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.

2015 Highlights

Increased Success

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.

Increased Service

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 map of Texas, please see table below for details
CIL Location by Funding Source
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