Independent Living Resources

Ohio Centers for Independent Living

There are 12 Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in the State of Ohio. CILs provide the following services to individuals:

  • Advocacy
  • Information and Referral
  • Peer Support
  • Independent Living Skills Training
  • Nursing home and institution transition to the community
  • Youth Transition
  • Diversion from nursing home or institution

To find a Center near you click on:

ILRU Directory of Centers for Independent Living across the country (Map)

Ohio Centers for Independent Living (OOD Website)


Cerebral Palsy Group:   An online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuries. Our team was created so we can provide answers and all types of assistance needed to help improve the quality of life for loved ones and family members with cerebral palsy.


Resources for Home Modifications for Accessibility:

Do you have questions regarding making your home more accessible for yourself or for a family member with a disability? Many people do and do not know where to look for the answers. Home accessibility, for individuals with disabilities, is something that many people are seeking information about.

Here are resources regarding home accessibility:


Resources on Mental Health:

There is a stigma and judgment that seem to walk hand in hand with mental health disorders. The first step in making real change and finally ending the stigma is to clear up the misconceptions surrounding mental health. Individuals struggle with depression, addiction, eating disorders, isolation, etc. Mental Health disorders are extremely complex. Let’s join together as a community to end the stigma that surrounds mental health once and for all!

Thank You!


Capitol Crawl” – Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: On Monday, March 12, 1990 disability rights activists descended on the U.S. Capitol demanding the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which would give equal rights to people with disabilities. The ADA was passed by the Senate the year before but as finding complications getting through the House of Representatives. Over 1,000 protesters came from 30 states to protest the Act’s delay.


Community Centers for the Deaf (OOD)  For over 30 years, OOD has partnered with community entities to provide support and communication services to deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind individuals, as well as, their families and communities.


DIMENET Network website: DIMENET provides accessible access to the information infrastructure to people with disabilities through ILC’s. ILC’s are an ideal vehicle to reduce disparities in access for people with disabilities, an under-served and disadvantaged group due to their unique technology needs and economic status. DIMENET software is designed by technical experts and ILC associations in order to accommodate common assistive technology devices. Nationwide, ILC’s have selected DIMENET as their telecommunications host to provide access to the Internet and to each other. DIMENET is an information source within the Internet, insuring equal access and enabling ILC’s to fulfill their Congressional mandate.


Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU)ILRU and its key programs and projects are in operation despite the unprecedented, widespread flooding in Houston and southeast Texas from Hurricane Harvey. Some ILRU staff experienced flooding in their homes, but all are safe and well. The facilities of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center where ILRU is located were not damaged. The associated TIRR rehabilitation hospital continued operation throughout the storm with flood walls in place. ILRU staff have assisted in the coordination of disaster response services for persons with disabilities and have responded to many disaster-related questions through the ADA resource phone lines of the Southwest Center on the ADA. Training and technical assistance programs for centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils continue in operation, as do ILRU’s participatory action research, health reform research, and business acumen support programs. ILRU and TIRR Memorial Hermann will continue in the weeks and months to come to assist persons with disabilities and the organizations which support them in their recovery efforts.

ILRU, founded in 1977, has a long history of providing research, education and consultation in the areas of independent living, home and community-based services, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Kathleen Kleinmann

Kathleen Kleinmann served as the founding director of Transitional Paths to Independent Living in 1990 and now is the Chief Executive Officer of TRPIL in Washington, PA.

Editorial by Kathleen Kleinmann

Notes made on Tuesday, August 8, 1995

I thought I understood but there was still more to learn. As a director of a center for independent living, I had pushed for more consumer-responsive services in our community of Washington, Pennsylvania. I had gone to many, many meetings and urged our local leaders to “take action” to improve the ability of people with disabilities to obtain transportation.

Except for public hearings, most of the time I was the only individual with a disability in the meeting room. I thought I was making progress. I thought that I was effective in communicating the needs of people with disabilities in rural southwest PA.

