The Independent Living Movement evolved in the United States in the 1970’s, as disabled people responded to their historic experiences of exclusion and discrimination. Centre’s for Independent Living became a successful campaign, which led to legislation and policies to come into effect to support disabled people to make their own choices and helped them to open doors in society to full participation and access for all. According to the Independent Living Movement, everyone, including people with extensive disabilities, can learn to make their own choices in life and take control, with a little help from their peers.

In 1972 Roberts and other members of the Physically Disabled Students Program came together in Berkeley to found the Center for Independent Living, an advocacy group that fought for changes that would give people with disabilities access to community life, to education, public transport, employment and etc…

The group’s first success was its campaign to persuade the city of Berkeley to install curb cuts, permitting wheelchair access.

The first Irish Centre for Independent Living was established in 1992, with location being Carmichael House, Dublin 7, by Martin Naughton.

Martin was born in 1954 in Spiddal, County Mayo., but spent most of his life dreaming of living more independently, so he decided to open a Centre for people with disabilities who want to live a more independent life.

As a child Martin was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and was forced to move to a residential hospital for disabled children in County Dublin.

Martin spent nearly 20 years of his life at St. Mary’s Hospital in Baldoyle.

First known as INCARE, the Dublin CIL was funded by the EU Pilot Project, and later was taken over by the Irish Wheelchair Association in 1995.

The key idea was a service which would assist disabled people in all aspects of daily living, provide assistance rather than care and is directed and controlled by the service user.

The Personal Assistance Services that are now available in Ireland came into existence in 1992 with a two-year pilot project that was initially run by CIL. It was recognised that in order to further the Independent Living Movement in Ireland, a consumer controlled Personal Assistance Service would be essential.

There are now 25 Centre’s for Independent Living working with Leaders in their communities across Ireland.

Over the past two decades, the Independent Living philosophy have provided an approach to remove barriers and obstacles that have restricted and denied the participation of Irish disabled folk. It provides a framework for the provision of equality and opportunities for the Leaders to participate in employment, education, social, recreational and cultural opportunities in Ireland.

CIL’s typically work with local and regional governments in trying to achieve improved infrastructure, raised awareness about disability issues and lobby for legislation that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discrimination.

Blanchardstown CIL opened in 1994 in Blakestown Community Centre.

We started by providing personal assistants for people with disabilities at home and in education.

In August of 2014 we moved to our current office in Mulhuddart Village.

Our volunteer service continues to grow and we have been successful with our volunteers who have connected with people with disabilities in the local area.

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