MCIL is a Twin Cities metro-based, non-profit 501.c.3 consumer-directed organization founded in 1981. MCIL is dedicated to the full promotion of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy by supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives. Being “consumer-directed” means that the majority of decision-making employees (80%) and members of our board of directors (90%) are individuals with disabilities. MCIL’s 32 full-time and 200 part-time employees, 12 Board members, and volunteers are committed to promoting this IL philosophy through innovative projects and direct services that meet the needs of MCIL consumers.
The Independent Living philosophy was created out of a movement of self-advocates (individuals with disabilities) in the 1970’s who desired greater personal control over the decisions being made for and about them. These advocates also saw a need for a separation in perception and reality from the medical model approach to service delivery that continued to see people with disabilities as dependent, subordinate and incapable of controlling their own lives.
Like the more than 500 Centers for Independent Living (CIL) in the US, US territories, and the numerous Centers in Canada, Europe, Africa, South America, MCIL lives by the IL philosophy by providing the following core services:
- Information and Referral
- Independent Living Skills Training
- Peer Mentorship
- Advocacy: Systemic and Individual
Specific programs MCIL provides consumers with include:
- Housing Referral Services
- Transition program for children and young adults with disabilities
- Consumer directed Personal Attendant Services program
- Deaf IL program targeting services to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing
- Ramp Project: Internationally recognized and award winning
- Disability Linkage line: Information, referral and assistance call center
- Nursing Home Relocation: Assisting people in relocationg from nursing homes and institutional settings.
- IL/VR Collaboration: a special project that enables MCIL to place an IL Specialist in each of the 12 metro area Workforce Centers, enabling us to simultaneously address IL needs of individuals seeking rehab services supports.
MCIL served nearly 36,000 individuals with disabilities with these various services in the 2013 reporting year, including 2,200 individuals for whom specific independent living plans were developed and implemented. In other activities, MCIL is a fiscal agent and partner to the statewide ADA Minnesota project.