Bootheel Area Independent Living Services (BAILS) is a community-based, non-profit, non-residential organization. BAILS is committed to serving the needs of persons with all disabilities, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or religion.

Our service area is predominantly rural and includes the Southeast Missouri counties: Dunklin, New Madrid, Pemiscot and Stoddard. BAILS offers individual services to help consumers reach their self-set Independent Living needs and wants.

Each person decides the direction of their own life. BAILS' goal is to foster an open, barrier free society for all people regardless of their disability.


The History of Independent Living

During the 1960's, a group of people with disabilities were placed in nursing homes and restrictive environments, just because they were disabled. However, they refused to give up their right to independence.

In working together, they formed the Berkley Center for Independent Living Movement in California. They left the nursing homes and became successful at managing their own lives, the first momentous step to starting today's Independent Living Movement.

BAILS is one of nearly 500 Independent Living Centers nationwide, and one of more than 22 in the State of Missouri.


Philosophy

The philosophy behind this is:

"All persons, regardless of disability, are entitled to and should have equal access to the rights and responsibilities that other citizens are provided; to be as active and productive a member of society as they choose."

Thus comes the Independent Living Motto:

"Control over one's own life by making choices that, in turn, bring about change."

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