Necessary Tools for Independent Living

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According to Adolf Ratzka, a founder of the Institute on Independent Living: “Independent Living does not mean that we want to do everything by ourselves, do not need anybody or like to live in isolation. Independent Living means that we demand the same choices and control in our every-day lives that our non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted.”

Read more about independent living and the tools necessary:

What are some necessary questions to ask before living independently?

There are a number of considerations to make in the process of planning to live independently. For example, it may be a good idea to ask yourself:

  • Where you see yourself in five years?
  • Is this your first time living alone?
  • Do you plan to commute from your current address to school or work?

A Brief History

There are many great leaders in the history of the Independent Living Movement of the 1960s, but one of the biggest milestones was the development of a program – founded by UC Berkley student Ed Roberts – designed for students with disabilities, run by students with disabilities.

This groundbreaking program led to the establishment of the first independent living center in the U.S., after which, independent centers were codified into law to offer various support that enables individuals with disabilities to live independently. In line with Ratzka’s definition of independently living, and Ed Roberts’ hired personal attendants who helped him with his daily activities, independent living does not mean we must do everything without help, but rather that we have the opportunity to make choices about our own life decisions, regardless of disability. Independent living can be attained by utilizing support and receiving reasonable accommodations.

What does it mean for your transition to a new environment?

Thinking about living in a new place can be intimidating. Even if you decide to commute from your current home, starting a new job or a school in a new environment can be overwhelming. You may feel that you have to do everything by yourself, but that’s not true. Simply understanding what you need for your daily activities, utilizing resources wisely, choosing what you do every single day, and pursuing what you really want to do in your life is the true meaning of “independent living.”

For more information…

If you want to learn more about independent living, come participate in our one-week summer career exploration camp, DREAM BIG! If you are still unsure about what you want to do in your future, join us!

DREAM BIG is a great opportunity to explore your career possibilities! You can learn more about independent living in our workshops and get opinions directly from employees in leading companies and great organizations like Boeing, LaunchCode, Centene, and more.

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