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.

Included in Society”, a report from 2003 written by Inclusion Europe and partner organisations, not only pointed out the harm large residential institutions do, but also established recommendations for policymakers on how to organise community-based care.

We have addressed other aspects of community living in various projects, such as:

Independent living

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

  • Factsheet on Independent Living (.pdf) created together with ENIL
  • Joint submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD Committee) on the General Comment on article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) on Independent Living


Inclusion Europe is an active member of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG). As members of the EEG we produced:

Read more about deinstitutionalisation: