Independence Associates, Inc. is one of eleven Independent Living Centers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Located in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, it was established in 1980 as an independent living center as mandated in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII Part C. IA serves 31 communities located to the southeast of Boston ranging from Brockton, over to Plymouth and back to Taunton and the communities in between. A not for profit organization, IA receives funding from Federal, State and private sources.
The majority of the Board of Directors of IA is composed of persons with disabilities who have real life experience living independently in their communities and who volunteer their time, energy, and resources towards fulfilling IA’s mission which states “Independence Associates promotes the right of people with disabilities to live independently in the community”. They work to set in place policies which guide the organization ensuring fiscal integrity and provide long-range vision and planning necessary to reach future goals.
The staff of IA includes seventeen members and several consultants many of which have personal experience with disability who work towards overcoming barriers to Institutionalization, Affordable Available Accessible Housing, Access to Transportation, Access to Healthcare and many other obstacles faced by persons with disabilities to remain independent and fully participate in the communities of their choice.
The first office was located at the Lakeville State Hospital in space provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. As funding became available, IA moved into its own quarters in the Elmwood section of Bridgewater in 1982.
In the late 1980's IA relocated to Brockton and later established separate administrative offices in Taunton. In 1997, IA consolidated all of its operations in Taunton.
In 2005, IA moved to Brockton, and in 2015 moved to the current site in East Bridgewater. Below is pictured the ribbon cutting ceremony from June 23, 2015 in the new East Bridgewater office.