Tools for Power: A Resource Kit for Independent Living

The aim of the "Resource Kit" is threefold: (1) to empower disabled individuals and organizations of disabled persons, (2) to serve as a handbook for professionals, and (3) to aid NGO's in their disability work. It was a project of the Independent Living Committee of Disabled Peoples' International.

Disabled Peoples' International Independent Living Committee
April 1992

PDF 278 KB

Table of Contents

History of the Independent Living Movement

Declaring independence in Berkeley by Sonny Kleinfield
Power to the people by April D'Aubin
Divisions in the disability community by David Pfeiffer
The challenge of middle age for the Independent Living Movement by Gerben DeJong

Independent Living: Ideology & definitions

Possibilities of Independent Living of persons with disabilities in Africa by Felix Silwimba
The Disability Rights Movement - its development in South Africa by Kathy Jagoe
Independent Living: a European definition
An American definition of Independent Living

Personal accounts

What is your personal definition of Independent Living?
Is your current lifestyle an example of Independent Living?
What obstacles did you have to surmount in order to achieve your current lifestyle?
What governmental and community changes do you believe are required to facilitate Independent Living efforts?
What recommendations do you have for other disabled citizens?
Interview with Mr. Javed Hassan, Pakistan, with commentary by Mr. Phil Mason, UK
Intervju med Javed Hassan, Pakistan med kommentar från Phil Mason,UK (in Swedish/på svenska)


Disability issues: organizing community support
Preserving disability civil rights: a step-by-step guide to taking action

Personal assistance

What is personal assistance?
Employing your own personal assistant
"The Strasbourg Resolutions" on how to design systems for independence
Developing assistants management skills
Concepts for Independence, Inc. - a unique approach to personal assistance
A comparison of some of the characteristics of two models of personal assistance services

Peer support

Peer counseling: an overview
Peer counseling programs: observations from the field

Women, sexuality, old persons, people with various disabilities

Disability, women and love by Junka Asaka
Independent Living for various disability categories
A brief history of brokerage by Craig V. Shields
Independent Living Movement: organizing for an active, disabled old age by Judith E. Heumann
The changing role of the People First advisor by Charles Curtis


Self Help Association of Paraplegics, SHAP, Republic of South Africa
Manufacturing assistive devices in developing countries
Turning a service into an income generating project

Housing adaptation

Toward a barrier-free home

Research & evaluation

ILRU Research & Training Center on Independent Living at TIRR
Independent Living as a state of mind by Gerben DeJong
The World Institute on Disability


Editor's preface

The "Resource Kit for Independent Living 1992" is a first attempt. Its purpose is to illustrate some of the possibilities such a kit can offer and to show the direction in which it can develop.

The resources presented here represent a very limited and biased sample of all the materials that exist. Limited, because we had very little time and money in the production; biased, because we are not aware of all groups/organizations, and finally, only a small percentage of those asked to respond supplied us with information.

The Independent Living Movement and its ideology exist in many more countries than are represented here. For this issue we received hardly any material from outside North America and the United Kingdom. In the future, we hope to have resources to be able to translate and edit texts from and into other languages.

The aim of the "Resource Kit" is threefold:

  • to empower disabled individuals and organizations of disabled persons by providing them with easily accessible information on Independent Living philosophy and approach, model projects, and sources of technical assistance in organizing grass-root initiatives,
  • to serve as a handbook for professionals working in such areas as community planning, social policy and services, rehabilitation, and vocational training,
  • to aid NGO's in their disability work and to inform potential sponsors about the innovative approach that Independent Living entails for the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Present plans are to update and publish a new issue of the "Resource Kit for Independent Living" every third year. We hope that there will be more and more people with disabilities from a growing number of countries joining the Independent Living network, that we will start new projects, expand into new areas, produce more documents and find new and better tools to empower ourselves.

In this sense we hope that any edition of the "Resource Kit on Independent Living" will be outdated as soon it is printed.

April 1992

for the Independent Living Committee of Disabled Peoples' International

Adolf D. Ratzka, Ph.D
Independent Living Institute,
Petersens Väg 2
127 41 Stockholm-Skärholmen

Tools for Power contents