See beyond disability


Independent Living (IL) is a vision, philosophy and movement of people with disabilities, for people with disabilities. Appearing on California university campuses in the 1970s, the movement emerged in Canada in the 1980s and has since expanded worldwide. The IL movement differs from traditional service delivery organizations in that it advocates peer support, self-direction and community integration by and for people with disabilities. It has changed the way people perceive and respond to disability.

IL is based on the right of persons with disabilities to:

  • Live with dignity in the community they have chosen ;
  • Participate in all aspects of their lives ;
  • Control their own lives by making decisions themselves.

Vie autonome Montérégie is a community service organization focused on the individual needs of people with functional limitations of any kind. We strive to empower people with disabilities and remove barriers so that people with disabilities and self-sufficiency can take risks, make choices and contribute to society as they see fit.

Working with our clients, we found that there was still a huge need for information and support for people with disabilities in the region. In order to create an environment that removes barriers that prevent people with disabilities from achieving maximum autonomy, we felt it was essential to better disseminate information about available services, programs and activities.

To learn more about our programs, services and resources, we invite you to browse our site, visit our Facebook page or contact us directly. Don’t hesitate to send us your comments so that we can continue to serve you better.

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People with disabilities have skills, determination, creativity and a passion for living. They want to contribute to the economic, political and cultural life of their community, but obstacles continue to prevent them. These barriers are old habits, outdated laws and regulations, inflexible attitudes and other elements such as hiring, housing and customer service.

The four (4) core programs offered by Vie autonome Montérégie were created to help people with disabilities overcome these obstacles. Information and Networking (A), Peer Support (B), Independent Living Skills Development (C), and Community Research and Development (D) are programs that equip the public to look beyond disability.

Organisation - Vie Autonome services

A. Information and networking

Information is essential to making choices and informed decisions. The objective of the Information and Networking Program is to provide consumers clear and up-to-date information on available resources and options.

This program promotes the Independent Living philosophy to consumers, their families, friends and support networks, the community and governments. The transmission of information is two-fold: people with disabilities and their entourage are called upon to validate the information transmitted.

Through this interactive process and networking with all governmental organizations and institutions in the Montérégie and elsewhere, we can offer relevant and comprehensive information on a wide range of topics related to our primary objective: fostering complete self-reliance.

Call, visit or email us. Perhaps we have the answer to your question. And if we don’t have it, we’ll find it together.

B. Peer Support

In a difficult situation, who hasn’t wanted to talk to a person who has had a similar situation? Have you had an experience and can you can share the lessons learned? The peer support program is aimed at this exchange.

Peer support also gives individuals the opportunity to reduce their isolation and develop their leadership skills. In addition, this program helps them exercise their rights and assume their responsibilities.

Peer support can be offered individually or as a group, and it can be provided on a permanent basis or in a crisis situation in an environment characterized by trust and mutual respect. Peer support activities may include self-help, problem-solving and stress management.

Do you need to speak to someone who understands? Would you like to share your experience to help someone? Call us or come and meet us. Together, it’s always easier than alone.

C. Development of independent-living skills

Autonomous living can be learned! The Life Skills Development Program helps individuals defend their rights and interests, supports their choices, respects their decisions and provides an opportunity to take risks.

The program also gives people with disabilities the opportunity to learn how to deal with barriers and discrimination so that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities and have access to services and training that will enable them to live in society and contribute to it.

Vie autonome Montérégie is a bank of information and workshops designed to develop your know-how and to provide greater teaching about various items such as housing, education, transportation and employment. Call us for more information.

D. Research and community development

The Independent Living movement also seeks public recognition of the specialized knowledge of people with disabilities needed to determine what works and what does not. Information, verified and validated by consumers, is essential to the development of programs and services that benefit the entire community.

Research and community development activities include:

  • Conducting research and demonstration projects;
  • Awareness of the situation of people with disabilities;
  • Verification of accessibility of facilities and websites;
  • Crime prevention and maltreatment initiatives.

These activities may also include the development of new Independent Living models for diverse populations and environments to test new solutions and provide unique support methods adapted for local, regional and national needs.

By working together, we can identify gaps in services and create new options and solutions.


All funds are reinvested in various programs to support the autonomy of people with disabilities.

Board of Directors

  • Pierre Hamelin
    '' Dad of a special needs child, it is natural for me to give without counting. I am privileged to be able to get involved with the board of directors of Vie Autonome Montérégie. ''
  • Fernand-Pascoal
    Fernand Pascoal
    "I am fortunate to have a healthy family and to be happy as an entrepreneur. So, for me, it is a pleasure to give back to the community. "
  • Bruno-Boucher
    Bruno Boucher
    "Being blind myself, I understand the different issues facing people with disabilities. A disability should never stop someone from living their passion. "
  • Martine Lalonde