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):
  • 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

    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. 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

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, offers a variety of resources to explore and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is bringing two intentions to whatever you are experiencing. First is the intention to meet what is happening with curiosity and interest. Second is 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.

Every year we are learning more about the importance of sleep to physical and mental health. Some good TED talks:

For more resources on the transition to adult physical and mental healthcare, see the Healthcare Transition page on this site.



Tipsheets and information

STABLE Accounts

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.)


Summer camps

The NH Education Departments has funds to help pay for summer camp through  their program, Rekindling Curiosity. In 2024, students from ages 5-22 with a disability are eligible for up to $775 in support.

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.

Specials needs summer camps in New Hampshire

Special needs camps and fairs in Massachusetts in 2024

Summer camps and programs for medically complex kids, from

Search for camps nationwide based on specific medical conditions on NeedyMeds. Click on See More in the States and Countries box to see all the states.

Disaster planning

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.

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