Publication Date

December 1994


[Excerpt] Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement of people with disabilities that works for equal opportunities, self-respect and self-determination. "Independent Living" does not mean that we do not need anybody, that we want to live in isolation. "Independent Living" means that we want the same control and the same choices in every-day life 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, work in jobs that are in line with our education and abilities. Most importantly, just like everybody else, we need to be in charge of our own lives, think and speak for ourselves.

In my contribution to this congress I will address three topics that are intimately linked to the concept of Independent Living: society's present view of disability and sexuality; the tendency to place persons with disabilities in institutions; and, thirdly, ways to support disabled people to live in the community rather than in institutions.