The History of Independent Living
The Independent Living philosophy originated from the very first Center for Independent Living (CIL) established in Berkeley, California in 1972. That CIL was developed by a group of people with disabilities, to support the development of a new perspective on disability - one that gave empowerment and civil rights to people with disabilities. It supported and encouraged them to leave residential care and live independently in the community.
Up to this point people with disabilities were generally passive, dependent, living solely in institutions or in the family home. They were part of a 'medical model' - which viewed a person with a disability as a patient, to be rehabilitated or cured, or at least helped adapt in order to fit in with society. Services for people with disabilities were designed by people with no personal experience of the issues, merely their perceptions of what was needed.