As part of a national movement, ILRC has played a role in developing and delivering supports and services for individuals with disabilities and a number of other interested parties.
The ILRC was originally established by persons with disabilities, community representatives, and advocates as a not-for-profit corporation in July 1997. With a small staff of three employees, our mandate was set to develop and deliver a broad range of supports and services to persons with disabilities and to help advance the Independent Living (IL) movement in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Promoting consumer control and empowerment to enable persons with disabilities to take responsibility for, and make informed decisions about, matters that affect their daily lives, the IL movement evolved across the country throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Since then, the IL movement has helped drive a fundamental paradigm shift from traditional medical and charity models for helping persons with disabilities that focused on “fixing or taking care”of people to a social model. Under this new model, supports and services for persons with disabilities are designed to take into account their individual and unique needs while seeking to understand, remove, and prevent barriers in the environments that may limit their participation.
With this model in mind, ILRC services and supports are available, free of charge, to all individuals regardless of disability. Consumers of the ILRC are not required to identify their disability in order to access our services. While the vast majority of consumers that use the ILRC are individuals with disabilities, supports and services are also available to family members of these individuals, community groups, and the business community.
The ILRC is one of twenty five other disability resource/independent living centres in Canada under the national affiliation of IL Canada.