Independence is for all!
What is Progress Center for Independent Living?
Progress Center is one of 22 Independent Living Centers in Illinois. There are more than 400 Centers for Independent Living across the United States. Centers for Independent Living provide critical services and resources to people with disabilities, giving them the tools to be independent and the tools to navigate barriers to independence. Centers for Independent Living are unique because a majority of people employed by centers are people with disabilities. We follow the motto: "Nothing About Us Without Us."
*Helps guide people in their search for housing
*Connects people to resources for home modifications
*Maintains a pool of qualified personal assistants
*Coordinates various peer support groups
*Supports people with disabilities in search of jobs
*Hosts Legislative Trainings
*Advocates for better housing, healthcare and transportation sytems
*And Much More...
Here a link to Progress Center's Informational Video: Click here for the Video
Our current Mission Statement...
Progress Center for Independent Living is a non-profit, non-residential, consumer controlled disability rights organization serving suburban Cook County, Illinois. As a part of the disability rights movement, Progress Center’s mission is to build a society in which people with disabilities shall have the same freedoms, rights, and civil liberties as everyone else. We directly assist individuals with all types of disabilities and a wide range of accommodation needs to achieve their self-determined goals. We also engage in social justice advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities on the local, state and national levels.
A. Is a way of life that includes values, attitudes and behaviors.
B. Embraces a philosophy that the person, regardless of their disability, has the potential to exercise individual self-determination.
C. is having the right and the opportunity to pursue a course of action. And, it is having the freedom to fail -and to learn from one's failures, just as nondisabled people do.
D. "means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that 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 abilities, start families of our own. Just as everybody else, we need to be in charge of our lives, think and speak for ourselves." (A. Ratzka http://www.independentliving.org/ )
Ten Principles of Independent Living
Civil Rights - equal rights and opportunities for all; no segregation by disability type or stereotype.
Consumerism - a person ("consumer" or "customer") using or buying a service or product decides what is best for him/herself.
De-institutionalization - no person should be institutionalized (formally by a building, program, or family) on the basis of a disability.
De-medicalization - individuals with disabilities are not "sick", as prescribed by the assumptions of the medical model and do not require help from certified medical professionals for daily living.
Self-help - people learn and grow from discussing their needs, concerns, and issues with people who have had similar experiences; "professionals" are not the source of help provided.
Advocacy - systemic, systematic, long-term, and community-wide change activities are needed to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from all that society has to offer.
Barrier-removal - in order for civil rights, consumerism, de-institutionalization, de-medicalization, and self-help to occur, architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers must be removed.
Consumer control - the organizations best suited to support and assist individuals with disabilities are governed, managed, staffed and operated by individuals with disabilities.
Peer role models - leadership for independent living and disability rights is vested in individuals with disabilities (not parents, service providers or other representatives).
Cross-disability - activities designed to achieve the first five principles must be cross-disability in approach, meaning that the work to be done must be carried out by people with different types of disabilities for the benefit of all persons with disabilties. (Courtesy of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois)
Progress Center embraces "Disability culture"
This term is used by people with disabilities to describe not only our growing sense of a shared history of social oppression, but also our strategies for coping and thriving, our emerging art and humor, our sense of community, and an almost defiant celebration of our differences.