Licensed clinical social worker Aliza Barzilay was named the new executive director for the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) earlier this month by the center’s board of directors, replacing former director Mary Anne Jones, who passed away.

The center’s executive offices are in Mar Vista at 12901 Venice Blvd.

“I have been fortunate to work alongside some of the strongest leaders in the disability community over the last 20 years, and I will ensure that WCIL continues to be a major force in advocacy and service to the community,” said Barzilay. “While I have seen some significant changes over the years with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead Act, we are a long way from full compliance and have more to do in the areas of housing, employment, personal care and transportation to ensure equal access.”

Barzilay, who is also a licensed vocational nurse, has been with the Westside Center for Independent Living since 1982.

For three years, she was the outpatient supervisor for the department of psychology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

At the Westside Center for Independent Living she has served as associate director and worked closely with the executive director in all areas, a spokesman says.

“The independent living movement philosophy is as relevant today as it was when it began in the 1970s, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues and WCIL’s community partners in making further advances,” said Barzilay.

Founded 31 years ago in West Los Angeles, the Westside Center is a non-residential center that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with all types of disabilities. The goal of the peer-led programs and services is the elimination of economic, social and environmental barriers, according to the spokesman.