We believe people who experience a disability deserve equal opportunities and are the best experts at determining what’s best for them.
We are driven by the vision to see individuals in North Carolina who experience a disability living in the communities of their choice and empowered to address their own needs.
Our mission is to serve North Carolinians who experience a disability through empowering, advocating and advancing consumer-led and consumer-driven initiatives.

Our Values

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


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


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.


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.


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


“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).