Strategies for Change

Independent Living Movement Ireland

Independent Living

In this week’s SFC Session we looked at Independent Living (IL) and its seven basic needs. These needs differ for every disabled person but core to IL is the belief that you have the right to live like everyone else with the supports that you require to do this. It is also a particular way of living your life.

Central to the IL is that the world needs to change in order to accommodate/include disabled people and not the other way round.

IL requires seven basic needs, these include; Personal Assistance, Peer Mentoring/Support, access to housing that is appropriate to your needs, access to the built environment, access to Assistive and Adaptive Aids and Technologies, Information and finally and importantly Accessible Transport.

For many disabled people, IL can best be achieved by the employment of Personal Assistants. These people are employed by the disabled person and works under their direction. Personal Assistance avoids dependency on family or friends, so it is empowering, the disabled person decides who supports them and what things they do during their day. This type of support also shifts the power relations – the disabled person is in charge, not a service provider and certainly not a family member.

Eileen Daly spoke about peer mentoring and her personal experience of having peer mentors and how they supported her during her early years of living and studying in Dublin

In our Strategies for Change “Independent Living”, we are joined by James Cawley to talk about housing and Independent Living.

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