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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

CIL-NET Presents… A National Onsite Training – Get to the Core of It: Integrating CIL Core Services for a Holistic Consumer Experience

May 1-4, 2018; Tempe, Arizona

Register online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

Registration Fee: $150.00

Registration Deadline: March 31, 2018

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETConsumer control is at the heart of Independent Living. Centers for Independent Living distinguish themselves and the quality of their services by allowing consumers to determine their own goals and success. It’s a simple concept, but running a CIL and providing the core services is anything but. This training will provide you with best practices and innovative approaches to the core services by going straight back to our roots in consumer control and the independent living philosophy. We will address all of the CIL core services, including the new core services of youth transition, transition from institutions to the community, and avoiding institutionalization.

Our team of experienced CIL directors and staff will give you real-world solutions to build integrated, seamless services and programs focused on consumer empowerment and success. This will be IL-NET’s only national, onsite training in 2018. Don’t miss this exciting 3 ½ day event in the Valley of the Sun.

Following the training, on the afternoon of May 4, participants will have the opportunity to take a field trip to the Ability360 campus, Phoenix’s Center for Independent Living and an international landmark in universal design and collaborative planning with both its Ability360 Center and Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center. 

Purpose and Target Audience

Executive Directors, Program Managers, Independent Living Specialists, Youth Transition Coordinators and other staff at Centers for Independent Living, that are responsible for CIL core services and program delivery.

You will learn:

  • The connection between IL history and philosophy and seamless consumer-driven service delivery.
  • Effective interviewing and goal setting practices that support consumer control and direction.
  • Effective Information & Referral (I&R) services that are responsive to community needs.
  • Approaches to implementing or strengthening core services in Peer Support and IL Skills Training that are responsive to consumer needs.
  • Approaches to implementing or strengthening Individual and Systems Advocacy activities that reflect community and consumer needs identified through core and other services.
  • Strategies for seamless integration of the new core services of Institutional Transition and Diversion to new populations and through your existing core services.
  • Strategies for seamless integration of the new core service of youth transition that attracts, involves, and fully engages youth and young adults at all levels of CIL governance and operations.
  • And much more…

Brief Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 1, 2018:

  • 9:00 a.m. Training Begins
  • 12:00 p.m. Working Lunch (provided)
  • 4:30 p.m. Evening Recess

Wednesday, May 2, 2018:

  • 9:00 a.m. Training Begins
  • 12:00 p.m. Working Lunch (provided)
  • 4:30 p.m. Evening Recess

Thursday, May 3, 2018:

  • 9:00 a.m. Training Begins
  • 12:00 p.m. Working Lunch (provided)
  • 4:30 p.m. Evening Recess

Friday, May 4, 2018:

  • 9:00 a.m. Training Begins
  • 12:00 p.m. Training Ends
  • 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. Visit to Ability360 (Optional)

For traveling planning purposes, we have participants back to the Tempe Mission Palms no later than 3:30 p.m. local time. The tour at Ability360 will conclude between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. Ability360 is just 1 ½ miles from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport if you would like to arrange your own transportation to the airport directly from Ability360.

Hotel Information

Tempe Mission Palms

60 East Fifth Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281

Front Desk: (480) 894-1400

Reservations: (800) 547-8705

  • Reduced Rate for IL-NET Attendees: $184.00/night (single / double occupancy), plus applicable taxes and a reduced hospitality fee of $5.95/night that includes airport transportation, guestroom internet, and more (normally $17.95/night).
  • You will need to provide our group name, “IL-NET” when making your reservation to receive the group rate. You can also reference our unique group code: 2UG0UL.
  • Guestroom reservation deadline is March 31, 2018

Meet Your Presenters

Darrel Christenson has been the Vice President of Community Integration for Ability360, formerly Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL), for over 19 years. Mr. Christenson has run a number of Ability360 programs, including Information & Referral, Independent Living Skills Training, Empowering Youth with Disabilities into Adulthood, Early Intervention, Re-integration of Young Adults from Nursing Homes to Community, Community Living Options, and Home Modifications.

