Independent Living Philosophy and Traditional Paradigms

This chart compares traditional approaches to medical and vocational rehabilitation services with the consumer-driven approach.

Definition of problemphysical or mental impairment; lack of vocational skill (in the VR system); lack of abilitiesdependence upon professionals, family members & others; it is the attitudes & environments that are hostile & need fixing
Locus of problemin the individual (individuals are sick and need to be “fixed”)in the environment; in the medical and/or rehabilitation process itself; disability is a common part of the human condition
Solution to the problemprofessional intervention; treatment• civil rights & advocacy
• barrier removal
• self-help
• peer role models & peer support
• consumer control over options & services
Social roleindividual with a disability is a “patient” or “client” “customer”individual with a disability is a “consumer,” “customer” or “user” of services and products
Who controlsprofessional“consumer” or “individual”
Desired outcomesmaximum self-care (or “ADL” –
activities of daily living);
gainful employment (in VR system)
independence through control over ACCEPTABLE options for every day living in an integrated community

by Gerben DeJong in 1978; adapted/expanded by Maggie Shreve and June Isaacson Kailes