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Introduction about Hanoi Independent Living Center

What is independent living?

Independent living (IL) does not mean doing everything on your own or  living alone, it means with  assistance of the community, people with disabilities (PWD) can integrate and make decision and have responsibility in any issues related to their lives

In reality, independent living means that PWD can:

- Make self-decision on which assistance  they need, including how to change the environment to make it non-handicapping and how to help use necessary assistive devices in everyday life

- Have equality in accessibility to opportunities for accommodation, transportation, health, employment, education and vocational training, and the other social and welfare services

What is Independent Living Center (ILC)?

Independent living center (ILC) is not accommodation. It is a community-based non-profit organization where disabled persons raise awareness and give consultation to disabled person on IL, encourage their peers to work and integrate, and provide intensive assistance to people of different disabilities

The Objectives of the Center are to:

- Help every disabled individual, so that they can develop their potential, as much as they can, but in family and in community

- Advocacy for the rights of PWD: this is a voice to protect the rights of PWD to access accommodation, employment, transportation, public buildings, entertainment facilities, health and social services, as equally as non-disabled persons

Hanoi Independent Living Center

Hanoi Independent Living Center is a pilot model which is run by PWDs to provide  assistive services for PWDs. In 2008, Disabled Peoples' International Asia Pacific (DPI/AP) selected Bright Future (BF) group  to implement a project: Establishing the first ILC in Vietnam and putting it in operation funded by Nippon Foundation. With the sustained efforts HILC has been recognized by the Government as a good model to provide  assistive services to PWD

Hanoi ILC activities

1. Peer counseling

2. Program of training on IL skills

3. Capacity building for PWDs

4. Training and provide personal assistants

5. Other supports (for instance: providing information on Vietnamese welfare system, how to get the house modified for accessibility, transportation with lift van to PWD…)

General regulations on providing supporting services

To become a member of HILC and be provided assistive services, PWDs have to satisfy conditions bellow:

1. At the from 18 to 60

2. To be a PWD in one of three types: cerebral palsy, spinal injuries and wheelchair users.

3. Living and working in old urban districts of Hanoi area

4. Participating in elementary course on  independent living skill

The number of Hanoi ILC member: 59 members (37 of whom are woman account for 62,71% of total members)

The number of PA: 81 PAs (53 of whom are woman account for 65,43% of total PAs)


- With the PA service, PWD have become confident and demonstrate their abilities

- The disabled members have done advocacy by writing articles in newspapers

- A newsletter has been created and run by the members

- Making personal assistant become a job for young people, promoting the social assistance for PWD

- A number of 50 persons with severe disabilities are using PA service with over 60 working Pas

- Disseminating ILC model to three other provinces in Vietnam including Can Tho, Hai Phong and Da Nang and supporting them in establishment process of ILC.

- IL has been recognized by the Government as a good model to provide  assistive services to PWD, and with the impact of Hanoi ILC, IL has been introduced into the draft Disability Law. And now, Hanoi ILC is now in process of  accomplishing procedure to get legal status from Government.

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