What is a CIL?


Developing a Centre for

Independent Living for Lambeth

For Lambeth Physical and Sensory Impairment

Partnership Board, 21 st September 2010

David Strong

What is a CIL?

• A CIL (Centre for Independent Living) is an organisation - or a network of organisations which are run and controlled by disabled people. It works to the Social Model of

Disability and provides services and other activities in the key areas of the internationally recognised 12 Pillars of

Independent Living

The Social Model of Disability

• The Social Model of Disability was created by disabled people as a response to society’s traditional view of disability. The traditional view was based on a medical model approach in which disabled people are seen as the problem; something that is “wrong” and needs to be cured. The social model of disability takes a rights based approach and it states that everyone is equal and that disability is imposed on people with impairments and health conditions by a society which creates barriers to equality. These barriers prevent disabled people participating in society and restrict their opportunities. These barriers go beyond physical barriers i.e. access to buildings and includes barriers to education, work and full societal participation. The social model empowers disabled people to challenge society to remove these barriers.

The 12 Pillars of Independent Living

As internationally agreed by the independent living movement these are:

• Appropriate and accessible information

• An adequate income

• Appropriate and accessible health and social care provision

• A fully accessible transport system

• Full access to the environment

• Adequate provision of technical aids and equipment

• Availability of accessible and adapted housing

• Adequate provision of personal assistance

• Availability of inclusive education and training

• Equal opportunities for employment

• Availability of independent advocacy and self-advocacy

• Availability of peer counselling

Disabled People’s Organisations

• A Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) is an organisation that has a membership and managing board with a majority of disabled people, and whose objectives are the rights and equality of disabled people.

• The Department of Health uses the terminology “User Led

Organisations” (ULOs) for which it has identified a range of

“design criteria” :

* The value base – eg promoting the Social Model and independent living

* Governance and management (eg composition of the Management

Committee, membership)

*Types of services (eg information, advice, peer support, advocacy)

Services and activities a CIL could offer

• Information and advice

• Advocacy and self-advocacy

• Independent living support

• Support with access to housing,

• Education and employment

• A campaigning voice

• Involvement in design, planning & review of services

• Disability equality training

• Access auditing

• Peer support and mentoring

• Opportunities for volunteering

• Helping smaller disabled people’s groups to develop

• Networking, events and social meetings

Policy drivers - National

• Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People

Recommendation 4.3 (Cabinet Office 2005)

“By 2010 each locality should have a user-led organisation modelled on existing CILs”

Putting People First (Transformation of Adult Social Care)

Milestone 1 (Effective partnerships with People using services, carers and other local citizens)

“That every council area has at least one user-led organisation who are directly contributing to the transformation to personal budgets. (By December 2010)”

Policy drivers - Local

• The role of the CIL in contributing to Lambeth’s

Information, Advice and Advocacy Strategy in relation to disabled people

• Connection with Lambeth as a Cooperative Council , eg

“ Principle 3: Citizens and communities empowered to design and deliver services and play an active role in their local community”

• Connection with Lambeth’s Pathfinder Mutual initiative with Lambeth Resource Centre

What has happened so far

• Steering Group set up and meeting monthly : representation from

Lambeth Council (Active Communities Team); DPOs (DASL, People First

Lambeth, Alliance for Inclusive Education, Lambeth MIND, Lambeth Pan-

Disability Forum); Parents for Inclusion

• Secondment of member of Active Communities Team to work on the project with DPOs

• Initial proposal for the design of the CIL made by DPOs – to be developed through consultation

• Terms of reference, draft consultation questions and engagement plan

• Application by DASL to Access to Volunteering for funding to support new disabled volunteers including role within CIL development

The early vision for the Lambeth CIL

• For all people who identify themselves as disabled (across the range of impairments and health conditions)

• For disabled people of all ages

• Local Disabled People’s Organisations working together in a partnership to develop services and activities

• Not just a single building – a mix of physical and virtual resources – with the Accord Centre as a key location

• Committed to making the United Nations Convention on the Rights of

Persons with Disabilities a reality

• Working closely with carers and others who wish to be allies of disabled people in their struggle for independence, inclusion and human rights

The next steps

• Engagement with the Co-operative Council Commission

• Development of discussions between the Council, Lambeth

Accord and DPOs about Lambeth Accord’s role in relation to the


• First phase of public consultation on the vision, principles and broad design for the CIL

• Strengthen the Steering Group to ensure input from other groups (eg Deaf people)

• Dialogue with commissioners to align CIL services with the

Information, Advice and Advocacy Strategy and other key service developments

CIL Contacts

David Strong, Director

Disability Advice Service Lambeth

336 Brixton Road


Tel: 020 7642 0040

Email: david.strong@disabilitylambeth.org.uk


Elaine Aherne, Health and Wellbeing Partnerships Development Manager

Active Communities

LB Lambeth Adults' & Community Services

Tel: 020 7926 4704

Mobile: 07943 811 532

Email: eaherne@lambeth.gov.uk