What is your definition of independence?

We can all generally agree that independence involves being able to take care of yourself and your needs, which is a significant accomplishment that all young adults strive towards.

For a person living with an intellectual or developmental disability, defining and discovering independence can be one of the most challenging and daunting tasks in life. After all, people with disabilities often have a longer list of needs than their neurotypical peers. With the varying abilities at Treasure House, there is no simple way to define what independence means to each individual. Treasure House is home to 29 interpretations of independence that are supported by customized life goals which are met with equally unique obstacles. “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Residents live this out daily when they take great pride and ownership in their accomplishments, no matter how great or little the effort. There is something to celebrate at Treasure House every single day.

To residents, every day is Independence Day. Independent living at Treasure House can be summarized as this:

Residents direct their lives and take responsibility for their actions. They know what choices are available and select what is right for them. Each resident is as self-sufficient as they are able and exercise the greatest degree of choice about how they live, where they work, how they use their time, and who they spend time with. Residents take risks and allow themselves to succeed or fail on their own terms. They participate in community life and pursue activities of their choosing.

Dreams are made possible through interdependence.

Relying on one another to achieve goals is a beautiful thing and is something to also be celebrated. When residents achieve their dreams, they don’t normally address whether they did it all by themselves or with the support of a community – the fact is, they did it! Through leadership, Life Coaches and Community Assistants, Treasure House residents are empowered with all necessary means to make decisions and control their lives. We exist to help residents build upon their strengths, gain real-world experiences, and advocate for themselves – all to reinforce their worth. When people with disabilities are afforded opportunities to confidently contribute to society and have a true sense of belonging, their world, and the world at-large, transforms.

From the entire Treasure House family, we wish you a happy holiday and ask that you not take for granted what independence means to you.