Welcome to the Boston Center for Independent Living  (BCIL)

BCIL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has provided services to people with disabilities since 1974, when it became the second independent living center in the country. The organization was created by people with disabilities seeking full integration into society. BCIL accomplishes this by empowering people of all ages with a wide range of disabilities with the practical skills and self-confidence to take control over their lives and become active members of the communities in which they live. At the same time, BCIL engages in advocacy and community organizing to promote access and change within society.

Our Mission Statement

The Boston Center for Independent Living is a frontline civil rights organization led by people with disabilities that advocates to eliminate discrimination, isolation and segregation by providing advocacy, information and referral, peer support, skills training, PCA services, and transitional services in order to enhance the independence of people with disabilities.

Our Antiracism Statement

The Boston Center for Independent Living commits to making all aspects of our work antiracist, not only because it is just but also because it is necessary to serve and represent our community of people with disabilities. We commit to purposefully identifying, discussing, and challenging issues of race and ethnicity to address the impact they have on our organization, our work, and our people. Moreover, we will add our voice and advocacy to similar antiracist efforts in our community.

 

If you suspect abuse or neglect of a person with disabilities, please contact the Disabled Persons Protection Commission hotline at 1-800-426-9009 or 1-888-822-0350 TTY (ages 18-59), the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at 1-800-922-2275 (ages 60+), the Department of Public Health 1-800-462-5540 (all Ages residing in Long Term Care Facilities), and the Department of Children and Families at 1-800-792-5200 (ages birth-17). The DPPC Sexual Assault Response Unit can be reached at 617-727-6465.

 

Click here to view the recent Updates to The Ride Program letter

 

Upcoming Events

Virtual Housing Workshop

Wednesday, July 7, 2021
10:00am - 12:00pm

Virtual Housing Workshop Join us on the first and third Wednesday of every month to learn more about and how to apply for affordable housing options in your area. Our… Read More

BCIL Youth Summer Program: Staying Safe at Work

Monday, July 12, 2021
10:00am - 12:00pm

All BCIL’s Youth Summer Programs are free. Students are welcome to join multiple groups. They are available to students aged 14-22 years* with a documented disability, such as IEP or… Read More

BCIL Youth Summer Program: Staying Safe at Work

Monday, July 19, 2021
10:00am - 12:00pm

All BCIL’s Youth Summer Programs are free. Students are welcome to join multiple groups. They are available to students aged 14-22 years* with a documented disability, such as IEP or… Read More

Latest News

BCIL is noting Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of slaves, by sharing the observations of staff members on racism and the importance of the holiday. Along with today’s comments we will share another member’s’ views tomorrow. On Monday we will discuss the organization’s work on antiracism.Words from Brandon Emilio Goldsmith Garcia, BCIL Long Term Supports and Services Coordinator. Brandon has been at BCIL since 2011.It would take several lifetimes to truly unravel the complexities and layers found in systemic racism. Within each layer are insidious designs. Constructs that divide, undermine, and damage a culture. A narrative that infects the mentality and slowly degrades the soul.I am a Dominican African American man. I am 32-years old and I celebrate my birthday with pride and reverence. I do this because where I grew up many youths did not make it past 16. They were brilliant, creative, but taken by the streets. No matter what the circumstance they were always taken too soon.I endured consecutive winters without heat in Boston as a child. Because that is what it was. I have been stopped by the police multiple times. I know the game:No sudden movements.Keep your eyes on their gun holsters.Answer every question with a head nod, yes or no.End every sentence with “sir.“Hands in front.Say a long prayer without moving your lips.Even with all things checked, there is NO guarantee things won't go south. These experiences were normal to me. Normal because at one point in my life it was synonymous with being Black in America.Whites have it best. They have all the money. They live in houses. They live in the suburbs. Most Blacks live in low-income areas. Blacks have to deal with the end of the stick, with all the shit on it.“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus GarveyWhen I learned about Africa, it started with slavery. I was never taught about Africa’s rich history as a global power, millennia before the words global power would even hold meaning. I was not taught that Africa is the second biggest continent. I was not taught that Africa has proven to be the birthplace of our species. In grade school, I learned of only four prominent black figures in America's history. Brother Malcolm X, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman. I did not learn about the various groups that led the way for me to even have an opportunity to speak my mind. The Rainbow Coalition, the Black Panthers, even the NAACP. Knowing so little about one's people and their impact on society implants a mentality of lack and expectation of hardship. How is a child supposed to find pride in their heritage if it is hidden? How is a child supposed to believe they can change the world without relatability?“It takes a village to raise a child and the child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it’s warmth.” - African proverbBlacks in America, from out the womb, are fed the narrative that they are the savages of America. All forms of media thrive on how minorities have a “violent nature.” America’s propaganda loves to highlight what all the hoods, blocks, and projects hold within their strategically created borders. Drug trafficking, prostitution, alcoholism, and various other forms of addiction are the standard in most low-income neighborhoods… so they report. And this is what our developing youth consume daily as four-course meals. We are what eat.This is not even a glimpse of what racial minorities as a whole endure daily. These things are a part of life in America. Is it really surprising that over 75% of prisoners are minorities? An elder said to me, “You are going to have to run two miles for every white person's one mile.” An elder also said to me, “White America can break your body but you decide if they shatter your spirit.” An elder further said to me, “Don’t you ever forget BLACK is power. It is the color that built this country. You are unbelievably powerful because you are a Black man.” Systemic racism wants division because it is very hard to make a change in a system without unification.Juneteenth is the day that we as free Americans chose for our remembrance. It is the day that we can cry about our past. The day we can joke about what we’ve endured. The day we can laugh, scream and shout out loud WE ARE FREE! A day we can exhale in peace. It is our chosen day to honor all that have come before us. All those who sacrificed for us to celebrate our freedom as Americans.“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” - Frederick DouglassA country is defined by what it chooses to recognize and honor. Our ancestors did not choose to be slaves. They did not choose to be seen as savages. They did not choose the chains. But they chose to endure. They chose to rebel. They chose hope during times of living hell.We in the present can choose to be above the ideas and narratives of systemic racism. We can choose to define what it means to be BLACK. We have a chance to make lasting change in America so that our children can enjoy even more freedom than we have currently.A choice. A voice. And a decision. Choose. ...
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From the Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities: SAVE THE DATE for ADA Day 2021! WHAT: ADA Day 2021 WHEN: Thursday July 29th, 12:00 - 2:00pm WHERE: Copley Square Park and Online We are planning a hybrid celebration this year, with both an in-person component in Copley Square Park as well as a virtual participation option for those who prefer it. We are delighted to be able to gather in person again, as vaccinations rates increase and COVID-19 case rates decrease. Even so, we will be making some modifications to our usual plan of activities in order to keep the event safe and to continue to meet public health guidelines. We will be announcing more details soon, but couldn't wait to get the date on your calendar! ...
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