The number of disability related support services controlled and run by disabled people themselves has increased significantly in the UK and internationally over the past forty years. As a result, greater user involvement in service provision and delivery is a key priority for many western Governments. This book provides the first comprehensive review and analysis of these developments in the UK.Drawing on evidence from a range of sources, including material from the first national study of user-controlled services, this book provides a critical evaluation of the development and organisation of user-controlled services in the UK and identifies the principal forces - economic, political and cultural - that influence and inhibit their further development. It summarises and discusses the policy implications for the future development of services and includes an up-to-date and comprehensive literature and research review."Independent futures" is essential reading for academics and students on a range of courses including: health and social care; social work; allied health professions, such as nursing, occupational therapy and speech therapy; social policy; sociology; and psychology. It will also be of interest to practitioners and policy makers who need a reliable overview of current policy and critical analysis of key issues affecting future policy and practice.