Independent Living History
CRIL History and Independent Living Philosophy
Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL) was organized as a self-help organization in 1979 by a small group of persons with disabilities (consumers). This group was committed to improving the range of choices and support for consumers in southern Alameda County. A group had formed successfully in Berkeley to support consumers in living more independently and this model inspired the formation of a similar organization to serve the southern part of the county.
There are 28 Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in California and over 200 in the United States. One of the first ILCs was formed in Berkeley, California by Ed Roberts and other college students at UC Berkeley during the late 1960s and early 70s. They advocated for basic rights on campus as well as in the community. They had no accessible place to live on campus except the infirmary. The campus and the community were not accessible. If a required class was on the third floor, they heard "that was too bad." There were no elevators. No accommodations were attempted and civil rights for persons with disabilities were few.
Ed and others advocated for the rights of all persons with disabilities so that persons with disabilities could interact on an equal basis, to make decisions about the course of their own lives. These advocates also knew that rights would not solve the problem because people with disabilities had been socialized to believe that they could not make decisions for themselves.
An independent living model evolved, seeking to bring people together, particularly people with disabilities, with support, advocacy, and skills teaching. Advocacy was and is important for building civil rights laws and educating the public about our needs. Teaching skills in both systems and self-advocacy is even more necessary now for persons with disabilities to work towards enforcement and equality in individual situations as well as systemic situations.
The independent living philosophy in ILCs promotes consumer control (people with disabilities involved in decision-making, service delivery, management, and establishment of the policy and direction of the center); self-help and self-advocacy; development of peer relations and peer role models; and equal access to services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities in the community.
CRIL’s Board of Directors
CRIL's board members extend their time, expertise and leadership as volunteers dedicated to CRIL's mission. More than one-half of our board members are persons with significant disabilities, substantially limiting their ability to obtain, maintain or advance in employment and/or function independently in the community.
Dorene Giacopini, President
Cecelia Fusich, Vice President
Jeff Rosen, Treasurer/Secretary
Katharine Hsiao, Member-At-Large
John Bird, Board Member
Ryan Easterly, Board Member
Chris Finn, Board Member
Marie Kayal, Board Member
Randy Dana, Board Member
Some of the other grants supporting CRIL's work are derived from:
- City of Hayward
- United States Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
- CA Department of Rehabilitation
- Public Authority for In-Home Supportive Services in Alameda County
- City of Dublin
- City of Pleasanton
- City of Livermore
- Kaiser Permanente Diablo Valley Community Fund
- City of Fremont
- Pacific ADA Center
- San Francisco Foundation
- Walter & Elise Haas Fund
- PG&E – Care Program
- Bank of the West
- Cisco Foundation
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Alameda County Tobacco Control Coalition (American Lung Association of California)
- Western Digital Foundation
- The Hindu Community & Cultural Center, Livermore