The CIA Board was also comprised of people living with disabilities who used the service themselves, birthing the framework of an entirely user-led organisation. This was a revolutionary concept: members were offered choice and control of their services, empowering those with disabilities to access a new level of autonomy within their lives, long before the NDIS rollout.
The CIA Board also applied for funds to create a second organisation, South Australian Independent Lifestyles (SAIL). This allowed for 15-20 people to receive in-home support per year. These two organisations coexisted for a decade.
In 1990, the Board identified the need for continued growth in order for operations to remain feasible. This led to the merger of CIA and SAIL, creating Enhanced Lifestyles. Today, the organisation continues to be one of Australia’s longest-running user-led and tailored service providers, a badge the organisation wears with honour.
This history is evident in the way Enhanced Lifestyles remains member-governed today.