Consumers Lead The Direction And Action Of Their Lives

Independent Living Program

Sarah M's Story

Sarah M SA success story

I was a first-time college student and after asking if I could have my support animal live with me, was told that the apartment complex did not allow animals. Being away from home was my biggest thing as I had no body to be there with me. I worked with SEMCIL staff, and they helped me advocate for myself and take the steps needed for Bruno to move in with me. Together we spoke with management at the apartment complex, got the necessary application, obtained the required medical documentation, and completed the paperwork. I have since registered Bruno as an emotional support animal so I can take him with me out in the community. I am a lot happier!


Assistive Technology (AT) enables and promotes independence and inclusion in a person’s life. We provide education about and access to assistive technology devices and resources. Learn more about our large AT lending library and how we can help.


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We can help you connect virtually so that you can search for housing, access providers, and stay in touch with family and friends. SEMCIL has Chromebooks (laptops) and iPads available that you can loan for up to 60 days. If you do not have internet services, we can still help as some devices have secure internet access. IL staff are available to provide device education and training, if necessary.

SEMCIL offers a variety of opportunities for people to connect with others, practice skills, or learn about disability related topics. Classes, Workshops, and Events are held throughout the year.

SEMCIL classes are unique because they provide a chance to learn a variety of skills, while offering an opportunity for social engagement in a group setting. Example topics include, Cooking, Art and Creative Expression, and Community Outings. Classes are posted on our calendar. (link to calendar)

Workshops are customized based on feedback from individuals, including community partner professionals, who are requesting more information about a particular topic. Example topics include Social Security, housing options, and IEP advocacy. Workshops are generally in the form of an interactive presentation or training and may be a private or public event. Please contact us to request a training.

We understand the importance of having our homes, places of work, and communities accessible.  Whether your need is a temporary or long-term modification for your home or business, we can assist.


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Advocacy can mean many things, such as understanding your rights, identifying rights violations, and having the tools to defend for your rights. We help individuals understand systems and provide guidance and training that empowers individual voice. Common advocacy topics include Individualized Education Plan (IEP), Social Security (SSI/SSDI) applications, and appeals for denied services.

Sarah’s story represents how she was empowered to become a self-advocate so that her support animal could be included in her daily activities. (Sarah M.’s success story (Sarah M story.docx) and photo.)

An Independent Living Assessment is a 12-hour baseline assessment that covers many areas of independent living. The question and demonstration-based assessment identifies strengths and indicates areas where skills training would be beneficial. Upon completion, SEMCIL staff provides a comprehensive report to the individual and their support team.

SEMCIL’s IL Skills training is unique to the individual. You set your goals and desired outcome. Popular topics include budgeting, transportation, time management, organization, housing search, cooking and smart consumerism, healthy relationships, post-secondary navigation, and employment.

Sharing experiences and stories with individuals who have had or are having similar journeys is an important part of peer support. This commonality offers an opportunity to ask unique questions that people without similar experiences cannot answer. SEMCIL offers both 1:1 goal-based peer support and support groups.

SEMCIL support groups are created based on feedback and requests from individuals. Click here (link to calendar) to view our calendar with support group information.

Individuals receiving a waiver may have the option to direct their funds through a Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) plan. SEMCIL’s certified Support Planners assist individuals with navigating options, writing a CDCS plan, and submitting the plan for approval. Please contact us for more information.

IL staff provide guidance to people with disabilities currently living in a nursing home or other group setting who wish to relocate back to their own home or community. We assist with the transition process by exploring and helping obtain programs, services, and supports that may be needed at home.

This unique service, specialized for individuals aged 14-24, prepares youth and young adults for the transition to adulthood.

Examples include:

  • Navigating from high school to a post-secondary setting
  • Transitioning to a first job
  • Obtaining a driver’s permit
  • Learning to ride the city bus.

Services can be provided one on one, in a group setting, at home, in the community, at school or SEMCIL. Please contact us for more information.


  • Many of our Independent Living (IL) services are supported through grants and available at no cost to individuals who do not have a funding source. For those that have resources to pay, we welcome various funding sources: Medical Assistance, including waivers, and Vocational Rehabilitation service authorization are examples. We invite you to contact us to discuss options.
  • We charge a small fee for classes and workshops to help cover the cost of supplies.
  • Home Assessments, AT Assessments, IL Assessments, and CDCS Support Planning are provided for a fee. Please contact us for more information.

Accessing Independent Living services does not require medical documentation. Individuals only need to self-identify as having a disability.

We understand that questions, barriers, and life events happen that can cause individuals to feel discouraged. Our services help you explore options, set independent living goals, and feel more confident.

For some, it’s one time. For others, they access IL services throughout their lifetime. SEMCIL staff are here to assist throughout your life.

Independent Living Program Overview

Each person has their own definition of what independence means for them. Have you ever wanted to be more independent at home, school, or work and weren’t sure how? Our Independent Living services assist people with disabilities to live as independently as they choose. We can help people identify goals and work with them to create a unique plan to achieve those goals.

Independent Living Program Contact

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