What is Independent Living?

What is independent living? Essentially it is living just like everyone else. Having opportunities to make decisions that effect one’s life, able to pursue activities of one’s own choosing limited only in the same ways that one’s neighbors who are not disabled are limited.

Independent living should not be defined in terms of living on one’s own, being employed on a job fitting one’s capabilities and interests, or having an active social life. These are aspects of living independently. 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 non-disabled people do.

There are, of course, individuals who have certain impairments, which may affect their abilities to make complicated decisions, or pursue complex activities. For these individuals, independent living means having every opportunity to be self sufficient as possible.

Laurel Richards and Quentin Smith
Independent Living.........

“The conscious choice that individuals make to be responsible for managing significant issues in their lives.”

Judy Heumann
Independent Living.........

Independent Living is not doing things by yourself it is being in control of how things are done.

Center for Independent Living
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Independent Living.........

Independence is not necessarily the quality of tasks one can perform without assistance, but the quality of life one can live with assistance..........assistance not given in the context of duty and charity, but in the framework of a service under the direct control of the person receiving the service.