OUR PURPOSE

Empowering Independence for Full Opportunity

Our Mission: to empower all people with a disability to live independent, self-empowered lives.
Our Vision: full opportunity for all through self-empowerment, self-determination and equal access

One in five people have a disability.

Centers for Independent Living were created to be run by and for people with disabilities, and offer support, advocacy, and information on empowerment in the attainment of independence from a peer viewpoint, a perspective that was hitherto excluded from participation in the discussion and execution of “services for the disabled.”Independent Living activists carried out some of the most daring protests in American civil rights history, including the longest occupation of a Federal building in history, which led to the release of the regulations banning discrimination against people with disabilities in federally funded programs. As Independent Living philosophy took hold nationally and the Disability Rights Movement gained acceptance and political influence, a grassroots movement for a comprehensive disability rights law (the ADA) was implemented.
Today, the Independent Living Resource Center and other Centers for Independent Living fight similar battles to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are protected. Even with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities often find that advocacy and support from the disability community and the Disability Rights Movement is an essential element in enforcement of the civil rights law.
Many of the issues we fight for have strong opposition and powerful lobbyists in the for-profit sector. The Independent Living Resource Center and other CILs around the country remain dedicated to the community values, objectives, and unity that we were founded on.

Did you know that in the State of Florida

The poverty rate for persons with disabilities (25.8%) was 12% higher than those without disabilities (13.1%).

The employment rate for people with disabilities (31%) was 45.4% less than those without disabilities (76.4%).

A total of 18,073 individuals with disabilities are homeless.

A total of 174,400 individuals with disabilities were uninsured, 290,400 were receiving Medicare, and 427,400 were receiving Medicaid.

Working-age people without education past a high school diploma was 7% higher for people with disabilities (34.3%) than those without disabilities (27.3%).

Median household income was $16,000 less for people with disabilities ($40,100) than those without disabilities ($56,100).

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