Realize the Possibilities of Independent Living

Powerful peer to peer support for people with disabilities to become more independent in their lives and communities.

Photo of Shannon Minnick

Shannon Minnick
Director, Independent Living Services

“We are people with disabilities advocating and educating our peers to be more independent in homes and communities. We operate according to the philosophy that people with disabilities govern their own lives. We provide an array of services to people with ALL types of disabilities who live in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Contact me to learn more about our five independent living core services and start on your road to independence, whatever that may look like for you!”

Our Independent Living Core Services

Contact us about our services and programs to see firsthand
our commitment to freedom, power, and Independence Now!​

Peer Counseling

It is our belief that individuals with disabilities are the best guides to independence; therefore, Independent Living Specialists:

  • serve as role models
  • assist with self-exploration
  • assist with self-directed goals setting and achievement
  • direct consumers to appropriate services and programs
  • serve as advocates

Individual & Systems Advocacy

  • System Advocacy – Staff interacts with local, state, and federal legislators and agency leaders on behalf of people with disabilities to advocate for more responsive disability policy in personal assistance services, housing, employment, transportation, youth/transition, visitability and other major issue areas.
  • Individual Advocacy – Staff works individually and in group settings with consumers to assist with increasing their personal self-advocacy skills and knowledge of their civil rights.

Independent Living Skills Training

IL Specialists facilitate one-on-one and group skills trainings in an array of areas to promote independence, such as:

  • independent housing
  • decision making and time management
  • local, national and legislative laws
  • transportation and employment
  • budgeting, cooking and kitchen safety
  • other areas according to individualized needs

Information and Referral (I&R)

As a resource and advocacy center, IN serves as a guide through the maze of services by connecting consumers and the general public with current information on programs, equipment and community resources. Information and referrals help assist consumers to build a network of supports as they pursue goal achievements and furtherance of their independence.

Referrals are also made to other community organizations and programs.

IN publishes a monthly newsletter “IN Touch” that outlines all monthly and quarterly activities such as:

  • Housing Information Seminars
  • Employment Seminars
  • Lunch or Dinner and Movie (this combines our Creative Cooking Class and Advocate’s Theater)
  • Transportation Action Group (TAG)
  • Let’s Get Together (for people wanting and waiting to move to the community)


Transition services has several parts, first, supporting students with disabilities transition from high school to work or post-secondary education. It is also Transition and Diversion from Nursing Homes- Assisting to make the transition from institutions back into the community and into their own homes or to prevent Nursing Facility placement.

News & Updates

What's Happening in the Independent Living Community

Photo of Nina Russel wearing a soft white sweater and holding a mug of hot cocoa while sitting near a stainless steel firepit.

Stay Cozy This Winter with Hygge

A winter under quarantine means we’re looking for ways to stay entertained while stuck at home. One way we can do this is to celebrate the Danish art of Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”). This concept cannot be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things

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Green graphic with black text that says "I've learned how to build my own thoughts and opinions about things in life. [Independence Now] has helped me how to connect with people in the same program."

How Independence Now Helps Connect Our Consumers

For this week’s consumer story, one of our consumers who wishes to remain anonymous shared with us her experience working with Independence Now. This consumer was referred to us from DORS and was seeking support resources to learn how to self-advocate. After working with Shannon and Independence Now, she says, “I’ve learned how to build

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Independent Living Workshops and Events

Creative Cooking Class: New Year, New You, and a Virtual Journey to Italy

Creative Cooking Class: New Year, New You, and a Virtual Journey to Italy

Delicious, fabulous, and decadent, tasty treats that represent all things we love about Italy with a little spice added to keep our portion control in check.

Find out more »
21 January 2021
United Spinal DC Chapter (hosted by Independence Now)

United Spinal DC Chapter (hosted by Independence Now)

Join Josh Basile, a quadriplegic advocate and lawyer, to learn about a FREE brand-new app for drivers with disabilities.

Find out more »
22 January 2021
Housing Seminar: Happy New Year! Housekeeping 2021

Housing Seminar: Happy New Year! Housekeeping 2021

Do you have all the pertinent documentation necessary when your name is called to complete a housing application?

Find out more »
28 January 2021

Community Resources & Information

Logo for National Council for Independent Living. Logo is light blue crescent-shape with NCIL in black text.
National Council for Independent Living
Logo for Maryland Department of Disabilities
Maryland Department of Disabilities
Logo for Maryland Youth Leadership Forum

Maryland Youth Leadership Forum
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