Research on independent living provides us with information in three primary ways:
- Understanding the current status and changes in residential supports and settings: A study conducted by Lakin and Stancliffe (2007) examined four essential trends of residential supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; “(a) decreasing use of larger institutions and increasing use of community housing; (b) decreasing size among community settings; (c) increasing numbers of people living in homes that they themselves own or rent; (d) decreasing out-of-home residential placements of children and youth” (p.151).
Lakin, K. C.,& Stancliffe, R. J. (2007). Residential supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 13, 151-159.
- Identifying barriers to social inclusion for people with disabilities: Abbott and Mcconkey (2006) conducted a qualitative study to identify the barriers to social inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Primary barriers included lack of necessary knowledge and skills, wrongly perceived roles of support and service managers, location of houses, and community factors like amenities and attitudes.
Abbott, S., & Mcconkey, R. (2006). The barriers to social inclusion as perceived by people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 10(3), 275-287.
- Clarifying a conceptual model for community participation: A study conducted by White et al. (2010) provided a short historical review of disability (medical model of disability) and introduced an independence-interdependence conceptual framework to enable Centers for Independent Living (CIL) consumers to fully participate in their community. The independence model describes that community participation merely stems from the product of independent living. However, the interdependent model highlights the role of social capital among consumers to enable them to fully participate in their communities. Authors argued that the independence and interdependence models are not dichotomous; rather they represent each end of the continuum of CIL services.
White, G., Simpson, J. L., Gonda, C., Ravesloot, C., & Coble, Z. (2010). Moving from independence to interdependence: A conceptual model for better understanding community participation of centers for independent living consumers. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 20(4), 233-240.