The Centre for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia was founded in 1996 by persons with different types of disabilities in order for the newly founded organization to represent the rights of all persons with disabilities. Accordingly, the Centre became the first cross-disability organization, bringing together people with disabilities who share the same/similar problems related to independent living.
The Centre then gathered a group of people whose common desire was to promote the idea of independent living for people with disabilities and advocate the creation of conditions for the application of this philosophy in our country.
After several years of the organization’s work, it became necessary to establish local centres, so since 2001 the Centre has evolved into a network of 10 local organizations. Today, the office of the president of the Centre for Independent Living in Serbia is discharged by Dr Milena Stojanovic.
The Centre is the first organization that specifically conducted researches in various areas important for people with disabilities, such as social protection, employment, accessibility, personal assistance, capacities of organizations of people with disabilities, issues of women with disabilities and others. To date, the Centre has carried out and published 12 researches that are available on the Centre’s website, within the digital library. Also, the Centre has published more than 20 other titles in translation series and/or other publications from various fields, produced three documentary video films and a series of videos.
International cooperation is also one of the important activities, and the Centre is one of the founders and members of the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL). The most significant achievement of the Centre for Independent Living Serbia is the introduction of the personal assistance service into the Law on Social Welfare, now listed as a social service.
Within the framework of the European CARDS project, in cooperation with the European Disability Forum (EDF), in the period 2005-2006, the Centre initiated and organized the formation of the National Organization of Persons with Disabilities.
Within the cooperation between the Centre for Independent Living Serbia and the Republic Electoral Commission, a decision was made on mandatory verification of polling stations accessibility for persons with disabilities every two years, and a guide was prepared for polling boards on how to facilitate access to polling stations for persons with disabilities.
Through the projects of the EIDHR Centre and USAID, in the 9th (2013) and 11th (2016) convocations of the Serbian Parliament, the formation of the Parliamentary Working Body dealing with issues concerning persons with disabilities was initiated.