Independent Living Institute (ILI)

ILI promotes the self-determination of people with disabilities

The Independent Living Institute (ILI) is a policy development center specializing in consumer-driven policies for disabled peoples' self-determination, self-respect and dignity.

We run a virtual library and interactive services for persons with extensive disabilities. We are experts in designing and implementing direct payment schemes for personal assistance services, mainstream taxi and assistive technology. Our projects >>

We are a not-for-profit private foundation run and controlled mainly by persons with disabilities. Our latest Annual Report >>

As ILI is based in Stockholm, Sweden, our website features an online service for reporting discrimination due to disability in Sweden and a database with information about personal assistance service providers in Sweden (both in Swedish).

ILI Board Member Bente Skansgård has left us

Bente Skansgård, Oslo, my long-time close personal friend and associate in the Independent Living and Disability Rights Movement, passed away on November 14, 2013 after a long illness.  Bente, known as “ULOBA’s (the Norwegian personal assistance user cooperative) mother”, had a decisive role in Norway’s disability politics by introducing Independent Living and personal assistance to the country and by starting the foundation "Stopp diskrimineringen" to promote and defend the civil rights of persons with disabilities.  Bente served as chairperson for ENIL, the European Network on Independent Living and was widely known throughout Norway and Europe. Bente was a tough but fair fighter with strong convictions and great diplomatic skills, a person who cared deeply about other people and somebody who knew how to enjoy life.  She was a true friend. Bente served on ILI’s Board since ILI’s beginning in 1993.
Adolf Ratzka, November 2013

ILI's director Adolf Ratzka turned 70

This achievement was noticed particularly in Germany. See for example Ottmar Miles-Paul i Kobinet-Nachrichten,  newsagency for the German-speaking Independent Living movement.

What is Independent Living

Independent Living is a philosophy and a movement of people with disabilities who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect. Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves and do not need anybody or that we want to live in isolation Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted. We want to grow up in our families, go to the neighborhood school, use the same bus as our neighbors, work in jobs that are in line with our education and interests, and start families of our own.

Since we are the best experts on our needs, we need to show the solutions we want, need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves - just as everybody else. To this end we must support and learn from each other, organize ourselves and work for political changes that lead to the legal protection of our human and civil rights.

We are profoundly ordinary people sharing the same need to feel included, recognized and loved.

As long as we regard our disabilities as tragedies, we will be pitied.
As long as we feel ashamed of who we are, our lives will be regarded as useless.
As long as we remain silent, we will be told by others what to do.

Adolf Ratzka 2005