History of Independent Living

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About the Document

This account of the history of independent living stems from a philosophy which states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities.

The history of independent living is closely tied to the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s among African Americans. Basic issues--disgraceful treatment based on bigotry and erroneous stereotypes in housing, education, transportation, and employment--and the strategies and tactics are very similar. This history and its driving philosophy also have much in common with other political and social movements of the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There were at least five movements that influenced the disability rights movement.

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