Mr. Christenson was elected to the National Council on Independent Living’s (NCIL) Board of Directors three years ago, elected to Treasurer in 2017 and has served on their Housing Sub-Committee for the past nine years, addressing issues of increasing and promoting accessibility in all housing nationally. He is an active member of the Arizona Fair Housing Partnership, working to educate members of the housing industry on the benefits and requirements of accessible, affordable housing throughout Arizona.

Michelle Crain has been the Executive Director of LIFE, Inc. for the past 17 years. Within the last 8 years, she has established new Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in both Abilene and San Angelo, Texas. Under Ms. Crain’s direction, LIFE, Inc. has enhanced its IL program through various innovative projects, most notably, nursing home to community transition, housing, Social Security advocacy, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and health and fitness.

In response to the New Core Services, mandated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 (WIOA), Ms. Crain has developed a Questionnaire to assist consumers in developing a comprehensive Independent Living Plan (ILP) that addresses “at risk” factors; thereby, diverting consumers from institutional placement. She also served on the Leadership Team for the Common Outcomes and Return on Investment Project, a statewide initiative to develop a framework for consistently counting, collecting, and reporting CIL services.

Bruce Darling is co-founder and CEO of the Center for Disability Rights (CDR), a Rochester-based disability rights organization and Independent Living Center. He also serves as CEO of the Regional Center for Independent Living and All About You Home Care, a disability-led home care organization in upstate New York. During his a career in disability rights and Independent Living that has spanned nearly three decades, he has dealt with a wide range of disability issues: fighting for access to public transportation, promoting accessible housing, creating community-based alternatives to institutionalization, and opposing physician-assisted suicide.

Amina Donna Kruck is the AZ Community Leadership Academy facilitator and an advocate from Phoenix, Arizona. She is an Arizona Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s of Counseling from Arizona State University. Until her retirement in 2017, Amina was Vice President of Advocacy Programs at Ability360. Amina created programs to empower individuals with disabilities and their families through advocacy related workshops, mentoring, facilitating wellness groups, providing technical assistance for the development of consumer-driven initiatives, and developing community partnerships to address barriers to consumer choice, equal rights and self-determination. She was also Ability360’s designated lobbyist and provided workshops on the legislative process, disability oppression / liberation, self-advocacy skills, and was a regular contributor to Ability360’s LivAbility magazine.

April Reed is the Vice President of Advocacy and Designated Legislative Lobbyist at Ability360. Reed received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University in May 2005. Reed supervises several programs including the 65-member peer mentor volunteer team; Benefits 2 Work Program for Social Security beneficiaries working or seeking employment; This is MY Life self-advocacy educational program for individuals receiving services through the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities: the Community Leadership Academy; Theatre360 and the Living Well with a Disability Program.

Kimberly Tissot is the Executive Director of Able SC where she guides the staff in applying the philosophy of Independent living to real situations. Kimberly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from Wheelock College in Boston, MA and a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Kimberly has developed several innovative independent living and disability rights programs to reach all populations. She is a dedicated disability rights advocate and most recently her efforts resulted in the passing of progressive legislation in South Carolina, “Persons with Disabilities Right to Parent Act”. In addition to Kimberly’s role at Able SC, she is Governor appointed to the SC Statewide Independent Living Council, appointed by the SC State Superintendent of Education to the SC Advisory Council on the Education of Students with Disabilities where she serves as Chair, and serves on the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living’s Board of Directors, co-chairs the NCIL ADA and Civil Rights Committee as well as serves on the NCIL Parenting Rights Task Force. Kimberly was recently awarded The State’s 20 Under 40 Top Leaders. Her special interests include: parenting with a disability, leadership development, and systems advocacy.

Charlie Walters is Director of Transition Programs at Able SC. Charlie has a professional background that spans children’s museum education, outdoor education, and inclusive postsecondary education. While receiving his master’s degree in special education at the University of South Carolina, he worked as the Employment Specialist for CarolinaLIFE, a two to four year college program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was here that Charlie first saw the possibilities that opened up for youth with disabilities when they were provided environments that fully supported them in taking the lead on their lives. That led him to the team at Able SC where he provides trainings across the state for education professionals on transition and self-determination, supervises many of Able SC’s youth initiatives, and works directly with young adults to support them in taking a more active role in the IEP process.


CIL-NET is a program of the IL-NET national training and technical assistance project for Centers for Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC-NET). The IL-NET is operated by the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), and Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities.

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