The quest for living independently and functioning autonomously. The aspirations of disabled people are the same as everyone else’s to live work and function as independently as possible. Everyone whether disabled or not wants to have a good job, a good home, and be surrounded by family friends and loved ones.

Factors Preventing Living Independently

There are key factors in determining whether a disabled person is able to live independently. I believe that supportive parents are very essential to fostering independence in their disabled children. It is important for parents to have realistic expectations of what their children can do and can’t do. It is important for parents to convey a positive attitude. I was always taught that I could do whatever I put my mind to if I wanted to bad enough. This proved to be a good attitude to have when it came to academic achievement. It also had some negative consequences during the times that I was unable to achieve what I expected myself to in the economy. I find myself setting expectations too high it points.

Flawed System

One problem is that the social safety net fosters dependence rather than independence. For example, if I were to take a job earning $1180 per month, I would lose my Social Security benefit because I’ve already had two nine-month trial work periods. Therefore I believe that the Social Security system discourages multiple attempts at being able to work. The system reaches individuals when they are only an extreme crisis and not beforehand. Societies low expectations of what a disabled person can achieve can have a negative impact upon them. It is essential for disabled people to take control of their own decisions.

The US vs Europe

Many of the states within the United States have attendant care programs which pay for the disabled person to be cared for in their homes. These programs are not necessarily designed to foster independence their design more to help the state save money in nursing home care. European countries have signed on the compacts giving disabled people the right to live independently. Many counties in England are trying to limit their attendant care cost to fixed amounts which would require disabled people go without care or limit the amount that they need. This is tantamount to saying that people must be institutionalized. Is living independently a right?


Living Independently is right


Traditionally, independence was defined as having a good job and living on your own. A more modern definition would include independent decision-making and responsibility for your own choices. Oftentimes when a person with a disability lives with their family, who has their best interests at heart. They may lose control of their own choices. It can be hard for people with disabilities to move away from family if they do not have enough resources to sustain themselves. Like it or not a lot of independence comes down to having enough money to pay the bills click here for more info about your financing.


Caregivers are paid individuals and are essential to the quality of life of many people with disabilities.  However, the constant need to have them around may inhibit social interaction. I remember back during my undergraduate days at Edinboro University – all of the students with disabilities stayed together and socialized. I do not remember there being much interaction outside the disabled services program. I limited myself due to shyness and awkwardness. A study by Passmore and Packer indicated that people with disabilities may have to go through long periods of inactivity before they are permitted to participate in social activities. Mainstreaming with disabilities into the school system tends to help all people in the act in a better fashion with their disabled peers and their nondisabled peers to interact with them.


It takes a strong outgoing personality to develop friendships with people who are not disabled. Society itself may also limit our opportunities. No matter how much education I received. I often feel like society still reminded me that I was disabled. Even in law practice, I do not believe that I was viewed with the same respect as other attorneys had. It could be that the severity of my disability and the slowness of my speech pattern affected people’s perceptions of me.

My advice to parents of children with disabilities would be to help your children set realistic expectations and allow them to function as independently as they can. I would also advise getting a good education without going into too much debt for it and trying to find a job which does not your child in light of their disability.  Living independently is a right so people with disabilities should have the opportunity to live on their own.

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