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Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living
Empowering individuals with disabilities and seniors to improve the quality of their lives

  Non-Core Services

'It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.' W. Somerset Maugham

Business and Employment Services

EOCIL offers assistance in the career development process and integration of career goals into overall life planning for maximum independence. This may include information about education/training opportunities, job modification or accommodation in situations where the worksite can be adapted to the worker, as well as work readiness and job-seeking skills. Employment services also teach individuals how to present their disability in a positive light and make clear any accommodation they may need on the job. By providing employers with disability awareness training and technical assistance, EOCIL staff also facilitate the inclusion of employees with disabilities in the workforce.

Connecting Qualified Individuals with Employers

EOCIL serves as a full-service employment agency assisting qualified individuals with the skills to secure the “right fit” job. EOCIL works closely with each client by providing several different job development skills to assist clients with the following:

EOCIL creates and maintains partnerships with businesses throughout eastern Oregon. These partnerships are built by EOCIL working with each individual employer to identify the specific employment needs. The employment services staff at EOCIL subscribes to guidelines established by Oregon’s Employment Outcomes Professional II (EOP II) Standards and Assurances to ensure successful job placement and retention for both the employee and employer.

Employer Partnerships

EOCIL provides local employers assistance in achieving their employment needs and works with each company to identify specific needs. Once these have been identified, EOCIL can assist an employer with solutions to their hiring needs with:

Let EOCIL help your business with its hiring needs and eliminate the placing of expensive job ads as well as the reviewing of numerous resumes and applications. The Business and Employment Services Department at EOCIL has proven to be rewarding not only for our clients but for our partnering employers.

Interested in being an employer partner with EOCIL? If so, contact:
Kirt Toombs

Business Resource Center

(The) Idaho Power - Western Treasure Valley Committee Fund Business Resource Center   Photo of the Ontario Business Resource Center: a light, bright space with office desk, chair, computer and other business machines

Ontario Office: Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The center was made possible by a grant from Idaho Power Western Treasure Valley Committee Fund and a matching grant from Idaho Power Company.  It is equipped with a copier, fully accessible computer and workstations.  Private meeting rooms are available, but should be scheduled in advance.

Pendleton Office:  Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  It is equipped with a copier, fully accessible computer and workstations.  Private meeting rooms are available, but should be scheduled in advance.

The Dalles Office:  Currently under development.

Work Incentives Network (WIN)

EOCIL also offers Work Incentives Network (WIN) Services. WIN is a free benefits and work incentives planning service for people with disabilities who want to work.

Many people with disabilities believe that if they go to work, they will lose all cash or medical benefits they receive — and this is seldom the case. WIN services are a “one-stop” source of information and assistance: through education, they reduce the fear an individual may have about losing benefits when returning to the work force; they provide assistance to prevent crisis when changes occurs; they improve the chances of successful employment.

WIN services assist people with disabilities with:

  1. analyzing benefits and how working may or may not impact them;
  2. making informed decisions about work and their benefits;
  3. using work incentives to achieve their employment goals; and
  4. navigating the benefits system when returning to work.

For more information about WIN services contact:
Jennifer Bonnell

Community Access Award Project

An EOCIL access advisory committee solicits recommendations from community members identifying businesses that demonstrate exemplary efforts to promote full participation of men, women and young people with disabilities in all aspects of their businesses. The committee presents the EOCIL Access Award to those entities at its annual July 26 celebration. See current and past recipients.

Community Education

EOCIL strives to educate three groups about disability-related issues: individual citizens, community-based organizations and policy makers. EOCIL staff present disability awareness workshops to businesses, service providers, religious organizations, educational institutions and government agencies. As a result of these presentations, someone with a disability working for one of the above mentioned entities contacts EOCIL for services or an individual close to a person with a disability refers that person to EOCIL.

National Award-Winning HIV/AIDS Project

EOCIL provides independent living services, also known as Ryan White case management (RWCM), for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This is a national-award-winning project recognized for its best practices in providing quality services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. EOCIL’s HIV/AIDS project is a voluntary program. Its intent is to improve access to community resources and support services. Independent living services/RWCM are offered from a philosophy of client control, peer models and self-advocacy. EOCIL’s independent living specialists are available to access HIV-related needs, to provide information about available resources and to assist with the development of an independent living plan. Specialists are knowledgeable about the resources available to people living with HIV and AIDS, including medical providers, treatment programs, entitlement programs (i.e., financial assistance programs and Social Security), health insurance and housing.

In 2002, this project was honored as Best CIL Practices in Rural Independent Living for Emerging Groups by the Association of Programs in Rural Independent Living (APRIL). In 2005, Cascade AIDS Project awarded the program its Angel Award for Outstanding Community Partnership.

In November 2010, EOCIL received $20,000 from M.A.C. AIDS Fund Fund for the "Second Chance Housing Program" for people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Oregon. Read all the details in the press release.

For more information about this program, contact Heidi Eidler at 541-276-1037 or

Public Services Programs

EOCIL staff work at local, state and national levels with new and existing organizations, community groups and legislative entities to increase the availability and improve the quality of community options and assure equal access of individuals to resources and facilities.

Representative Payee Project

In some cases, the Social Security Administration may require its clients to have a representative payee to manage their Social Security funds. EOCIL operates a Representative Payee project to assist in these situations. This project is not highly promoted by EOCIL; it is one with which EOCIL struggles out of concern it shifts power from client to agency. However, in the rare cases where the client and EOCIL cannot locate a representative payee and the client's health, safety and independence is at risk because of loss of Social Security funds, then EOCIL may provide this service following the strict guidelines established to maintain client choice and control. This program is designed to be a short-term solution only; EOCIL's IL specialists work with individuals to develop the skills they need to petition the Social Security Administration eventually to allow them to manage their own funds.


Social and Recreation Project

EOCIL sponsors monthly, quarterly and annual social activities. These activities include, but are not limited to:

Check our calendar for upcoming activities.

Support Groups and Training

Support groups are initiated and offered by EOCIL staff with input from clients. EOCIL-organized and facilitated disability support and recreation groups meet on a regular basis to share common issues and learn coping and success strategies. Staff also keep abreast of and let clients know of outside support groups within local communities. Check our calendar for upcoming meetings.

EOCIL-hosted groups:

Other community resources:

Technical Assistance on Accessibility Issues

EOCIL provides information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and assistance to clients, architects and business owners.

Additional details are available on the Grassroots ADA Trainer Project page.


Any of the services offered by EOCIL are relevant to veterans. One in particular is Brain Train, a cognitive retraining software program that was developed as a way to help enhance cognitive and behavioral abilities after a traumatic brain injury.

Exactly how relearning occurs after head injury is not understood, but it is assumed that connections between various brain cells are strengthened through use. Undamaged parts of the brain learn to perform those functions previously performed by the damaged areas. Repeated practice is usually required to both learn and relearn specific cognitive/behavioral skills.

This cognitive retraining software program is located at the Ontario and Pendleton offices. It can be used to prepare for a return to employment and/or to provide sufficient cognitive stimulation to retain or retrain skill levels.

If you or someone you know has experienced a brain injury or experiencing age-related memory loss and having difficulties adjusting, this program may be beneficial.

For more information on the Brain Train program, contact

Web Site

EOCIL’s Web site was established to provide disability-related information and services to the online community, as well as establish another avenue by which people with disabilities living in rural eastern Oregon and the general public can contact EOCIL regarding issues and concerns related to independent living. Access services

Wellness Project

EOCIL offers programs that promote wellness among people with disabilities. These programs may include, but are not limited to, recreation-based activities, information on accessible fitness centers, or support groups. Selected materials are also provided under Health, Wellness and Support on the Resources section of this site.

Youth Mentoring Project

Disability Mentoring Day promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. With leadership, coordination and resource materials from our national member organizations, local communities around the country organize their own activities that bring students and employers together for informational sessions about career opportunities and one-on-one mentoring with volunteers at public and private places of employment. Disability Mentoring Day enables students and job-seekers to spend part of a day visiting a business or government agency that matches their interests and have one-on-one time with volunteer mentors. This is an opportunity to underscore the connection between school and work, evaluate personal goals, target career skills for improvement, explore possible career paths, and develop lasting mentor relationships.

The program’s history shows that students’ and job seekers’ participation in Disability Mentoring Day can result in an internship opportunity with the host employer, function as a first interview on the way to a part-time or full-time employment offer, or even a firm on-the-spot job offer. Disability Mentoring Day provides public and private employers with an opportunity to recruit interns, tap a pool of potential future employees, learn more about the experience of disability, develop lasting relationships with disability community leaders, demonstrate positive leadership in their communities and attract positive media attention. In addition, employers can get involved by enabling employees to serve as volunteer mentors, functioning as a Local Coordinator for a community, and sponsoring Disability Mentoring Day at the national or local level.

Locally, young people with disabilities organize Disability Pride Celebration Days, which promote disability awareness and full community inclusion. Celebrations are held on July 26 and December 3 each year: July 26 is the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and December 3 is World Disability Awareness Day as established by the United Nations.

… and Still More Services

EOCIL offers a number of other services to address specific needs of clients and the community that are not available elsewhere. Need something? Ask us!

Accessing Services

EOCIL provides individualized services at its three office locations:

In addition, EOCIL staff travel through each county, meeting with individuals and providing services. Individuals seeking services should contact the nearest office to schedule an appointment in their community or contact EOCIL via Web.

To access services from EOCIL, please provide the following information or any information that you are comfortable with. All information provided will be kept confidential.

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