About CILs

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) emerged as an outcome of advocacy efforts that were part of the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movements. This advocacy led to the passage of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Advocacy has remained an integral part of the work of the CILs. One of the driving forces of these advocacy efforts has been to ensure that people with disabilities have control over the services provided to them under the Rehabilitation Act. With an aim to ensure the legal rights of people with disabilities and to promote full inclusion and access to equal opportunity, these tireless advocacy efforts also have resulted in landmark legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992, 1997, and 2008, the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act, the Assistive Technology Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

To view a compelling 1989 CBS broadcast interview between Harry Reasoner and Ed Roberts, the “father of the Independent Living Movement”, please visit http://mn.gov/mnddc/ed-roberts/sixtyMinutes.html. This incredible interview offers a compelling story that precisely articulates the spirit of the Independent Living Movement and the significance of the work of the Centers for Independent Living.

All of DAWN’s programs and services embody the principles of the Independent Living philosophy, which asserts that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, choices, and control as do people without disabilities. DAWN is dedicated to its legacy and commitment as a CIL to advancing the Independent Living Movement. We invite anyone interested in more information about DAWN, Centers for Independent Living, or the Independent Living Movement to contact us to learn more about the work of ensuring the rights of people with disabilities, and about how to get involved.