Center for Independent Living logo  butterfly with center for independent living written horrizontally

2900 Beale Avenue, Suite 118, Altoona, PA 16601
Tel/TTY: (814)949-1905
Fax: (814) 949-1909
Toll-free: (800) 237-9009

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You can choose your quality of life.

A picture of Leslie Kelley's sign language class in front of 1019 Logan Blvd. A brief history of the CIL

p> In 1970 Ed Roberts along with other students founded a program on the campus of the University of California at Berkley to assist students with disabilities in adapting to campus life and beyond.  Along with his friend and activist, Judy Heumann, they began what is now known as a "Center for Independent Living" in a one-bedroom apartment.  Their goal was to focus on individual rights, peer support, advocating for change, and independent living skills training.  Today there are 340 CILs in the United States with 18 in Pennsylvania, all working to empower people with disabilities to be decision makers.

The Center for Independent Living(CIL) opened its office in Altoona in May 1988 operating under the auspices of the Center located in Pittsburgh.  The office began operations with two staff people - an Executive Director and a Secretary.  Within a year and a half, the staff grew to four members.

In October of 1989, the CIL "spun off" and became a free-standing Center no longer operating under the CIL in Pittsburgh.  A new program was developed and implemented - the Deaf Action Awareness Program.  To date, the Center employs two full-time Altoona-based employees.  They provide independent living services as well as services through the Deaf Action Awareness Program.  The CIL also employs five part-time employees.  These employees provide peer counseling services relating to the Center for Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology, CART.

p> To learn how to become an active participant in the CIL, call (814) 949-1905 or 1-800-237-9009 V/TTY

What We’re About

The purpose of the Center for Independent Living is to provide supportive services to persons with disabilities who wish to increase or maintain their level of independence in the community and at home. It is important that consumers understand that CIL services are not intended to create a situation in which persons with disabilities become dependent. It is our purpose to encourage, motivate, train, and guide consumers to achieve the highest level of independence possible. Consumers, as well as staff, have responsibilities in this effort to increase independence and self-direction.

Last updated 8:31 AM Thursday, September 10, 2015