Blaze Pizza Fundraiser

Join us at Blaze Pizza on Archer Road on Tuesday, February 25th, to eat, drink and raise some money for a good cause! OT EAC is sponsoring this fundraiser and generously donating all funds raised to the Center’s Wheelchair Ramp Building Program!

The OT EAC is a speciality clinic under the UF Equal Access Clinic Network. We are a student-run clinic that offers free occupational therapy services to individuals 18 years and older in the Gainesville community every week. Our aim is to help people who have experienced illness, injury, or disability return to the activities that are meaningful and important in their day-to-day lives.

We hope to see you all there to enjoy some good pizza, good company and good fundraising!

Alachua County Disaster Preparedness Expo for People with Disabilities

The CIL is hosting our 1st Annual Alachua County Emergency Preparedness Expo at the Senior Recreation Center 5701 NW 34th Blvd in Gainesville on April 30th from 8:30am to 1:00pm!

Come out to learn more about how you can stay prepared for any emergency event that might happen in our community. We will be discussing things like emergency shelter locations, contacts and how to create disaster preparedness supply kits. Refreshments will be provided and ASL interpreters will be available.

Join us for this informative and free event to learn how you can prepare for our community’s emergency situations! 

To register, please go to to the following links:

English: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/emergency-preparedness-expo-for-people-with-disabilities-tickets-73469115101

Spanish: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/exposicion-de-preparacion-para-emergencias-para-pe-tickets-80938971643

Happy Retirement, Don!

This is a bittersweet moment, as we announce Don Barnes’s retirement after over twelve years at the CIL! Although we are sad to see Don leave us, we are so happy for him and looking back at his time here with a smile. Don has always been the sunshine on a cloudy day for the CIL staff and we all feel so lucky to have shared some time with him, whether it’s been years or just a few months.

Don’s hard work and dedication at the CIL has inspired all of us and his constant positive energy lights up the room. He puts his heart into everything he does, and we will miss him dearly.

Don said of his time here that the CIL is “an easy place to work and a hard place to leave”. He has found ease in helping people over the past twelve years and is sad to be leaving the CIL consumers and his fellow CIL staff, whom he now considers his family, but is excited to start this new chapter of his life.

His accomplishments at the CIL will not be easily forgotten and our staff and consumers will always be grateful for everything he has done.

Enjoy your retirement Don and know that we will all miss you!

CIL Art Showcase

The CIL is hosting an Art Showcase on December 14th from 2 – 4pm!

Anyone can submit their artwork for a chance to win a prize, but be sure to submit your work by December 13th!

Please join us to view and buy your favorite art pieces! There will be paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, photography and so much more!

We appreciate your continual support and look forward to seeing everyone come out for this event!

CILNCF is Entering the Sunstate Federal Credit Union Contest!

The CIL of North Central Florida is entering Sunstate Federal Credit Union’s contest to win $1,000! With the most votes by liking our comments on Instagram and Facebook, the CIL will win!

Here’s how you can help us win…

  1. Log in to your Instagram and Facebook accounts.
  2. Search for Sunstate Federal Credit Union’s account.
  3. Under their most recent #GivingTuesday post, find the comment that nominates “The Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida”.
  4. Hit that like button so we can win!

Thanks for your support in spreading the word to our community partners!

Why does the CIL continue to be involved with disaster readiness?

CIL’s are huge advocates of emergency management and preparedness, but why do we prepare our communities for emergencies to the extent that we do? Often times, people with disabilities get lost in all the commotion during disasters and they end up placed in an environment that may appear to meet their needs, but actually doesn’t, such as a nursing home or psychiatric institution. This is why it’s extremely important that everyone is prepared beforehand and aware of all their resources. The CIL does our best to make sure these resources are accessible to everyone!

If you’d like to learn more about why it’s important to prepare for disasters, and why CIL’s will always be heavily involved with disaster readiness, this article is an informative read. The Emergency Management sector of Government Technology goes into depth on this issue and explains why this happens and how best to avoid it.

For more on emergency preparedness visit the Administration for Community Living’s Emergency Preparedness blog, and stay updated with us — the CIL will always be here for you!

HUGE thank you to our conference contributors!

On May 20th, the Center for Independent Living and The Villages Public Safety hosted an Emergency Preparedness Conference for people with disabilities, senior adults, and the community. This conference was aimed to update people on how to best prepare for emergencies and to ensure they’re exposed to all of the resources that are available to them.

We would like to thank all of the companies, vendors, and speakers for helping out with this conference. Without the support and contributions from these following organizations, we would not be able to put on conferences that address these crucial topics!

  • SECO Energy
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Rohan Recreation Center
  • The Village Public Safety
  • Sumter County Emergency Management
  • Comfort Keepers
  • Lake County Emergency Management
  • APD
  • Clear Caption
  • Shine
  • Lowe’s of Wildwood
  • Dept. of Health
  • Dept. of Health volunteers’
  • Dept. of Health SNP
  • Dept. of Health MRC
  • Family Network on Disabilities
    Speakers:
  • Tony Delisle (CILNCF) & Beth Meyers (Florida Independent Living Council, Inc.)
  • David Casto (Sumter County Emergency Management)
  • Chris Littlewood (Instructional Technology Coordinator/St. Pete College)
  • Tralene Lucas (SECO Energy)

Thank you again to all of these organizations for your unwavering support and contribution!

Safety First, Thanks to CILNCF

The ramp built for Womber Hill in Brooker, Florida.

Womber Hill, of Brooker, Florida, lived in a house with a crumbling back porch and a dangerously uneven back door frame. Womber has poor balance and lives by herself, and as a result she often fell while exiting her dangerous back door and accumulated many scrapes and scratches.

The Center for Independent Living coordinated with Amwake Home Improvement to provide Womber with accessible home modifications which were completed on March 23, 2019.

Benjamin Amwake and a student volunteer from Santa Fe College revamped Womber’s porch, cleaned her yard and built her an accessible ramp. Womber is now able to safely navigate in and out of her home, and the freezer, refrigerator and hot water heater that she kept outside are now safely braced thanks to the new porch.

“Blood, sweat and tears [put into these projects] are more valuable to us than money,” said Mark Brisbane, coordinator of the ramp program at CILNCF. “That’s just rewarding.”