The framework for Centers for Independent Living (CILS) was established by Congress in 1978 when the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended. CILS are local organizations that are consumer responsive and operated by people with disabilities. CILS are truly different from other disability organizations as we are run and operated by the majority of people with disabilities and all of our services promote disability rights and the independent living philosophy; this is a point of pride for our organization. In addition to being consumer-run, CILS provide consumer-directed services, which means that the consumer is in control of the services they receive. We believe that consumers are the best expert on their own lives and therefore should be given the right to make choices about their lives, education, and employment.
Alliance of Disability Advocates (ADANC) is a federally recognized Center for Independent Living that uses Title VII funding to provide services to the citizens of Raleigh, Durham and the surrounding area. Although a portion of ADANC’s services focusses on this area, the majority of our services are statewide. By design, CILS are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential private non-profit agencies that serve their surrounding communities.
Peer support, personal assistance referrals and benefits assistance were among the center’s initial services. This approach was so successful that today CIL is the model for roughly 400 independent living centers across the country and in 20 countries around the world.
Today, Alliance of Disability Advocates works diligently to ensure individuals with significant disabilities have every opportunity to live as independently as possible in the community of their choice.