Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) launch of #DeclarationofIndependence video campaign

20 June 2019

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) launched our #DeclarationofIndependence video campaign on Sunday 5th May as part of European Day on Independent Living. The short film features twenty disabled activists from across the country talking about the need for disabled people to work together and for issues disabled people face to be seen as equality and human rights issues.

“Our video is about changing the conversation in Ireland and Europe about disability. Our philosophy as ILMI can be best summed up as “Nothing About Us Without Us” and “Rights Not Charity”. What the Declaration of Independence is about is getting a clear message from disability activists of the type of Ireland we want to create. We want this to be a powerful message to get more disabled people involved and for us to be strong together to demand our rights”, said Sarah Fitzgerald, ILMI secretary who is a writer and scripted the video.

“We as Independent Living Movement Ireland want to bring about a more inclusive society. The only way this can happen is if disabled people work collectively together. The first step is for disabled people to recognise that the issues facing disabled people are equality and human right issues. We need disabled people to recognise that change is possible, but we need people to be active, to let policy makers and politicians know what we want and not be afraid to demand our rights” said Shelly Gaynor, Chairperson of ILMI.

“The video is all about getting disabled people to recognise that the way society is structured is what prevents our involvement. We need people to realise that it is not okay that our transport system isn’t fully accessible. We need non-disabled people to realise that Ireland can and should be a place where disabled people are able to do the day to day things that every takes for granted.” added Ms Fitzgerald.

In 2014 the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) declared May 5th as the European Day on Independent Living as a day of celebration to coordinate European-wide events and actions in the name of Independent Living. It aims to bring together disabled people and their allies throughout Europe together to raise awareness of Independent Living and to show the wider public that disabled people we are proud, strong and visible!

“As a founding member of ENIL, it is really important for ILMI to be involved in this European action. Real independent living is about people being heard, their voices respected and their choices honored. The message is so clear and powerful: disabled people are the experts in their lives and for too long their voice has not being listened to in Ireland or in Europe. We hope that this video encourages more disabled people to become involved in ILMI and affect policy change by working collectively and making Ireland a more inclusive society”, said Damien Walshe, ILMI CEO.

The video can be viewed on the ILMI website at or Youtube

Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI) was established as CIL in 1992 by and for disabled people. Its aim was to ensure that disabled people achieved Independent Living, choice and control over their lives and full participation in society as equal citizens.

We are a campaigning, national representative organisation that promotes the philosophy of independent living and to build an inclusive society. Central to the way we work is to ensure that policy decisions that impact on the lives of disabled people have to be directly influenced by those whose lives are directly affected.

Our philosophy can be summed up as: ‘Nothing about us without us!’ and ‘Rights Not Charity’.

Our vision is an Ireland where disabled persons have freedom, choice and control over all aspects of their lives and can fully participate in an inclusive society as equals. Visit for more details or