The Fight to Live Independently

“It’s going to cost $300 day to be in a nursing home – of our tax payer dollars or private pay – give me that $300 and I’ll be doing just fine.”

Ian Engle is the Executive Director of the Northwest Colorado Center for Independence. He was the former Executive Director of the Center for People With Disabilities in Colorado. As a young man, he was told he would have to to go live in a nursing home after an accident left him paralyzed. Engle said being told he’d have to spend his life in a nursing home was worse than the accident.

Engle is one of the thousands of disability rights activists calling for a redirection of funding away from an institutional model to an independent living focus. Hundreds of ADAPT disability rights activists are in Washington DC calling on President Obama to recognize the economic and social benefits of allowing people with disabilities to live in the community.

Ian Engle spoke with KGNU interns from Boulder’s September School on the 25th anniversary of the signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act.