The Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre’s (OILRC) mission is to assist in the individual empowerment of all persons with any disability in the Ottawa area and to provide the tools they need to direct their lives and participate fully in the community.
The Ottawa Independent Living Centre (OILRC) is one of 27 Independent Living Resource Centres in Canada. We are non-profit organizations, serving people with disabilities in our communities. The Ottawa Independent Living Centre (OILRC) has been supporting people with disabilities in the Ottawa community for more than fifteen years.
Many changes and developments have taken place over this period but one thing remains the same: we are committed to providing you with quality support and programs to help you reach your goals for independence and empowerment. Our membership status with Independent Living Canada represents our continued commitment to the guiding principles of Independent Living (IL): consumer control, cross-disability, promoting integration and being community based.
OILRC is committed to and applies the following guiding principles to its operation:
- Being consumer controlled and having a cross-disability focus — meaning the Board of Directors consists of a majority of consumers representing a broad range of abilities and expertise. Programs are offered to a diverse membership and to individuals who have a range of disability(ies);
- Promoting integration and full participation of people with disabilities, which enable people with disabilities to have the same rights and responsibilities as non-disabled persons;
- Being community based – meaning approaches and solutions evolve from the local membership and community partners.
Independent Living (IL) is a vision, a philosophy and a movement of persons with disabilities. Born on California university campuses in the 1970s, the movement spread to Canada in the 1980s, and has since reached around the globe a
nd changed the way people view and respond to disability. It is premised on the philosophy that all people with disabilities have skills, determination,
creativity and a passion for life. The IL movement differs from a traditional service providing organizations by emphasizing peer support, self-direction, and community integration by and for people with disabilities themselves. The IL model embraces the notion that rights and responsibilities are shared between citizens and the state, focusing on building a country based on the principles of inclusion, equity, affordability and justice.
However, many are unable to fully participate in the economic, political and cultural life because barriers to full citizenship persist in Canadian society. These include outdated attitudes, inflexible laws and regulations, and fragmented and uncoordinated approach to everything from hiring, to housing, to public transportation.
The IL philosophy is not an abstract concept. Instead, it is about a way of living as a person with a disability in a society full of barriers. This philosophy is facilitated by Independent Living Canada and its network of member Independent Living (IL) Centres.
Independent Living is founded on the right of people with disabilities to:
- Live with dignity in their chosen community;
- Participate in all aspects of their life; and
- Control and make decisions about their own lives.