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Advocacy, Outreach & Trainings

Advocacy is central to a Center for Independent Living’s mission. CILs offers both individual and systems advocacy, as well as disability trainings.

Individual advocacy is assisting an individual with a disability to protect his or her rights or to fight for needed resources. Through systems advocacy, we advance civil rights and equal access for all persons with disabilities on the local, state and federal levels.

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We work with people with disabilities to teach valuable self-advocacy skills, including:

  • Learning the rights that they have already and making effective use of those rights.

  • Learning how to effectively communicate their needs to both maintain the rights they already have and to make advancement in expanding the rights of persons with disabilities.

OSCIL staff will also work with consumers to advocate for services to meet individual needs, including helping to understand the function and processes (necessary criteria, application process, deadlines, etc.) for Social Security, Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicare/Medicaid, and other service agencies.

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Our Independent Living Coordinators keep up-to-date on programs and legislation which may affect people with disabilities. Consumers are encouraged to contact their community leaders and legislators to inform them of their views on various programs and legislative issues.

Below you will find information about Rhode Island’s local legislative offices and the delegation to the U.S. Congress:

In Rhode Island


RI Office of the Secretary of State


Rhode Island General Assembly Website

Governor Daniel McKee

In Congress


Senator Jack Reed

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse


Congressman Gabe Amo – District 1

Congressman Seth Magaziner – District 2

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OSCIL conducts disability awareness trainings in a variety of settings as well as offering Deaf Culture Sensitivity training. In addition, OSCIL staff participates in senior citizen and disability-related events throughout RI, conducting AT demonstrations, formal and informal group presentations and hosting informational exhibits and displays.

OSCIL works together with state and local government and public entities to eliminate architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers. OSCIL has provided technical assistance to T.F. Greene Airport, area hospitals, Roger Williams Park, the Board of Canvassers, and many other private businesses and organizations to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rhode Island Law 42-87-2. Individuals who experience barriers in the community, i.e. inaccessible restaurants, public events, schools, etc. are encouraged to call OSCIL for information and assistance.

Part of OSCIL’s mission is to bring information to the community to help address barriers to independent living. This includes presentations on:

  • Assistive technology demonstrations

  • Barriers to effective communication

  • How Center services can help your independent living goals

  • Understanding nursing home transition

  • Utilizing telecommunication devices for the Deaf

  • How home modifications can increase access in a home

  • Young adult independent living skills training

  • Effective public testimony

If you would like more information, please contact our office at 401-738-1013 or email us at

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