The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.
An outcome of the national disability rights and Independent Living Movements, NCIL was founded to embody the values of disability culture and Independent Living philosophy, which creates a new social paradigm and emphasizes that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, that they have crucial and valuable perspective to contribute to society, and are deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities.
Since its inception, NCIL has carried out its mission by assisting member CILs and SILCs in building their capacity to promote social change, eliminate disability-based discrimination, and create opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the legislative process to affect change. NCIL promotes a national advocacy agenda set by its membership and provides input and testimony on national disability policy.
Sadly, our vision of equality has not yet been fully realized. Many people with disabilities remain imprisoned in nursing homes and other institutions and our civil rights laws are undermined and devalued on an increasing basis. As a membership organization, NCIL needs the support of all our nation’s advocates in order to achieve our goals and advance the disability rights movement.