How do CILs assist people?
CILs work to increase the involvement of people with disabilities in every aspect of life. Through a wide variety of services and support, CILs provide assistance for disabled persons in their transition to independent living. Information and referral CILs respond to inquiries on a variety of issues from people with disabilities, family members and professionals, as well as the general public. Comprehensive information is available regarding services available in the community to help disabled persons live independently, such as accessible housing, transportation, employment opportunities, personal assistants, interpreters for people who are hearing impaired, readers for people who are visually impaired and more.
The foundation of CIL services is the peer relationship. Staff who have experience living with a disability and are achieving their personal goals assist others who have similar disabilities, serving as role models, mentors and advocates. The peer relationship helps individuals work through problems specific to a particular disability, and also offers a source of encouragement as the transition is made to independent living.
CILs offer two types of advocacy:
Individual advocacy focuses on the individual with a disability and services available within the community to assist them in living independently and to eventually become their own advocate.
Systemic advocacy involves working together to eliminate barriers and allow people with disabilities to fully participate in their community.
Independent living skills training
The heart and soul of independent living is being in control of your own life. CILs offer a variety of training to equip disabled persons with the skills and information to manage their own lives and live more independently. Courses include use of public transportation, managing a personal budget, dealing with insensitive and discriminatory behavior and many other topics.
Each CIL also offers unique services based on the specific needs of the community. Among the most frequently provided services are community education and other public information services, equipment repair, recreational activities and home modifications..