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We have a history of assisting people with disabilities


The Independent Living (IL) movement began in the late 1960s and early 1970s when society was in the midst of a growing civil rights movement. Ed Roberts, one of the founders of the IL movement, was denied admission to the University of California at Berkeley because of his disability. He challenged that decision and won, but was forced to live in a medical facility on campus.

Fighting against the restrictions and the perception of being sick, Ed worked with other students to organize practical supports, such as accessible housing and personal assistant services. This allowed them to live on their own. Hearing of their success, many people contacted them for information and support. In 1972, the first Center for Independent Living (CIL) was formed in Berkeley.


ED Roberts universal design video


A CIL is a non-residential, not-for-profit, community-based agency that provides the core services of Independent Living. A CIL is more than just an organization. It embodies a movement with a philosophy rooted in principles similar to the civil rights and women’s movements. The Independent Living Movement developed in response to systems that were inaccessible and excluded people with disabilities.


The philosophy of independent living holds principles that contrast the IL model with the traditional rehabilitation model. In the IL model, the society with barriers and the negative attitudes toward
disabilities are the problems to be fixed, not the individuals with disabilities.

The IL movement has fostered a particular definition of independence: “Independence is the ability to control one’s own life by making responsible choices from acceptable options.” To ensure “acceptable options” exist and prevent inappropriate institutionalization, CILs offer a variety of services, called the five core services: advocacy, independent living, information and referral, peer consultation, and transition.


We started this organization in 1981, and we’ve been working hard every day since to promote the inclusion and wellness of persons with disabilities. We have helped hundreds of people develop the skills, and make the connections needed to be independent and fully participate in all areas of life.



In November 2019, CWDR moved to a new building at 301 E 2nd Ave. 

In July 2020, Mayra Colazo became the new Interim Executive Director.

In July 2020 CWDR received funding through the Cares Act to assist individuals impacted by COVID-19.

In January 2021, CWDR received funding to provide informational packages to the homeless population through DOH.

In January 2021 CWDR received Unrestricted funding from Group Health Foundation to assist with our mission. 

In February 18, 2021, Mayra Colazo became the new Executive Director

In March 2021 CWDR received funding through Public Health Kittitas funding for emergency preparedness

In April 2021 CWDR Received additional funding to provide informational packages to the homeless population through DOH

In April 2021 CWDR received a contract with Hopesources to assist individuals that been impacted by COVID-19 in Kittitas County

In May 2021, Sarah Oliason became the Board of Directors Chair. 

In May 2021, CWDR received funding from ACL/CDC to increase access to vaccine outreach.

In November 2021, CWDR received funding from the Seattle Foundation to help with vaccine outreach.

In January 2022 CWDR received funding from ALL in WA to help with Vaccine outreach.

In February 2022 CWDR received a contract with DVR to provide Independent Living Services.

In March 2022, CWDR received a contract with VA to provide a Veteran Directed Care program.

In April 2022 CWDR received funding from ACL Public Health Workforce To continue working and helping individuals find resources regarding COVID-19.

In September 2022, CWDR received a 3-year grant from Group Health Foundation Action, Power, System; CWDR will use this funding to assist individuals with new ramps, bathrooms, and lawn care modifications. 

In November 2022, Dave Douglas became the new Board of Directors Chair. 

In November 2022, CWDR received funding from DH to increase COVID-19 outreach in all five counties. 

In December 2022, CWDR received funding from the Group Health Foundation to support Assets funding. 

In April 2023, CWDR received funding from DOH- Able Now to support participant enrollment.

In June 2023, CWDR received funding from DOH to increase outreach to Latinx individuals with disabilities to increase education on COVID-19.

In August 2023, CWDR received funding from USaging to increase resources for individuals with disabilities to education on COVID-19.

In November 2023, CWDR received additional funding to support purchasing a building. 


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