Independent living is about having the right to make choices, to make one's own mistakes, and to learn from them in the same way that people without disabilities can. People with disabilities must be empowered to take control of their own lives.
"CILs promote a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access, and individual and systems advocacy in order to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and the integration and full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of American society." (RSA, 1992)
The first CILs were established in the early 1970s and were defined much as they are today as consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private, nonprofit agencies. To learn more about the history of independent living see:
Our staff must be 50% people with disabilities. Our Board must be at least 51% people with disabilities.