In the Stacks: Independent Living

This week we’ll be at the annual conference of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)! We’re looking forward to greeting the huge crowd of advocates, activists, educators, administrators, researchers, and professionals all focused on the full independence and participation of people with disabilities in the communities of their choosing.

We thought we’d take a (virtual) walk through our shelves and explore some of the research on independent living (IL) over the years, focusing on some key moments in time and how they may have changed the discussion about participation and community living.

To start with, we have a lot of work on IL in the collection. The majority are journal articles, but the collection also includes original research and commercially developed publications as well as work from the international community. Most of the material is available through our print delivery service, but you can download nearly 1,000 items directly. You could also just focus on material from the NIDILRR grantee community.

Let’s focus on some moments in time. What are some watershed moments in the IL movement? Certainly the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Olmstead decision should be on the list. There was also the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the formation of key organizations such as ILRU and the World Institute on Disability, and the establishment of the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

Here are some snapshot searches from the NARIC collection of items focusing on IL, published during these key moments in time. See how the IL discussion changed around these events!

  • 1973-1978 – passage of the Rehab Act, founding of ILRU, and establishment of the National Council on Disability
  • 1998-2001 – years before, during, and after the Olmstead decision.
  • Before 1990 and after 1990 – the passage of the ADA
  • 2012-2017 –  ADA turns 25, Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, ACL established

These are just a few examples of ways you can explore our REHABDATA database, the largest index focused solely on disability and rehabilitation. Most of the items in our collection are available for low-cost print delivery. Chat with an information specialist online or by phone to learn more!


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