Independent Living is a philosophy and a way of life. It is a movement of people with disabilities who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect. The Independent Living philosophy says that every person, regardless of disability, has the potential and the right to exercise individual self-determination.
We expect the same choices and control in our everyday lives that everyone else takes for granted. We want the same freedom to try, and fail, and learn from our failures. 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 abilities, start families of our own.
We need to be in charge of our lives, to think and speak for ourselves. We need to support and learn from each other. We must organize ourselves and work for political changes that lead to the legal protection of our human and civil rights. (Adapted from Adolf Ratzka, Independent Living Institute)