CILs, like PCIL, are 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations that serve throughout Pennsylvania. CILs, whose staffs and boards are composed of 51% or more of persons with disabilities, offer a variety of services over and above their four core services of Information and Referral; Peer Mentoring; Individual and Grassroots Advocacy; and Independent Living Skills Training. These may include nursing home transition, transition for students leaving high school, American Sign Language interpretation programs, assistive technology lending libraries, and more. The CILs were an outgrowth of the Independent Living philosophy and movement begun in California. Each Center for Independent Living (CIL) provides four core services including information and referral, advocacy, peer mentoring and independent living skills training.

Information and Referral

You have a question about services and programs in your community? Do you need help for yourself or your loved one? CILs are there to help. If they don’t have the answer, they will work to find the answer. That may mean another phone call or website to explore, but CILs will do their best to find the answer you need to know.


Empowering people with disabilities to speak for themselves and assert their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other civil rights is an important component of the four core services. CIL staff also advise and assist people with disabilities in advocating for the elimination of barriers and practices that preclude one’s access to the greater community at large.

Peer Mentoring

CILs schedule events that will facilitate the peer mentoring process. Peer Mentors are matched with persons to manage, remove or cope with the barriers they encounter. Goals are set by the person with a disability (consumer).

Independent Living Skills Training

Individually designed training to increase confidence and self-reliance is offered to consumers in areas such as income benefits, social or recreational opportunities, self-care, transportation, education, communication, assistive technology, budgeting, housing assistance and job readiness and job networking. The consumer sets the pace, decides the goals and does the work with CIL staff serving as role models, advocates and supporters.

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