Independent living

People with intellectual disabilities have the right to live included in society.

Living in the Community

Institutions are never an option!

Building human connections, being part of a group, belonging: These needs are human needs. People with intellectual disabilities want to share their lives with neighbours, friends and relatives. They want to live as independently as possible. And they want to contribute to their community.

Even though the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) establishes the right of all people to choose where and with whom to live, reality is still very different for many people with intellectual disabilities. Inclusion Europe therefore puts community living high on its agenda.

We have been working on this topic for many years and have been able to stir interest for the issue at the European level. There are lots of positive developments: Many countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, have revised their policies and started moving people out of institutions and into the community.

“There are still at least 1,438,696 persons living in institutions. Persons with intellectual disabilities and people with complex support needs are most likely to still live in institutional settings.”


Living independently and being included in the community

End segregation


CRPD Committee:


Risks of institutionalisation:


Read some of the work we have done to promote the right to live independently and be included in the community:



Inclusion Europe is a member of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG).



CRPD Committee about deinstitutionalisation:


More resources

Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.

This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.

Being visible and vocal on issues directly affecting millions of people requires your support. 

Become Inclusion Europe supporter and help us keep doing our work.