Skip to content

Our Mission

CIRCL's mission is to...create opportunities for building and sharing individual, organizational and community strengths in supported living.

We create these opportunities through the following activities:

  • Mentoring individuals, groups, agencies, and regional centers by connecting them with a person or persons who can help them identify and overcome barriers to effective supported living;
  • Fostering cooperation and sharing by helping to develop networks where people learn from and are supported by others who are working toward the same outcomes;
  • Providing learning opportunities through focus groups, targeted training sessions and other teaching activities; and
  • Maintaining a central point of contact where people can get information on supported living.

Our History

CIRCL was started in 1986 with a small grant from the Department of Developmental Services. The purpose was and still is to spread learning and information about community living throughout the state.CIRCL has always been about gatherings, shared learning, and thinking together about what could be. We continue to be influenced by the work of John O’Brien, Connie Lyle O’Brien, Marsha Forrest, Judith Snow, Jack Pierpoint, and Michael Smull.We are guided by the principles of supported living in California. They were first published by CIRCL in 1999. These principles were gleaned from the state regulations, and the work of the CIRCL, the SLS Evaluation Group, Allen, Shea & Associates, Service Reform Committee, Jay Klein, John O’Brien, and Julia Mullen of the Department of Developmental Services and her staff. The principles are:

  • A Home of One’s Own
  • Choice and Self Direction
  • Relationships
  • Community Membership
  • Flexible, Tailored Services and Supports

CIRCL History Map: At the 2010 Portland Gathering of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices, Claudia Bolton shared a tool called a History Map. This tool gathers lessons from the past as well acknowledging accomplishments. Use this best-selling Graphic Guide® to draw out and illustrate a group's past, tracking where the organization has been in order to define where it is headed. This is an excellent way for bringing a team together, orienting new staff, and identifying values and core capabilities and building a sense of pride and accomplishment for an individual.  You can obtain more information and purchase information at