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Independent Living Centers

October 19, 2021
Adult Life

Independent Living Centers (ILCs) are community-based, independent nonprofit organizations that are run by and for individuals with disabilities. They provide services that help people with disabilities lead independent, productive, and meaningful lives. These centers were developed as part of the Independent Living Movement in the 1960s and 70s, which was founded to embody the values of disability culture and Independent Living philosophy. The movement emphasizes that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, that they have crucial and valuable perspectives to contribute to society, and that they are deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities.  

What services do ILCs provide? 

All ILCs provide a core set of services geared toward promoting equal access, self-advocacy, personal growth, peer role modeling, and empowerment. These core services include: 

  • Housing assistance
  • Assistance with benefits and entitlements
  • Help overcoming communication barriers
  • Non-clinical personal counseling
  • Help obtaining, using, repairing, and maintaining assistive equipment
  • Voter registration assistance
  • Disability awareness training
  • Training and workshops on disability issues and laws
  • Peer counseling and support 
  • Independent living skills training: 
    • Budgeting 
    • Meal preparation 
    • Transportation arrangement 
    • Job search 
    • Self-advocacy 
  • Information and referral services 
  • Individual and systems advocacy
  • Development of Plans to Achieve Self Support (PASS) for SSI/SSDI public assistance
  • Community-specific training and services

Contact an ILC near you:

Bronx Independent Living Services, Inc.

4419 Third Avenue, Suite 2C

Bronx, NY 10457

(718) 515-2800

TTY (718) 515-2803

Videophone (866) 426-8059

Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, Inc.

25 Elm Place, 5th Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 998-3000

TTY (718) 998-7406

Harlem Independent Living Center

289 St. Nicholas Avenue Suite 21, Lower Level

New York, NY 10027

(800) 673-2371

(212) 222-7122

TTY (212) 222-7198

Videophone (646) 755-3092

Manhattan Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY

841 Broadway, Suite 301

New York, NY 10003

(212) 674-2300

TTY (212) 674-5619

Videophone (646) 350-2681

Queens Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY

80-02 Kew Gardens Road, Suite 107

Kew Gardens, NY 11415

(646) 442-1520

TTY (718) 866-0428

Videophone (347) 905-5088

Staten Island Center for Independent Living

470 Castleton Avenue

Staten Island, NY 10301

(718) 720-9016

TTY (718) 720-9870

Learn more about the history of the Independent Living Movement.