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Youth in Transition Toolkit:


Independent living


Independent living skills — such as interacting with others, managing money and taking care of yourself — are critical to manage activities of daily living.

  • Awareness: Understand principles of independent living.
  • Exploration: Identify strengths, preferences, interests and needs within each independent living topic.
  • Preparation: Practice independent living skills.
  • Implementation: Use independent living skills in home and community settings.

Workplace readiness training

Hear what young people have to say about independent living

Watch this 5-minute video to see how young people prepared for independent living.

Independent Living


Lightbulb LEARN

LEARN: Develop your knowledge

Learn how to support youth in independent living.

The independent living philosophy is based on the core idea that people with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else to participate in and contribute to the community. At the same time, it's OK to need support. We all depend on others, and others depend on us. Healthy interdependence can help people with disabilities live as independently as possible.


  • Income sources
  • Money management

Daily life

  • Home management
  • Nutrition and meal preparation
  • Transportation
  • Clothing care
  • Appointment management
  • Telephone use and etiquette
  • Digital literacy
  • Recreation and leisure

Healthy living

  • Physical and mental well-being
  • Health care and benefits
  • Relationships and sexuality
  • Parenting skills

Advocacy, engagement and supports

  • Self-advocacy for independent living
  • Assistive technology
  • Decision making 
  • Civic responsibility
  • Services and supports

Transition Tennessee offers a pathways to community life training module to help professionals prepare students for life after high school.

Resources DO

DO: Work with youth

Find resources to help youth develop skills for independent living.

Share video collections from the PACER Center highlighting how youth with disabilities are living on their own and moving out into the world.

Next: Daily life »