Independent Living Center Boston Center for Independent Living

Record last updated 2021/11/01 Comment on this info .Update this info

Contact Information

Boston Center for Independent Living
Contact: Bill Henning, Executive Director
Email Address:
Phone: 617-338-6665
Fax: 617-338-6661

60 Temple Place, 5th Floor Boston, MA 02111-1324
Area Served: Boston

Map Location Independent Living Center


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.

BCIL provides the five “core services” of independent living centers:

  1. Peer Mentoring
  2. Skills Training
  3. Information and Referral
  4. Advocacy
  5. Transition (from youth to adulthood, and from nursing home/rehab settings to the community)

BCIL's individual services and systemic advocacy address a number of areas critical to people with disabilities, including housing, healthcare, employment, long-term care, transportation, adaptive technology, communications, civil rights law, and education. In keeping with the disability rights slogan “Nothing about us without us,” 70% of our staff and board are people with disabilities. We bring both personal and professional experience to our work – we know the disability community, we are the disability community. Since 1974, BCIL has empowered persons with disabilities to become more independent while advocating for their rights on the local, state, and federal levels. We rallied around the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. This legislation is the foundation of our efforts to improve municipal access in the city of Boston, and the basis for our settlement with the MBTA to create system-wide accessibility. We have also worked to pass legislation that will create better working conditions for PCAs and programs that generate more affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities throughout Greater Boston.

In addition to the core services listed above, BCIL also offers Long-Term Supports and Services Coordination to members of OneCare plans, PCA assessment and skills-training services to eligible MassHealth members, Options Counseling for people who wish to know more about how they or their loved ones can receive support in the community, and job training and placement for youth with disabilities.

Promoting greater independence for people with disabilities is BCIL's mission. We strive to ensure access to the mainstream community, and our advocacy work fundamentally relates to personal health, human dignity, family stability and one’s ability to contribute to society. BCIL champions giving people a collective say in the decisions affecting their lives. Our independent living services are consumer-controlled, and we believe that people with disabilities must, whenever possible, unite to speak out on larger issues that affect their lives, such as housing, health care, and transportation access. We advocate for full compliance of the American with Disabilities Act from the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ensuring that those with disabilities enjoy rights and opportunities on an equal basis with those without disabilities. BCIL's goals may be ambitious, but we have the energy, commitment, experience and passion to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in greater Boston and across Massachusetts.

Service Types

  • Case Management
  • Disability Awareness
  • Financial Assistance
  • Independent Living Centers
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Skills Training
  • Socialization Activities

Program Type

  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Independent Living
  • Jobs
  • Legal
  • Personal Care

Populations Served

  • All Disabilities

Ages Served

  • Birth to 3
  • 3 - 4
  • 5 - 8
  • 9 - 13
  • 14 - 18
  • 19 - 22
  • 23 – 59
  • 60 +

Languages Spoken

  • American Sign Language
  • Chinese-Mandarin
  • French
  • Haitian-Creole
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Accessibility Features

  • Able to serve clients in their wheelchair
  • Accessible Public Transportation
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Elevators
  • Near Public Transportation
  • Wheelchair Ramps

Additional Information

  • Fees: Free Service, MassHealth