Establishment of the Association for the Independent Living of People with Disabilities
The idea of independent living spread throughout Western Europe in the 1980s. Hungary joined the movement in the 1990s. In June 1995, 12 people established the Association for the Independent Living of People with Disabilities at the Marczibányi Square State Institute for the Disabled.
The founders already had significant experience in terms of independent living. They were guided by the intention to change and to help people in similar situation. Their mission was based on the following ideas:
- On one hand, they intended to change society’s attitudes towards disabled people. This means removing obstacles within people’s minds and in their physical environment (creating a wheelchair accessible environment by removing stairs, narrow doors and establishing elevators, accessible public transportation and restrooms).
- On the other hand, they intended to raise awareness about disabilities within society.
Currently, the Association has over 80 members, mostly wheelchair users. However, anybody who is willing to actively work for the idea of independent living is warmly welcome in our team. Most of our members live on their own or with their families, some of us live in social institutions and in the State Institute for the Disabled in Marczibányi Square. Many of our members took part in higher education and work outside of the Association.
Our main activities are the following:
- peer counseling service in rehabilitation institutes,
- awareness-raising school lectures,
- participation in making Budapest a more accessible city,
- spreading the idea of independent living in rural communities.