What is Independent Living?

It’s about finding the tools to be your own best resource. It’s about individuals with disabilities exerting their rights to live as independently as possible, make personal life choices, and achieve full community inclusion.

The Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida (CILNCF) is an established disability resource center. Operated and governed by a majority of people living with disabilities, the CILNCF has delivered high quality programs and services to North Central Florida since 1981.

Our mission to empower independence starts with our 5 Core Services: Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Information & Referral, Peer Support, and Transition. Through these services and our supporting programs, the CILNCF is improving the quality of life throughout our community, increasing levels of personal independence, and fulfilling our mission: Empowering Individuals with Disabilities.

Five Core Services of The Independent Living Philosophy

  • Advocacy
  • Information & Referral
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Peer Support
  • Transition

Five Core services are supported with weekly workshops and activities centered around the effort of people with disabilities to achieve, maintain or regain their independence and have enhanced access to their communities. We give you the tools to be your own best resource.

Durable Medical Equipment Closet

We provide the following durable medical equipment: wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, scooters and sliding boards. Call 352-378-7474 for more information.

Employment Services

Employment Services at the CILNCF strives for the success of both businesses and job applicants. We provide vocational evaluations, job readiness, on-the-job training (OJT), job coaching, placement and retention services. We consider your unique strengths and needs as we help you plan for success.

Collaboration with local employers is how we create opportunities. Employers receive information about hiring incentives including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and The Disabled Access Credit (Hiring Incentives).  Service and training is provided to help with accommodations and problem solving (JAN Network).  Our job is done when everyone succeeds!

Our program works in concert with The Florida Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. If you have a disability and are seeking employment, you may be eligible for a variety of support services. Contact your local VR office to get started.

High School High Tech

HSHT is an enrichment program for high school students with disabilities who have an interest in exploring math and science and/or pursuing work in a high tech field. We serve Alachua, Bradford, Levy, Marion and Putnam Counties. For more information contact Niusha Nazar Kazemi at 352-378-7474.

Sign Language Interpreting Services

Our center operates a sign language coordination program to ensure the availability of interpreters for individuals who are deaf. For more information call Kathy Elkins at 877-629-8840 or e-mail at

ADA Paratransit Screenings

The CIL conducts ADA Paratransit Screenings for people with disabilities in Alachua and Marion Counties. For more information, contact ADA Paratransit Coordinator Myrtle Hoffman in our Gainesville office at 352-378-7474. For our Marion County office, contact Consumer Specialist Brandon Palermo at 352-368-3788. Additional ADA Paratransit resources can be accessed below:

Gainesville RTS:
Ocala’s Suntran:
MV Rider’s Guide, Audio Version (mp3)
RTS Rider’s Guide, Audio Version (mp3) 
Professional Verification Form (Gainesville Only)

Travel Training

Travel training is short-term, comprehensive, intensive instruction designed to teach people with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on public transportation.

Disability Awareness Training

We conduct disability awareness trainings and seminars for educators, businesses, police departments, supervisor’s of election offices, transit agencies and others. Contact Tony Delisle for more information.

Accessibility Studies

The CILNCF provides technical assistance and advocacy in support of questions concerning architectural accessibility, barrier removal and code enforcement detailed and required by laws such as: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Fair Housing Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Florida Building Codes, Ch. 11, etc.  Follow this link for a variety of ADA Checklists for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal

Wheelchair Ramps

As funds are available, the CILNCF builds wheelchair ramps for those in need of this important home modification. Our important partners include The City of Gainesville’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) office, and many amazing citizen volunteers. For more information please contact Mark Brisbane, Consumer Specialist at 1-800-265-5724.

Emergency preparedness

The CILNCF provides information and planning assistance to help our consumers prepare for emergencies. We also work with organizations and emergency preparedness officials to help educate and train personnel for how best to assist people with disabilities in the event of emergencies, accommodations at shelters, etc.

We have compiled some helpful information, links, and phone numbers regarding hurricane preparedness for people with disabilities. Information includes locating special needs shelters; tips for preparing, responding, and recovering from hurricanes; how to track hurricanes; emergency supply information; etc. Learn More »

State of Florida Emergency Contacts by County
State of Florida Emergency Coordinating Officers
Disability Resources for Emergencies
Emergency Supply Fact Sheet
Hurricane Guide for Individuals with ASD
Hurricane Guide for Individuals with ASD Spanish Version

FAAST Assistive Technology Program

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) is the state of Florida’s assistive technology program. Assistive technology activities provided by FAAST include device loans, device demonstrations, device reutilization, device trainings, information and assistance, and a statewide financing program. FAAST serves Floridians who have disabilities and their family members, service providers, educators, therapists, employers, health and rehabilitation professionals, assistive technology vendors, procurement officials, and all other interested parties throughout the state of Florida. Contact Claudia Avendano, the CIL’s Assistive Technologies Specialist, for more information (352-378-7474 or


AgrAbility is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that aids farmers, ranchers, other agricultural workers, and farm family members living with a disability. The main objective of the Florida AgrAbility Project is to assist farmers in overcoming barriers caused by disabilities and health conditions to continue farming. AgrAbility also offers services to those with disabilities who wish to become a beginning farmer. For more information, please contact Lindsey Head, CILNCF Case Coordinator and Project Assistant at (352) 262-0265 or (or Please also feel free to visit the AgrAbility website:

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) is a cooperative agreement through Social Security Administration (SSA) with local agencies, like the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida (CILNCF), to provide work incentives information and planning services for individuals:

  • Between the ages of 14 through full retirement age.
  • Working or interested in working.
  • Who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on a disability.

If you would like general information about how work might affect your benefits, you can call the Ticket to Work Helpline at 1-866-968-7842, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. If you use TTY services for people with hearing impairments, use 1-866-833-2967. 

If you are working or you have a job offer, the Helpline can refer you directly for Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.

Contact the CILNCF today to see how we can help you!