DARS Independent Living (IL) programs promote the independent living philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, selfdetermination, equal access and self-advocacy. The goal is to maximize the empowerment, independence and productivity of people with disabilities through integration and full inclusion into society.
Services provided by the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) may include information and referral, counseling, adaptive aids, telecommunications, vehicle modification and minor home modifications.
Services provided by the Division for Blind Services (DBS) may include training in orientation and mobility, Braille, and adaptive skills provided in the home or other familiar settings. In addition, DBS operates the Older Blind Independent Living program, which provides services specially designed to meet the needs of adults 55 and older who are blind or visually impaired.
The Centers for Independent Living (CILs) provide advocacy, information, referrals, peer counseling and independent living skills training. There are 27 CILs in Texas: 15 are funded by DARS, and both DRS and DBS may collaborate with any of the CILs statewide.
Consumers receiving IL services from DBS achieved their independent living goals and closed their cases successfully at a truly impressive rate. Five percent more DBS IL consumers than anticipated for 2015 successfully closed their cases.
More consumers were able to receive IL services from DRS. IL staff served 4.3 percent more consumers than anticipated for 2015.
Sandra's World Opens Up After Vision Loss
Sandra Daniels is an independent person with a great sense of humor. In 2004 and again in 2011, Sandra received radiation treatment for a tumor that was close to her optic nerve, the primary nerve of the eye. Although doctors warned her that blindness might result, she never thought it would happen to her. Seven years after her first treatment, at the age of 41, Sandra lost her vision and began her journey toward reclaiming her independence.
When Sandra first lost her vision she found many everyday activities difficult, including meal preparation, personal grooming, household chores and managing her medical conditions. Although Sandra had an assistant come to her home to help with these activities, she wanted to regain her independence. Sandra was referred to DBS for IL services and began working toward her goal.
With assistance from her IL worker, Sandra completed a variety of essential nonvisual skills training. She received training in managing her medical condition of diabetes, orientation and mobility training to help her navigate her home, and independent living skills training. Within a year, Sandra no longer required an assistant since she had gained the skills to care of herself.
Sandra also participated in group skills training where she learned Braille. She also learned how to use a Brailler, a typewriter with keys that are imprinted with Braille letters. In addition, Sandra was given and taught how to use optical character recognition technology, which scans printed text and converts it into digital text that can be read aloud through specialized software.
With a variety of nonvisual skills and assistive technologies to support her, Sandra has regained her confidence and independence. "What's funny is, until I lost my sight, I stayed secluded in my house on the Internet. When I lost my sight, my world opened up to a new and beautiful one," explained Sandra. Sandra has recently written a children's book, volunteers at a local public library and continues to look for new ways to engage with the community and live to her fullest potential.
CIL Area Map
|Centers for Independent Living Service Area||Counties Served||Funding Source||DARS Funding|
|ABLE - Odessa||Andrews, Martin, Ector, Midland, Ward, Crane, Upton||Fed Part C||No|
|ARCIL - Austin||Travis, Bastrop, Lee||Fed Part C||Yes|
|ARCIL - Round Rock*||Burnet, Milam, Williamson||Fed Part C||No|
|ARCIL - San Marcos*||Blanco, Hays, Caldwell||Fed Part C||No|
|BVCIL - Bryan||Robertson, Madison, Brazos, Burleson, Washington||Fed Part C||No|
|CBCIL - Corpus Christi*||McMullen, Live Oak, Bee, Refugio, Jim Wells, San Patricio, Aransas, Nueces, Kleberg, Brooks, Kennedy||State & Fed Part C||No|
|CBFL/BCCIL - Angleton||Matagorda, Brazoria||Fed Part C||No|
|CBFL/FBCIL - Sugarland||Austin, Colorado, Wharton, Waller, Fort Bend||Fed Part C||No|
|CBFL/HCIL - Houston||Harris||Fed Part C||Yes|
|CRCIL - Crockett*||Freestone, Leon, Houston, Trinity, Polk, Tyler, Shelby, Sabine, San Augustine, Rusk, Panola||Fed Part C||Yes|
|ETCIL - Tyler*||Smith, Henderson, Van Zandt, Rains, Wood, Camp, Upshur, Gregg, Harrison||Fed Part C||No|
|HOCTIL - Belton*||Bell, Coryell, McLennan, Hill||Fed Part C||No|
|LIFE/RUN - Abilene||Jones, Shackelford, Taylor, Callahan, Eastland, Stephens||State||Yes|
|LIFE/RUN - Lubbock||Lamb, Hale, Floyd, Hockley, Lubbock, Crosby, Terry, Lynn, Garza||State & Fed Part C||Yes|
|LIFE/RUN - San Angelo||Coke, Runnels, Tom Green, Concho, Irion, Sterling, Schleicher, Menard||State||Yes|
|MHCIL - League City||Galveston||State||Yes|
|PILC - Amarillo||Dallam, Sherman, Hansford, Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hartley, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, Hemphill, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Deaf Smith, Randall, Armstrong, Donley, Collingsworth, Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Briscoe, Hall, Childress||Fed Part C||Yes|
|PRCIL - Palestine*||Anderson, Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Angelina||Fed Part C||No|
|REACH - Dallas||Dallas||State & Fed Part C||Yes|
|REACH - Denton||Denton||Fed Part C||No|
|REACH - Fort Worth||Tarrant||State||Yes|
|REACH - Plano||Collin||State||Yes|
|RISE - Beaumont||Hardin, Orange, Jefferson||Fed Part C||No|
|SAILS - San Antonio*||Gillespie, Val Verde, Edwards, Real, Kerr, Kendall, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Lavaca, Kinney, Uvalde, Medina, Bexar, Wilson, DeWitt, Jackson, Victoria, Karnes, Maverick, Zavala, Frio, Atascosa, Goliad, Calhoun, Dimmit, La Salle||State & Fed Part C||Yes|
|VAIL - Laredo*||Webb, Duval, Zapata, Jim Hogg||State||Yes|
|VAIL - McAllen||Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, Cameron||State & Fed Part C||Yes|
|VOLAR - El Paso||El Paso||State & Fed Part C||Yes|
|Unserved||Hudspeth, Culberson, Reeves, Loving, Winkler, Jeff Davis, Presidio, Brewster, Pecos, Terrell, Crockett, SUtton, Kimble, Mason, Llano, McCulloch, San Saba, Lampasas, Mills, Coleman, Brown, Comanche, Hamilton, Erath, Bosque, Somervell, Hood, Johnson, Ellis, Navarro, Limestone, Falls, Kaufman, Rockwall, Reagan, Glasscock, Howard, Mitchell, Nolan, Bailey, Cochran, Yoakum, Gaines, Dawson, Borden, Scurry, Fisher, Kent, Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, Young, Dickens, King, Knox, Baylor, Archer, Motley, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Wilbarger, Wichita, Clay, Jack, Wise, Palo Pinto, Parker, Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin, Hunt, Lamar, Delta, Hopkins, Red River, Franklin, Titus, Morris, Bowie, Cass, Jasper, Newton, Grimes, Walker, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers||N/A||N/A|
*Shared by other CILs in co-served counties