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Independent Living

Independent Living, Employment, Post-Secondary Education

Independent Living


What does Transition Planning for Independent Living mean?

This domain covers the skills a person needs to function independently in life, and may include such areas as cooking, transportation, budgeting, safety, technology, housing, time management, social, etc. While different disabilities and needs may require this to be individualized, each person has a right to be as independent as possible in all areas they can be.

Why is Transition Planning for Independent Living important?

The skills listed above do not always come automatically; they must be directly and repeatedly taught. Many times we have heard that students "will never have the skills" and "never be able to live on their own" but when we make assumptions without teaching, we limit progress. The student will benefit from educators and families working together to plan on the skills the students will need in order to give them a chance for successful outcomes.

How should a student prepare for Independent Living?

  • Develop good hygiene
    • Hand hygiene (from the MN Dept. of Health): includes age-appropriate teaching ideas
    • Games for teaching hygiene
  • Learn how to budget
  • Learn how to get around (transportation) 
  • Learn safety
  • Learn about technology
  • Learn about time management
  • Learn appropriate social skills 

What is "Guardianship" and what does it have to do with Independent Living?

When a student turns 18, they become their own legal guardian. The means that they are competent to make their own decisions and sign their own paperwork, unless it is proven otherwise. So, for some students with severe disabilities, parents who wish to retain authority after the student turns 18 may decide to apply for "guardianship." There are five main types of guardianship: guardianship of person, guardianship of property, full guardianship, limited guardianship, and temporary guardianship. 

For more information, check out the following resources: