Links to all of our videos are on this page. We interviewed people with disabilities who live and celebrate the independent living lifestyle. They are each remarkable in their accomplishments and their normalcy.
Independent Living is defined as as “the ability to live independently and productively in the community and to live with the same freedom of choice as a non-disabled person. So it’s not that you are living on your own but that you control where you live and have the same range of choices as a non-disabled person. (Jill Weiss) ” from an article by Dr. Adolf Ratzka, 1992.
Each person who was interviewed has had to face barriers and challenges to independence. Each has found a path to a good life. And each has helped reduce barriers for others with disabilities.
Dan Greany has lived through changes brought by the ADA. He remembers when there was no PCA program in western ...Watch Video of Dan
Karen Schneiderman describes her growth as she learned about the wide range of disabilities, the commonalities of wanting to stay ...Watch Video of Karen
Michael speaks about his journey since his injury in 1976. He has been a key member of the Boston Center ...Watch Video of Michael
Growing up pre-ADA, both Joe and Linda's parents had high expectations that each would be independent. Joe contracted polio at ...Watch Video of Joe and Linda
Jini Fairley developed retinitis pigmentosa (rp) as an adult. As her vision progressively diminished, she made changes to her life ...Watch Video of Jini
Filomena Tripp was born in the Azores, and moved to the U.S. in 1968 (before the ADA!). She was tutored ...Watch Video of Filomena
While some advocates focus on inclusion, Desi's path to independence has been through the disabiity community. She credits finding role ...Watch Video of Desi
After many years living with her family and later in a group home, Anne was able to get her own ...Watch Video of Anne
Carmen Rosado's spinal cord tumor led to the loss of movement in her legs and arms, as well doctors telling ...Watch Video of Carmen
Advocacy and the removal of barriers for people with disabilities is Jennifer's calling. As chair of the MA https://www.masilc.org/mainStatewide Independent ...Watch Video of Jennifer
Keith Jones has a pragmatic and joyful view of independent living. He first learned of IL in 1985 from Boston ...Watch Video of Keith
As executive director of STAVROS, the independent living center in Amherst and Springfield, Jim has played an important role in ...Watch Video of Jim
"July 26th is my 4th of July!" As an early proponent of the Independent Living movement, Paul Spooner continues to ...Watch Video of Paul
"The IL Movement is strong... It's the right thing to do." Tom learned about independent living from his job at ...Watch Video of Tom