What is an Independent Living Center?

An independent living center is a consumer controlled, community based, cross disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities. Independent living services maximize the ability to live independently in the environment of their own choosing. The 28 independent living centers offer five core services mandated by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VII, Chapter 1. California added two additional core services Personal Assistance Services and Housing.

Cores service and explanations are listed below:

  • Information and Referrals - ILC provides assistance in answering disability-related questions.

  • Advocacy - There are two types of advocacy: systemic and personal. Systemic advocacy attempts to change laws and attitudes surrounding disability. Personal advocacy is a type of problem-solving designed to protect personal and legal rights and ensure a dignified existence.

  • Independent Living Skills - Independent living skills consists of gaining instruction and mastery of the following areas: health and safety, community resources, meal planning and nutrition, self-advocacy, sexual awareness, Personal Assistant management, household management, recreation and leisure, and money management. The integration and full participation of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of society is the desired outcome.

  • Assistive Technology - Assistive Technology (AT) assists persons with disabilities to live and work as independently as possible. AT is any adaptive aid used by a person with a disability to function independently. Some examples are wheelchairs, ramps, and computer voice recognition software.

  • Peer Counseling - ILC provides support and role models for people who want to live more independently. Learn how or share how you live independently in your community.

  • Personal Assistance Services - Many persons with disabilities require personal assistants (PAs) in order to live independently. PAs assist consumers with a wide variety of duties, including personal care, shopping, housework and cooking.

  • Housing - ILC offers one-on-one assistance to qualified consumers in locating affordable and accessible housing, as well as to access programs.


List of Independent Living Centers


For additional assistance, please contact the state wide independent living center association, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

Independent Living Section Links


Contact Icon Contact Independent Living

To contact the Independent Living Section, call (916) 558-5775 (Voice), or (916) 558-5778 (TTY), or send an email to ILInfo@dor.ca.gov