Beautiful young blind woman

 

 

young women sitting on floorgetting a wheelchair over a threshold

Resources for Independent Living

Find a Mentor

Remember, being independent does not mean you have to go it alone. Successful adults living with disabilities similar to your own have found ways to work around obstacles to reach their goals. Many adults with disabilities are eager to share their time and ideas about navigating life with a younger person who has a disability. Talking to an adult living with your disability or a similar one can help you learn tips and resources available to help you succeed in whatever you decide to do in life. To get connected with a mentor, go to www.disabledproud.org.

Resources Checklist

After high school I plan to live:
checkboxIn an apartment
checkboxWith roommates
checkboxDorm
checkboxGroup home
checkboxHouse
checkboxWith parents

I will need a Personal Attendant to live independently.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

What will I need my PA to assist me with?
checkboxDressing
checkboxBathing
checkboxGrooming
checkboxCooking

I can drive.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

If I cannot drive, I plan to get around using:
checkboxParatransit
checkboxBus
checkboxParents
checkboxBicycle
checkboxWalk

I know how to find accessible, affordable housing in my area.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

I know how to obtain a disabled transportation pass or sign up for Paratransit.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

I know how to find, hire, and manage a Personal Attendant.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

I know where my local ILC is and plan to stop by.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

I know someone with a similar disability who I can come to for advice.
checkboxYes checkboxNo

Use Your Independent Living Center!

Remember the story at the beginning of this chapter about Ed Roberts and the Rolling Quads? Ed made a difference in his community by creating the very first independent living center (ILC) in Berkeley, CA. Now every county in California has an independent living center. Your local independent living center has information about housing, transportation, and personal attendant services specific to your area. Many of them also have programs specific to youth with disabilities such as peer groups, volunteer, and internship opportunities. You can also work with an independent living specialist one on one to help you reach your goal of becoming independent. To find your local ILC, go to http://www.cfilc.org and click “Find an ILC”.

Planning for Success

In this section you learned a lot about independent living and were given some tools to help you achieve it. Everybody has a different idea about what independence means to them. Maybe independence for you is moving out of your parent’s house and going off to college. Or maybe your goal is to get a job right after high school and move into your own apartment. Whatever your goals are after high school, seeking out the resources suggested in this section will put you in a better position to achieve what you want for yourself. And remember, no one can create this vision for you. Only you can decide where you want life to take you. By setting goals and knowing the steps and support necessary to achieve them you can do anything because Talent Knows No Limits!

There are more resources at the website http://talentknowsnolimits.info