Independent Living Skills
Definition: All students develop skills for independent living through direct instruction and/or added support as necessary. All students have access to school-based, extracurricular activities of each student’s choosing that develop social, emotional, and physical health and wellness.
Independent living, general
- “I’m Getting Ready” is an interactive workbook that covers everything from finding housing to budgeting, cleaning, cooking, and paying the bills (PDF, 78 p., 2001): www.itsmymove.org/docs/resources/imgettingready.pdf
- Effective Practices: Supporting Youth In School, In the Community and On the Job (PDF, 22 pages) is a set of research-based strategies for building youth skills for adult living and working in the community, from Employment First in Ohio. Skills are divided into:
- Fundamental Instructional Strategies
- Community Based Instruction
- Organizers and Memory Aids
- Social Skills
- Autonomy Development and Support
- Friendly tipsheets on education, employment, living skills and more, specifically aimed at young adults with mental health challenges. Many are suitable for all youth. From Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research in Massachusetts.
Voting: Prepare for an upcoming election by reviewing the rights that people with disabilities have to accessible voting practices. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires state and local governments to ensure equal opportunities for people with disabilities to vote in all elections. Information particular to New Hampshire. General information about voting and polling places at ada.gov.
The Parent Information Center has voting resources as well, including a video presentation by James Ziegra, Staff Attorney for the Disability Rights Center of NH.
- Parenting Cue Cards give you timely focused tips to support your child in developing emotional smarts. You pick out a parenting challenge and quickly click through some dos and don’ts, suggestions on what to say and not say, and why. Greatschools.org worked with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to develop the tool.
- The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) provides descriptions and lesson plan starters for effective practices and predictors that promote positive post-school outcomes for all students with disabilities. The website is a little hard to use, but full of good stuff. We recommend using their the search box, for example, “banking”, to cut through to content that interests you.
Friendships and relationships
- EasterSeals has real life stories of people exploring dating and love in many forms with first-hand accounts from the frontlines of people living—and loving—with disabilities.
- Friends: Connecting People with Disabilities and Community Members (PDF, 84 pages, 2013) provides concrete, how-to strategies for supporting relationships between people with disabilities and other community members.
- Elevatus Training offers a free email newsletter, plus curriculum and both online and in-person workshops to help parents, teachers and service providers learn to be comfortable addressing sexuality with people with developmental disabilities.
Youth in Action! – Serving on Decision-Making Boards is a tip sheet for youth from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).
In the video below, You Can Lead Too!: Youth Perspectives on Leadership, young leaders share insights on what it means to be a leader and advocate.
Extracurriculars and inclusive recreation
10 Reasons to Support Inclusive School Communities for ALL Students from the TIES Center at the University of Minnesota.
Social Inclusion Through Recreation provides information and practical strategies for achieving social inclusion through recreation for people with intellectual and other disabilities. From New Brunswick.
- Unified Sports are high school varsity teams made up of students with and without intellectual disabilities (50/50). Teams are co-ed and compete statewide in a single division, with the opportunity to play for a NHIAA (New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association) high school championship in soccer (fall), basketball (winter), volleyball (spring), and track and field (spring): NHIAA Unified Sports . Unified Sports success stories: The National Federation of State High Schools reported on the impact of Unified Sports in NH; and on inclusive cheerleading or “spirit” squads that have taken hold nationwide.
- The legal basis for inclusive extracurricular activities, from Wrightslaw.
- The Park and Recreation Inclusion Report (PDF, 28 pages, 2018), from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), resulted from asking park and recreation agencies how they currently met the needs of all individuals and groups in their city, town, or county, and what tools they needed to better support their communities.
Physical & mental health
The website, Tom Bassarear.com, offers a variety of resources to explore and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is bringing two intentions to whatever you are experiencing. First, the intention to meet what is happening with curiosity and interest. Second, the intention to let it happen, with an attitude of acceptance, non-judging, or kindness.
Youth Mental Health First Aid (video, 14:07-minutes) is an overview of MHFA training modules that teach adults how to help adolescents ages 12-18 who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues. From the NH Behavioral Health Collaborative.
Tipsheets from Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research in Massachusetts:
- TTYL: Keeping in Contact With Your Professional (PDF, 2 pages, 2011)
- My Mental Health Rights on Campus (PDF, 2 pages, 2011)
Every year we are learning more about the importance of sleep to physical and mental health. Some good TED talks:
- One more reason to get a good night’s sleep, an 11:42-minute video about the vital house cleaning your brain does while you sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, the brain cannot function well.
- Our natural sleep cycle is nothing like what we do now, a 4:24-minute video about your body clock and how we were designed to sleep.
