Keywords: the rights of persons with disabilities, independent living, personal project, duties of national and local institutions, welfare state.
The paper aims to investigate the role that Regions and other local Italian institutions can play in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, especially with regard to the right to independent living, enshrined by the art. 19 of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. To this purpose, the authors, after a brief description of the most relevant legislative measures adopted in Italy in the last decades, focus their attention on the contribution provided by administrative case-law and on some important experimental projects proposed at the regional level. The essay points the importance of personal project as a pivotal instrument to implement the right to independent living.