About Us

We are different, combative and innovative people!

The Center for Independent Living – Sofia (CIL) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization of persons with disabilities, registered as an association for carrying out socially beneficial activity under the Law on Non-Profit Legal Entities.

CIL has been working to change the state disability policy in Bulgaria since 1995, actively advocating for the values of independent living and the implementation of the social model of disability.

Vision

A world in which people with disabilities have a choice and can live independently, with quality and with dignity.

Mission

People with disabilities should receive the support they need to achieve an independent and fulfilling human existence.

Values

Guided by the code of ethics inherent in every human being, we are subject to universal values.

Independent Living

“Independent living” means people with disabilities to have the same choices and control in their daily lives as people without disabilities.

Above all, “Independent living” means opportunities for real choice and control. Not to “choose” whether to accept or reject the only thing the state has to offer, but to choose between different alternatives, between different social practices.

For the parents of a disabled child, this means:

  • be able to choose whether or not their children remain educated (at home or in special school);
  • to study with their neighbors and girlfriends in the neighborhood school – which is accessible, however, and where their child will receive the specialized support he or she needs.

For a disabled adult this means:

  • to choose whether to be an eligible client or a patient without opinion on the organization of his or her own life;
  • to choose whether to work in a general environment and earn a decent living, or to appear as a “dead soul” in the establishment plan of the specialized enterprise;
  • to choose whether to use social services or to receive social benefits;
  • to choose whether to regard him as a citizen with equal rights and responsibilities, or as a beggar for the mercy of the state.

Social model

The social model of disability is a major tool for socio-political critique of the life situation of people with disabilities. In order to fulfill this critical function, the social model usually opposes the so-called “medical model” of disability. The two models present two fundamentally different ways of thinking and acting in the field of disability.

According to the social model:

  • Disability is a difference in culture and gender.
  • Disability issues are rooted in inaccessible physical and social environments.
  • The solution to the problem is to change the environment and society (by making it more accessible), not to change the person.

According to the medical model:

  • Damage is an anomaly, something unwanted and abnormal.
  • Disability is an individual problem.
  • The solution to the problem is to cure the damage.
  • Only professionals (doctors, psychologists, rehabilitators, etc.) can help people with disabilities.

In short, opposition between the social and medical models is a valuable tool that enables people with disabilities and their organizations to be critical.

Equality

Equality is to ensure that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of his or her life and talents.

It is also the belief that no one should have a poorer chance of living because of the way they were born, where they came from, what they believed in, or whether they had a disability.

Equality recognizes that historically defined groups of people with protected characteristics such as race, disability, gender and sexual orientation have experienced discrimination.

People with disabilities have the same rights as all members of society. The social model of disability implies that barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion from society are the real determinants of who is disabled and who is not.

Partnership

We have accomplished much of this in partnership with some of the largest NGOs and business entities in Bulgaria and abroad!

We believe that we can establish perfect partnerships with you and achieve our set common goals!

We are expecting you!

Membership

Center for Independent Living is open to new friends and followers. Anyone who professes the ideas and goals of the organization and wants to change the current state of social policies is welcome!

Let’s change the status quo together.

We are expecting you!

Who are we?

Kapka Panayotova
Kapka Panayotova

Chairman of the Board

Mitko Nikolov
Mitko Nikolov

Project Manager

Ventsislava Fatayer
Ventsislava Fatayer

Office and Technical manager

Nina Jisheva
Nina Jisheva

Human rights advocate

Donation

You want to financially support our advocacy work, this is your place.

Thanks in advance!

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