National Center for Learning Disabilities

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Independent Living: When to Go for It

Living With a Disability - Adult Disabilities Living away from your family can involve moving into your own place. When you first leave home, you will likely have to share your space, or at least share common facilities (e.g., kitchen, laundry) with roommates, in a dormitory, house or apartment. Before making the big move you should work on mastering the skills you need to help you make the transition to independent living:

  • Managing money — living on a budget, paying bills, keeping records of your finances
  • Maintaining your own living space — finding suitable housing, cleaning, and doing regular household maintenance and upkeep (e.g., changing water and heating filters, cutting the lawn, disposing of trash and recycling)
  • Taking care of personal needs — doing laundry, maintaining personal hygiene, refilling prescriptions and keeping regular medical and dental appointments
  • Preparing food — sticking to a healthy diet, grocery shopping, cooking your own meals
  • Caring for clothing — purchasing new clothing items, washing and drying clothes properly, doing needed repairs, storing clothes properly


Using transportation — knowing how to use public transportation (trains, buses), having a list of convenient taxi and car service providers, knowing travel costs and putting aside travel money (or making other credit or billing arrangements), and learning how to drive.

Tags: college-adult