The Independent Living Category provides information and resources for school professionals, students and families regarding independent living options and strategies for students with disabilities. Independent living has been defined as:
- A living arrangement that maximizes independence and self-determination, especially for a person with a disability living in a community instead of in a medical facility.
- A social movement that asserts that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights and life choices as people without disabilities.
The supports needed by a person with disabilities in the area of independent living will vary from person to person and community to community. However, support needs can be organized around housing options, transportation, social and recreational activities, shopping and financial management, health and safety and self-determination. Some people with disabilities may need Personal Assistance Services (PAS) which may include job-related and/or personal services (NCWD/Youth, 2010).
The information in this category is divided into the following five sections:
- Financial Literacy promotes the development of financial literacy among students with disabilities through information and resources.
- Health promotes the health and safety of students with disabilities through information and resources.
- Housing promotes access to affordable housing options for students with disabilities through information and resources.
- Leisure & Recreation promotes healthy living for students with disabilities through information and resources.
- Transportation promotes access to transportation options for students with disabilities through information about travel training and transportation resources.
Each of these sections contains multiple pages that explore supporting topics. A resource page, rich with human resources and information, is also provided for each section. The possession of self-determination skills is an integral part of the ability of a person with disabilities to have any level of independent living. For more information, see our page on Self-Determination
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth; HeiTech Services, Inc.; & Concepts, Inc. (2010). Making the move to managing your own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): A toolkit for youth with disabilities transitioning to adulthood. Washington DC: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.ncwd-youth.info /PAS-Toolkit