The Independent Living, movement developed alongside the student movement at University of California Berkeley in the late 1960's. Independent Living was established in Canada in the early 1970's with the introduction of the Independent Living philosophy by Gerben Dejong. It was developed through collaboration between the Canadian Customer Movement and the Coalition of the Provincial Organization of the Handicapped (now known as the Council of Canadians with Disabilities).
In 1985, Independent Living was formalized as the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centers (now known as Independent Living Canada). To date there are 29 centers across the country.
Almost 18,000 people in greater Sudbury have a long-term disability, up to 900 are children and 8,000 are Seniors 65+. The statistics also show that about 2,000 children are considered 'at risk' for physical disabilities, compounded by the fact our senior population is the fastest growing segment of our demographics.
IL Sudbury was incorporated in 2002 and initially run by just two full time employees and a handful of tireless volunteers. Today, we are still going strong. Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin has become a valued community asset for Greater Sudbury, building on our organization's three decades of experience.
Our membership is growing, and so is the need for more programs and services to enable persons with disabilities to experience the reality of Independent Living.