Respect And Recognise Multiple Identities
Society can be harsh. Often as a group we are quick to label people and disregard their rights, hobbies and lifestyle choices.
This kind of labelling can be an obstacle to promoting independence in adults with a disability. Even with the best of intentions, our community and sometimes even carers can forget about the person behind the disability.
We should all have the right to be recognised by the things that make us unique, whether that is being a soccer fan, a horse rider or a chess player. Respecting and recognising that each person has multiple identities and interests, and removing unfair labels, will help build confidence and the desire to become more independent.
Tips For Promoting Independence In Adults With A Disability
Have you ever considered how to increase the independence of your loved one?
Theres no question that caring for a person with a disability can be all consuming. Both physically and emotionally it can take its toll.
It can be hard to find the time and energy to work on greater independence, but its definitely worthwhile.
Often carers struggle with the idea of letting go. It can be hard to accept the unknowns involved in achieving a more independent lifestyle for a family member with an intellectual disability. Change can be difficult and scary for everyone.
However carers can also take comfort in the knowledge that, with increased independence, your family member will gain a greater ability to speak up for themselves and to choose the life they want.
Many carers begin the journey of promoting independence with the very clear aim of helping their loved one settle into a home and a life of their own, before the time comes when they are no longer able to provide essential daily care.
With this aim in mind you can work with your family member to increase their independent living skills, knowing that you are putting their long-term well-being first, rather than feeling a sense of guilt for wanting things to be different.
But before we begin, what is promoting independence all about?
In the past, some disability support services have created dependencies, instead of encouraging greater independence.
Independent Living Skills Training
The independent living assessment is just a jumping off point. There are resources available to obtain skills training in any area that you may be lacking in order to check the box on the assessment. Because disabilities come in many different shapes and sizes, the assessment and training is meant to apply to each person and their own specific needs to reach the level of independence that makes sense for them.
The education options for this type of training are sometimes combined with post-high school education for special needs individuals. However, some may need to be sought after as a separate program. These resources may be found locally through your Department of Health and Welfare, your local independent living center, or through disability resources online:
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A Guide To Developing Life Skills In Adults With Intellectual Disability
Would you like to encourage your loved one to live a more independent and socially active lifestyle, and build their confidence levels in the process?
Many adults with disabilities get overwhelmed when they think of the prospect of change, or learning a whole new way of life. But it doesnt have to be one big thing. In fact, better results are often achieved when people take it one step at a time and make small changes to their lifestyle.
Many life skills are easily attainable if you know where to start.
So with that in mind, we take a look at some essential life skills for adults with disabilities that you and your loved one might consider giving a go.
Interactive Enhanced Life Skills
Utilizing a hands-on approach, this program offers life skills training to adults. Topics are designed to teach individuals the skills necessary to achieve success in all aspects of everyday life. Topics include strengthening self-reliance, self- assertiveness, self-advocacy and more. Workshops are held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of most months at our Denville office. Call ahead to register for a workshop. See calendar for dates and topics.
Computer Lab sessions also are provided through this program. Participants are provided an opportunity to learn and practice skills such as résumé writing and conduct basic online employment searches. Computer Lab takes place on the third Wednesday of the month from 11 to 2:30 p.m. in our Denville office. Space is very limited, so please call ahead.
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Strategies For Providing Support
Given your son or daughters specific needs for support in daily living activities, what types of assistance are available and appropriate? Consider, for example:
Using supports/family that the young adult trusts and could call or contact for guidance when needed
Using in-home care services for meals, medication, therapy, and to assist with your son or daughters care needs
Using adult service providers who specialize in supporting adults with developmental disabilities. These agencies offer a number of group living arrangements and can hire staff to meet your son or daughter at your home or apartment to help with challenging aspects of independent living.
