About ILWR

Independent Living Philosophy

Independent Living Waterloo Region is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating choice and support for people with disabilities to live independent lives.

Our Work

The Philosophy of Independent Living inspires and guides the work that we do, our Mission, and our Vision.

History of IL Philosophy

Independent Living (IL) is a social movement of and by persons with disabilities. The IL movement started during the late 1960s in the United States and made its way into Canada in the 1970s. It was the founding principle behind the formation of Independent Living Waterloo Region (ILWR) in 1982. 

Independent Living Canada

Independent Living Canada, of which we are an accredited member, represents the network of IL Member Centres at the national level. IL Canada provides a collective voice on national issues; fosters and maintains partnerships; builds the capacity and scale of IL in Canada; and preserves the integrity and importance of IL in Canada on the national stage. Details can be found at: https://www.ilc-vac.ca/ .


Our philosophy

These ideals are at the core of what we do and guide our work with people with disabilities every day.

We believe in…

  • Supporting the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities and those who work with them.
  • Accommodating the diverse needs of persons with disabilities.
  • Promoting the continued independence of persons with disabilities through self-directed services.
  • Supporting persons with disabilities to fully participate in the community as equal citizens.
  • Responding to the needs of support persons, including staff, family members, friends and volunteers.
  • Advocating for the elimination of barriers.
  • Striving towards a truly inclusive community.