1 of the Act states the current purpose of the program is to promote a philosophy of independent living including a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and system advocacy, in order to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities, and the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society.
Key provisions of the Act include responsibilities of the Designated State Entity , provisions for the Statewide Independent Living Councils , requirements for the State Plan for Independent Living , and Center for Independent Living standards and assurances.
The Independent Living Philosophy & Culture
The Independent Living Movement is founded in the belief that people with disabilities, regardless of the form, have a common history and a shared struggle, that we are a community and a culture that will advance further banded together politically.
Independent Living philosophy emphasizes consumer control, the idea that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, having crucial and valuable perspective to contribute and deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities, particularly in reference to services that powerfully affect their day-to-day lives and access to independence.
According to traditional thought, disabilities are impairments to be cured through medical intervention. In practice, people with significant disabilities are treated at best by the medical industry as diseases to be cured, and more often, since most disabilities cannot be cured, as incapable and undeserving of optimal and self-directed care. The significant underestimation of the abilities and life quality of people with disabilities has led to a state in which the evaluation of people with disabilities by medical professionals, so highly valued by society, has come to infringe on basic human and civil rights.
Adapted from NCIL:
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State Plan For Independent Living
States wishing to receive funding for independent living programs are required to submit a three-year SPIL to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Community Living . In Wisconsin, the Independent Living Council of Wisconsin and directors of the eight ILCs work together to develop the SPIL. ILCW is an independent entity responsible for monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating the implementation of the SPIL.
Wisconsin’s State Plan for Independent Living
Draft State Plan for Independent Living 2021-2023 – Revised 10-29-20 The SPIL encompasses the activities planned by the state to achieve its specified independent living objectives and reflects the state’s commitment to comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements during the three year period covered by the plan.
Wisconsin’s SILC is currently accepting comments and feedback on the Wisconsin SPIL 2021-2023 from April 30, 2020, through May 31, 2020. To provide comments or feedback, please see the Public Hearing section of this webpage.
Public Hearing on Revisions to the SPIL 2021-2023
ILCW submitted the a draft of the Wisconsin State Plan for Independent Living , 2021-2023, in September 2020 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living .
A virtual public hearing on the revisions to the SPIL 2021-2023 will be held:
Adult Living Services: Independent Living
Transition Planning includes thinking about how the person with the disability will live as independently as possible. This goes far beyond one or two Post Secondary Goals on Independent Living.
ITP Independent Living Goals, such as Learn how to balance and manage a budget or Learn how to independently read bus schedules and take buses form point A to point B are important life skills, and could be included in the ITP.
Independent Living is so much more than those life skills. Families do need to be aware of the planning that goes into supporting people with disabilities to live as independently as possible.
People with disabilities and their families face many decisions. They need to find ways to live as independently possible, given their abilities. Families are encouraged to start exploring options as part of Transition Planning. Additional decisions concerning housing, healthcare, individuals rights, conservatorships and alternatives, special needs trusts, and ABLE accounts will be made at some point during the persons transition.
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Housing Choices For Adults With Disabilities Living Independently
Everyone has the right to try and live independently despite their physical or intellectual disabilities. As the family member of someone who struggles with a limitation, you may be reluctant to allow your loved one to try independent living and accept the possibility of failure.
Jump ahead to these sections:
As a parent, you want to protect your adult child while still empowering them to do everything that they can for themselves. It is a delicate balancing act that is based on multiple factors. It is possible and might be advisable to start with a more supportive environment and then slowly transition to more independent living.
What Is Independent Living Philosophy
Independent Living is a way of thinking about people with disabilities. It says that people with disabilities know best how to take care of themselves. They are able to make important decisions that affect their lives, have relationships with whom they choose and have access to all the benefits of society that non-disabled people do. Independent Living means that people with disabilities have the right to live as independently as they choose. If a person with a disability wants to ask for help, they can. But the kind of help they ask for and who they ask is up to them. This way of thinking is often described as “self-determination”.
People with disabilities are people first and entitled to the same respect that non-disabled people are. The Independent Living Movement uses people-first language, such as “people with disabilities” instead of “disabled people”. This shows that the person is most important, not the disability.
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What Type Of Services Can I Receive
Independent living services help you:
- Live and accomplish daily tasks more independently
- Participate in your favorite activities
- Improve communication access and ability
- Improve transportation access and mobility
- Gain a better understanding of your disability
- Increase confidence in your abilities
- Increase access to the community and participation in society
Independent Living For People With Disabilities
The Independent Living Rehabilitation Program helps consumers live a more independent life. IL provides an alternative to living in a nursing home or other facility for eligible individuals. Services are person-centered and may be provided directly, purchased or coordinated through other community resources. If the Independent Living program is unable to meet a person’s needs, that individual may be referred to other partners for services as appropriate.Services may include:
You may be eligible for IL services if:
- You have a significant disability
- The disability severely limits your ability to live independently
- Our services will improve your ability to live independently
The financial resources of eligible individuals will be considered for the delivery of some services provided under the IL program. Some services are available to eligible individuals without regard to their financial need.
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The Independent Living Movement
When the process of deinstitutionalization began in the 1960s, some people with significant disabilities were released from inevitable life sentences in nursing homes and other institutions, which created for the first time in history an opportunity, an imperative, for people with disabilities to live free and independent lives. From this, a community and a culture with history, values, and an objective were born.
Our first taste of emancipation came amidst massive civil rights movements nationally and abroad. Leaders of the disability community began to realize that our human rights and civil liberties would come only as we fought for them. With most state-run institutions closed, people with significant disabilities became more visible, and more audible, too. But societys unwelcoming attitude did not change. The private medical industry quickly appropriated the responsibilities of formerly state-run institutions.
Centers for Independent Living were created to be run by and for people with disabilities, and offer support, advocacy, and information on empowerment in the attainment of independence from a peer viewpoint, a perspective that was hitherto excluded from participation in the discussion and execution of services for the disabled.
Many of the issues we fight for have strong opposition and powerful lobbyists in the for-profit sector. DCRC and other CILs around the country remains dedicated to the community values, objectives, and unity that we were founded on.