What does independent living mean to me?
What it means is, basically, it is my life, my work, what I do every day of my life, and the fact that I am able to do that through the support of others like the personal assistant sitting next to me is immense.
It is very hard I think to get that message across to people who perhaps are not dependent on others to support them in their day-to-day living.
But it has provided me with a life, my work – I have worked widely – and the opportunities and the choices to do the things I want, like you do.
I think with the restrictions somebody like myself has, with thekind of severe impairment I have, it is freedom. It is the freedom for me to be able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it[.]
— John Evans, OBE
The above quote is taken from John’s evidence to the Inquiry on Independent Living by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. I’ve been fortunate to have been a colleague of John’s before and have heard him speak about independent living. For me, the quote above beautifully captures the essence of independent living and why it is so, so vital.