A developmental disability is a term used to describe life-long disabilities attributable to mental and/or physical impairments that originated at birth or during childhood. These disabilities affect daily functioning in three or more of the following areas: capacity for independent living, economic self-sufficiency, learning, mobility, receptive and expressive language, self-care, and self-direction.
Thirty-three adults with developmental disabilities are served in Independent Disability Services’ Independent Living Program. In this program, individuals receive one-on-one services and support from Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to keep them independent and living in their own homes or apartments.
IDS receives funding from the Rock County Developmental Disabilities Board to provide basic services and supports such as meal planning, personal and household shopping, housekeeping and laundry, money management, and health monitoring.
Unfortunately, funding only allows IDS to provide basic services, leaving clients unable to participate in social outings with our professional support staff.
IDS believes that social outings and leisure activities are an integral part of living a full, enriched life, and that every individual deserves quality of life. Socializing with peers, enjoying conversation, or having a meal with friends should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of a disability.
Recently, IDS received a $500 grant from the Stateline Community Foundation. This grant made it possible for 22 adults with varying degrees of intellectual and physical disabilities to enjoy lunch and see a movie with the assistance of 7 IDS Direct Support Professionals and Program Coordinator, Cindy London.
“When I started in 2008, clients went on an outing every month,” said Cindy. “Budgets got tighter, and then that changed.”
In 2013, there were two outings; in 2014, there were none.
Cindy described past picnics and outings to baseball games, museums, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
“Our clients really enjoyed the outings and being together as a group. Many of them do not get out with friends unless the excursion is organized and staffed by IDS,” said Cindy.
If you would like to donate to the Independent Living Program, please click here.