Using free or reduced-price meals, food, and prescription delivery from community agency services
Using free or reduced-price transportation services from community agency services
Arranging daily call services with a community agency or advocacy organization to ensure your son or daughter is doing well and to obtain assistance as needed
The Need To Plan For Independent Living Options
The need to help manage what may be the childs most important transition is why special needs lawyers, medical professionals and social work professionals spend so much time and energy advising families to plan ahead and begin the process while parents are still able to participate in, educate and assist their adult children with special needs in managing these changes. Even with all that has been written on the subject, statistics tell us that seven out of every 10 adults with a disability still live at home with their parents and other family caregivers. See The 2016 Easter Seals Living With Disabilities Study. While the following overview of housing options is meant to provide parents and professionals with an introduction to what is available for adults with special needs, determining whats best for a specific individual will depend upon that persons need for support, finances and their preferences, as well as those of their family.
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Housing Choices For Adults With Disabilities Living Independently
Everyone has the right to try and live independently despite their physical or intellectual disabilities. As the family member of someone who struggles with a limitation, you may be reluctant to allow your loved one to try independent living and accept the possibility of failure.
Jump ahead to these sections:
As a parent, you want to protect your adult child while still empowering them to do everything that they can for themselves. It is a delicate balancing act that is based on multiple factors. It is possible and might be advisable to start with a more supportive environment and then slowly transition to more independent living.
Factors That May Be Affecting The Acquisition Of Independent Living Skills In Kids With Autism And/or Learning Disabilities
What may be interfering with the development of those independent living skills?
Some of the reasons behind this reality may be:
- A deficit in attention skills
- Interfering behaviors
Some other times, us parents are unintentionally depriving them of learning opportunities by:
- Being overprotective
- Going the easy route and doing everything for them
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Allow Choice About Friends And Lifestyle
More choice its a theme that were reiterating throughout this article, because essentially thats what independence is all about.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to choose their own friends and decide what hobbies they would like to do on the weekend. Enabling this power of choice is an important way to support individual growth and development.
What Are Life Skills For Adults With Disabilities
Regardless of your ability level, life skills are the behavioral, intellectual, and interpersonal qualities necessary to live a productive, satisfying life. Also known as psychosocial skills, these traits fall into three main categories:
Ultimately, cultivating life skills for adults with disabilities can help you better connect with others while living a more productive and fulfilling life. Keep in mind that certain basic life skills for adults with disabilities may be more or less relevant depending on your specific age, location, or life stage.
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In April 2020 The Office Of Management And Budget Approved A New State Plan For Independent Living Instrument And Instructions The New Spil Addressed Changes To The Rehabilitation Act Of 1973 That Result From The Workforce Innovation And Opportunity Act Of 2014 29 Usc 32 And Increases The Instruments And Instructions Clarity Conciseness And Precision
The new SPIL also includes the following:
Please use the link below to open the new SPIL Instrument and Instructions. Contact Regina Blye, ILS Program Officer by email at if you need additional guidance.
The Office of Independent Living Programs uses a three-tier system to evaluate and monitor Center for Independent Living grantees. Tier one includes a grantee dashboard completed over the course of the fiscal year. Tier two reviews focus on specific program or fiscal issues. Tier three are comprehensive program and fiscal reviews. The Compliance and Outcome Monitoring Protocol provides transparency and consistency in the oversight of CIL grantees, helps identify training, and technical assistance needs across the network.
The purpose of the COMP is to improve program performance. The OILP relies on the COMP to provide consistent federal oversight of CIL grantees. Grantees may use the COMP to understand program and fiscal requirements and to conduct self-evaluations. Non-federal reviewers will use the COMP as a resource to ensure consistency during onsite reviews.
- ACL conducted pilot desktop reviews. Pilot reports were not made public.
Adult Day Training Program
Els for Autism® Adult Day Training Program provides evidence-based, learning experiences on The Els Center of Excellence® campus and in the community for adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, ages 21 and older, who have completed K-12 school services. This program will build on each participants individualized strengths supporting the development and practice of social skills, independent living skills, safety skills, and engagement within integrated activities in the community so that they can achieve greater independence and live a meaningful and fulfilling life. Using the principles of applied behavior analysis , Els for Autism is dedicated to providing adults with ASD and other developmental disabilities an environment that supports learning, self-determination, and personal growth.
For the latest updates about the Adult Day Training Program, please complete this form.
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Living At Home Or In An Accessory Dwelling Unit
Living at home with parents or other family members is an option that many people choose because it is convenient. However, if caregiving duties become too time-consuming and stressful, other options might be better.
