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What is IVCIL?
Watch the following video on our services:
One in five people in the United States has a significant disability and experiences life in a way no one without a disability will ever understand. Ever-advancing technology, rehabilitation, and appropriate medication when necessary allow people with disabilities to pursue and achieve their personal goals. For most, the greatest barriers they face are public misperceptions, which often result in low expectations of people with disabilities as fully contributing members of society. The IVCIL supports the independent living movement, a nationwide effort to change public attitudes and mobilize local resources to remove communicative, architectural, environmental, and attitudinal barriers. At no cost to the individual, we serve with the purpose of increasing an individual’s ability to become a productive, contributing, and self-directed member of society. IVCIL exists to empower individuals with disabilities to take charge of their lives and make their own choices and decisions in order to be as self-sufficient as possible. For many people, IVCIL is the bridge from dependence to independence.
As a community-based, nonresidential center for independent living, we work to increase the involvement of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life. We strive to enhance the potentials of persons with disabilities to achieve and sustain self-directed living situations in home or community settings, depending on their individual choices. Services are provided on a cross-disability and cross-cultural basis.
Further, the IVCIL strives to be a guidepost to the community in terms of protecting/preserving the rights of all persons with disabilities. As a leading advocate for persons with disabilities, we educate businesses, service providers, and public entities on disability issues and help them to comply with the technical requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Within our communities, IVCIL leads efforts to break down barriers and prejudices, replacing them with positive attitudes. We raise community awareness of disability issues and promote equal access and equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.
What is Independent Living?
Essentially, independent living means experiencing life as everyone else does: having opportunities to make decisions that affect one’s life and being able to pursue activities of one’s own choosing. Independent living has to do with genuine self-determination: assuming responsibility for, living with, and, most importantly, learning from the consequences of one’s decisions. As a center for independent living, we believe in the independent living philosophy that states that persons with disabilities want to play major roles in society and can with the right supports. The IVCIL is here to provide these supports.
Who Has Control?
The IVCIL is consumer-driven; it is based on the principle of peers assisting peers. IVCIL is run by people with disabilities who have successfully established independent lives of their own. We believe no one can represent disability rights and independent living issues with more credibility than those whose lives are directly affected by a disability. Those who know best what services persons with disabilities really need in order to live independently are persons with disabilities themselves. Because of this, IVCIL staff have a deep commitment to assisting other people with disabilities in achieving independence.
IVCIL offers four core services, as well as several specific programs to bridge the gap from dependence to independence.