History of CDR

CDR is part of a nationwide independent Living Movement begun in 1972 as an outgrowth of the disability rights struggle. For people with disabilities, independent living means the opportunity to have a house or an apartment, to work, raise and support a family and partake in the social, recreational and political aspects of the community. (Download our brochure here.)

These basic life goals are often denied to persons with disabilities because of institutionalized attitudes that prevent them from being in the mainstream of society. The goal of independent living centers is to incorporate person with disabilities into society.

CDR traces is roots back to the mid-1980s when a group of people with disabilities in the New Haven Area got together to work on issues of mutual concern, such as the lack of accessible transportation, bus stops, sidewalks, and curb cuts. By the late 1980’s the group was becoming known to the community and decided to set an agenda to formalize a Center for Independent Living. In 1990, CDR opened its doors.