This summer will be exciting for several reasons. Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday this year, which should be fun. But we shouldn’t forget that Independent Living Canada is also celebrating its 30th anniversary and on June 5th, we are celebrating the annual Independent Living across Canada Day.


Independent Living Canada was founded 30 years ago and is a national umbrella organization that proudly represents and coordinates a national network of 25 Independent Living Centers. The organization works for an inclusive and accessible society with disabled people valued equally and fully participating. Since being founded, the organization has impacted many people with disabilities across the country for the better.


1 in 3 Canadians will have a disability for 90 or more days before becoming 65. At least 1 in 7 Canadians have a disability (that would be about 3.8 million). According to Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Canada’s population is aging, led by a huge number of baby boomers. Due to this, the needs for accessibility and services are growing as well.


To celebrate its milestone, ILC decided to do a special project consisting of stories from 150 people with disabilities living all across Canada.


Independent Living Canada and its centers across the country work hard together to provide customized solutions, programs and services to Canadians with disabilities enabling them to thrive in a society designed for non-disabled people. Through working with the centers and other organizations, Canadians with disabilities are empowered in the face of accessibility and self-determination barriers. The ultimate goal is to see equal access for all Canadians in our society.


Since Canada is turning 150 this year, disabled Canadians want to be included in the celebrations as well. So on June 5th, Independent Living Canada, including 25 Independent Living Centers across Canada is joining in the party by releasing a digital campaign. Its main attraction is a series of 150 stories from Canadians living with disabilities.


The 150 people included in the stories are from 25 different disability resource centers all over Canada, including 5 people from the Victoria Disability Resource Centre.


The stories vary from personal life stories, to tips about living independently. Some are funny; others sad. Others are brief; or they can be long. But the 150 stories all have something in common; inspiration.


Roger Albert, the National Director of Independent Living Canada proclaimed, “There is no better time than now for us to share with everyone who we are as Canadians. We want to be and are part of this amazing country’s celebration. In this spirit, Canadians with disabilities offer Canada 150 Stories of empowerment, advocacy, employment and personal challenges. We believe that by reading our personal stories, you will find much in common with us and continue to include all of us a bit more each and every day, at all fronts.”


Everyone (including public, media and government representatives) is invited to take time and visit a local Independent Living Centre and help us spread the stories all over Canada.


Check out the stories here, including several stories from people at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre!