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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.


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 to principles that contrast the IL model with the traditional rehabilitation model. In the IL model, the society with barriers and negative attitudes toward disability is the problem and in need of change, rather than the individual with a disability.

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 then to promote the inclusion and wellness of persons with disabilities. We have helped hundreds of people develop the skills and make the connections they need to be independent and fully participate in all areas of life.



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

July 2020 Mayra Colazo became the new Interim Executive Director.

July 2020 CWDR receives funding through Cares Act to assist individuals impacted by Covid-19.

January 2021 CWDR receives funding to provide informational packages to the homeless population through DOH.

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

February 18 2021 Mayra Colazo became the new Executive Director

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

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

April 2021 CWDR received a contract with Hopesources to assist individuals that been impacted by Covid-19 in Kittitas county

May 2021 Sarah Oliason became Board of Directors Chair. 

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

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

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

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

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

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