The Whole Person provides its Independent Living Services in accordance with the guiding principles and best practices required of all federal Centers for Independent Living. The theory and guiding principle is that people with disabilities should be able to live just like anyone else:
- Make decisions about their life (whether service providers agree with the decision or not, it is the inherent right of any citizen to fail, and it is typically from failure that we learn the most)
- Live where they choose (beyond institutions and group homes to their own homes if that is their choice)
- Pursue activities of one's own choosing (to be limited only in the same ways that citizens without disabilities are limited, not because the recreation area is inaccessible, or because there is no transportation)
Independent Living services differ from traditional services in that they provide for the substantial involvement of the individual with the disability in making decisions and how the service is provided. The basic idea: the person with the disability is the expert on their life and knows best how to accomplish their goals for their life.
The purpose of the Independent Living Services program is to provide people with disabilities the skills needed to live independently in the community. The overall goal of Independent Living Services is to increase participants' ability to perform day-to-day activities and reduce the need of support from family members, professional attendants, or other caregiving services. Each participant who enters the program will determine their own goals, and services will be tailored to their unique needs. Participants will ultimately be empowered to solve problems and achieve goals on their own.
The Whole Person assists people with disabilities to live independently through empowerment, self-reliance, and integration while encouraging the community to expand opportunities for independent living.