Campaign for National Independent Living Service

Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance

In April of this year, the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, an alliance of Disabled People and organisations led by Disabled People, held a parliamentary launch of their campaign document about independent living (ROFA National Independent Living Support System (NILSS) document ). This focuses on disabled people’s right to live independently and to be included in the community, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention guidelines about implementing Article 19, in General Comment 5.

Particular reasons for the campaign are the devastating impact of austerity measures, still more so for people who experience discrimination in more than one way, and the major obstacles that these present to independent living and community involvement.  In line with Article 19 and General Comment 5, the campaign report also emphasises that the use of institutions, including involuntary detention in psychiatric hospitals and forced treatment, have no place in independent living.

The call is for a new, free-standing law, drawn up in consultation with user-led organisations, to implement an independent living bill of rights and for enough funding to ensure that necessary support is in place.  The campaign document is an exciting one.

It is being developed further; for example, at a meeting on 6th September, there was the chance to make further suggestions about it, including further aspects of independent living which could be added. Considerable though is also going into ways of creating understanding of independent living in its true sense and winning support for it.

For more information, contact Dorothy Gould at [email protected]