The mission of the Ottawa Independent Living Resource Centre (OILRC) 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 OILRC has been supporting people with disabilities in the Ottawa community for more than fifteen years. We are one of 27 Independent Living Resource Centres in Canada, all non-profit organizations, serving people with disabilities in our communities.

Many changes and developments have taken place since the OILRC began working with people with disabilities in the Ottawa area, 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. The way we operate and our membership status with Independent Living Canada represent our continued commitment to applying the following guiding principles of Independent Living:

  • 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 disabilities;
  • Promoting the integration and full participation of people with disabilities, enabling 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 and 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 philosophy differs from that of 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.


Many people, including people with disabilities, are unable to fully participate in the economic, political and cultural life because barriers to full citizenship persist in Canadian society. These barriers include outdated attitudes, inflexible laws and regulations, and fragmented and uncoordinated approaches 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. The philosophy is facilitated by Independent Living Canada and its network of member Independent Living Centres.

The IL philosophy 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.

Please Click Above to download OILRC’s 2018-2019 Annual Report

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