Practical application of the Cheshire ethos
Independent living is not and should not be about what a person can physically do. It is more about what a person emotionally, spiritually and intellectually chooses to do with his/her life.
By focusing on the core issue of choice, Cheshire services in Ireland aspire to implement the Independent Living ideal in practical, realistic ways. In our services, we are trying to create an environment where choice occurs at various levels. We are also trying to ensure that service users can make informed choices – i.e., are aware of alternative courses of action or challenging options which they may want to consider.
People’s choices cover a spectrum from deciding to move into mainstream housing, to the decision to enter a personal relationship; to what colour clothes to wear on a particular day. But whatever the type or scale of choice involved, the practical promotion of individual choice, and the related promotion of individual control, are at the centre of what we are trying to do.
We recognise that implementation of this philosophy is not easy and we do not claim to have yet achieved its full implementation throughout our services. However, the constant challenge to put this ideal into practice must be a central feature of life for all involved in Cheshire services in Ireland.