What Are Independent Living Skills?


One of the biggest misconceptions about an individual with a disability is that they cannot live on their own. Although this can be the case, many individuals have a goal to live more independently. This can be possible through different supports, commonly referred to as Independent Living Skills (ILS).

ILS programs empower people to take on more responsibility for day-to-day living. They provide support, training, assistance, and even supervision to help participants achieve their goals of self-reliance. Independent living resources may look different for every individual person because they can be tailored to meet a person’s specific needs in order for each individual to reach their highest level of achievement and independence.

Before receiving ILS, an person will need to go through an independent living assessment. This process will help evaluate skills in a number of areas, including communication, self awareness, self advocacy, daily living activities, safety, vision, hearing, nutrition, socialization, fitness, transportation, employment, and education, as well as how things like finances, medical care, and legal issues are handled for that individual.

Once an individual’s basic needs have been identified, they’ll need to find the right resources to help them with skills training. Because every disability is different, these resources, whether they be a program through the state, a nonprofit, or school, the training should adhere to every person’s own specific needs to reach a level of independence that makes sense for that person.

In CIP’s ILS program, we support the acquisition, retention, maintenance, and improvement of a person’s community living skills by providing staff-intensive, instructional services to address identified skill development needs. Services may be provided in an individual’s home or surrounding community settings used by the general public.

In order to be eligible for ILS services, an individual must have a CADI (Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals) Waiver. Waivered services provide a community alternative to individuals who would otherwise require the level of care provided in a nursing facility. For information about the waiver, contact your local county public health or social service agency.

Click here to learn more about Independent Living Skills at Community Involvement Programs.

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