Programs & Projects in RSA: Scholarship Information - Independent Living

Educational Requirements

Individuals employed as a independent living center administrators provide overall direction to Centers for Independent living (CILs), which are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private, nonprofit organizations that provide an array of opportunities to individuals with disabilities to assist them in living more independently. Most CIL administrators obtain a bachelor's degree, and often a master's degree in a rehabilitation-related field before entering management. In addition, CIL work experience or administrative experience is frequently required.

Most CILs also employ independent living program coordinators. These positions may require a Bachelor's degree in human service-related fields or, in many instances, specific job skills for a position may substitute for formal education.

Individuals employed as CIL administrators or independent living program coordinators must have excellent interpersonal skills and a knowledge of disabilities, community resources and independent living philosophy.

Certification Requirements

At the present time, there are no certification or licensure requirements for CIL administrators, or independent living program coordinators. In most instances, preference is given to qualified persons with disabilities. Life experience with a disability is preferred.

Job Duties

CIL administrators perform a variety of duties relating to systems advocacy, personnel management, program administration, planning, evaluation, public relations, community outreach, fund raising, grant writing, training and other related administrative duties.

Independent living program coordinators may specialize in a particular service area such as employment and job development, advocacy, peer counseling, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) technical assistance, personal assistance services, housing, transportation, independent living skills training, social and recreational activities, and/or volunteer services.

Placement Opportunities

The number of CILs and the number of positions available in this field are continuing to grow and expand each year. Independent living centers are located in major metropolitan areas as well as rural areas.

Salary Ranges

Typically, starting salaries for CIL administrators range from $20,000 to $35,000 per year. Starting salaries for independent living program coordinators range from $17,000 to 25,000 per year.

Additional Information Source

National Council on Independent living (NCIL)
2111 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201

Voice: 703-525-3406
TDD: 703-525-3407
FAX: 703-525-3409

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Last Modified: 11/05/2007