About ILWR

Independent Wheelchair-user


Working together to achieve happiness through independence.


To support independent living through service excellence and partnerships.


  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Empowerment
  • Responsiveness
  • Collaboration


  • ILWR believes in and supports the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities and those persons working with them.
  • ILWR believes that accommodation, which embraces the diversity of persons with disabilities and is sensitive to unique needs, is essential to support persons with disabilities to exercise their rights and responsibilities.
  • ILWR believes that persons with disabilities are equal to their fellow citizens and must have access to the unique supports they need to be empowered to fully participate in their communities. ILWR is also responsive to the needs of those who support persons with disabilities, such as staff, family members, friends and volunteers.
  • ILWR believes that the mandates and regulations of government and funders are minimum requirements that must be met.
  • ILWR believes in advocating for the elimination of barriers and in challenging public attitudes.
  • ILWR believes that clear, respectful and open communication among all parties is required to achieve its purpose and vision.



Independent Living Waterloo Region was the first Independent Living Centre in Canada. It was founded by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in 1982. The organization came together under the direction of Henry Enns, a social worker and wheelchair-user who was a pioneer when it came to the rights of people with disabilities. His focus was on self-direction and accessibility and they remain the centre of the organization today.