The core service of Centers for Independent Living that we are featuring this month is Independent Living Skills Training. As a reminder, Independent Living skills are skills that increase the independence of a person with a disability because they handle more daily activities on their own without the support of others.
At Independence Now, we support our consumers to gain Independent Living Skills in a variety of ways. One is through group events like our cooking class that held five classes during 2020 which were attended by 33 people. That’s a lot of new chefs! Another group event we hold that teaches Independent Living skills is ‘Lighting Your Path’ which focuses on skills for consumers who are blind or visually impaired. This group meets monthly and there are at least 10 attendees each month who gain new Independent Living skills from each other and about assistive technology like an app that reads barcodes and makes grocery shopping independently much easier.
Our Housing Seminar has always been one of our most popular monthly events, nearly 100 people attended Housing Seminars last year. It also supports consumers to gain new Independent Living skills like completing housing applications and signing PDF documents. Tech skills are a must-have these days when searching for affordable, accessible housing, which is why we include them in our Housing Seminars.
Abiola Heyliger, our Montgomery County Independent Living Specialist reflects on the Independent Living skills gained by a consumer she was supporting. “Via Zoom, Mr. C learned about the usual required documents that must be submitted with affordable housing rental applications; and learned to use his smartphone to successfully take pics of his SSDI award letter, Medicaid card, Photo ID, & SSN card, sign PDF docs, and send the pics and docs via email on his smartphone to SUCCESSFULLY apply to DORS, affordable housing programs and to private rental properties from his smartphone.” Wow! That’s a lot of new Independent Living skills!
Be sure to check out the Independent Living Core Services offered at Independence Now at https://www.innow.org/independent-living-services/.