Ageing, Disability & Home Care

Independent Living Skills Initiative (ILSI)

The goal of ILSI is to enable people with a disability to move to more independent living arrangements in the community with support from formal and informal networks.

ILSI promotes the establishment of a person centred support plan that is built around individual needs and goals for the future.  ILSI focuses on skills development, support for family/carers during the transition to independent living, and on informal support networks such as circles of support.

For more information, please refer to the following ILSI videos.

Leigh's story

Leigh's storyLeigh is in his thirties, lives in Newcastle with his family and works three days a week as a doorman at the local bowling club, where he enjoys his favourite hobby, lawn bowls.

Through ILSI, Leigh has been working hard to develop his independent living skills and social connections. He has the goal of living independently and becoming a public presenter.

Leigh has presented at the Living Life My Way consultations, the launch of the ILSI documentary at Parliament House in July 2012, and co-hosted the House With No Steps 50th Gala Dinner at the Opera House in October 2012. Leigh was also accepted into the ADHC's Living Life My Way Ambassadors and Champions Program as an ambassador and champion for self directed support. This is a 12 month position.

"People don't expect a lot from Leigh when they see him and are then very surprised when they realise what Leigh is capable of", says his mother Diane.

When Leigh has spare time, he helps promote ILSI through presentations to ADHC and regional service providers.

The title of the ILSI documentary, Let the Journey Begin is based on a poem by Leigh, read during filming. "He does such a great job. I am so proud!" says mum Diane, beaming with pride.

Emma's story

Emma is thirty years old, has an intellectual disability and lives with her family, including her younger sister and mother Jean and father Martin.

Emma wants to move in with her older sister Lyndall and is learning how to shop, budget her money and do daily household chores in preparation for the move.

Lyndall's job requires her to be away for days at a time. Emma will need to learn how to look after herself whilst Lyndall is away, as well as how to travel to and from Lyndall's flat to work, her drama group and her dinner group.

Emma wants to join a local gym and make new social connections by volunteering. She is also is keenly looking forward to having friends over for dinner.

Through ILSI, Emma was able to get work in a coffee shop three mornings a week. Emma also attends a weekly drama group, and a monthly dinner group.

Mark's story

Mark's storyMark is a 44 year old man who lives on the Central Coast. Mark has overcome many challenges.

Mark's father applied for ILSI funding for Mark in May 2012 when Mark was living in the family home with his parents. Mark's father managed many aspects of Mark' s life including finances, support for daily living skills, social activities and quite often spoke for Mark as Mark has quite a severe stutter. Mark's father was also the full-time carer for Mark's mother who was very unwell.

Shortly before Mark was informed of being accepted into the ILSI program, Mark's father passed away. ILSI staff immediately began direct support for Mark to support him through this major change in his life.

The ILSI team supported Mark to find a two bedroom rental apartment across from the beach to co-tenant with his brother. Once he was settled into his new home, intensive living skills training began to support his goal of living more independently. Mark now lives in the apartment by himself most weekdays, with his brother living there on weekends.

Mark continues to live in this beachside apartment with the ongoing support of the ILSI team and his brother. He attends self advocacy training, is joining local clubs and socials groups, and is becoming much more independent in making decisions for himself.

He works full time at the local hardware store where he has been employed for the past 17 years. Mark also has his own car and drivers licence.

Sophie and Jane's story

Sophie and Jane's storySophie is in her thirties and was living with her mother Rosemary prior to her involvement with ILSI. She works part time for ConnectAbility Australia as a disability support worker and is a keen fitness enthusiast with her own home gym.

According to her mother Rosemary, Sophie had always wanted to move out of home. Through the ILSI program, she has realised this goal and now shares a flat with Jane, another ILSI participant.

Sophie continues to develop her independent living skills and social connections with the help of a strong circle of support who are deeply committed to making her journey a success.
Jane is also in her thirties and lived with her family. Jane works full time for House With No Steps in the therapeutics division as a Quality Control Officer. Jane thoroughly enjoys her work, so much so that she has to be encouraged to take holidays.

Jane moved in with Sophie twelve months ago and they are sharing a flat that is closer to Jane's work. This means Jane no longer has to get up at 5am every day to go to work. Jane is now able to travel to and from work independently. Jane has been working on her cooking and shopping skills and is looking forward to sharing a well earned holiday with Sophie.

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