A DEFINITION OF INDEPENDENT LIVING
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 non-disabled neighbors are limited.
Independent living should not be defined in terms of living on one's own, being employed in 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 mental impairments which may effect their abilities to make complicated decisions or pursue complex activities. For these individuals, independent living means having every opportunity to be as self-sufficient as possible.
Independent living. It isn't easy, and it can be risky. But millions of people with disabilities rate it higher than a life of dependency and narrow opportunities and unfilled expectations.
INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS
Fortunately, people with disabilities don't have to do it all on their own. Independent Living Centers (ILCs) are designed specifically to assist people with disabilities in achieving and maintaining independent lifestyles.
ILCs are run by people with disabilities who themselves have been successful in establishing independent lives. These people have both training and the personal experience to know exactly what is needed to live independently. And, they have deep commitments to assisting other disabled people in becoming more independent.
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