A nonprofit organization serving
people with disabilities in
 Passaic and Essex Counties

About Us
Mission & Values
Independent Living Principles
Center Staff
Advisory Council
Gordon's Place
Independent Living Principles

The Independent Living Philosophy

DIAL promotes the Independent Living Philosophy which states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities.

  • The independent living movement promotes full participation, inclusion and self sufficiency in the community for people with disabilities.
  • The independent living philosophy promotes management of one’s own life and decision-making, leading to self-determination and away from dependence on others.
  • The independent living movement has paralleled the civil rights movement, seeking to extend the rights gained for ethnic minorities to people with disabilities.
  • Individuals with disabilities should always have the power to choose what they want to do with their lives, what support services they want to take advantage of, and how those support services should be arranged.

Principles of Independent Living

Civil Rights – Equal rights, access and opportunities for everyone.

Consumerism – The person buying or using the service or product decides what is best for themselves.

De-institutionalization – No one should be institutionalized solely on the basis of a disability.

De-medicalization – Individuals with disabilities are not “sick,” and do not require help from certified medical professionals for daily living activities.

Self-help – People learn and grow by discussing their needs and concerns with people who have similar experiences.

Advocacy – Systemic, systematic, long-term and community-wide change activities that ensure that people with disabilities benefit from all that society offers.

Barrier Removal – The removal of architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers from society which inhibit people with disabilities from fully participating.

Consumer Control – Organizations best suited to work with people with disabilities are staffed and operated by people with disabilities.

Cross-Disability – Activities conducted by organizations supporting the Independent Living Philosophy must benefit people with all types of disabilities.

Inclusion – People with disabilities must be included in society at all levels and aspects.