Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

  • How do I become a NICIL consumer? That is easy! First thing is being a person with a disability, even if you haven’t had a formal diagnosis yet. Call us and talk with us about what you are needing or a goal that you want to achieve. We will set an appointment with one of our team members and help you with your journey. There is no cost for our individual services.
  • How is NICIL funded? Our funding in part comes through contracts with the State of Illinois and the Federal government. The rest comes in donations or what we call fee for service programs. Fee for Service programs are where we conduct a service or a training for a group or organization and we charge a fee. An example of that is our Accessibility Assessments.
  • How did the budget impasse really affect NICIL? The budget impasse was very painful for NICIL and many other social service agencies that support persons with disabilities. NICIL still has not financially recovered from those two years. Yes we were reimbursed for our expenses, but we lost ½ of our team and more then 1/3 of our funding overall. That means there is less staff and less money to provide services. That affects all of us deeply.
  • How did NICIL start?  This is one of our favorite stories! The founding Board came together in 1985 and applied for funding as well as to get NICIL as a not for profit corporation. We began serving in 1985. We have been supporting independent living since our first day and we have no plans to stop! We actually are beginning the plans now (2018) for our 35th anniversary in 2020! Stay tune for the details, we plan on celebrating our growth!
  • Does NICIL conduct any fundraising? Cash donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated as there is no cost for consumer to use services through NICIL.

For a fundraiser to be “profitable” for us we would need to “net” (after expenses) more than  $1,000.   It really is difficult to fund raise and very complex!

This means that if we raise $600 in a bake sale and it costs us $900 in staff time and baking supplies then not only did we lose our profit, but we are still in the “red” for $300.

Another great question, but very complex! Yes, NICIL does conduct fundraising efforts but there are some draw back to this effort. For every dollar of resources that we use at NICIL (staff time, copies, marketing, supplies, etc.) for the fundraising efforts has to be subtracted from our profits of the fundraiser.

  • Where is NICIL located?  We are not limited to our physical location in Sterling, we meet our consumers in other locations as well. We use free and accessible locations such as libraries, Chamber of Commerce, Community buildings, etc.

Our main physical office is located at 412 Locust Street, in Sterling, Illinois. Right downtown Sterling across from Taco Bell and next door to the Sterling Theater, Meads Bike Shop, and Grummets Hardware. We have free parking in the back lot and limited free parking in front of the building.

  • Hours of Operations-what are they?   

NICIL does offer an after-hours phone number at 779-245-7045. You may call the number anytime that our office is not open, however, it is a monitored line and is not answered live after 8:00 pm or after noon on the weekends.

NICIL is a non-emergency organization. We do not offer any emergency housing, funding, food, medical support, or legal support. If a situation is an emergency, then we strongly encourage individuals to contact 911 or the most appropriate emergency resource.

Our normal hours of operation are Monday thru Thursday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. We are closed most major holidays. We do offer evening and weekend appointments, just ask us, we are happy to make reasonable accommodations to meeting times and days.

  • Communication – we hear you!  NICIL offers a variety of communication tools to keep in contact with our community referral partners and our consumers.
  • Texting – 779-245-7045
  • Faxing – 815-625-7876
  • TTY machine – 815-625-7863
  • Facebook at NICIL412
  • Voice – 815-625-7860
  • Email –

We can also communicate with video relay, Skype, and FaceTime. We continue to look for ways to communicate in a method that works for our consumers.