Alliance of Disability Advocates (ADANC) was established in 1993 (estimate) when funding for Centers of Independent Living (CIL) was increased with the Reauthorization of the Rehab Act in 1992. That was the same Reauthorization that allowed for the direct funding of CILS from the federal government rather than having it go through the state’s VR office.  The Reauthorization of the Rehab Act in 1992 also established the State Independent Living Council, provided standards and assurances for the CILs, and defined terms like ‘peer support’ and ‘consumer control’. It significantly increased funds for CILs so there are MANY CILs in the country that were established in the 1992-1993 time frame.  The increased monies allowed North Carolina to create a new CIL, Alliance of Disability Advocates (then Universal 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 ADANC’s services focus on Raleigh-Durham surrounding areas, our services have the potential for statewide systemic change. 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.