About UsAssisting People with Disabilities Since 1982
Our Mission Statement
The Center for Independence (CFI) works to promote community solutions and to empower individuals with disabilities to live independently.
Center For Independence is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-residential, grassroots, State of Colorado certified independent living center, assisting people with disabilities.
In 1982 we began as Helen Campbell Center for the Blind, founded by five newly blind women who recognized the need for and offered skills in survival and independent living for people with visual impairments. In 1986, services were expanded to encompass and acknowledge the needs of people with all types of disabilities, both physical and mental. The Center now serves 12 counties within 40,000 square miles on the Western Slope of Colorado serving people – our consumers – with disabilities; the newest office having opened in Salida in 2020.
CFI is governed by people with disabilities – nothing about us without us! We work to uphold the Independent Living philosophy: that people with disabilities have the right to live their lives independently, with dignity, and to their fullest potential. CFI provides information to individuals and businesses about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accessibility guidelines, and other technical assistance. Our Board of Directors and Staff are comprised of 51% or more people with disabilities, which gives CFI insight in the design and delivery of our services.
Centers for Independent Living History
What is a Center for Independent Living? They are consumer-driven, community based non-residential, not-for-profit organizations with the goal of providing individualized service and system advocacy to persons with all types of disabilities. Services are provided regardless of whether individuals are newly disabled because of aging, accident or illness, or experience life-long disability. CILs will work with your needs to find a goal plan (independent living plan) that works best for you and your disability.
Ed Roberts, the founding Father of the IL Centers, started his in 1972, in Berkeley, California. The start of the Independent Living movement and Federal statute came as part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, reauthorized in 1978. What was happening in 1974-78? The Vietnam war and the returning veterans who needed all forms of medical, educational, and community supports.