Mission & History
The Ocean State Center for Independent Living is a non-residential, consumer-driven, community-based, cross-disability, non-profit organization. OSCIL was established in 1988 to provide a range of independent living services to enhance, through self-direction, the quality of life for persons with disability and to promote integration into the community. OSCIL is governed by an active Board of Directors comprised largely of persons having disabilities, who play a major role in setting policy and programming.
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Ten Centers for Independent Living were established.
The Rehabilitation Service Administration (RSA) ordered the State of RI to bring the newly formed IL Center called OSCIL into compliance. The Center was a pass-through of funds to support the independent living programs at In-Sight and Blackstone Valley Center. OSCIL was not considered a true Center because it did not have a Board comprised of 51% disability, was not cross-disability and was subcontracting out for direct services.
The Board of Directors hired Lorna Ricci to be the Executive Director of the Center. The first OSCIL office was established at 1429 Warwick Avenue in Warwick comprised of a 15 x 15 ft. space. The OSCIL Center operation was funded by only $3,000; the pass-through funds, which made up the bulk of the IL funds went to In-Sight and Blackstone Valley Center.
As directed by the Federal Review Team, the OSCIL Center had to be brought into compliance within six months. The immediate tasks for the new Director were:
Develop the Board
Develop Personnel Policies
Develop Program Design
Complete the Annual Federal Report
A bookkeeper was hired and worked just a couple of days of week, logging all OSCIL’s income and expenses utilizing pencil and twelve-column bookkeeping ledger.
OSCIL moved into 59 West Shore Road in Warwick and began to hire direct service staff. A Transitional Living Person, Program Director, IL Specialist/Deaf Services and IL Specialist were the first individuals to be hired.
With reauthorization of the Rehab Act, Centers receiving more Federal IL funds and then state IL funds could opt to have direct funding. Rhode Island was one of those states (considered a “722 State”) and in 1997 became one of the Centers that receive dollars straight from Washington, DC.
OSCIL moved to 1944 Warwick Avenue in Warwick.
With the closing of PARI Independent Living Center, OSCIL became the only IL Center in Rhode Island, doubling in size with expansion of programs and service provision.
OSCIL opened “OSCIL NORTH”, a satellite located at 175 Main Street in Pawtucket.
Using funding from the Cares Act, OSCIL opened a third office located at 1800 Airport Road in Warwick.
OSCIL's long-time Finance Director, Mireille Sayaf, was selected as OSCIL's new Executive Director.