Freedom of Movement: IL History and Philosophy

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Produced by the IL-NET in 2000, this 78 page manual contains information on the history and philosophy of the independent living movement.

About this publication

Can Independent Living (IL) history be separated from IL philosophy?

When I began to write this monograph I thought I would start with the students at the University of Illinois. But as I learned more about that program I realized it may not have existed without World War II veterans who needed an education. How, I then wondered, does one distinguish the impact of World War II on disability history from Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), a President who used a wheelchair and served as commander-in-chief for most of that war? So I chose to begin the history with FDR.

If someone thinks that the disability rights movement began in 1990 with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the 1970s with the first centers for independent living, how would I explain why I chose to begin with someone who predates those events by several decades. The solution seemed to be using a general explanation of IL philosophy as a preface to a beginning discussion of the history.