MISSION

Bay Area Center for Independent Living promotes access to community resources and support for people with disabilities and their families through programs which offer choices, preserve dignity and increase independence for an improved quality of life across the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

HISTORY

Bay Area Center for Independent Living, Inc., (Bay Area CIL) a private nonprofit organization, promotes, coordinates and sustains an array of services directed primarily to the needs of individuals with disabilities across the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and surrounding areas.  As a Center for Independent Living we promote the independent living philosophy with the operation of a consumer directed, consumer controlled organization with oversight provided by a Board of Directors (51% or more are people with disabilities) and day-to-day staffing (51% or more are people with disabilities).

Bay Area CIL has effectively used the talents of staff and volunteers for 42 years.  Initially Bay Area CIL managed day-to-day operations with volunteers.  Beginning with our founders in 1974, Elaine Peterson, Charles Dashiell and Harrell Granger through thousands of people giving of themselves Bay Area CIL has remained responsive to the needs of individuals in a complex and ever-changing world. In 2014, Bay Area CIL documented more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service from citizens of the Eastern Shore.

Bay Area CIL is proud of our long history of community support which originated in 1974 and through the years has impacted the lives of many, promoting equal access, civil rights, community engagement and services designed to experience life to its fullest and empower individuals with disabilities to achieve their independent living goals.

In 1991, Bay Area CIL fostered the development of Bay Shore Services, a local nonprofit and provider of services licensed by Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).  Today’s DDA case management system for the Eastern Shore originated from a grant funded pilot program of Bay Area CIL.  These services continue today administered within each county health department and under the guidance of DDA.

In 1993, a new program entitled the “Adaptive Equipment Clinic” brought technology as a solution to overcome barriers to independent living for individuals with any disability living in the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Today Bay Area CIL is a leader in applying innovation to barriers of independent living confronted by individuals with disabilities.   We accomplish this through charitable gifts and funding from the Maryland Assistive Technology Program.  Services include information and assistance, demonstration, loan, training and acquisition support for technology that aids an individual’s independence to see, walk, talk, hear, eat independently, and enter and exit their homes safely.

Our Independent Living Services Program brings information and assistance, advocacy, independent living skills training, job readiness training and peer mentoring support, and transitioning support individuals choosing to leave nursing facilities to living independently in their community and youth transitioning into employment or college from high school.

Our combination of services Assistive Technology, Independent Living and Advocacy services along with the addition of the Money Follows the Person Outreach (a program supporting the relocation of individuals from nursing facilities to community living) are ongoing examples of Bay Area CIL’s commitment to increase the independence, self-determination, productivity, integration and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Bay Area CIL is able to offer quality responsive services due to an extensive history of support from private charitable contributions, legacy gifts, gifts from community civic groups (ex.  Lions Clubs, VFW’s, Rotary, Soroptimist), grants from public and private foundations (Speer Trust, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and others), grants and employee contribution through the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore and the Maryland Charities Campaign, county, state and federal government agencies, collaborations with local organizations, fee-for-service activities and special fund-raising events.

Community collaboration with local civic groups, county and state government entities has broaden our ability to provide and sustain our services.  Such an initiative led Bay Area CIL in 2007 to partner with MAC (Managing Active Citizens), Maryland’s lower shore area agency on aging.  The partnership worked to facilitate the construction of a new multi-service building at 909 Progress Circle, Salisbury, MD.  Co-locating two agencies fostered the emerging development of an “Aging and Disability Resource Center.”

In 2013, Bay Area CIL became recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services as a Center for Independent Living.  Our services extend geographically to 9 counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  These counties include Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester, Maryland.

Today Bay Area CIL partners with six Centers for Independent Living across the State of Maryland and the Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council to advocate for and promote the rights of individuals with disabilities; to ensure opportunities for equal access to education, work and community services; and to celebrate the accomplishments made possible with the Independent Living Movement that led to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

PHILOSOPHY

The Independent Living Philosophy starts from the premise that a disability is a natural part of life. Some people are born with their disability while others acquire them through injury or illness. Even individuals who currently have no disability are likely, through aging and changing circumstances, acquire a disability.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Centers for Independent Living are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private non-profit agencies designed and operated by individuals with disabilities. As a Center for Independent Living, more than 51% of the Independent Living Resource staff and Board of Directors are persons with disabilities, who provide a unique base of expertise for addressing and providing services to individuals with disabilities.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors of Bay Area Center for Independent Living, Inc. have made a personal commitment to leading the conversation and charge of equality for people with disabilities on all social and economic levels.

John Murray, President

Russell (Charlie) Endicott, Vice President

Kaye Holloway, Secretary

Eric Brumbley, Treasurer

James Michael

Helen Johnson

John Roschy