The Progressive Center for Independent Living, Inc., (PCIL) is a private not-for-profit community based organization that does not charge fees for its core services. PCIL was founded by individuals with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities, in Ewing, New Jersey in 1996. PCIL dedicated its mission to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to achieve and maintain independent lifestyles. Through promotion of choice, self-direction and inclusion, PCIL works with people with disabilities and their families to ensure the same freedoms and civil liberties as everyone else.
Today PCIL has eight staff members and seven board members, 50% of which are living independently with their own disabilities. PCIL has hosted numerous workshops and conference in a variety of areas, including social security benefits, housing issues, education, emergency preparedness and employment. The board and staff of PCIL are still dedicated to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to achieve and maintain independent lifestyles.
The Independent Living movement as we know it began in the 1970’s, as people with disabilities asserted their right to full inclusion into the mainstream of American society. A group of people with disabilities, including the late Ed Roberts and Judy Heumann, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Special Education, founded the first Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Berkeley, California. Through the efforts of independent living advocates, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was passed and it included funds for independent living services. Amendments in 1978 added funds for Centers for Independent Living (CIL). Centers for Independent Living (CIL’s) are private, not-for-profit organizations that work with people with all disabilities to advance their independence. CILs are not places where people live, instead they are centers of action and coalition. Each CIL promotes the Independent Living movement, they work to empower people to take charge of their own lives. CILs provide services that promote leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of people with disabilities. CILs work within communities to remove barriers and change attitudes towards independence. Fifty One percent or greater of the people serving on each CIL Board of Directors as well as the majority of staff are people with disabilities. Every Center for Independent Living has four core services that it must offer.
Mercer County Office
3635 Quakerbridge Rd STE 40
Hamilton NJ 08619
Hunterdon County Office
1220 State Highway 31 STE 14
Lebanon NJ 08833