Independent Living Resource Center
Peer Support

A person with a disability may be uniquely qualified to provide assistance to another with a disability.

There is an old Native American saying: 

     To understand anothers' life, walk a mile in his or her moccasins.

People without disabilities are often unaware of physical and cultural barriers, or they may oversimplify a consumer’s concern if they don’t understand what full access means. For this reason, ILRC hires individuals who themselves have personal experience with a disability.

One of the basic tenets of the Independent Living philosophy is that people with disabilities are better equipped to assist others with similar experiences because they’ve “been there, done that.” 

Many ILRC consumers feel that someone with a lifestyle similar to theirs can provide enhanced services. ILRC staff have had personal experience with barriers in their own lives and can instruct consumers in how to clearly communicate their needs, using their own experience and training in the principles of full access. 

Peer support empowers consumers to handle a variety of situations involving barriers to access, discrimination, or cultural bias.