INCIL is the statewide association of which the 22 Centers for Independent Living are members. Through the centres, persons with disabilities in Illinois are empowered with the knowledge and skills to make their own life choices and pursue their own goals of self-sufficiency and full participation in their communities.
Independent Living is the right of all people, regardless of their capabilities, to control and direct their own lives and to participate fully and meaningfully as an equal member of society. This philosophy is a response to the existing community barriers, low expectations, stigma, prejudice, discrimination and other social and political restrictions, which tend to limit persons with disabilities from fully participating in their communities.
The greatest barrier faced is the attitudes of those thinking that people with disabilities are less than whole and, therefore, deserve fewer opportunities than mainstream Americans. Attitudinal barriers are so ingrained in society that only a sustained and high profile effort, reaching all constituencies simultaneously, can have any measure of success. Only then can people with disabilities begin to have a chance at equal participation. In no area in life is this more apparent than employment, with a startling statistic of more than 69% unemployment rate among vocationally aged people with disabilities.
Our efforts are directed toward educating the community of persons without disabilities about the reality of persons with disabilities. that they are people of equal value, with similar dreams, goals and ambitions, who deserve an equal opportunity to fulfil their potential. We want to remove the face of pity from the image of disability and replace it with one of positive capability. We are a resource to our member centres in assisting with their growth and development, and a resource to the community in providing the information and technical assistance they need in creating an open environment of equality for all citizens.
Finally, we are an advocate for the rights and full inclusion of persons with disabilities, and for the support of those services, which allow individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals.
The following information defines Centers for Independent Living and how they work to arm persons with disabilities with the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to achieve their goals and dreams.
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