The Center for Independent Living

Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Community
  • Homeless & Housing
  • People with Disabilities
  • Seniors


3075 Adeline St.Berkeley, CA 94703 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Center for Independent Living provides advocacy and services that increase awareness, collaboration, and opportunity among people with disabilities and the community at large. Our programs provide people with skills, knowledge, and resources that empower them to eliminate damaging and stereotypical notions of disability so that they can strive toward realizing their full human potential.


The Center for Independent Living, Inc. emerged from the independent living movement of the 1960s as a powerful social catalyst on the University of California at Berkeley campus. There, Ed Roberts, Hale Zukas, and Jan McEwan Brown joined forces to lead a movement that made the university's entire academic and social life accessible to all. In 1972, these students and community members joined to form The Center for Independent Living, Inc.

From 1975 to 2011, CIL's headquarters was near the UC Berkeley campus on 2539 Telegraph Avenue. There, we provided services for people with disabilities that included wheelchair repair, assistance finding accessible and affordable housing, and vocational training. CIL also hosted the first national conference on independent living in 1975. Our peer-based services were so successful that today CIL serves as a model for roughly 400 independent living centers nationwide and similar programs in 20 countries.


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