where the writers are

Independent Living Resource Center, San Francisco

A favorite of Red Room members Lana Nieves and Lilly-Marie Lamar, and Red Room Content Coordinator Jennifer Gibbons.

President of the Board of Directors: Karma Quick

Year founded: 1976

Mission: The mission of ILRCSF, the Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco,is to ensure that people with disabilities are full social and economic partners, both within their families and in a fully accessible community.


  • From reaching 100-200 people with disabilities, primarily with supportive services, in its first year, the organization now annually reaches 2,000 to 3,000 people with disabilities and 2,000 or more non-disabled family members, businesspersons, rehabilitation professionals and the general public through community education, and systems change, as well as supportive services.
  • From an annual budget of less than $200,000 in 1977, 90% from a single source, the organization has gone to an annual budget of just over one million dollars with fifteen to twenty different funding sources.
  • Staff and volunteers speak American Sign Language, Chinese, English, and Spanish. ILRCSF cafe
  • From serving primarily Caucasian people with physical disabilities in 1980, the organization now works as well with people with psychiatric disabilities, vision or hearing impairments, traumatic brain injury, multiple chemical sensitivity, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and HIV-related disability-65% of them persons of color, mirroring the San Francisco community.
  • ILRCSF has been an active member of the state coalition of Independent Living Centers (CFILC) since its inception in 1979. In 1983, it joined the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), serving on its board representing centers in Federal Regional IX from 1993 to 1997.

People with significant disabilities face many barriers to living in the community in a non-institutional setting: attitudinal, physical and programmatic or procedural barriers. ILRCSF's founders saw a need to address these barriers through systems change, community education and basic supportive services, which modeled consumer empowerment. A majority of the Board of Directors and staff have always been people with disabilities. ILRCSF was founded to represent all people with disabilities, inclusive of all kinds of disability, all ages, ethnic groups, and sexual and gender identities.

ILRCSF looks ahead with excitement to the new strategies and partnerships and to the continued effort to make San Francisco a better, more accessible community for all its citizens. To learn how to help or to make a donation, visit the organization's website.





Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room

Return to Causes We Support page