Brief History about Independent Living at a Glance

CILT operates on the philosophy of the Independent Living movement which was developed in response to traditional rehabilitation services models. Our aim is to develop and implement dignified social services that empower individuals rather than create dependencies. We encourage people with disabilities to take control of their own lives by exercising their right to examine options, make choices, take risks and even make mistakes.

If you want to know more about our history, please visit the PowerPoint Presentation.

For those of you who do not have Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your computer, you may download a viewer to see the presentation.



  • Formation and Incorporation;
  • COTA was original trustee;
  • Office established;
  • Needs survey designed;
  • Participatory action based research conducted;
  • Results analysed;
  • and service begins.


  • Projects begin: “Radio Connection”, “Access Connections”.


  • Woodeden Consumer Conference;
  • Literacy Link Survey and Attendant Services Directory published;
  • “Disability Network” (CBC co-production) begins.


  • Health and Welfare (Canada) funding cutbacks begin;
  • MCSS funds Independent Living Skills Program;
  • CILT newsletter upgraded.


  • I.L. and Participation in Research and The Literacy Book published; Youth Connection begins.


  • Directory of Accessible Restaurants developed;
  • new 24 Hour Newsline established;
  • “Direct Funding in Ontario (DF)” development phase begins.


  • United Way Membership Granted;
  • Award winning Abuse Prevention Video;
  • Youth and Disability Abuse Prevention project completed.
  • CILT agrees to run the Project Information Centre (PIC) for MOH;
  • CILT by-laws updated.


  • Project Information Centre (PIC) operated for MOH transferred to CILT from another local disability organization that ended. PIC coordinates applications for managed attendant services in Toronto.


  • DF Pilot evaluation from Roeher Institute results in full program status;
  • 4th Edition of Attendant Service Directory and Annotated; Abuse/Prevention Bibliography published.


  • DF gets full program status approved by MOH;
  • CILT UW project funding to expand the Parenting with a Disability Network;
  • Publish a resource Directory for Parents with a Disability.


  • The Parenting Book for Persons with a Disability published.


  • Employment project (HRDC funded) Navigating the Waters launched;
  • UW funding received to develop operational model for Nurturing Assistance.
  • Nurturing Assistance Guide published;
  • new statistics system introduced.
  • New website launched.
  • New library software acquired and system implemented.
  • Anti-racism implementation plan developed.
  • Nurturing Assistance Guide published.


  • New data base system implemented.
  • Gateway to Cancer Screening Project begins;
  • Human Right Monitoring Project begins.
  • Safe Engaged Environment Disability begins;
  • new office location.
  • Partnership with A2E;
  • 25th Anniversary;
  • Rebel Wall;
  • Partnership with CAMD;
  • 20th Anniversary of Diners Club;
  • Parenting with a Disability Conference;
  • Accreditation by Independent Living Canada for a further three years; Strength-Based Parenting Initiative (Spin) established.


  • Safe Engaged Environments – Disability (SEED) concludes and final report launched;
  • Round Table on Aging established;
  • DF becomes a LHIN rather than a MOHLTC portfolio.


  • CILT designates Award for the Inclusive Design Competition
  • STAND project begins – Safe Toronto Action Now-Disability
  • Final Gateways phase II report launched
  • Disability and Rights for Citizens begins
  • Oral History Project begins


  • Stand project ends
  • Disability Rights for Citizens project ends
  • Safe Inclusive Toronto Streets project begins
  • Civic Literacy I project begins
  • CILT launches website directed at Direct Funding Self-Managers and applicants in Ontario.


  • Individualized Funding
  • Civic Literacy II begins
  • Safe Inclusive Toronto Streets ends
  • Re-imagining Parenting partnership with Ryerson
  • 30th Anniversary AGM
  • DF receives a second substantial budget increase from the Ontario Government;
  • CILT celebrates its 30th Anniversary;
  • Partnership with York University/Disabled Persons Rights International for the Expanding the Circle project begins.


  • CILT coordinates a multi-faceted project with Attendant Service Providers and the Community Care Access Centre to address an Attendant Service Strategy for the TCLHIN Area;
  • CILT partners with Access Independent Living to stage focus groups and launch final study of the ‘Aging with a Disability’ report;
  • Civic Literacy II ends;
  • Partnership with York University/Disabled Persons Rights International for the Expanding the Circle project continues;
  • Joint Summer Picnic with ERDCO and Springtide occurs;
  • New newsletter, CILT Now, launched;
  • CILT works with community partners to invite150+ PWDs and their allies to a Federal Election Forum on Accessibility and Disability at Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre.


  • New position, Associate Director, created;
  • The Project Information Centre (PIC) is changed to the Attendant Service Application Centre (A-SAC);
  • Parenting with a Disability Network is revitalized;
  • Favourable third party evaluation of the Self-Managed Direct Funding (for attendant services) occurs;
  • Joint Summer Picnic with ERDCO and Springtide;
  • Inaugural Helen Henderson Literary Award granted;
  • CILT Accredited for further 5 years by Independent Living Canada;
  • CILT logo redesign.


  • Entered into a collaborative with Bellwoods re: ASAC waiting list;
  • Joint Summer Picnic with ERDCO and Springtide;
  • 2nd Helen Henderson Literary Award granted;
  • New Website Launched;
  • Collaborative with (see John M) to acknowlege International Day of Disabled Persons;
  • Enters into contract with Fireweed Media to digitize all D-Net programs and begin to plan a marketing and distribution strategy;
  • Continued DF expansion including the creation of 3 new positions;
  • Collaborative with Springtide to present the Spin Conference;
  • Planning begins for the creation of the Vic Willi legacy fund;
  • CILT awarded another 5 years accreditation from Independent Living Canada.


  • Human Rights Policy revised;
  • Social Media Policy developed;
  • D-Net (partnership with Fireweed) continues;
    • Programs digitized
    • Program posted on Youtube
    • First Package Launched for IDDP
  • 7 year Strategic Planning Document developed;
  • GTA Coalition established;
  • 3rd Annual Helen Henderson Literary Award;
  • Launch of Vic Willi Legacy Fund;
  • New Executive Director in place. The Wendy Porch era begins!