Community Living

Community living fosters independence, social integration, and feeling part of a larger community for individuals with disabilities. Residing within a community enables individuals with disabilities to engage in daily activities, interact with peers, and cultivate meaningful connections. Moreover, it offers avenues for personal development, autonomy, and access to essential support systems and facilities.

National Resource

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) website is a comprehensive resource hub that empowers individuals with disabilities, older adults, and their families. It offers a wide range of information, services, and support to enhance independence, promote inclusion, and improve quality of life. From valuable resources on aging and disability services to programs supporting community living and caregiving, the ACL website equips users with the tools and knowledge to navigate various life stages confidently; find it here:

Here are some tips for adults and families to consider when looking for community living for adults with disabilities:

  • Define Individual Needs: Prioritize understanding the specific needs, preferences, and goals of adults with disabilities. Consider factors such as accessibility, support services required, and social opportunities.
  • Research Housing Options: Explore various community living arrangements, such as group homes, supported living apartments, or independent living with support services. Assess each option based on suitability for meeting the individual’s needs and promoting independence.
  • Visit Potential Communities: Schedule visits to potential communities to assess their suitability firsthand. Evaluate safety, accessibility, cleanliness, and the overall atmosphere to ensure a comfortable and supportive living environment.
  • Assess Support Services: Inquire about available support services within the community, such as personal care assistance, transportation, healthcare, and social activities. Ensure that these services align with the individual’s needs and preferences.
  • Consider Proximity to Support Networks: Evaluate the community’s proximity to family members, friends, healthcare providers, and other support networks. Accessible support systems can provide reassurance and assistance during transitions and emergencies.
  • Review Legal and Financial Considerations: Understand the legal and financial aspects of community living, including lease agreements, tenant rights, funding sources, and eligibility for government assistance programs like Medicaid waivers or Social Security benefits.
  • Plan for Transition: Develop a comprehensive transition plan with the adult with disabilities, family members, and relevant professionals. Address logistical details such as moving arrangements, packing belongings, and transitioning support services seamlessly.
  • Promote Independence: Encourage adults with disabilities to actively participate in decision-making and daily activities within the community—foster independence by providing opportunities for skill-building, self-advocacy, and community engagement.
  • Monitor and Adjust: Regularly evaluate the adult’s experiences and satisfaction with community living. Be prepared to address any challenges or concerns, and remain flexible in adjusting to support their evolving needs and preferences.

Other Resources:

The Association for Community Living (ACL) 

ALC is a coalition of nonprofit organizations committed to delivering housing and rehabilitation services to more than 40,000 individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent psychiatric disabilities. These services are essential for individuals grappling with the day-to-day hurdles of psychiatric disabilities. ACL offers rehabilitative and supportive activities within community residential and other housing settings, aiming to empower individuals to achieve independence, lead fulfilling lives, and actively participate in their communities; find more here: Association for Community Living