Centers for Independent Living (CILs) emerged from the independent living movement of the 1960s as a powerful social catalyst on the University of California at Berkeley campus. There Ed Roberts, Hale Zukas and Jan McEwan Brown joined forces to lead a movement that made the full academic and social life of the college accessible to all.
In 1972, these students and community members formally incorporated as the Center for Independent Living, Inc. The organization established three guiding principles:
Comprehensive programs must effectively meet the needs of people with disabilities.
People with disabilities are the best experts on their lives.
The strongest and most vibrant communities are those that include and embrace all people.
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, the Alliance of Disability Advocates strives to enable people with any disabilities to fully participate in their communities without boundaries in the Raleigh-Durham and surrounding area.