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. 


ILI congratulates ULOBA on their 30th anniversary. 2021-10-17 

ULOBA with Bente Skansgård in the front has accomplished so many things and serves over a thousand persons in Norway with personal assistance. But ULOBA has done more, without ULOBA ENIL would have had to close when the EU commission withdrew funding. But no, we together continue a strong fight for Independent Living throughout Europe. Thank you ULOBA for all that you have done and do today! Happy 30th! from ILI. ENIL has collected some video messages here: 

Joint ILI and UNHCR initiative to empower refugees with disability in Sweden

ili logo      UNHCR logo

In October and November 2021 the Independent Living Institute (ILI) will conduct a series of workshops that are supported by UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic Countries. These workshops are to empower refugees with disability in their receiving country – Sweden. The topics to be touched upon are:

  • Disabled Women – Proud Mothers
  • Self-determination and Full participation of Disabled Refugees according to the CRPD
  • Swedish Civil Society and Disabled Refugees
  • Covid and Disabled Refugees

Participants will come from among others the DRW – Disabled Refugees Welcome project – that ended in December 2020 but continues through ILI activity. Groups will be limited to 10 persons keeping in mind Covid and will take place in ILI office located in Farsta (Storforsplan 36, 10th floor). The working language will be English and Swedish with translation.

Dates for the workshops:

  • October 26, Workshop 1 – Disabled Women Refugees – Proud Mothers
  • October 27, Workshop 2 - Self-determination and full participation for disabled refugees according to the CRPD
  • November 15, Workshop 3 – Culture and the concept of disability
  • November 19, Workshop 4 – The Swedish disability movement and why we need each other

If you are interested to attend, please contact We will get back to you to tell you if you can attend or if the event is already full.

ILI UNHCR invitation (pdf)

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


Independent Living Institute projects and websites

Artikel 19 och lagen som verktyg logotyp

Article 19 as a tool

Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is about everyone's right to a self-determined life in the community regardless of functionality. The project disseminates knowledge of the convention, examines the Swedish laws and the degree of implementation compared to the international commitments that follow from the convention. The website is The project is funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund for three years and reuses the website from the Law as a Tool project (2016 - 2019) that raised awareness of disability discrimination and legal tools to prevent and redress discrimination.

disabled refugees welcome logotyp

Disabled Refugees Welcome (DRW) has developed methods to improve the conditions for the reception of disabled newcomers in Sweden. The project was funded by the Swedish Inheritance Fund for three years from 2017 to 2020. 

Logotyp: Assistanskoll (Till

Assistanskoll is a busy website providing news, facts and numbers, analysis and advice to assistance users, their families and assistants in the selection of assistance providers. Assistanskoll keeps the public up to date with changes in legislation, case law and market developments.


Disability Rights Defenders (DRD) is a network of individuals and organizations with an interest in disability rights and disability law. The purpose of the network is equal rights and access to justice. We promote this by spreading and deepening legal expertise about disability rights among disabled people, disabled people’s organizations, lawyers and law schools for reciprocal empowerment by sharing knowledge and expertise on how to use the law as a tool. Read more about DRD and how to become part of it here.. logotype

The Disability Discrimination Reporting Service (Anmälningstjänsten)

Anmälningstjänsten helps individuals and organizations to report cases of discrimination to the Equality Ombudsman and, when appropriate, the respective municipal building authority. The service has been running for 20 years.

Completed projects (after 2010)

Logotyp: patips (Till

Assistanstips (Personal Assistance Tips)

The PAtips website has tips, tricks and examples of assistance solutions developed by personal assistance users in Sweden and their assistants.

Fashion Freaks

Fashion Freaks, the website, is a wardrobe full of adapted basic patterns, sewing and knitting instructions, descriptions about customizing ready-made clothing and much more - all to suit wheelchair users. (2005-2007 and 2010 – 2015)