Alliance of Disability Advocates (ADANC) is a federally recognized Center for Independent Living (CIL) established in 1999 (then Universal Disability Advocates). Funding for Centers was authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (The Act).
The goal of our work 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.” By design, CILs are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential private non-profit agencies that serve their surrounding communities.
Today, ADANC works diligently to ensure individuals with significant disabilities have every opportunity to live as independently as possible in the community of their choice.
The framework of a Center for Independent Living (CIL) 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. A CIL is 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.
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.