RISE Center promotes the full inclusion, equal opportunity, and participation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of community life. People with disabilities have the right and ability to make choices affecting their lives, the right to take risks, the right to fail, and the right to succeed.


Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. as amended, Congress established Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in response to individuals’ with disabilities need for independent living skills: advocacy, community services, education, training, peer support, information & referral, and transition services. Founded in 1996, RISE Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serves individuals with disabilities in fulfilling their goals of independence and self-sufficiency. Services are offered, most without cost, to individuals of all ages who live in Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin Counties.



The independent living philosophy is founded on principles of self-determination, self help, and consumer choice. People with disabilities have absolute control over their lives. They make choices from an array of acceptable options that improve decision making skills, increase self-confidence, and minimize reliance on others in performing daily activities. This invigorates their desire to achieve community inclusion, fulfill a broad range of social roles, and independently manage their own affairs by minimizing physical and psychological dependency upon others.


We Promote the FIVE Tenets of Independent Living:

  • Consumerism: The consumer is the locus of control. Those who know best the needs of people with disabilities are the people themselves. The Consumer can best determine what they want for themselves, opposite of the “Medical Model”.
  • Freedom of Choice: Making a life decision requires unbiased information on all options. Family members, caseworkers, and medical providers don’t always know “what’s best”.
  • Dignity of Risk: Learning requires taking risks. If you are making “Informed Choices” you understand the risks and consequences. You’ll never know what works and what doesn’t if you never try.
  • Least Restrictive Environment: Modern sociologists define “disability” as the interaction between a person’s body and their environment. The environment we live in must adapt to our bodies.
  • Individual Paradigm: What skills does the consumer already possess? What knowledge does the consumer already have? How can this skill set be useful in achieving his or her goals? What information and skills does the consumer need to acquire to accomplish his or her goals?

RISE Center is a member of the following state and national Professional Organizations:

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