How could I be so naive? How could I be so brazen to think that I could represent people better than they could represent themselves? I became the “middle man.” The bureaucrats seemed generally to be comfortable with me, and I was asked to sit on several advisory committees.

Things seemed to be going well. Or, had I been CO-OPTED? Who? Me? Couldn’t be!

I realized that I could drive a car and rarely depended upon any type of public or para-transit. But, I was egotistical enough to believe that I could “relate” to the experience of people who were stuck. Somehow all the principles of CONSUMERISM, EMPOWERMENT, and DEMOCRATIC PROCESS got all confused with the principle of REPRESENTATION.

Our county obtained a Work-Related Transportation Grant from RSA ($300,000\yr. for 3 yrs.). Suddenly, transportation to work, rehabilitation and independent living programs became plentiful. Local dollars were never committed.

It was too easy. Someone fell asleep at the wheel. When they woke up the program was $100,000 over spent relative to grant funds. Local money would have to bail out the program.

One hundred twenty-five people were given two days’ notice that they were being thrown off the program based upon geography. The phones at the CIL were ringing with the cries of people who were affected.

I had this sinking feeling. I knew that I was supposed to protect my bureaucratic friends from the embarrassment of the exposure of their mismanagement. My role was now to represent the bureaucrats and convince the people with disabilities to accept these “unfortunate events” quietly. The officials were counting on me to act like a professional. It is an unspoken conspiracy against all human service consumers. I almost fell for it again.

But when the CIL staff asked me how to respond to the calls, the disabled woman inside of me answered them instead of the professional. I advised the staff to inform the people of an emergency meeting of the Transportation Advisory Committee suddenly scheduled for the following work day. I suggested that the local press might even be interested.

I will never forget that meeting. A local newspaper reporter was there early. The meeting started with the announcement of the immediate cut backs. The need for reductions in service was generally blamed upon abuse of the program by consumers. I knew better. We all did. My claims of injustice brought harsh looks for silence from others at the table. The conspiracy demanded cooperation.

Slow but sure, 15 people affected by the cut backs filtered into the room. Hesitantly, they individually asked to be heard. They told the truth. They did it far better than I ever could.

When the meeting ended, the consumers had achieved a 30-day reprieve on the cut backs. Time that could be well spent.

After the meeting, I was informed by our bureaucrats in the hallway that my statements were inappropriate; that inviting consumers and the press to our meeting was outrageous; and that I had failed to do my job as a committee member. I was told very emphatically that my job was to “control your people.” My job was to “represent your people” and NOT to bring them to a “private meeting” to speak for themselves.

Life as a CIL director is hazardous. Selling out the people in the name of “representing” them can happen before we realize what we are doing. When thoughtlessly applied, REPRESENTATION is the enemy of EMPOWERMENT.

You can contact Kathleen at [email protected] and Transitional Paths to Independent Living at 724.223.5115.


National Council on Independent Living (NCIL): 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.


Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC): Established in 1992 by amendments to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council (OSILC) has seven governor-appointed council members from Ohio’s disabilities community and seven non-voting members from state agencies. The Ohio SILC is an independent agency created by the Governor’s Executive Order in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act that requires each state to establish a SILC to be eligible for federal funding under the Act. The Council is responsible for promoting the full access and independence of people with disabilities in the communities of their choosing. OSILC works to provide a statewide network of independent living services and supports so that people with disabilities can independently live, work, and participate in their communities.


Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD): Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)  formerly known as the Rehabilitation Service Commission (RSC) was established in 1970 as the agency in Ohio designated to provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Since inception, OOD has assisted more than 335,000 individuals with disabilities find employment.


Personal Care Assistance Program (PCA-OOD): In order to maintain employment, look for employment, or participate in training for employment, some Ohioans with severe disabilities may require a personal care attendant/aide to assist them with activities of daily living (ADLs). OOD’s PCA Program provides partial reimbursement to eligible individuals so that they may hire an attendant/aide.

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