Centers for Independent Living

To provide independent living services to individuals with significant disabilities to assist them to function more independently in family and community settings, by developing and supporting a statewide network of centers for independent living.

Examples of Funded Projects

Provided services vary from one center to another.

Centers provide a combination of services, including: information and referral; independent living skills training; individual and systems advocacy; counseling services; housing; rehabilitation technology; mobility training; life skills training; interpreter and reader services; personal assistance services; accessible transportation; supported living; therapeutic treatment; provision of prostheses and other devices; and other services described in Section 7 (30)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Grants supported the operation of approximately 340 centers in FY 2007.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Federal funds are used for the establishment and operation of centers for independent living which offer a combination of services.

Services must include independent living core services which mean information and referral services, training in independent living skills, peer counseling, individual and systems advocacy, and as appropriate, a combination of any other independent living services specified in Title II of the Rehabilitation Act.

Each center must have a governing board composed of a majority of persons with significant disabilities.

The majority of the staff and individuals in decision making positions must be individuals with disabilities.

Not less than 1.8 percent and not more than two percent of Federal funds appropriated for the program must be reserved to provide training and technical assistance under contracts with entities experienced in the operation of centers for independent living.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The principal eligible applicants are the private nonprofit agencies that received funding directly or through subgrants or contracts under the Centers for Independent Living program in fiscal year 1992.

If funds remain available after all principal eligible applicants have been funded, other centers for independent living (as defined in Section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act) and State agencies may receive funding based on satisfactory applications (including territories and outlying areas).

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individuals with significant physical, mental, cognitive, or sensory impairments whose ability to function independently in the family or community or whose ability to obtain, maintain, or advance in employment is substantially limited. Eligibility shall not be based on the presence of any one or more specific significant disabilities.


Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

The standard application forms, as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102, must be used for this program.

Application Procedures

This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110. Applications for new awards from eligible agencies should be submitted to the Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4725, unless otherwise directed in the Federal Register Announcement.

Award Procedures

New awards are made on approval of the Commissioner of Rehabilitation Services Administration, and the Assistant Secretary of OSERS, based on the findings of Federal and nonfederal reviews of applications to ensure the applicants satisfactorily demonstrate that they have met the standards and assurances described in Section 725 (b) and (c) the Rehabilitation Act.


Contact headquarters office for application deadlines.


Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VII, Chapter 1, Part C, 29 U.S.C. 796f-796f-6.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.




Projects may be continued based on a self-evaluation report activities, and accomplishments as described in the Center's self-evaluation and annual report requirements under Section 725 (c)(8) of the Act, submittal of a continuation application, and the availability of funds. Renewals are available through the regular continuation application process. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Existing projects are approved on an annual basis with funding on a twelve month basis. New projects are funded for five years with funding approved on a 12-month basis. Renewals are subject to the availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual and fiscal progress reports and self-evaluations (A-F Reports) must be submitted as prescribed by Section 725 (c)(8) of the Rehabilitation Act, and grant award terms and conditions.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Fiscal records must be maintained for 3 years after the grant ends and the final financial report is submitted or until all audit questions are resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $74,638,000; FY 08 est $73,334,000; and FY 09 $73,334,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: $785,000 to $7,350,000. Average: $1,381,000 in FY 2007.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Program Regulations at 34 CFR 364 and 366.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Rehabilitation Services Administration, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Contact: Veronica Hogan. E-mail: Telephone: (202) 245-7378.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria for this program include extent of need for the project, past performance, satisfaction of the standards and assurances set forth in Section 725, quality of key personnel, budget and cost-effectiveness, evaluation plan, plan of operation, and involvement of individuals with significant disabilities. Criteria for evaluating applications are published in program regulations at 34 CFR 366.

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