Our Education Division Staff and Consultants who are part of the Disability Community make the Training and Learning Collaborative (TLC) Technical Assistance (TA) model unique. The model leverages organizational development practices matched with peer roles customized to provide culturally competent services to agencies. We have real life experience regarding the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to assist with an organization’s goal of access for all with compliance and disability cultural competence. As people predominantly with disabilities, we have a deep background in education and disability awareness which provides a more complete understanding of what is required for providing services to people with complex health needs, almost always including one or more chronic conditions or disabilities. We draw from and collaborate with our peer community to customize our training on a local, regional and national basis. Our consultants provide a flexible range of services, including training, technical assistance and resource connections, enabling a wide array of organizations to anticipate and respond to their changing workplace needs.


  • We are the only Independent Living Center (ILC) in Massachusetts that is also designated as a Recovery Learning Community (RLC) since 2008.
  • We are committed to a workforce that is comprised of individuals living with disabilities and a RLC workforce that is comprised entirely of people with lived experience. This provides a unique set of qualifications and depth of experience.
  • ACOs and CPs may be in a better position to reach the consumer engagement challenges and improve their understanding about health outcomes related to the social determinants of health through leveraging our peer perspectives and experience.
  • Our 5 core competencies and services, as defined by our Federal ILC Accreditation, are: information and referral, peer support services, skills training, individual and systems advocacy and transition services.


We were contacted by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator of a town as they wanted to make their recreational sites accessible for all. They had 23 sites and many residents had expressed the desire to use the beautiful areas and fully enjoy what the Town spaces had to offer. Jim Lyons, who has been our ADA Advocacy and Community Relations Director for over 36 years, went out to meet with the Town Disability Commission, and presented at Town Hall meetings to win approval for the project. The NILP team completed a full ADA assessment and evaluation of all the sites and provided on-site training on disability awareness and cultural competency. The project was so successful that the Town has invited us back to complete ADA evaluations for all of their public buildings.


We are a non-profit organization that provides advocacy and services to all people with disabilities who wish to live independently in the community. What is unique about the agency is that a minimum of 51% of the staff and Board of Directors are themselves people with disabilities.

The statements in this document are made solely by NILP. No statement in this document should be construed as an official position of or endorsement by Abt Associates Inc. or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.


The Training and Learning Collaborative (TLC) is the Education Division of NILP. Created in 2013, TLC is a partnership comprised of a multicultural team of professionals who are persons with disabilities or have many years of training and consulting experience in the disability community. This combination of lived experience and technical expertise provides organizations of any size, the knowledge and skills to ensure quality and culturally competent service delivery for disability awareness education, and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). More recently, TLC has provided training to over 1,200 health care and community professionals in six different agencies, some of whom are currently MassHealth ACOs or CPs.

It is fitting that as an authority on the issues faced by people with disabling (and often multiple) conditions, NILP should figure prominently enhancing the system’s sensitivity to people who have lived through hard times including trauma, emotional distress, addiction, poverty, discrimination, and a wide range of diagnostic labels. By embracing all of whom we are – both painful and joyful – we validate each other’s experiences to create a sense of belonging, equality and shared humanity.


The NILP Independence Fund provides resources to individuals who may not qualify for other sources of support to allow them to transition out of nursing facilities and institutions. Through our Local Fundraising Efforts, Board support and special events we raise unrestricted monies to be donated to individuals who may need assistive technology, modifications to home or vehicle, or items to set up a new home or space as they transition back into the community. One example of this is that NILP Independence Fund rented a moving truck to help a family who had been living in homeless shelters to relocate to a home.


“We have had a partnership with the Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) since 2012. They were very helpful and a crucial element in developing our training on the ADA and cultural competency around issues of independence and disability. Our thriving collaboration has helped educate over 1000 employees and is a staple of the our onboarding experience. The NILP training team has been wonderful to work with and their experience in the field has added more value to our company than can be qualified.”


Actuarial and Financial

Care Coordination/Integration

Community-Based Care and Social Determinants of Health

Consumer Engagement

Flexible Services

Health Information Technology (HIT)

Performance Improvement

Population Health Management