Image of Progress CIL logo: A depiction of four types of disability: a person in a wheelchair, a person using a cane, a person with a non-apparent disability, and the ASL sign for the letter 'P'. 'Progress Center' is in all caps between the wheelchair user and the ASL sign. 'for independent living' is written underneath in cursive handwriting


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Progress Center works with people with disabilities as peers and empowers them to live independent, productive lives within society while building their spirits of dignity, self-sufficiency and self-confidence. Progress Center helps people with disabilities to develop as leaders in the community. Progress Center has a reputation for working closely with individual consumers to help them to achieve their self-determined goals.

Please support Progress Center so that we can continue this important work even during the ongoing budget crisis in Illinois.

Visit our Make a Donation page to submit your tax-deductable contribution. Thank you!

See calendar page for details of upcoming events.

Consulte la página del calendario para más detalles de los próximos eventos.

Join Progress Center for Independent Living on Facebook.  Updates on upcoming PCIL events, and more at

Follow Progress Center on Twitter @ProgressCIL

Americans with Disabilities Vote!

Voting is Power! It is important to vote for your state representatives and state senators. They can pass laws that protect your CIVIL RIGHTS and they will decide funding for disability and independent living programs.

If you are not registered to vote, please make every effort to do so. One of the ways is through visiting us at Progress Center for Independent Living. Please bring two forms of identification and we can register you.

What is Progress Center for Independent Living?

Progress Center is a:

  • Community-based,
  • non-profit,
  • non residential,
  • service and advocacy organization,
  • operated
    • for people with disabilities
    • by people with disabilities.

Our current Mission Statement...

Progress Center for Independent Living is a non-profit, non-residential, consumer controlled disability rights organization serving suburban Cook County, Illinois. As a part of the disability rights movement, Progress Center’s mission is to build a society in which people with disabilities shall have the same freedoms, rights, and civil liberties as everyone else. We directly assist individuals with all types of disabilities and a wide range of accommodation needs to achieve their self-determined goals. We also engage in social justice advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities on the local, state and national levels.  

Independent Living...

... is a way of life that includes values, attitudes and behaviors.
... embraces a philosophy that the person, regardless of their disability, has the potential to exercise individual self-determination.
... is having the right and the opportunity to pursue a course of action. And, it is having the freedom to fail -and to learn from one's failures, just as nondisabled people do.
... "means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted. We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our education and abilities, start families of our own. Just as everybody else, we need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves." (A. Ratzka )

Ten Principles of Independent Living

  • Civil Rights - equal rights and opportunities for all; no segregation by disability type or stereotype.
  • Consumerism - a person ("consumer" or "customer") using or buying a service or product decides what is best for him/herself.
  • De-institutionalization - no person should be institutionalized (formally by a building, program, or family) on the basis of a disability.
  • De-medicalization - individuals with disabilities are not "sick", as prescribed by the assumptions of the medical model and do not require help from certified medical professionals for daily living.
  • Self-help - people learn and grow from discussing their needs, concerns, and issues with people who have had similar experiences; "professionals" are not the source of help provided.
  • Advocacy - systemic, systematic, long-term, and community-wide change activities are needed to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from all that society has to offer.
  • Barrier-removal - in order for civil rights, consumerism, de-institutionalization, de-medicalization, and self-help to occur, architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers must be removed.
  • Consumer control - the organizations best suited to support and assist individuals with disabilities are governed, managed, staffed and operated by individuals with disabilities.
  • Peer role models - leadership for independent living and disability rights is vested in individuals with disabilities (not parents, service providers or other representatives).
  • Cross-disability - activities designed to achieve the first five principles must be cross-disability in approach, meaning that the work to be done must be carried out by people with different types of disabilities for the benefit of all persons with disabilties. (Courtesy of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois)

Progress Center embraces "Disability culture"

This term is used by people with disabilities to describe not only our growing sense of a shared history of social oppression, but also our strategies for coping and thriving, our emerging art and humor, our sense of community, and an almost defiant celebration of our differences. (adapted from C. Gill)

On this site, you will find:

Who does what at our center.

The services offered at our center.

Some of our independent living manuals, brochures and past newsletters.

Advocacy efforts and alerts
Ongoing systems advocacy efforts, along with alert calling for immediate action.

A collection of some useful links.

Employment opportunities at PCIL
Current job openings at the center.

Contact Us
How to contact us

Service Area

Progress CIL serves all of suburban Cook County in Illinois. This includes over 130 municipalities.

Hours of operation

Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Central Time.  Services after hours, by appointment only.

Progress Center is a scent free zone. Please refrain from wearing any scented products including perfume, deodorant, laundry products, hair-sprays, etc. Anyone wearing scent will be asked to leave.

Progress Center es un ambiente libre de aromas, por favor abstengase de usar cualquier producto aromatico incluyendo perfumes, desodorantes, productos para lavar ropa, aerosoles para el cabello, etc.  Cualquier persona usando estos productos se le pedira avandonar el lugar.

Last updated:  July 18, 2016

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