The Philosophy of Independent Living is simple.
When services are adapted and made available to people with disabilities, they can then be enabled to make their own choices. When a Leader is provided with a Personal Assistant (P.A), the Leader can direct the P.A. in what they need help with, and how they would like that help to be provided.
Unlike other services (e.g. home help, etc) where 'professionals' decide what the Leader's needs are, the Leader is given the responsibility of identifying his/her own needs and in turn, OCIL Ltd/OPAS Ltd provide training for the P.A. to ensure that these needs are met.
Dr. Adolf Ratzka, Founding Member of the Centre for Independent Living in Sweden, explains that:
"Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves, do not need anybody or like to live in isolation. Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted. We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and raise families of our own. We are profoundly ordinary people sharing the same need to feel included, recognized and loved." (Definition as on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_living)