top of page






Clinch Independent Living Services (CILS) recognizes that all citizens are entitled to the freedom to make choices and have the right to live independently in the community.

CILS' mission is to provide resources and support necessary change within the community, alleviating barriers to independence, and enabling citizens to live productive and satisfying lives.

Centers for independent living are non-profit, community based non-residential organizations that are run by and for people with disabilities. Centers for independent living (CILS) aren't places where people live. Instead, they are centers of action and coalition. CILS work to empower people to take charge of their own lifestyles. CILS are designed and operated by people with disabilities.  A center for independent living provides services which promote leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of people with disabilities. CILS works with individuals, as well as with the community, to remove barriers to independence. 


History of Clinch Independent Living Services

Clinch Independent Living Services was established on October 1, 1998, serving Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell counties in southwestern Virginia. Committed individuals from all four counties have made it possible for everyone in Planning District 2 to have access to services which remove barriers to independent living and empower people with disabilities to manage their own lives.  




Marble Surface
youth 2.jpg
photo for website.png
new eyes.jpg


CILS provides many services, including the five core services.  These services are offered to consumers (individuals with disabilities) to assist them in living as independently as possible.

These five core services include: Information and Referral (I&R); Independent Living Skills: Peer Counseling: Individual and Systems Advocacy: and Transition

Information and Referral (I&R) - CILS maintains comprehensive files and resources on locally available accessible housing, transportation, employment opportunities, personal care attendants, interpreters, readers, recreation and personal experiences from CILS staff members.  I&R is a service CILS provides to both individuals with and without disabilities.

Independent Living Skills - CILS provides skills training courses required a person with a disability needs in order to live more independently.  These skills may include using public transportation, managing a budget, assistive technology training, coping with insensitive and discriminatory behavior, and supervision of personal care providers.

Peer Counseling - CILS offers peer counseling to individual with disabilities.  Peer counseling allows an individual with a disability to work with other individuals with disabilities who are independent members of the local community.  The interaction allows for exploring options, solving problems, making adjustments to a newly acquired disability, discussing changes in living arrangements, and learning to use community services more effectively.   

Advocacy - CILS provides two types of advocacy: Individual and Systems.  Individual advocacy involves staff members working with individuals with disabilities to obtain support services from other community agencies. Systems advocacy involves staff, board members, and volunteers initiating efforts toward making changes in the community to make it easier for individuals with disabilities to live independently.  These changes may affect legislation, policy, housing, business, transportation, health care, employment opportunities, accessibility, or any other issue affecting the ability of an individual with a disability to live independently.

Transition - This new core service has three components: (1) facilitating the transition of individuals with significant disabilities from nursing homes and other institutions; (2) assistance to individuals with significant disabilities who are at risk of entering institutions (diversion assistance); (3) facilitating the transition of youth with significant disabilities who are eligible for Individualized Education Programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and who have completed their secondary education or otherwise left school to postsecondary life.  




Other services provided by CILS include: Community Education; Outreach; Technical Assistance: Accessibility and Legal Issues; Recreational Activities; Interpreter Services; Computer Training; Home Modifications; Disability Awareness


bottom of page