Ability360, formally known as Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) is Arizona’s largest center for independent living. Ability360 is dedicated to people with disabilities, advocating for an independent lifestyle. Their programs are made to teach people self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.
Independent living means that an individual with disabilities has the freedom and the ability to direct their own life. Each person must utilize their personal ability and work at integrating into the community. While people may use aid in some areas of their life, most decisions can, and will, be made independently. People sometimes need assistance around their house and that is not a problem, but the person with disabilities chooses who assists them and how frequently. Just as people without disabilities are able to fail and learn from those failures, Ability360 promotes that same mentality for people with disabilities. The more freedom a person is given, the happier they generally are.
ABIL has multiple programs designed to help people of all ages. They have a community transition program that helps young people between the ages of 14 and 22 move from school life into the working world. They also have a program aimed at transitioning people out of nursing homes back into the community. Sometimes, people remain in nursing homes because they are not aware they have any other choices. Ability360 is trying to break that idea. They also work with rehabilitation centers and are able to add home modifications for people who have recently been rehabbed. On the more fun side, they encourage socialization through recreation, teaching people social skills through games and other fun activities.
Beyond offering programs, ABIL has experienced caregivers who can come directly to a person’s home and assist them. Caregivers provide different types of care, including help around the home, respite care, companionship, and personal care. If someone can more or less live on their own, but has some trouble keeping up with housework, or trouble performing any activity of daily living, then a caregiver may be the right option for them.