Metropolitan Center for Independent Living


Advocacy Program

MCIL offers Individual Advocacy and Systems Advocacy. Both types of advocates assist people who have any sort of disability. Individual advocates work one-on-one with consumers, combining their voices and experiences to solve daily problems and navigate the bureaucratic maze. Systems advocates initiate, develop, and implement public policy. They work with government officials, community groups, and private businesses in an effort to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Our advocates can assist consumers with:

  • Social Security applications and the development of individualized Plans to Achieve Self Support (PASS.) For more information on Social Security benefits and the PASS program see
  • Understanding and applying for Medicare and Medical Assistance. For more details on Medicare see For questions on Medical Assistance contact your county. (Ramsey: Hennepin:
  • Finding housing options. Additional information and assistance are available via HousingLink, at
  • Dealing with job discrimination and workplace accessibility issues. Information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against workers with disabilities, can be found through Cindy Tarshish of ADA Minnesota (e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,) or Great Lakes ADA, at
  • Learning about and utilizing transportation options. For questions regarding Metro Mobility and public bus or train service, check out
  • Coordination of other organizations’ and agencies’ services. A wide variety of questions regarding available services for the elderly and/or people with disabilities can be answered at

For more information contact:

Barbara Schifano, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

For additional communication assistance, please contact Speech- To-Speech, at 1-877-627-3848, or Minnesota Relay at 711

530 Robert Street North
St Paul, MN 55101  
Voice: 651-646-8342
Fax: 651-603-2006

The Mission of the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living is to assist people with disabilities to fulfill their desire to lead productive self-determined lives.