For more resources on the transition to adult physical and mental healthcare, see the Healthcare Transition page on this site.
- The FDIC Money Smart financial education program has extensive curriculum and resources. It’s updated regularly and includes both instructor-led curriculum and online games and resources. Included:
- Money Talks is a hands-on, interactive program from the University of California and is available in English and Spanish. The program includes learner guides, leader’s guides, and supplementary multimedia materials.
- Practical Money Skills is a set of resources, tools and games developed by VISA.
- Personal Financial Literacy Bellringers (PPT, 49 slides) are short journaling activities. From the Zarrow Center.
- Jump$tart provides a clearinghouse of financial education curricula. Check out the online Reality Check activity where students see if they can afford their dream life.
Tipsheets and information
- Personal Finance Glossary, from businesspundit.com.
- Telling Your Money What to Do: The Young Adult’s Guide (PDF, 4 pages, 2023) is a youth-friendly tipsheet from Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research in Massachusetts.
- My “Must Have” Papers (PDF, 2 pages, 2023), from Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research in Massachusetts. For youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions with tips about keeping and protecting important personal records and information.
- The National Disability Institute has free financial well-being tools, including a toolkit for Inclusive Financial Education.
- How Learning and Thinking Differences Can Make It Hard to Manage Money from understood.org.
A STABLE Account is an investment account available to eligible individuals with disabilities. STABLE Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefits programs, like Medicaid or SSI. Earnings in a STABLE Account are not subject to federal income taxes, as long as you spend them on Qualified Disability Expenses. The website, STABLENH, is easy to use. Find quick answers on their FAQ page. STABLE NH is only available to New Hampshire residents, but residents of other states can open a STABLE Account by visiting Ohio’s STABLE Account website.
Recreation & adaptive sports
- Northeast Passage empowers individuals with disabilities to define, pursue, and achieve their therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports goals.
- New England Healing Sports Association (NEHSA) is a volunteer, non-profit organization operated by and for individuals with disabilities to integrate individuals with disabilities into society through social and recreational activities.
- Granite State Adaptive Sports provides individuals who have a disability the opportunity to develop independence, confidence, life skills and fitness through participation in sports, therapy, training and recreation programs.
- New England Disabled Sports offers student athletes an extensive selection of summer and winter programs for individuals looking for recreation, as well as aspiring competitive athletes of all ages and disabilities.
- NH Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
- The Paralympics take place every four years in the same year and city as the Olympic Games. One organizing committee is responsible for hosting both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. The link provides history of the Paralympics, videos, podcasts, and interviews with athletes.
Transition Planning for New Hampshire’s Highly Mobile Youth (PDF, 114 pages, 2014) was designed by young adults recently transitioned for young people beginning the journey. It is specifically aimed at youth experiencing homelessness, but will be useful for a wider audience too. There are sections on finance and money, job and career, establishing your legal identity, life skills, self care and health, housing, and community and more. The housing section is full of good basic information for youth heading out on their own.
Community Support and Housing and Resource Guide (PDF, 37 pages, 2017) was developed by Granite State Independent Living in partnership with the UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice. It lists contact information for many types of resources: local housing, NH Housing Authorities, legal, household items, and more.
New Hampshire Housing promotes, finances, and supports housing solutions for the people of New Hampshire.
211 is New Hampshire’s statewide information and referral service. Just call 211 to be connected, at no cost, with trained specialists who can provide you with the health and human service information to get help, give help or discover options. On a cell phone, if 211 by itself does not work, call 866-444-4211 instead. (211 by itself should work on most cell phones.)
- NH public transportation map (PDF, 1 page, 2019)
- Accessibility and travel training resources from the MBTA. There are lots – keep on scrolling down their page.
- A Guide to Travel Training (PDF, 60 pages, 2009) from the RideWise program in Oregon. An oldie but goodie.
- Disability law guidance from the Federal Transit Authority
- Transportation-related fact sheets and FAQs from the ADA NAtional Network.
- Information about the 2009 expanded Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) requires certain accommodations, facilities, and services to be available.
- Information about international travel for travelers with disabilities, from the U.S Department of State.
NH Camps Directory lists private-independent, agency, and not-for-profit camps; religious-based camps and nonsectarian camps; day camps and overnight camps. You can search and filter the list several ways.
Search for camps nationwide based on specific medical conditions on NeedyMeds. You can also search on non-medical conditions, such as social, emotional, psychological or educational issues or even bereavement.
The Red Cross booklet, Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs (PDF, 20 pages, 2014), guides you through planning for an emergency or a disaster.
New content 2-14-24