Non-Residential Center for Independent Living
Serving People of All Ages with All Types of Disabilities
Serving 9 counties in West Central Georgia
INDEPENDENT LIVING PHILOSOPHY
Most Americans take for granted opportunities they have regarding living arrangements, employment situations, means of transportation, social and recreational activities, and other aspects of everyday life.
What is Independent Living? Essentially, it is living just like everyone else--having opportunities to make decisions that affect one's life, able to pursue activities of one's own choosing--limited only in the same ways that one's neighbors who do not have disabilities are limited. Independent living has to do with self-determination. It is having the right and the opportunity to pursue a course of action. And, it is having the freedom to fail--and to learn from one's failures, just as people without disabilities do.
There are many different types of organizations which serve people with disabilities. These organizations provide valuable services and are important links in the network of services that help people with disabilities maintain independent lifestyles. What makes independent living centers very different from these other organizations is that centers have substantial involvement of people with disabilities making policy decisions and delivering services. Why this emphasis on control by people with disabilities? The basic idea behind independent living is that the ones who know best what services people with disabilities need in order to live independently are people with disabilities themselves.
(Taken from An Orientation To Independent Living Centers, published by ILRU Research and Training Center on Independent Living at TIRR, Houston, Texas.)
"Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves, do not need anybody or like to live in isolation. Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted. We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and raise families of our own. We are profoundly ordinary people sharing the same need to feel included, recognized and loved." Dr. Adolf