Inclusive and Independent Living

Independent and inclusive living, as asserted by the disabled people’s movement from the 1970s onwards, called for access to opportunities, such as education and employment, and control over daily living resources, such as direct payments for equipment and personal assistants.  

What are the implications?

The influence of ‘independent living’ has been huge, and various UK government documents such as ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’ and ‘Putting People First’ espouse systems that enable the individual to have ‘rights and control’. 

There are currently limits on independent living and, it can be argued, a lack of political commitment to inclusion.  Indeed, while a disabled person may have needs, and an entitlement to them, they may not be provided. For young people this could mean segregated schooling.  For older people this may mean having to move to a residential home. 

Public spending cuts could mean that independent living options are reduced, along with individual entitlement.   

This may result in disabled people being forced into compromising situations as a result of being denied access to independent living options, and therefore be more likely to consider assisted suicide.

Moving Forward

How does your organisation promote inclusive and independent living? Do you do this with people new to disability, like those that acquire impairments, or with older people?

Does your organisation advise disabled people of their entitlement to independent living options?  Do you support appeals or challenges? Are they successful?

In what areas are independent living options limited or unavailable? Do you monitor these? What do you do with this information?

Is your organisation involved in monitoring whether disabled people are excluded in a particular area? If so, how do you develop responses to address this?

Want to know more?

Independent Living Institute

Published by: Independent Living Institute

Date: Ongoing

Format: Website

What is it? Website of a policy development centre which specialises in policies for disabled people

How useful is this? This policy team specialise in carrying out research into ways in which disabled people can live independently. The website includes an in-depth website of articles relating to wide range of topics of interest to disabled people and those working in that area.

Other comments: 

National Centre for Independent Living Website

Published by: National Centre for Independent Living

Date: Ongoing

Format: Website

What is it? A resource website for those living with disabilities and those working in the field

How useful is this? An easy to read website which contrains a number of papers on Independent living.

Other comments: 

Last updated at 14:34 Fri 07/Jan/11.

Discuss

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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