Independent Living Resources

Independent Living encompasses a wide range of topics for people of all ages, including activities of daily living for younger children, and modifications of tasks that enable adults to live on their own, such as cooking, shopping, budgeting & money management, clothing care, and more.

Independent Living Specialist Ben Chamberlin shares teaching techniques for meal preparation skills for students who are visually impaired with or without additional disabilities.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Helpful hints for cooking and getting organized in the kitchen.

Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Lighting, color contrast, and glare reduction in effective environmental design.

Source: VisionAware

This 28-page booklet answers common questions about vision and lighting for older adults, and offers practical solutions for the home. 

Source: Lighting Research Center

Occupational therapists explain what they can do to help elders with vision loss perform typical daily activities independently. 

Source: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
The dangers of ignoring vision loss in older adults; specific steps to ensure better care.
Source: Network of Care

These aids and appliances are designed to help seniors with low vision to stay independent.

Source: National Federation of the Blind

Tips for home lighting (creating contrast, reducing glare, etc.), and kitchen, bathroom, and leisure activities.

Source: Macular Degeneration Foundation (Australia)

Outlines some principles that make tasks a bit easier.

Source: Vision Australia

New Visions offers information to professionals and parents working with infants and children with feeding, swallowing, oral-motor, and pre-speech problems.

Source: New Visions

In this webcast, Perkins Occupational Therapist Sue Shannon discusses the importance of mealtime skills in teaching social skills and concept development. Video demonstrations include many practical tips and helpful strategies; close-captioned, includes downloadable PowerPoint slides.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins eLearning

Features to look for when selecting a microwave for a user who is blind or visually impaired.

Source: Vision Australia

Basic skills for maintaining financial health: identifying money, managing a bank account, and paying bills; includes online video.

Source: VisionAware

This site is a resource for parents, featuring a range of articles and links on communication, socialization, orientation and mobility, and transition, and more. Also in Spanish.

Source: Family Connect

This section of the Family Connect site is a gold mine for parents and other family members who are looking for information and resources on children who have additional disabilities.

Source: FamilyConnect

Written by the brother of a teen with deafblindness, the author makes an excellent case for teaching functional skills that are founded in basic concepts and supportive of daily living tasks.

Source: Kids OT

NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy; the site includes information on current legislation.

Beth Jordan from Helen Keller National Center provides a roadmap through the array of residential and employment service possibilities that exist and the need for early planning.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

OUB Camps: Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind provides 5-7 weeks of summer camp each year for children and young adults who are blind or low vision.  At least half of the staff are also blind or low vision, providing the best in mentorship opportunities.  Each week focuses on the fun that most kids have at summer camp combined with practice in daily living skills, social skills, field trips, service projects and more. OUB specializes in teaching cooking to campers as young as 7 and go on Adventure Trips with kids as young as 10.  They seek to help build campers’ self-esteem, confidence and skills of independence. Located on the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Modifications to improve lighting, contrast, and organization; includes a video.

Source: VisionAware