History of MWCIL

Greater Framingham Association of Disabled Citizens (GFA) – 1981

GFA formed in 1981 as part of the Community Advocacy Project of the MA Developmental Disabilities Law Center (Now the Disability Law Center).  Their early successes included breaking down barriers to adequate healthcare in community hospitals, bringing paratransit services to the Framingham area, attacking discrimination and providing peer support to its members.

GFA joins Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) – 1986

In order to have more locally controlled independent living services, BCIL established a satellite office in Framingham.  This office was staffed and governed jointly by both organizations.

GFA Independent Living Center (GFAILC) – 1990

The satellite office became Massachusetts’ tenth independent living center.  The GFA Board of Trustees assumed responsibility for its governance.

MetroWest Center for Independent Living (MWCIL) – 1996

The name was changed in 1996 to accurately reflect the geographic area of 26 cities and towns in the MetroWest area. 

’90s – Today

Staff at 2010 ADA Day in Boston
Staff at 2010 ADA Day in Boston

With Paul Spooner as Executive Director since 1992, MetroWest Center for Independent Living offers the 5 core services to people with disabilities in our service area.  Although we are one of the smaller centers in the state, MWCIL provides leadership and a voice on almost every major advocacy issue in the disability community.  MWCIL staff have played key roles in the MassHealth PCA program, as well as in the development of the Options Counseling program. 

Our expertise in local and state services, as well as civil rights, has allowed the MWCIL staff to empower many many people with disabilities in the MetroWest area.  Many people who would have been stuck in institutions are now living independently in the community, thanks to the free services at MWCIL.

2013 Staff
Staff in 2013