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What does it mean to be a Consumer Run Center for Independent Living?

Over the last year the Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living (CILs) program has come under attack by a few vocal individuals, alleging that we are not following the Federal regulations of operating Consumer Run, Consumer Controlled organizations. While Disability Network/Michigan has stayed relatively quiet on the matter, the time has come where we can’t remain silent any longer.

Our member, Disability Network/West Michigan, has been the primary subject of the attacks from a group that calls themselves Peer Action Alliance. This group is not an incorporated entity, but rather comprised of a mother-daughter team exercising their First Amendment right.  While the First Amendment protects our rights to free speech, it doesn’t ensure the information you receive is accurate.

The misinformation that has spewed out of these individuals has gotten the attention of many state and federal officials. Most of the misinformation has been focused on the concept of Consumer Control. Each time our public officials seek objective information, they are unable to substantiate the allegations, and further find that the CILs are operating well within the Federal Standards and Indicators.

But, what does a Consumer Controlled, Consumer Run CILs really mean? Watch this video to hear the first-hand perspective from Danna on how she uses her disability experience to change the way the community views disability. She is not only Changing Lives; she is Changing Communities.