CIL at the Florida State Capital with the CIL logo

Welcome to the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida (CILNWF) 


Welcome to the Western Gate of the Sunshine State where many people with disabilities live, work, and play independently and make choices for themselves.  A place where others long to live.

CILNWF Staff Photo

Top Row L to R:  Di Tift, Karen Jackson, Carolyn Grawi, Deb Stanwood Bottom Row L to R:  Danny Broxson, Chris Grimm

Organizational Mission: 

CILNWF promotes, educates, facilitates, assists and advocates with and on behalf of people with disabilities, in partnership with their communities, to achieve their goals for independence.

Organizational Vision: 

CILNWF envisions a world where people with disabilities have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives, so they can fully and equally participate in society.

Organizational Values:

  • Dignity and Respect
  • Ethics and Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Collaboration
  • Service

Organizational Philosophy

  • Our Center assists persons with disabilities and caregivers to establish lives of independence. We believe that persons with disabilities deserve the same opportunities for independence which are available to every American.  Independent Living is having the right and the opportunity for individuals to pursue their lives based on the freedom of choice.
  • It is having the freedom to succeed or fail, to learn from one’s failures, and to be supported in those efforts, regardless of the outcome. Empowerment (personal power) gives individuals control over their choices and their lives.
  • We believe that persons with disabilities and caregivers are themselves qualified to assist others in identifying and acquiring the services necessary to overcome barriers, whether architectural, systemic or attitudinal.
  • Our staff and Board of Directors offer life experience in dealing with barriers to independence and represent a wide range of disabilities.  In addition, we value collaboration with representatives from disability related groups to help determine and evaluate the kinds of services our Center offers, and which services and programs we advocate for in the community.

Organizational Goals

  • To expand and promote inclusive community opportunities for consumers with the variety and quality that are available to the general public.
  • To use consumer input as the basis for planning and provision of services.
  • To promote our mission through advocacy, education and services.
  • To promote barrier removal, advocacy, self-help, peer role models and peer counseling
  • To offer a wide variety of services.  Five core services are essential to assist and support efforts of people with disabilities to live independently. They are: Information and referral, Independent living skills, training, peer counseling, advocacy and transition services. 

We provide programs, services, and opportunities in: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties

Save the Date ADA Gala

Meet the Executive Director

Carolyn L. Grawi, MSW, LCSW, LMSW, ACSW, ADAC

Carolyn is the team leader of the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida (CILNWF) programs and she has a deep sense of commitment to our region’s nonprofit sector.

She came to Florida in 2018. She has served nonprofits at all levels in program, fundraising, executive and leadership levels, and has a breadth of perspective and experience. She has been engaged with the field of disability since 1987.

Carolyn has over 30 years of executive planning, social work, teaching, administration, communications and marketing experience in the nonprofit sector. She provides leadership and supervision to diverse teams; is an advocate for civil rights; communities’ relationship building; casework to develop reasonable accommodations for consumers in employment and housing; department activities, training, presentations; provide educational consultations on accessibility and sensitivity to city governments, libraries, schools, transit providers, builders and developers; recommended and implemented policies in conflict management, and other issues.

“I am dedicated to this work because it provides vital human services and cultural enrichment to our community. When we have inclusive and diverse employment, it strengthens our work teams’ effectiveness.

As the situation with the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, CIL of Northwest Florida is committed to developing ways to provide services for people with disabilities in the safest, most efficient manner possible.

Our Organization wants to make sure you are always up-to-date on what our organization does and supports each week. Please explore our most current newsletters and all our past ones. We are here to serve!

Come check out the current and archived webinars presented by the staff of CIL of Northwest Florida. Our library contains different webinars for all interests and needs in our community.

What We Have to Offer!

Advocacy Services

Information and Referral

Independent Living Skills

Peer Mentors

Community Transition