CIL Early Response to Coronavirus Challenges and Needs

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During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IL-NET conducted webinars to facilitate peer-to-peer communication regarding the challenges centers for independent living (CILs) and statewide independent living councils (SILCs) were facing and their responses to meet the needs of the individuals they serve.  Additionally, ILRU surveyed CILs across the country to determine the impact of COVID-19 and how they were meeting needs. CILs were finding creative and effective ways to ensure that their consumers have their basic needs met and continue to have access to core services and social support.

This document reflects some of the major themes from comments during the webinars and responses to the survey. The responses clearly reflect the fact that the needs are generally the same as before the pandemic—just amplified because now entire communities have greater needs, not just people with disabilities. The responses are organized around four major areas: consumer needs, organizational needs, community needs, and systematic needs. The bullet points summarize major needs in each of these categories. Examples and individual stories follow.