About us.

IL Canada's aim has been about empowering the individual to self-identify positive changes.

About IL Canada

Founded in 1986 by the Independent Living (IL) Movement Membership, Independent Living Canada (formerly: Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres) represents the network of IL Member Centres at the national level. IL Canada performs several functions on behalf of Member Centres including: providing a collective voice on national issues; fostering and maintaining partnerships; building the capacity and scale of IL in Canada; and preserving the integrity and importance of IL in Canada on the national stage.

Overview: Independent Living Movement

Independent Living is a social movement of and by persons with disabilities. The IL movement started during the late 1960’s in the United States. During the 1970’s the Canadian consumer movement promoted human rights, deinstitutionalization and full participation of all persons with disabilities. The Coalition of Provincial Organizations for the Handicapped (COPOH) first introduced the Independent Living movement to Canadians with disabilities in 1980. In 1994, COPOH became the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD).

Goals of the Movement

  1. Persons with disabilities taking control of their lives, making choices, and advocating for themselves
  2. Persons with disabilities direct and manage their own resources, including but not limited to:
    • Attendant Services
    • Nurturing Assistance
    • Transportation
    • Education
    • Health Care
  3. The IL Movement has helped bring about significant changes in Through the IL Member Centres, we collectively:
    • Support individuals who have disabilities to live independently;
    • Support people to develop skills to manage their own home supports;
    • Bring people with disabilities together to share their expertise;
    • Provide accessible information, skills development and peer support;
    • Develop unique solutions;
    • Remove, prevent and provide education regarding

The Independent Living approach enables and supports persons with disabilities to examine choices, to make their own decisions and to take risks as a means of directing and managing their own lives. IL was created by and for persons with disabilities as an alternative to out of date services.

Independent Living is a way of thinking and living. It is about having the right to make choices, live where one wants to live, have control over the supports one needs and following one’s dreams.

Our Vision, Mission and Mandate




Independent Living Canada envisions an inclusive and accessible society where people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.


Independent Living Canada is a national non-profit association of Independent Living Centres run by and for people with disabilities who promote the Independent Living Philosophy.


Independent Living (IL) Canada's primary activities include:

  • Promoting the development of IL Centres in Canadian communities;
  • Articulating and promoting the IL vision, philosophy and work of the IL Centres at the national level;
  • Providing organizational assistance, training and the implementation of programs to IL Centres; and
  • Acting as a liaison between the IL Centres, various federal government departments, and Members of Parliament.


Our Board Members

The Board of Directors for IL Canada are comprised of a majority of people who themselves live with a disability and include Members at Large as well as a representative from each Province where an Independent Living Centre is located.


Jennifer Marchand


Province - ON

Diane Kreuger

1st Vice-Chair

Province - AB

Teresa Bullegas

2nd Vice-Chair

Province - AB

Susan Barrett

Secretary of the Board

Province - NL

Sue Larocque

Treasurer, Member at Large

Province - ON

Sebastien Duguay-Nardini

Director, Provincial Rep.

Province - NB

Robin East

Director, Provincial Rep.

Province - SK

Pierre Hamelin

Director, Provincial Rep.

Province - QB

Vicky Levack

Director, Provincial Rep.

Province - NS

Freda Uwa

National Executive Director