Center for People with Disabilities (CPWD)
The Mission of the Center for People With Disabilities is to provide resources, information and advocacy to assist people with disabilities in overcoming barriers to independent living.
The vision of CPWD is to build a community of resources, services, caregivers and consumers that collectively form a foundation of support for independent living. We encourage an integrated community that equally welcomes all members, all disabilities and cross-disabilities.
People with disabilities are a significant part of our society and community, yet as a group they have been marginalized through discrimination, misunderstanding, isolation, pity and poverty. In the 20-plus years since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities act, CPWD and other Independent Living Centers have been working hard to shift the prominent practice of dependency – turning over the care, personal decisions and lifestyle of people with disabilities to institutions and managing care providers. While dependency addresses the basic needs of people with disabilities – food, medical treatment, shelter – it removes the liberty of choice and personal freedom and instead promotes paternalism and control.
Our vision is one where all people with disabilities keep their freedom of choice and are able to take the risks that we all experience by living fully. To fulfill this vision, we have been a provider and a network for resources, information, programs and personal care that enable people with disabilities to overcome dependency and conquer the barriers to independent living.
The greater community that will successfully integrate people with disabilities includes all citizens, not just service providers. Therefore, the shift we seek exists both in how and what kinds of services and resources are delivered, as well as creating greater awareness and promoting integration in our society, particularly in the areas of transportation, housing, employment and physical access.
We invite all members of our community to join us in this vision to change the way we regard and engage with people with disabilities, reverse marginalization and dependency, and build an integrated society founded on our core beliefs of personal freedom and equal rights.