INDEPENDENT LIVING PHILOSOPHY AND MOVEMENT

Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement of people with disabilities who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect.

Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves and do not need anybody or that we want to live in isolation.

Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives 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 as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and start families of our own.

Since we are the best experts on our needs, we need to show the solutions we want, need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves - just as everybody else.

To this end we must support and learn from each other, organize ourselves and work for political changes that lead to the legal protection of our human and civil rights.

Traditionally, persons with disabilities have been seen as medical cases and objects of charity and care, pity and protection. These wide-spread attitudes have been obstacles for disabled persons on their way to self-determination, self-representation and full citizenship.

As long as we regard our disabilities as tragedies, we will be pitied!

As long as we feel ashamed of who we are, our lives will be regarded as useless!

As long as we remain silent, we will be told by others what to do!

Adolf Ratzka, 2003

What is Independent Living Philosophy (ILP)?

ILP is based on four principles:

  1. PWD’s belong in the community not in convalescent home or collected in institution
  2. PWD’s are not patients to be cured, children to be taken care of, nor brave souls to be admired
  3. PWD’s are victims of social injustice and discrimination not of their disability
  4. PWD’s are in a better position to manage their resources and be in charge of the assistance they may require

The start of the Independent Living Movement coincided with the social awareness and rights equality revolution during the 1960’s and 70’s. This rights-based upheaval promotes equality for all without discriminating any sector of the society (i.e. gender, race, age, and presence of disability).

What matters is one’s way of life!

From “coming back to normal” that required disabled persons to be ordinary persons, the purpose has shifted to recognizing one’s disability as one of his attributes and supporting his life as a disabled person. What is essential is to respect a disabled person’s own way of life and help him/her to live as a “master of his/her life.”

“Independence means seeking to live in one’s own way through self-selection and self-determination with self-responsibility”.

IL Center’s Services:

A. Rights protection & information provision

1. UNCRPD
  • (a) Recalling the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations which recognize the inherent dignity and worth and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
  • (b) Recognizing that the United Nations, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, has proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind,
  • (e) Recognizing that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others,
2.MAGNA CARTA (R.A. 7277 And 9442)

An act providing for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of disabled person and their integration into the mainstream of society and for other purposes.

3. BP 344

"AN ACT TO ENHANCE THE MOBILITY OF DISABLED PERSONS BY REQUIRING CERTAIN BUILDINGS, INSTITUTIONS, ESTABLISHMENTS AND PUBLIC UTILITIES TO INSTALL FACILITIES AND OTHER DEVICES."

4. EO 417

EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 417 (March 22, 2005): DIRECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDS)

  • Available information about his/her disability and his/her health;
  • Available services or programs from the IL center;
  • Available services or programs from other pwd groups;
  • Available services or programs from the government both local & national.

B. Personal assistant services

  • means that for a pwd to accomplish tasks, he delegates them or receives assistance from the personal assistant.
  • "Personal" connotes that the assistance has to be customized to the individual's needs.
  • Consumer directed services
  • Consumer acts as employers

C. Peer counseling

Peer counseling is counseling provided by disabled persons to support disabled persons’ independence. It includes not only the acceptance of disabilities but also information exchange, support and referral activities related to a consumer’s rights as members of the society and civilians.

Purposes of Peer Counseling

  • recovery of self-confidence,
  • reconstruction of human relations, and
  • change of society

D. Independent living programs

  • Empowerment on psychological side thru peer counseling, and
  • Empowerment on physical side thru independent living skill training program.

E. House service (provision of housing information)

  • on the pwds living condition preference;
  • on available housing program; and
  • on available technology for suitable living environment

F. Peer support group

Appropriate Expressions to portray PWDs as Responsible and Capable Citizen

If pwds want to design services which get them closer to the goal of equal opportunities, pwds have to find expressions for these services which portray them as responsible and capable citizens who are in command of their lives and not as passive objects. Language both influences and reveals attitudes including our own attitudes towards ourselves.

A positive attitude and self-image are vital factors for PWD’s not just to ignore but to stand up against discriminatory attitude, remarks and barriers. This constitutes part of public education.

“Attitude may be our greatest barrier!”

LIFE HAVEN

Life Haven Board:Ryan,Rommel,Joon,Ads,Jun,Abner,Delia,not in pic Erwin and Dickoy

Life Haven is a member of the Asia-Pacific Network for IL Centers (APNIL) (www.apnil.org), Philippine Council on IL (PCIL) and an associate organization of Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) (www.apcdproject.org).




Participants of Cebu PC trainer's training

CEBU PEER COUNSELING TRAINER'S TRAINING

August 2005, Peer Counseling Leadership Training was held in Cebu attended by members of SCIF, HACI Cebu, HACI de Oro and Life Haven.




IL Center's Services

  • Rights Protection and Information Provision
  • Personal Assistant Services
  • Peer Counseling
  • Independent Living Programs
  • Peer Support Group
  • House Service (provision of housing information)



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