About 

About WCICIL

WCICIL is a Center for Independent Living (CIL). It is a not-for-profit advocacy center funded by state and federal grants to provide services to people with disabilities. The mission of the Center is to promote, increase and improve opportunities for independent living and lifestyle for persons with disabilities within the six-county service area: Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike, and Schuyler. A Board of Directors, of which 51% of the members must have a disability, governs the Center, and an Executive Director manages WCICIL.

WCICIL Staff

Dan Stupavsky

Dan Stupavsky

Executive Director

dan@wcicil.org

The Director is responsible for the direction and management of WCICIL program and service operations consistent with the policies and plans of the Board of Directors. His responsibilities include personnel management, budgeting and fiscal management, public relations, and systems advocacy to promote accessibility and inclusion for all persons with disabilities..

Amanda Nieders

Amanda Nieders

Data & Compliance Coordinator

amanda@wcicil.org

Amanda is the center’s point-person for consumers as well as the general public, assisting with administrative and day-to-day office functions. She coordinates the Equipment Loan Program, the temporary loaning of assistive devices like manual wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes.

Dale Winner

Dale Winner

Information & Referral Specialist

dale@wcicil.org

Dale assists individuals with disabilities find resources that help them live more independently in the community. Dale is also SHIP certified and works with individuals to access and maintain benefits like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Benefit Access.

Ben Brown

Ben Brown

Independent Living & Transitions Advocate

ben@wcicil.org

As Transitions Advocate, Ben is responsible for assisting eligible individuals move out of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities back to the community-based living of their choice. Ben also assists individuals to access and maintain home services, as well as provide independent living skills training.

Kelli McCauslin

Kelli McCauslin

Independent Living & Home Services Advocate

kelli@wcicil.org

Kelli’s primary focus is on home services and personal assistants recruitment and training. Kelli works closely with individuals with disabilities to access and manage in-home services from personal assistants or home health agencies, and also trains people who are interested in being hired as personal assistants. As an Independent Living Advocate, Kelli also assists with peer counseling and independent living skills training.

Jenny Calvert

Jenny Calvert

Independent Living Advocate

jennifer@wcicil.org

As an Independent Living Advocate, Jenny assists individuals achieve their goals to live independently through life skills training, advocacy, information & referral, and peer mentoring. Independent living goal areas include housing, transportation, education, employment, assistive technology, and health care. Jenny serves as the primary contact person in WCICIL’s satellite office located in Macomb Illinois.

Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabeth Harmon

Youth Services Advocate

elizabeth@wcicil.org

Elizabeth’s responsibilities fall under Independent Living Skills training with a focus on youth services. Elizabeth helps youth get the most appropriate education by providing advocacy at school conferences, IEP’s, and 504 planning meetings to assist both parents and student in navigating the special education system.

Shelley McCarthy

Shelley McCarthy

Independent Living Advocate

shelley@wcicil.org

Shelley was hired to be an advocate for individuals with disabilities, with a focus on blind and low vision services. Shelley also has experience working with housing, transportation, and health care accessibility issues.

What Is Independent Living?

The Independent Living Philosophy is based on the premise that, regardless of a person’s disability, all individuals have the right and the responsibility to make life-controlling choices, which determine the direction of one’s life. That includes full and meaningful social participation as equal members of the community — free of any unnecessary physical, attitudinal, communication, and employment barriers. Our goal is to promote the overall visibility of persons with disabilities as well as encourage meaningful involvement in community life.

History of Centers for Independent Living

In 1972, the first Center for Independent Living was founded by disability activists, led by Ed Roberts, in Berkeley, California. Ed Roberts (1939-1995) is unfailingly cited as a pioneer in the movement by persons with disabilities for legally defined rights and control over their own lives. No longer content with limited life opportunities, nor willing to be defined solely as medical patients, disabled people in several cities nationwide shared the willingness to challenge authority, discard inherited prejudices, and effect social change that was the hallmark of the 1970s. Blue-curb parking spaces were to become ordinary sights within years.

In 1990, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) finally became a reality in a nation designed for equality. We have now come, again, to a new chapter in this evolution of living with a disability, and how much can be done with one.

About CILS Wordwide

Independent Living, is a philosophy, a way of looking at disability and society, and a worldwide movement of people with disabilities who proclaim to work for self-determination, self-respect and equal opportunities. As citizens in democratic societies persons with disabilities have the same right to participation, to the same range of options, degree of freedom, control and self-determination in everyday life and life projects that other citizens take for granted.