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Centers for Independent Living

   New! CIL Fact Sheet

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 (The Act). 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 (DSE), provisions for the Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), requirements for the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), and Center for Independent Living standards and assurances. (See below for details on all these areas.)

To receive funding, states must jointly develop and submit a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), which is a three-year plan for providing independent living services in the state. The Designated State Entity (DSE) is the agency that, on behalf of the state, receives, accounts for and disburses funds received under Subpart B of the Act. The Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) is an independent entity responsible to monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the SPIL. Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private non-profit agency that are designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities, and provides an array of independent living services.

What are Centers for Independent Living (CILs)?

Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) 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.

Download a graphic about how Centers for Independent Living make community living possible.

What are the core requirements for CILs?

The Centers for Independent Living (CILs) 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:

  • Information and referral;
  • IL skills training;
  • Peer counseling;
  • Individual and systems advocacy; and
  • Services that facilitate transition from nursing homes and other institutions to the community, provide assistance to those at risk of entering institutions, and facilitate transition of youth to postsecondary life.

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.

A population-based formula determines the total funding available for discretionary grants to centers in each state. Subject to the availability of appropriations, ACL is required to provide continuation funding to existing centers at the same level of funding they received the prior fiscal year and to provide them with a cost-of-living increase. Funding for new centers in a state is awarded on a competitive basis, based on the state’s State Plan for Independent Living and the availability of sufficient additional funds within the state.

The Independent Living Discretionary Grant Program is authorized Under Title VII, Chapter I, Subchapter C of the Rehabilitation Act, as Amended by the workforce innovation and opportunity act (WIOA) of 2014.

Other Related Questions:

What is the Independent Living Services Program?

ACL's independent living programs 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.

Learn more about the Independent Living Services (ILS) Program.

What is a State Independent Living Council (SILC)?

Each state and U.S. territory is required to maintain a statewide independent living council (SILC). The Council and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) within the state develop a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). The SPIL is a document required by law that indicates how the IL Network is going to improve independent living services for individuals with disabilities over the next three years. It identifies the needs and priorities of consumers, providers, and other stakeholders and sets forth goals and objectives to respond to them.

Having a strong network for independent living in a state or territory is crucial. Collaborating on the SPIL development can help create a cohesive and unified vision among all stakeholders who have an interest in issues that impact citizens with disabilities. 

Learn more about the Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs).

What is a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)?

State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) show how federal, state, and other funds will be used to support the state’s independent living programs as well as collaborations with other partners in the state and other ACL grantees to enhance and expand service delivery and options for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 704(a) of The Rehabilitation Act, as amended requires the review and revision of the SPIL, not less than once every three years, to ensure the existence of appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and other assistance to appropriately address, on a statewide and comprehensive basis, needs in the state for:

(A) the provision of independent living services in the state;

(B) the development and support of a statewide network of centers for independent living;  and

(C) working relationships and collaboration between—

(i)  centers for independent living; and

(ii)(I)  entities carrying out programs that provide independent living services, including those serving older individuals;

(II) other community-based organizations that provide or coordinate the provision of housing, transportation, employment, information and referral assistance, services, and supports for individuals with significant disabilities; and

(III) entities carrying out other programs providing services for individuals with disabilities.

The SPILs also includes the following:

- The core services that WIOA requires
- An explanation and requirement for the state matching requirement
- Legal basis and certifications, DSE assurances, and SILC assurances
- A chart for the financial plan 
- A chart for centers' for independent living service areas and oversight
- A signatures section.

More Information and Resources:

List of Centers for Independent Living by State

View a list of Centers for Independent Living by state.

Office of Independent Living Programs Contact List

View the Office of Independent Living Contact List.

Office of Independent Living Programs Monthly Newsletters

2024 Newsletters

2023 Newsletters

Program Performance Reporting Information
Compliance and Outcome Monitoring

The Office of Independent Living Programs (OILP) uses a three-tier system to evaluate and monitor Center for Independent Living (CIL) grantees. Tier one includes a grantee dashboard completed over the course of the fiscal year. Tier two reviews focus on specific program(s) or fiscal issues. Tier three are comprehensive program and fiscal reviews. The Compliance and Outcome Monitoring Protocol (COMP) provides transparency and consistency in the oversight of CIL grantees, helps identify training, and technical assistance needs across the network. 

The purpose of the COMP is to improve program performance. The OILP relies on the COMP to provide consistent federal oversight of CIL grantees. Grantees may use the COMP to understand program and fiscal requirements and to conduct self-evaluations. Non-federal reviewers will use the COMP as a resource to ensure consistency during onsite reviews. 

Learn more and view COMP documents.

Compliance Reviews:

FY2021

FY2020

FY2019

  • ACL conducted pilot desktop reviews. Pilot reports were not made public.

 

Funding Tables

See funding tables for federal grant funds, provided to each state, under Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Frequently Asked Questions about Independent Living Programs

 

View frequently asked questions and answers about the Independent Living Programs.

 

AoD IL Technical Assistance Evaluation

AoD contracted with RTI to evaluate the technical assistance offered to the Independent Living programs. Overall, respondents were satisfied with the current technical assistance offered. See the below materials for more detail:

- ACL Grantee Infographic
- AoD IL Technical Assistance Evaluation Study Webinar Presentation Slides
 

Annual Performance Data and Outcomes

CIL Annual Performance Data

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires CILs that receive Title VII Subchapter C funding to report annually on their activities, achievements, resources, and needs.

CIL’s, using the Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) form, submit these data to the ACL Independent Living Administration.

ILS Annual Comments Data

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires that each Designated State Entity (DSE) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) report annually on their activities, achievements, resources, and needs.

DSEs and SILCs, using the Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) form, jointly submit these data to ACL's Independent Living Administration.

The following includes downloadable ILS and CIL PPR datafiles.

CIL Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) Datafiles*            

ILS Annual Program Performance Report (PPR) Datafiles*             

Coming Soon

*The datafiles provided here do not include qualitative data. These data have been removed from these files to protect the privacy of individuals receiving and providing ILS and CIL services.

Annual Reports

2020-2021 Annual Report

On February 14, 2024, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities Jill Jacobs submitted the 2020 and 2021 combined annual report on the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) program in accordance with Title VII, Chapter I, Part C in the Rehabilitation Act, as amended.

2019 Annual Report

On Monday, November 30, 2020, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities Julie Hocker submitted the 2019 annual report for the independent living programs, in accordance with Title VII, Chapter I, Part C in the Rehabilitation Act as amended. This report reflects the more than 200,000 individuals who in PY2019 benefited from community-based services to live independently in communities across our nation.

2018 Annual Report 

On Monday, March 30, 2020, Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities Julie Hocker submitted the 2018 annual report for the independent living programs, in accordance with Title VII, Chapter I, Part C in the Rehabilitation Act as amended. 

Additional Resources

 


Last modified on 05/23/2024


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