IL Philosophy & History

cover art for ed roberts, his words, his vision. image of a disability rights rallyEd Roberts: His Words, His Vision (Video)

This 8.5-minute, open-captioned video produced in 2003 features excerpts from a speech delivered by Ed Roberts, who is considered the father of independent living. Roberts discusses the beginning of the IL movement and his vision of how society will be changed by it. Interspersed throughout are still photos of disability activists by Tom Olin. Watch on YouTube.

Recommended for class discussions and trainings.


Classics from the Past:

A People’s History of the Independent Living Movement (PDF available upon request)

A who’s who of advocates starting with Gini Laurie, this lively history chronicles the independent living movement through those who campaigned for disability rights and services. 1988. Author: C. Levy

A Social Psychological Perspective (PDF available upon request)

An examination of the social experiment of independent living from an experimental social psychological perspective begins with the basic human need for independence is the premise of this monograph. Author: F. X. Gibbons

Disincentives to Independent Living (PDF available upon request)

Our social structure is replete with subtle, covert, and clear incentives and disincentives to shape and maintain valued behaviors that are valued, which are examined here in this monograph in light of the social and economic consequences associated with them. Author: I.K. Zola.

Economics and Independent Living (PDF available upon request)

Drawing upon the independent living movement and the writings of social historian Alvin Toffler, Gerben DeJong presents an argument that economic independence is as important, and in some circumstances more important, than more traditional health outcomes such as performance of basic daily living activities. Author: G. DeJong