People with disabilities can live independently! You can decide how to live, work and participate in your community. However, living independently does not mean doing everything by yourself or living in isolation; instead, it means having the same choices in your every-day life that your non-disabled peers have. This can be making informed choices to participate in all aspects of society, with the help of any needed support.
“Just as no two faces are alike, so are no two minds alike.”
The Jewish Community Services provides a broad range of programs and services that support adults with special needs and their families. Residential and Support Services include Alternative Living Units (ALUs) which provide supervised housing services to adults with developmental disabilities and Community Supported Living Services (CSLA) to help individuals with disabilities who are living independently in the community.
Maryland offers several programs to help live independently. Among them is Personal Assistance Services (PAS). PAS refers to help provided assistance in essential skills for daily living. Services can include bathing, dressing, getting around, toileting, eating, shopping and other activities. The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has developed a toolkit for families and youth titled, Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services. This toolkit was created to assist transition-age youth with significant disabilities, as well as their family and friends, navigate the world of PAS including transitioning to work, college, and living on their own.
In addition, In-Home Aide Services (IHAS) provides chore, personal care, transportation/escort, training in self-care and care-giving skills services for persons with disabilities 18 or older. Guidance and support to parents, caretakers and to aged and vulnerable adults are also available.
Project Home provides room and board, personal assistance with daily activities, recreational and social activities, medication monitoring, transportation to medical appointments and supervision.
Maryland Department of Disabilities Community Living
National Council on Independent Living