Independent life skills allow people to live the most meaningful and purposeful life. Skills that relate to working, playing, learning and daily living contribute to the goal of an independent and quality life.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability, there are three elements of independence for people with disabilities.
- Individual Autonomy
- Opportunity to be actively involved in the decision-making process
- Opportunity to access the physical, social, economic, and cultural environment
Additionally, it is important to have independent life skills to work on. Here are a few common examples:
- Personal Hygiene
- Time Management
- Dress/Clothing Care
- Health Care and Nutrition
- Home Management and Safety
- Finance Management
- Personal Growth, Awareness and Problem Solving
- Community Access and Involvement
Growth of these life skills can improve self-esteem and willingness to take risks. The primary way to learn and see personal growth is through risk-taking.
Every day is filled with activities called daily life skills that are needed to get through the day. For example, when getting ready for a day of work you start by taking a shower and followed by getting dressed, and making breakfast. All of these are daily skills and activities that everyone needs to live independently.
The list of daily skills and activities is long and potentially endless. But, Alpha School has managed to provide a list of ten essential skills for special needs children. A lot of these skills are used daily to provide for yourself.
- Pre-Vocational Skills
- Daily Living Skills
- Community Instruction
- Leisure Skills
- Functional Reading
- Functional Math
- Workplace Skills
- Shopping Skills
- Cooking and Laundry
Impact of Employment
Employment provides so much more than income and the ability to pay your bills. Having a job provides purpose and meaning to one’s life. It also allows for social opportunities and a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. By and large, the impact of employment is the same for people with disabilities.
There are resources for people with disabilities to help with job readiness and employment opportunities. These resources are available at the state and federal level but also companies like Soul Dogs, Inc. In fact, Soul Dogs, Inc. offers a job readiness program and job development and placement. Additionally, if one needs more support once placed in a job we will provide on the job coaching and support.