Philosophy of Independent Living
THE INDEPENDENT LIVING (IL) PHILOSOPHY CAN BEST BE EXPLAINED IN TWO PARTS.
The first part is the belief that a person with a disability has the right to control and direct his/her own life. This person should only be limited in carrying out this right in the same ways that a person without a disability is limited. Controlling and directing one’s own life means making cultural and life style choices from acceptable options. These choices should reduce a person’s physical and/or psychological dependence upon others when making decisions and performing every day activities. It means exercising the greatest possible degree of choice about where to live, with whom to live, how to live, and how to use time. It includes taking risks and having the right to succeed or fail, and taking responsibility for your decisions and actions. Being able to control and direct one’s own life leads to self-determination and independence.
The second part of the IL Philosophy is the belief that a person with a disability has the right to actively participate in all aspects of community life to any extent he/she chooses. This means having opportunities to fulfill a range of social roles, including working, owning a home, raising a family, and engaging in leisure and recreational activities. It also includes asserting one’s rights and fulfilling one’s responsibilities as a citizen.
State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) show how federal, state and other funds will be used to support the state's independent living programs as well as collaborations with other partners in the state and other ACL grantees to enhance and expand service delivery and options for individuals with disabilities.
The Council submits a program progress report (previously known as the 704 report) to ACL at the end of each calendar year for the previous federal fiscal year. The federal fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th for the calendar year in the latter half. This report is a compilation of the IL Network's progress on the State Plan.
The SILC is not a lobbying body, but this does not mean we ignore past and present legislation that has an impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Often, we can provide first-hand experience with how these laws affect us and what changes we would like to see. If new legislation is being introduced, we can offer our expertise by sharing our experiences with those legislative bodies who need to understand the nuances of life with a disability before deliberating on potentially life-changing legislation. We currently track bill draft requests to ensure legislative education among the disability community, as well.