What is Independent Living?
It’s about finding the tools to be your own best resource. It’s about individuals with disabilities exerting their rights to live as independently as possible, make personal life choices, and achieve full community inclusion.
The Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida (CILNCF) is an established disability resource center. Operated and governed by a majority of people living with disabilities, the CILNCF has delivered high quality programs and services to North Central Florida since 1981.
Our mission to empower independence starts with our 5 Core Services: Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Information & Referral, Peer Support, and Transition. Through these services and our supporting programs, the CILNCF is improving the quality of life throughout our community, increasing levels of personal independence, and fulfilling our mission: Empowering Individuals with Disabilities.
Five Core Services of The Independent Living Philosophy
- Information & Referral
- Independent Living Skills
- Peer Support
Five Core services are supported with weekly workshops and activities centered around the effort of people with disabilities to achieve, maintain or regain their independence and have enhanced access to their communities. We give you the tools to be your own best resource.
Durable Medical Equipment Closet
We provide the following durable medical equipment: wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, scooters and sliding boards. Contact Don Barnes for more information.
Employment Services and Solutions
Taking a closer look at your interests and abilities can help you make better choices whenever you’re faced with big decisions regarding the future. Before setting your goals, it’s a good idea to think about what you enjoy doing most, what you’re good at, and how challenges that lie ahead might impact your future. At the CIL, we have a staff of Certified Rehab Counselors, Employment Consultants and Certified Vocational Evaluators providing intensive and comprehensive employment services in support of your employment goals.
Our program works in concert with The Florida Department of Education’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. If you have a disability and are seeking employment, you may be eligible for a variety of support services. We are here to assist as you better understand your skills and abilities, narrow your career interests down and begin pursuit of that perfect job and career!
High School High Tech
HSHT is an enrichment program for high school students with disabilities who have an interest in exploring math and science and/or pursuing work in a high tech field. We serve Alachua, Bradford, Levy, Marion and Putnam Counties. For more information contact Amy Feutz at 352-378-7474. www.abletrust.org/youth-programs/florida-high-school-high-tech
Sign Language Interpreting Services
Our center operates a sign language coordination program to ensure the availability of interpreters for individuals who are deaf. For more information call Kathy Elkins at 877-629-8840
ADA Paratransit Screenings
The CIL conducts ADA Paratransit Screenings for people with disabilities in Alachua and Marion Counties. For more information, contact ADA Paratransit Coordinator Michael Culley in our Gainesville office at 352-378-7474. For our Marion County office, contact Consumer Specialist Brandon Palermo at 352-368-3788. Additional ADA Paratransit resources can be accessed below:
Gainesville RTS: http://go-rts.com
Ocala’s Suntran: http://www.ocalafl.org/government/city-departments/suntran
MV Rider’s Guide, Audio Version (mp3)
RTS Rider’s Guide, Audio Version (mp3)
Professional Verification Form (Gainesville Only)
Travel training is short-term, comprehensive, intensive instruction designed to teach people with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on public transportation.
Disability Awareness Training
We conduct disability awareness trainings and seminars for educators, businesses, police departments, supervisor’s of election offices, transit agencies and others. Contact Don Barnes for more information.
The CILNCF provides technical assistance and advocacy in support of questions concerning architectural accessibility, barrier removal and code enforcement detailed and required by laws such as: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Fair Housing Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Florida Building Codes, Ch. 11, etc. Follow this link for a variety of ADA Checklists for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
As funds are available, the CILNCF builds wheelchair ramps for those in need of this important home modification. Our important partners include The City of Gainesville’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) office, Christians Concerned for the Community (CCC), and many amazing citizen volunteers. For more information please contact Mark Brisbane, Consumer Specialist at 1-800-265-5724.
The CILNCF provides information and planning assistance to help our consumers prepare for emergencies. We also work with organizations and emergency preparedness officials to help educate and train personnel for how best to assist people with disabilities in the event of emergencies, accommodations at shelters, etc.
We have compiled some helpful information, links, and phone numbers regarding hurricane preparedness for people with disabilities. Information includes locating special needs shelters; tips for preparing, responding, and recovering from hurricanes; how to track hurricanes; emergency supply information; etc. Find that information here »