Independent Living Philosophy
Independence Associates promotes and practices the independent living philosophy of:
The Independent Living philosophy states that People with disabilities should have the same civil rights, opinions, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities.
- consumer control in decision-making, service delivery, management and establishment of policy and direction of the center,
- self-help and advocacy
- development of peer relationships and peer role models
- equal access of individuals with severe disabilities to society and to all services, programs, activities, resources, and facilities, whether public or private and regardless of the funding source.
History of the IL Movement
The independent living paradigm was developed by Gerben DeJong in the late 1970s when he proposed a shift from the medical model to the independent living model. His theory located "deficiencies" in the society, not the individual. People with disabilities no longer saw themselves as broken or sick, certainly not in need of repair.
In 1974, after working in a nursing home, Wade Blank founded the Atlantis Community, a model for community-based, consumer-controlled, independent living.
There are many other strong independent living advocates who fought to gain rights and services for people with disabilities. Important laws have been passed and implemented thanks to their efforts. For more information on the history of the IL Movement, visit the MetroWest Center for Independent Living website's History page .