Empowering Individuals
Empowers Communities

Our Services

Northwestern Illinois Center from Independent Living (NICIL) offers four (4) core focus areas:
  • Advocacy
  • Peer Support
  • Information and Referral
  • Independent Living Skills
In addition we to our core focus areas we offer for program areas that include:  Personal Assistance (PA Services), Community Reintegration Program, and Education/Outreach programs.
Not sure what services that you need?  Call us at 815-625-7860 or 888-886-4245.  We will ask some questions, listen to you, and help you find the resources that will match your needs, even if that isn’t NICIL.  We want you to be empowered and encouraged to live independently in our communities.  Let’s talk.



NICIL will advocate for the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that may threaten to impeded equal access.
Individual advocacy includes:

  • Helping them find appropriate resources to solve problem
  • Assisting people with disabilities in dealing with conflicts
  • Helping them find ways to negotiate with various support system
Systemic advocacy includes which make changes on a broad level:

  • Working with community at large to remove both physical and attitudinal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing and participating in our community
  • Working with local authorities to improve the enforcement of ADA and other relevant laws
  • Building strong relationship with local, state and federal elected officials.

Peer Support

NICIL has a deep understanding of the needs and solutions to advance the lives of people with disabilities. At NICIL a majority of our staff and board of directors have a disability. NICIL is a team of determined and caring individuals prepared to arm consumers with the tools and expectations necessary for them to guide their life now and in the future.

Peer support is an integral part of the independent living philosophy. There are times when people with disabilities simply need the assistance of someone who has faced similar barriers and successfully achieved their goals.  Who better to help you deal with everyday struggles than someone who has “been there and done that?” NICIL believes it is not necessary for people to have the same disability to understand one another’s struggles. Peer support is not designed to replace professional counseling but it can serve as an additional support in improving the lives of people with disabilities. Support can come from one-on-one peer support wit NICIL staff, board members, consumers or community support groups.Read the story of our volunteer Mark. Mark’s story regarding transportation is just one story that showcases how living independently has happened to on of our peers.  Click here to read Mark’s Story
There are two (2) Peer Programs that NICIL offers:

  • Peer to Peer Mentoring
  • Peer Support Groups
Our Peer to Peer Mentoring program matches people with disabilities together to share experiences and develop a friendship while navigating through challenges one might face.  For details on how to become a mentor, find out about the next training session, or to find a mentor contact our team at info@nicil.org.
Support Groups-Are you interest in a specific support group?  We are preparing plans now for now groups to start in the fall.  Let us know what you think at frontdesk@nicil.org

Information and Referral

Northwestern Illinois Center for Independent Living (NICIL) responds to inquiries from people with disabilities, family members, other service providers, the business community and the general public on programs, resources and other issues related to disabilities.  The questions cover abroad range of disabilities – related topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessibility Requirement
  • Personal Assistive Technology
  • Employment Services
  • Accessibility Housing
  • Transportation
  • Community resources

We do more! If you are wondering about your situation and want to talk confidentially to someone who cares, contact us at 815-625-7860 or frontdesk@nicil.org

Independent Living Skills Training

NICIL’s Independent Living Skills Training empowers people with disabilities to attain new skills and techniques so they are able to participate in daily living, recreational/social opportunities, and vocational/volunteering activities. We adapt to and address the individual needs of those we serve.  NICIL assists people with disabilities in mastering skills they need to live independently including but not limited to:

  • Managing a personal budget
  • Teaching home-making skills
  • Promoting self-advocacy
  • Obtaining assistive devices and medical equipment
  • Utilizing community services
  • Accessing public transportation
Click here for our Calendar of Events
We are planning for new Skills Training now.  We’d like to hear from you.  You can contact us by calling 815-625-7860 or email us at: frontdesk@nicil.org
General Information
Our Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 4:30p.m.
Due to the budget impasses

Our Location:
412 Locust
Sterling, IL 61081

Phone: 815-625-7860
TTY: 815-625-7863
Toll Free: 888-886-4245
Fax: 815-625-7876

NICIL is now on Goodshop & Goodsearch! Help us raise funds, one penny at a time. See our NICIL Support page for details!
What is happening at NICIL…
Click on our Event page to find out what is happening now!

Check our Action for Advocacy!

We are looking for great PA's! Are you looking for the best career you will ever have? Click on our PA page.