The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. (ILCNSCA) is a service and advocacy center run by and for people with disabilities. ILCNSCA supports the struggle of people who have all types of disabilities to live independently and participate fully in community life.
The ILCNSCA pursues this mission through a combination of self-advocacy services and community action. Self-advocacy services are designed to enable participants to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve personal independence. ILCNSCA organizes and supports collective action by people with disabilities aimed at positive social change, the elimination of discriminatory barriers, and the creation of supportive and fully accessible community environment.
ILCNSCA is unique in the arena of human service agencies. Following the federal standards and assurances, ILCNSCA is consumer controlled and community based, serves individuals of all ages who have all types of disabilities. A minimum of 50% of the Board of Directors and direct services staff must be persons who have disabilities, and the Executive Director must also be a person with a disability. Directors and staff provide leadership and serve as role models of successful Independent Living (IL). Consumers choose their goals and work at their own pace to attain goal completion.
History of the Agency
The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann Inc. (ILCNSCA) incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1987 "to provide social services, information and referral, peer counseling, advocacy and independent living skills development services for individuals with severe physical or mental disabilities residing in the North Shore and Cape Ann areas of the Commonwealth." Federal Tax Exempt 501 (C) (3) Status was granted in December 1987.
ILCNSCA emerged from the North Shore Self Help Group (NSSHG), which began in 1980 as a local chapter of the Project in Self Advocacy of the Commonwealth. NSSHG brought disabled individuals together to share experiences as peers and to advocate for their rights to participate freely in the community.
When the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission sought to create new Independent Living Centers in the mid-1980s, members of NSSHG responded quickly to improve and expand the delivery of services to those who lived with disabilities on the North Shore and Cape Ann by creating ILCNSCA. The many valuable learning experiences of the NSSHG are reflected in the Mission of the Center today.
ILCNSCA embraces the independent living philosophy and its core principles. View these principles.