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Independent Living

Photo: mother and the daughter participating in a campaign

Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement introduced in the 1960's with inspiration derived from the US disability rights movement. Independent living does not mean the pursuit of total independence and should not be solely defined in terms of living on one's own, being employed or having an active social life. These are all important aspects of the philosophy, but the core is that any person with a disability is the expert on his or her own needs. All people have the right of freedom of choice with no unnecessary limitations.

The independent living movement is against discrimination and for improved political power for disabled people. The movement works in a wide range of fields including: advocacy, counseling, peer support, personal assistance and housing referral. Independent living is not a term universally acknowledged. For instance some organizations or groups are very explicit about not using the term as for them it connotes doing everything alone and not wanting any help. Different organizations linked to at this site may use different definitions.

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Last updated: 2009-08-28