Independent living

Pearson, C. (2012) Independent living. In: Watson, N., Roulstone, A. and Thomas, C. (eds.) Routledge Companion to Disability Studies. Series: Routledge handbooks. Routledge: London, pp. 240-252. ISBN 9780415574006

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This chapter explores how the philosophy of independent living has emerged over the last thirty years and, in turn, has been reflected in policy for disabled people. As Morris (2005) explains, local and national disability organisations have had some significant successes in promoting independent living with research conducted using the social model of disability and involving disabled people and their organisations, playing a key role in influencing policy development. However, there remains a limited understanding across the political spectrum of what independent living means and what is necessary to achieve it. Discussion in this chapter, therefore, seeks to show how independent living has been represented on the policy agenda. It begins by outlining its development in the US and infiltration to encourage a network of Independent Living services, structures and policy initiatives in the UK. Alongside these changes, the chapter moves to highlight broader policy through Community Care, direct payments and other cash payment schemes both in the UK and across North America and Europe. Whilst shifts to cash payment models have undoubtedly improved the choices and lives for many disabled people, commentary shows that their position in a service-led and resources poor system of social care has restricted independent living options for much of the disabled population. The chapter concludes by looking at the prospects for independent living in an era of economic downturn.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pearson, Dr Charlotte
Authors: Pearson, C.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record