The first Irish Center for Independent Living (CIL) was established in Carmichael House in 1992 by and for people with disabilities with the main aim of ensuring that people with disabilities achieved Independent Living, choice and control over their lives and full participation in society as equal citizens. It offered an advocacy and campaigning representation role, striving to bring about a social model of service delivery and to ensure policy decisions would include input from those whose lives were actually affected. It also held an action-research role in monitoring developments in the world of Independent Living.

Our slogan is 'Nothing about us without us!'

Our Vision

The Center for Independent Living looks forward to the full development of rights based choices to enable Independent Living for all people with disabilities.


The Centers for Independent Living in Ireland, are user-led organisations working in partnership with others, committed to all people with disabilities being recognised as equal citizens and achieving equal membership of society, to make informed decisions about our own lives in accordance with individual needs and lifestyle choices, to design and develop our own services, to achieve equality of experience: through consensus, respect and value for all. 

Core Values

Our core values are underpinned by the philosophy of Independent Living and all activities are aimed towards promoting:

  1. Independence
  2. Options
  3. Rights
  4. Empowerment

Our work includes:

  • Active Research
  • Education & Training development
  • Representation of Irish Centers for Independent Living on national and international level
  • Support of the CIL Network Council
  • Support of the National Advisory Group on Independent Living
  • Communications & Development Support

CIL Structure

The Center for Independent Living is a limited company and registered charity. It is the Board of Directors that sets goals and devises policies for CIL in consultation with the company members.

In doing so, the Board's role is to map out the future direction of the Independent Living movement in Ireland.

The Board of Directors conducts the business of the organisation in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association

There are two internal sub-groups which are chaired by Board Members. These sub-groups are:

  1. Research Advocacy and Policy (RAP) chaired by Mr. Tom King
  2. Education and Training chaired by Mrs. Adrienne Millar

In addition to this, CIL Carmichael House provides support to:

  1. CIL Network Council
  2. National Advisory Group


CIL has proven to be an effective voice for people with disabilities and over the years has contributed significantly to national policies related to disability.

As it is an organisation of people with disabilities it  possess the closest possible experience and knowledge of the issues.

CIL has demonstrated that it can work effectively and in partnership with a wide range of voluntary and statutory agencies.

CILs are players on the international disability stage and have established invaluable links with key organisations and individuals across Europe and continue to actively seek transnational partnership opportunities. CIL Carmichael House is an active member of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL).

CIL has enabled people with disabilities to take control of their own lives and outlined below are a number of projects it has initiated :

  • Introduced the first personal assistance programme in Ireland thereby enabling people to take greater control of their lives. This has been the single most significant development for Independent Living in the history of the State.
  • Established Vantastic - an accessible transport system. Transport is a key disability issue and the introduction of Vantastic has offered many new opportunities to disabled people.
  • Initiated a variety of capacity building training programmes in partnership with other organisations.