Through action and education we will achieve a community where an individual's choices and rights are enhanced through accessibility and inclusion.
To promote ability and independence within an inclusive community.
Mandate, Purpose and Goals
- To maintain an Independent Living Resource Centre that will encourage self-determination, self-help, and participation of persons with any disability in the region.
- To deliver personalized programs and services that develop and enhance individual skills and knowledge associated with independent living.
- To provide opportunities for personal and professional growth through skills development and information and referral services.
- To investigate and propose alternative models to fill gaps in service delivery as they are identified.
- To promote public education about independent living and work towards identification and elimination of barriers towards independent living.
- To provide educational and training opportunities related to disability in an effort to increase inclusion and reduce barriers.
- To establish partnerships throughout the region that support our mission and vision.
Independent Living (IL) is a global philosophy and movement of people with disabilities. The term as defined by people with disabilities means having automony, flexibility and control over every aspect and decision of ones own life. In our context, IL is not simply "living independently", but is rather an wholistic way of life for people with disabilities
IL is founded on the rights of people with disabilities to:
- Live with dignity in their chosen community.
- Participate in all aspects of life.
- Control and make decisions about their own lives.
A network of individuals and community-based resource centres across the country, supported by a national organization, Independent Living Canada, enacts the vision of IL in Canada.The Canadian IL Movement was founded on five key principles:
- Consumer Control: Those who believe in the IL philosophy insist on the right of people with disabilities to examine possible choices, make decisions, take risks, make mistakes and generally take responsibility of their own lives.
- Cross disability: The IL Movement recognizes the fact that people with various disabilities have unique needs and face unique barriers. It also acknowledges that all people with disabilities have the same rights.
- Community based: The IL Movement is a grassroots movement. The people who use the Centres in each local community are the ones who decide what needs have to be addressed and the best approaches to deal with barriers.
- Promotion of Participation and Integration: Inherent in the philosophy of IL, is the human right to be included; which is the right of citizens to participate in the social, political, economic, academic, and cultural life of their community.
- Not-for-Profit: All IL Centres are non-profit organizations, with a volunteer Board of Directors and members who are committed to alternatives to existing service provision. Centres form partnerships with community groups.
The Independent Living Philosophy recognizes the rights of individuals with disabilities and assists them in developing their individual capacity to exercise their rights and manage personal and community resources. Members are encouraged to identify and achieve their own IL life goals. This philosophy emphasizes and, more importantly, enables persons with disabilities to have access to resources, which ensure that individuals have the right to examine options, make choices, take responsibility to take risks and have the right to make mistakes. The IL movement and the philosophy on which it is based are not abstract concepts. Instead, IL is about a 'way of living' for persons with disabilities who live in a society where many barriers remain. This approach is referred to as the 'IL lens', an approach that is applicable to all supports and services that ILRC Thunder Bay provides.
We believe it is up to the individual to self-determine whether they have a disability or not, by identifying for themselves if they experience barriers that prevent their full participation in society.