What is Independent Living? Independent Living means controlling and directing your own life. It means taking risks and being allowed to succeed and fail on your own terms. It means participating in community life and pursuing activities of your own choosing. Independent Living is knowing what choices are available, selecting what is right for you, and taking responsibility for your own actions. For people with disabilities affecting their ability to make complicated decisions or pursue complex activities, independent living means being as self-sufficient as possible. It means being able to exercise the greatest degree of choice in where you live, with whom you live, how to live, where you work, with whom you work, and how to use your time.
Services Offered by the Program
All Independent Living Centers provide a set of core services geared toward promoting self-help, equal access, peer role modeling, personal growth, and empowerment. The scope of services is directed by individual and community needs.
The core services are as follows:
- Peer Counseling is provided between two or more individuals with disabilities, to share ideas and experiences about living with a disability, in order to gain greater awareness and control over one’s own life.
- Independent Living Skills Training teaches everyday life skills and is often provided by people with disabilities. Training may include budgeting, meal preparation, arranging transportation, or personal assistance services, job seeking, and self-advocacy.
- Information and Referral Services aim to provide individuals with resources and options that may be necessary in making informed choices about living, learning, and working independently.
- Individual and Systems Advocacy addresses access to equal opportunities in exercising social, economic, educational, and legal rights. Independent Living Centers work with individuals, community organizations, state/national networks; to promote full inclusion of people with disabilities, and to improve the implementation of existing laws: Federal, State, and Local.
Other Services That Are Often Provided Include:
- Housing assistance
- Acquiring and maintaining appropriate benefits and entitlements
- Architectural and communication barrier consultation
- Personal counseling that is non-clinical and short term in nature to address individual goals
- Securing, learning how to use, repair, and maintain equipment
- Assistance in registering to vote
- In-service training, workshops/seminars on disability issues, disability laws and Independent Living philosophy
- Disability awareness training
- Specialized training and services specific to certain communities
We can assist anyone calling. Whether or not we make a person a consumer is determined by their need to have on – going services and if they have a disability.
Soji Adu – Deputy Director
(718) 515-2800 Ext.123
Rodolfo Diaz – Peer and Transition Specialist
(718) 515-2800 Ext. 121