Orientation to Independent Living History & Philosophy for New CIL Personnel Online Course

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Online Course

About the Training

This online course is designed to give new employees and board members a solid understanding of the principles and philosophy of independent living.

Student Orientation

July 31 & August 1

Course Level


Target Audience

New CIL staff as well as board members.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, participants will be able to: 1) understand and define the elements of the IL philosophy; 2) describe the impact of the federal requirements on day-to-day activities in the center; and 3) apply IL principles and philosophy to real life situations.  


The course spans three weeks and uses a website to engage participants in discussion of the content and issues. The instructors are available to lead the forum on the website and for technical assistance throughout the course. Participants are asked to read the assignments, review scenarios that address course content, and engage in the online class message forums. Participants can access the course website at any time of the day or night. This can be done from any computer with an Internet connection. Participants should plan on spending 1-2 hours each day reading assignments, completing course work and participating in the discussion. Students are encouraged to discuss what they're learning periodically with their supervisor or with their board president.


Patricia Yeager has spent her 35+ year career in services and advocacy to improve the lives and communities of people with disabilities. Losing a portion of her hearing at the age of two, she went on to receive her MS in Vocational Rehabilitation from West Virginia University and her Ph.D., in Rehabilitation Administration from University of Northern Colorado. She has worked on disability issues in higher education, municipal government and through Independent Living Centers in Denver, Houston, San Diego and as director of the California Foundation for Independent Living. Currently, she is the CEO of The Independence Center in Colorado Springs. She also oversees a Home Health/Home and Community Based Services program and is developing a center that sells high and low technology for independence. She has served as a SILC coordinator as well as a SILC member.

Judy Neal has nearly 20 years of Independent Living experience encompassing all aspects of the IL program. After acquiring a disability, she jumped into this unknown territory as the Program Director at the Memphis Center for Independent Living. Since that time, she has worked at three Colorado CILs and served as the Colorado DSU representative for Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Judy has been both a SILC member and a SILC Coordinator. She has participated on both sides of RSA compliance reviews. Judy is currently providing writing, training, and technical support for SILCs, CILs, and other disability organizations.