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  1. WHAT IS A CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING (CIL)? Centers for Independent Living (CILs) were founded to embody the values of disability culture and serve as the organizational backbone of grassroots initiatives for the civil and human rights of people with disabilities. CILs vest power in people with disabilities by ensuring they control the services, management and direction of the organization. CILs base their priorities and actions on the belief that people with disabilities have the right to decide how to live, work, and participate in their communities and that we must organize for social change, so that we may as a society do away with the biases that will support a cure, but often not an accommodation that would allow us to participate on an equal basis. In practice, creating an organization for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities changes the value system, the implementation, and the direction of an organization overall.
  2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SERVICES? The District of Columbia Center for Independent Living, Inc. (DCCIL) serves all residents of the District of Columbia.
  3. DO WE PROVIDE HOUSING? No, DCCIL does not provide housing for people with disabilities. We provide housing resources that include an updated list of available accessible housing.
  4. WHAT IS A DISABILITY? A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include caring for one’s self, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, performing manual tasks, and learning.
  5. WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS? DCCIL serves people of all ages.
  6. DO I HAVE TO LIVE IN DC TO RECEIVE SERVICES? Yes, you must reside in the District of Columbia to receive DCCIL services; however Information and Referral is available to everyone.
  7. DO WE PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION? DCCIL does not provide transportation to the general public but each request will evaluated on its merits.
  8. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDEPENDENT LIVING AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION? Independent living is a philosophy which holds that individuals with disabilities have the right to live with dignity and with appropriate support in their own homes, fully participate in their communities, and to control and make decisions about their lives. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) refers to vocational and rehabilitative services to individuals with mental or physical disabilities to help prepare for, secure, regain or retain employment.
  9. WHAT IS THE ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law enacted by Congress in 1990. The ADA affords civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities that are like those provided to individuals through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
  10. DOES DCCIL HIRE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES? Yes! CILs, by law must have a governing board whose membership constitutes 51% of persons with disabilities and 50% of staff must be people with disabilities.
  11. IS THERE A COST FOR SERVICES? There is no charge for individuals to receive services from DCCIL.
  12. IS THERE ANOTHER CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING IN DC? No, DCCIL is the District of Columbia’s only Center for Independent Living.
  13. DOES THE CENTER PROVIDE SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT DISABILITIES? Yes, DCCIL helps families with relatives or friends with disabilities and provides information and referral to the general public.

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