John S. Herring, Sr.
Director of Operations
INCIL is a united network that serves as the leading resource for Illinois Centers for Independent Living, ensuring Centers have the resources needed to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities.
A Philosophy of Full Inclusion
People with disabilities are people of equal value, with similar dreams, goals, and ambitions, who deserve an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential.
At INCIL, we believe that independent living is the right of all people, regardless of their capabilities. This includes controlling and directing their own lives and participating fully and meaningfully as equal members of society.
People with disabilities encounter barriers that make independent living difficult, such as stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and other political and social restrictions. Our goal is to remove those barriers through advocacy and education, and provide information, skills, and resources that allow our clients to pursue and achieve their goals of self-sufficiency and full participation in their communities on their own terms.
CILs are different from other service-based agencies in a couple of significant ways.
- First, federal and State laws which define CILs mandate that at least 51% of their staff and boards are people with disabilities. This brings a new level of understanding about the barriers people with disabilities confront when achieving independence, as well as what is required to have success in meeting each client’s objectives. These individuals not only offer much-needed insight but also serve as role models for our clients.
- Second, CILs operate under the philosophy of consumer control. Rather than directing or making decisions for our clients, CILs provide information and mentoring that clients need in order to make informed decisions about the direction of their lives. CILs help consumers set goals, determine the necessary steps to achieve those objectives, and provide training where needed.
Centers for Independent Living provide persons with disabilities the tools to set and accomplish their personal goals; and communities with information and knowledge required to accept, respect and accommodate persons with disabilities. The result is that the fabric of community life is enriched because everyone is a part of it.