The Independent Living movement emerged from the Disability Rights movement which grew in the United States of America in the 1970s, which in turn had followed on from the wider Civil Rights movements of the previous decade. The first Center for Independent Living (CIL) was founded in Berkeley, California in 1972 and was developed by the disability activist Ed Roberts. This grew to become the inspiration and the model for hundreds of centres across the world.
The first Irish CIL was opened in Carmichael House, Dublin, in 1992. Martin Naughton was a founding member of this first centre and, like Ed Roberts in Berkeley, he had personal experience of being denied the chance to achieve a greater level of independence because of the lack of support available. His early success with the Dublin CIL led to other centres being founded across the country.
North Tipperary Disability Support Service is affiliated to 26 CILs throughout Ireland.