Living Independently and Being Included in the Community
The CRPD requires states to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and to participate and be included fully in their communities, including by guaranteeing their right to choose their places of residence and access services and facilities available to the general population on an equal basis with others. The right to live independently and be included in the community should not depend on the level of support a person with a disability needs. In order to realize this right, States should ensure: “…[a] range of in-home, residential, and other community support services, including personal assistance…”
According to the UN Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities, support services must be considered a right rather than a form of medical, social, or charity care. Persons with disabilities have the right to choose services and service providers according to their individual requirements and personal preferences, and individualized support should be flexible enough to adapt to the requirements of the users. Support services must be available within a safe physical and geographical reach to all persons with disabilities living in urban or rural areas. They have to be affordable, taking into account persons living on low incomes. They also need to be acceptable, which means that they must respect standard levels of quality and be gender, age, and culturally sensitive. While implementing legislation, policies, and programs, states parties must closely consult and actively involve a diverse range of persons with disabilities.