Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are non-profit, community-based organizations that provide peer support, information and referral services, advocacy, independent living skills training, and transition youth services for people with disabilities. CILs are developed and operated by people with disabilities and provide services in accordance with the tenets of Independent Living philosophy that emphasize consumer choice and control. CIL services are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of their consumers, serving individuals across the lifespan, across disability and across gender and race. Centers for Independent Living across the country offer activities, classes and opportunities to develop lasting, supportive friendships that help reduce feelings of isolation and encourage participation in the broader community.
Here in Missoula, Summit Independent Living Center, provides a wide variety of activities for individuals with disabilities including health and wellness programs, such as Living and Working Well with a Disability, social gatherings such as the annual ADA community picnic, support groups and much more. Each activity is designed to support living independently in the community.
In order to support transition youth, Summit has just opened a new program called BASE which offers social activities and support for youth with disabilities including a video game night and an art group. Recently, BASE hosted First Friday, a community art walk here in town, and featured re-imagined ukeleles provided by the VSA Ukelele Project.
Visit the ILRU directory to find an independent living center in your community to find out how to get involved.