It is possible for an adult with a disability to be an independent part of the household if that is the expectation. One way to achieve this is with an ADU. ADUs are becoming more popular due to their accessibility to family support while providing privacy and independence.
An ADU is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home. There are different zoning laws in each locality, so you will need to check whether they are permissible.
Support And Resources For Adults With Ld
The impact of learning disabilities is lifelong. The issues that made school work so challenging as a child crop up again in the workplace, in social situations, and in our homes. Paperwork and reports at work keeping up with bills and helping our children with their homework can be a struggle.
Maybe you grew up knowing you had a learning disability and received special education services. Or you struggled with learning difficulties and never knew exactly how to identify the problem. As an adult, you are probably now in command of a number of techniques that make life easier. Over the years, you have figured out ways to obtain and keep track of the information you need. You have developed systems to get organized. On this page, you can find even more avenues to success at work, in your relationships, and in the community.
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Individualized Service And Support
Our program is called Bridges because we help individuals bridge the gap between living with support from others and living on their own. We provide support for a given period of time, after which individuals can live successfully on their own or get continued assistance from our Supported Living program.
We get to know each person in our Bridges program and design services that leverage their strengths and help them build confidence for the future. We provide support with:
- Finding a place to live
- Finding a roommate
- Becoming aware of personal safety
- Maintaining health & wellness
- Managing stress
Bridges also provides services for individuals who live with their parents or other caregivers who may be unable to provide continued support. We assist with the transition into a home of the individuals choosing, such as:
- A Mentor home with our Family Home Agency program
- A home of his/her own
- A shared living space with roommate
What Are Centers For Independent Living
Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living provide independent living services for people with disabilities. CILs are at the core of ACL’s independent living programs, which work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.
This graphic illustrates how CILs make community living possible.
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Consider Options For Learning Employment Or Volunteering
Working whether to learn, to make money, or to volunteer your time can provide people with a sense of purpose. Its an opportunity to contribute to society and develop improved self-confidence and interpersonal skills.
Employment or volunteer work is a critical component of independent living and helps promote inclusion and build friendships.
Endeavour Foundation is the largest employer of people with a disability in Australia, and also offers vocational training, so if you are looking for somewhere to get started, please click on the button below.
Dear Colleague Letter: October 27 2017
I hope that all of you have enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. As we look forward to the coming year, I want to update you on the priorities which I shared with many of you this July at the NCIL conference as well as urge your input on several matters.
On September 11th, ACLs new Administrator Lance Robertson and several of us on his team met with NCIL leadership to discuss his vision for the agency and key steps we will take to improve the stewardship and effectiveness of the IL programs. These include the following:
Subchapter C Funding Distribution:
In response to ongoing questions and concerns regarding how funding to the CILs is determined and how the funding formula is applied, we are developing a Subchapter C Funding Distribution FAQ to explain the process that ACL follows. We also will host a teleconference on the topic on October 19, 2017 at 1 pm EDT to explain the process as well as provide an opportunity for Q& A and offer feedback to ACL on how we can make the distribution process as easy to understand, fair and transparent as possible. The FAQ will be available prior to the teleconference. Please save the date and time. Further details on how to participate in the call will follow.
On Site Monitoring:
Indicators of SILC Minimum Compliance:
Program Performance Report:
Highlighting and Building on Results:
First Annual Report on Centers for Independent Living:
Emergency Preparedness and Management:
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Provide Training To Improve The Required Skills For Independence
Increased independence often comes with the need for a new skill set. The key components required to help people improve their skills are access and support. People with a disability must have access to the right learning opportunities tailored to their interests and abilities and support from a network of friends, family and mentors.
Encourage your loved one to build a learning and career plan. Something that maps out a pathway to achieve their goals and acquire the knowledge or qualifications they need to sustain meaningful employment.
This plan will help out at some of the hardest crossroads in life, such as transitioning from school to work, and eventually making the move towards a more independent lifestyle.
You may look to extend your support network to include mentors, trainers and teachers that can facilitate and progress this plan. Sometimes all it takes is someone from outside the family circle who can identify new skills and abilities, and champion your loved one on into greater personal achievements.