We are driven by the vision that all North Carolina communities be barrier-free and individuals with significant disabilities may live in the community of their choice.

Our mission is to serve all North Carolinians with significant disabilities to ensure that they live independently in a barrier-free community of their choice through consumer-controlled, self-directed services.

Our Values

We do not compromise on these non-negotiable principles that guide our decision-making:

Service

We don’t reach goals for individuals; we teach the skills that allow them to do for themselves.

Inclusion

We advocate for individuals with disabilities to be included in integrated environments in the classroom, employment, housing, leadership roles, and in discussions that impact their lives and the disability community.

Respect

Individuals with disabilities should have the right to control their own lives and make decisions about what’s best for them. We believe every individual can be independent.

Dignity

We advocate for equal rights and access, not special treatment.

Empathy

“Disability” is not a negative word. It means we are more adaptable. We are proud of who we are, and the barriers we have overcome have only made us stronger.


Our Principles

  • The Independent Living Movement is founded in the belief that people with disabilities, regardless of the form, have a common history and a shared struggle, and that we are a community and a culture that will advance further banded together politically.
  • Equal opportunities and rights are for ALL. There should be no segregation by disability or stereotypes.
  • People with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs and should decide what is best for them.
  • No person should live in institutions on the basis of a disability.
  • Having a disability does not mean a person is sick and requires a certified medical professional for daily living.
  • People learn and grow from discussing their needs, concerns, and issues with people who have had similar experiences.
  • Systemic cross-disability advocacy efforts are needed to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from all that society has to offer.
  • There should be no barriers to independence, including architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers.
  • The organizations best suited to support and assist individuals with disabilities ARE governed and operated by individuals with disabilities.
  • Leadership for independent living and disability rights is vested in individuals with disabilities (not parents, service providers, or other representatives).