Independent Living Skills

Definition: All students develop skills for independent living through direct instruction and/or added support as necessary.

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):
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.




  • 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.

Physical & mental health

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:

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

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.
  • 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.


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


New content 10-14-20