Independent Living Skills

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You can learn new skills and gain the level of independence that you want! You can even take free classes through “Living Well with a Disability” by one of our trained staff.

The DAC staff and volunteers can help you learn to:

  • Learn new ways to do daily tasks: meal preparation, medical/dental care, personal health and hygiene, public transportation
  • Manage your finances – Everyone needs financial skills to make smart decisions about money. As a person with a disability, there are some additional things you need to know to be sure you can get what you need to live independently
  • Be assertive in the community – It is important to stand up for yourself and communicate with others in a positive way
  • Communicate effectively – ensure that whether you have a vision, hearing or speech disability, you can communicate with, receive information from and convey information to others
  • Pursue higher education – Colleges have been paying increasing attention to breaking down the barriers and enabling people with disabilities to enjoy the full benefits of education
  • Be safe at home and in the community – safety is important in our daily lives. Are you ready in case of emergency? Click here for a Disability Specific Emergency Kit list.
  • Recreate independently – enjoy the many benefits from recreation participation
  • Advocate for yourself and your rights- self-advocacy helps you get the outcomes you desire in order to succeed in the world.

You work one-on-one with a DAC Independent Living Specialist who will help you develop an independent living plan. You choose what goals to pursue, how much time to spend pursuing these goals, and whether to abandon old goals or add new ones. In other words, you direct your own individualized program at the pace you want to work. And you have the power to drop out of the program whenever you wish to do so.

If you would like to determine if you have some independent living goals to set, try our IL Plan Assessment in the comfort of your home. Then, bring it in and meet with one of our Independent Living Advocates to help you reach your goals.

IL Plan Assessment

Be Ready for an Emergency

Are you ready? Check this list, if someone needs to help you with any of the following things you need to prepare a plan:

  • Get, fix or take your medications or medical equipment
  • Get to and from appointments, including public transportation
  • Communicate with others
  • Get in and out of bed
  • Use the bathroom
  • Get dressed or ready for bed
  • Shower or brush your teeth
  • Shop for groceries, including public transportation
  • Cook food
  • Eat or drink, including cleaning or clearing  feeding tubes
  • Get, use or clean hygiene supplies like catheters
  • Take care of your pets and service animals

Have a plan to take care of these things if your helper can’t get to you. Who will help you in an emergency? If you use pubic transit, how will you get to stores or appointments if the bus doesn’t run for several days? Develop a list of phone numbers of people who can help you and keep the list someplace easy to find, like the refrigerator door.