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Seven Needs Of Independent Living

The Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People  is commited to the Seven Needs of Independent Living

A list of what disabled people need to be independent (have choice and control over our own lives) was developed in the 1980s by the Disabled People’s Movement:

Banner with - 1 Information and a picture of binary information on it

  1.  Information. To be able to make choices, we need to know what we can choose between. Information needs to be accessible to us, for example available on audio tape, Braille, by British Sign Language video, on computer disc, in large print, in symbols, or being told to us by a person.

Banner with 2 Peer Support and a picture of a group of people on it

 2.  Peer Support. Once we have information, we need to meet other disabled people to share knowledge and experience – this is peer support.

Banner with 3 Housing written on it and a picture of houses

 3.  Housing. This is a basic need for everyone. For disabled people our housing needs to be accessible to us – that is to suit our needs. For example, level access or wider doors, calming or contrasting colours, etc.

Banner with 3 - Equipment and adaptations written on it and a picture of a selection of keys

4.  Equipment, or aids and adaptations. For example: flashing door/smoke alarm, kettle tipper, liquid level indicator, hoist, adaptive computer equipment/software, adjustable height desk, etc.

Banner with 5 Personal Assistance - and a picture of cartoon arms on it

5.  Personal Assistance. As often equipment is not the answer, many disabled people employ someone to assist them. This enables people to be in control of how and when the assistance is given. It also prevents reliance on informal support such as family and friends.

A banner with 6 - Transport on it and a picture of a train leaving a station

6.  Accessible transport. This includes: buses, trains, trams, taxis, planes and cars.

Banner with - 7 Accessible Environment and a picture of Manchester Town Hall on it

 7.  Accessible environment. That is roads, paths, buildings, parks, theatres, schools, colleges, train stations, airports, shops, places to work, basically everywhere being designed in a way that disabled people can use them as easily as non-disabled people.

Access is not only physical (wider doors, lifts, ramps, appropriate furniture). It also includes spoken communication, appropriate language (whether British Sign Language, plain English or other), and suitable written communication, such as large print, Braille, etc.