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#CIL50: Reflection, Reunion, Renewal
Independent Living Summit

CIL's 50th Anniversary Website Banner.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 to Friday, October 21, 2022
Doors Open at 9:30 AM
Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703
Ashby BART Station

Graphic with text that reads "#CIL50: Reflection Reunion Renewal | Independent Living Summit." Below is a photo of protestors carrying a banner with text that reads "Center for Independent Living | 1972 - 2022." Text below the photo reads "Wednesday, October 19, 2022 to Friday, October 21, 2022 | Doors Open at 9:30 AM | Daily 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM | Ed Roberts Campus | 3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703 | Ashby Bart Station | CIL | Center for Independent Living." In each corner is a triangle made up of golden yellow polka dots. A golden yellow frame outlines the image.

The Center for Independent Living, Inc. (CIL), headquartered at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA, will celebrate our 50th anniversary with a series of events in October 2022: #CIL50: Reflection, Reunion, Renewal. These landmark events include an Independent Living Summit. The goal of the summit is to reconnect with the issues and actions that have defined our movement and collectively engage, organize and plan for the next 50 years of advocacy for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities.


This 3-day conference style summit will engage disability community members in tracks committed to IL core services, community organizing advocacy, access to employment and more, while also serving to connect community members to Independent Living opportunities.


Participants can attend a single day, two days or all three. In-person space is limited due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols, so please register at your earliest opportunity. Virtual streaming options for viewing sessions will be available and announced closer to the event.

Summit Schedule


Wednesday, October 19th - Independent Living


  • 9:30 AM     Refreshments and Registration

  • 10:00 AM   Opening Plenary (Large Group)

Welcome to the Independent Living Summit

Ted Jackson, Center for Independent Living, Inc (CIL)

Zayda Ortiz, Center for Independent Living, Inc (CIL)


The State of Independent Living

Kim Rutledge, Department of Rehabilitation

A snapshot of the history of IL services provided throughout California and locally in the East Bay through CIL, with a discussion on the future of service needs in our communities.



Honorary Co-Chairs

Representative Barbara Lee

Zona Roberts

Judith E. Heumann

Honorary Host Committee

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson

Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan

Berkeley Vice Mayor Kate Harrison

Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett

Berkeley Councilmember Rigel Robinson

Honorable Tom Harkin

Honorable Tony Coelho

Honorable Loni Hancock

Honorable Tom Bates

Joan Leon

Kathy Martinez

Melissa Male

Janni Lehrer-Stein

Joyce Bender

Merrill Friedman

Katherine Perez

  • 11:00 AM  Morning Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)

Access Tech: Assistive Technology in Our Communities

Morgan Kanninen, CIL Assistive Technology Specialist

CIL Community Consumers

An overview of Assistive Technology with a panel of AT-users sharing their specific AT journeys, their favorite devices, and their dreams for the future landscape of Assistive Technology.


Travel and Transit Safety Training

Ciara Lovelace, CIL Independent Living Skills Specialist

Alongside disabled peers and transit-users, learn and discuss ways to safely navigate various modes of public transportation independently and accessibly.


  • 12:00 PM  Lunch: Pre-ordered box lunch or on your own


  • 1:00 PM   Afternoon Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)


How to Hire and Manage Personal Care Attendants

Russell Rawlings, California Education Director, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network

An interactive conversation for both attendants, domestic employers, and advocates on hiring and managing attendants, and building clear and respectful relationships between attendants and employers.


Wheelchair Repair 101

John Benson, CIL Residential Access Coordinator

Roll-in session for wheelchair-users to ask questions and receive free wheelchair repairs and build connections with other wheelchair-users.

Housing 2.0
Janet Brown, CIL Housing Advocate
Max Dolane, CIL Housing Advocate

Learn about how to navigate the systems for getting into affordable and accessible housing, and the advocacy to create systems change for disabled community members seeking equitable housing opportunities.



  • 2:30 PM    Break


  • 3:00 PM    End of Day Plenary (Large Group)


Independent Living In The Community

Robin Earth, CIL IL Core Services Program Manager

                             Brandon Young, Athletic Director at Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program

                         Vanessa Castro, Artist, Author, Illustrator

                         Michelle Rousey, Disability Advocate, Artist, and Activist

A panel of diverse community perspectives on how independent living services have supported their goals of living in integrated communities.


Thursday, October 20th - Community Engagement 


  • 9:30 AM     Refreshments and Registration


  • 10:00 AM   Starting Plenary (Large Group)

Welcome to Summit Day Two: Community Engagement

Emma Martin, Center for Independent Living, Inc.


Disability Policy Today and Tomorrow

Claudia Center, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Sylvia Yee, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

An interactive panel discussion on the reemerging and emerging policy priorities for disabled Americans. Discussion will span the distance from the early and still on-going fight for access rights to progressive battle for the protection and accessibility of reproductive rights and justice.



  • 11:00 AM  Morning Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)


Reimagining a Community-Centered Care System in California 

Malcolm Harris and Care Fellowship Cohort, Caring Across Generations

Jade Theriault, Member from Hand in Hand: the Domestic Employers Network

Join California caregivers and recipients and the social justice organizations they are connected to as we re-imagine a system of care that expands home and community-based services through a BIPOC, disability, feminist and working communities lens that’s linked to addressing generational care issues through policy and organizing.


Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Training

Ron Halog, Independent Living Resource of Solano and Contra Costa

A fun and interactive training on the 4 steps to emergency preparedness, and action steps you will need to take before a disaster happens


  • 12:00 PM  Lunch: Pre-ordered box lunch or on your own


  • 1:00 PM    Afternoon Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)


Disability Community Organizing and Campaign Planning

Jessica Lehman, Executive Director, Senior and Disability Action and Senior and Disability Action Organizers

Ligia Montano, Health Care Organizing Director, Senior and Disability Action

Learn the ins and outs of community organizing and building campaigns that center accessibility, racial justice, class solidarity, gender equity, queer and trans liberation, and more!


Disability Housing Advocacy and Accessible Design

Eddie Ytuarte, Co-Chair, Oakland Tenants Union and Host of Pushing Limits, KPFA

Dolores Tejada, Lead Organizer, East Bay Housing Organizations

Fatimah Aure, Director of Field Building and Capacity, The Kelsey

Reverend Sophia DeWitt, Program Director, East Bay Housing Organizations

A conversation on emerging issues facing the disability communities' access to housing, ways we can organize to create change, and work being done within the fields of accessible and inclusive housing design.


  • 2:30 PM    Break


  • 3:00 PM    End of Day Plenary (Large Group)


Election 2022: Make a plan to vote!

Itzel Romero, CIL Systems Change Advocate

Fred Nisen, Managing Attorney Voting Rights Practice Group, Disability Rights California

Gabe Taylor, Senior Voting Rights Advocate, Disability Rights California

Bay Area Systems Change Advocates from the DOnetwork

Build accessible voting plans and learn ways to engage and mobilize the disability community to vote in the 2022 Midterm Elections. Learn about the advocacy needed to make voting more inclusive for disabled Californians and how you can be a change agent by building disability electoral power.


Friday, October 21st - Access to Employment


  • 9:30 AM    Refreshments and Registration

  • 10:00 AM  Starting Plenary (Large Group)

Welcome to Summit Day Three: Employment

Ted Jackson, Center for Independent Living, Inc.

Robin Earth, Center for Independent Living, Inc.


The Next Frontier for Disability Inclusion and Equity: Employment

Hon. Tony Coelho, former Congressman and House ADA Author

Joe Xavier, Director, California Department of Rehabilitation

Morning keynotes on the development of the movement for creating more accessible and inclusive spaces in the workplace for disabled persons to increase their employment into competitive jobs with equitable pay. Congressman Coelho (retired), primary author and co-sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, will touch on the promise of the ADA and what more we need to do around employment to live up to this promise.


  • 11:00 AM  Morning Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)


Navigating Employment Opportunities for Disabled Workers

Joyce Bender, Founder, Bender Consulting Services, Vice Chair, AAPD Board of Directors

Understanding that employing people with disabilities is great for business and provides freedom to Americans with disabilities. Exploring the opportunities open to disabled workers to advance their careers and build a sustainable future in the workforce.


The Disability Pipeline to a Career in Law

Katherine Perez, Executive Director, The Coelho Center for Disability Law Policy and Innovation at Loyola Law School

Exploring the pathways available to people with disabilities to enter into and sustain a career in the legal profession. Discussion on barriers and breaking barriers in law education to increase accessibility and inclusion for disabled persons seeking a legal career.


Becoming a Code Star

Laurence Carew, CIL Technology Educator

Learn about CIL’s CodeStars program and other tech-based programs to give participants digital creation skills and enter the workforce with valuable assets to compete for good pay and longevity in the tech and entertainment job market.


  • 12:00 PM  Lunch: Pre-ordered box lunch or on your own


  • 1:00 PM    Afternoon Breakout Sessions (Small Groups)


A Win/Win Scenario - Hiring from our Community

Merrill Friedman, RVP, Inclusive Policy & Advocacy at Elevance Health

Learn from a long-time Independent Living and Healthcare professional about the techniques and skills you can employ to become competitive in the corporate job market. 

New Media and Disability Representation: New Expectations for a New Age

Moderator: Lawrence Carter-Long, Director of Discourse for DisArt

Tari Hartman Squire, CEO, EIN SOF Communications & Diversity Media Consultant

Andrea Jennings, Accessibility and Disability Strategist, C Talent @Whaler; Co-Founder of RAMPD - Recording Artists and Musicians with Disabilities

James Ian, Musician and Actor

An intimate roundtable discussion about the intersection of Accessibility, Disability, and Integrated Marketing Communications.


  • 2:30 PM    Break

  • 3:00 PM    Closing Plenary (Large Group)


The Road to Independence is Paved with Jobs

Joyce Bender, Founder, Bender Consulting Services, Vice Chair, AAPD Board of Directors

Joining us will be experts who have made this their life's work and will enjoy a robust discussion on the challenges ahead for the community, along with the opportunities for us to move the needle forward.


Closing Keynote

Ted Jackson, CIL Executive Director

Recapping the takeaways from the summit and how to build a plan to put learning into action and increase access, inclusion and opportunity for the individual and the community as a whole.

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Special thanks to CIL’s service and program funders:

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