Resources for Independent Living, Inc. traces its history in part to a group of college students with severe disabilities in Berkeley, California in the late 1960’s. This group, led by Ed Roberts assumed the responsibility for assisting individuals with severe disabilities to obtain housing services, transportation, and personal care attendance. Ed started the first Center for Independent Living and is generally considered to be the “father of independent living.” Empowerment of the consumer was and remains a fundamental policy in all such centers across the country. Please refer to our “History of ILM” tab for more details on the beginnings of the Independent Living movement.
The growth and effectiveness of these advocates drew attention to the need to acknowledge and preserve the rights of persons with disabilities. After many years of dedicated work by numerous individuals and groups, Congress passed the new “Rehabilitation Act of 1973”. Section 504 of this act prohibited discrimination against individuals with disabilities under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Our mission is assisting persons who are severely disabled to live independently in the community and to encourage necessary change within the community so independent living is a possibility.
Resources for Independent Living will provide distinct and comprehensive, outcome-based services that support individuals with disabilities in our region. Our team of qualified, experienced staff and partners will provide accessible, customer-driven, high quality services. Our future will be built upon a diverse financial foundation, supported by a regional network of organizations and individuals that support our mission.