What is Independent Living

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Independent Living is about having the freedom to have the same choices that everyone else has in housing, transportation, education and employment.

Independent living is about choosing what aspects of social, economic and political life people want to participate in.

Independent living is about having control over your life, to have a family, to get a job, to participate socially and to realise your goals and dreams.

At the core of the Independent Living Philosophy is people living like everyone else: being able to have control of your life, having opportunities to make decisions about your life and being able to choose activities that you want to do, regardless of impairment.

Independent Living is the daily demonstration of human rights-based disability policies.

Independent Living is possible through the combination of various environmental and individual factors that allow disabled people to have control over their own lives. This includes the opportunity to make choices and decisions regarding where to live, with whom to live and how to live. Services must be accessible to all and provided on the basis of equal opportunity, allowing disabled people flexibility in our daily life.

Independent Living is possible through the combination of various environmental and individual factors that allow disabled people to have control over their own lives. This includes the opportunity to make choices and decisions regarding where to live, with whom to live and how to live. Services must be accessible to all and provided on the basis of equal opportunity, allowing disabled people flexibility in our daily life.

Independent Living requires that the built environment and transport are accessible, that there is availability of technical aids, access to personal assistance and/or community-based services. It is necessary to point out that Independent Living is for all disabled persons, regardless of the level of their support needs.

“Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement of people with disabilities who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect.

Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbours and friends take for granted.

We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighbourhood school, use the same bus as our neighbours and work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and start families of our own. Since we are the best experts on our needs, we need to show the solutions we want, need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves – just as everybody else.

To this end we must support and learn from each other, organize ourselves and work for political changes that lead to the legal protection of our human and civil rights. We are profoundly ordinary people sharing the same need to feel included, recognized and loved. As long as we regard our disabilities as tragedies, we will be pitied. As long as we feel ashamed of whom we are, our lives will be regarded as useless. As long as we remain silent, we will be told by others what to do.”

(Adolf Ratzka, Sweden)