Arizona Community Living NOW - An Educational Housing Program

Finding appropriate and accessible community-based housing is an important part of an individual’s transition to adulthood and future planning.  The Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) with grant support from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council implemented the AZ Community Living NOW housing program.  This educational program was designed to provide information about a broad range of topics that would enable individuals with developmental disabilities, their family, and service providers to explore different options for community living; consider where and with whom individuals with disabilities want to live; identify the supports necessary to promote independence; and engage in appropriate financial and legal plans for their future. Six educational trainings occurred from January to May 2011 that addressed the following topics and content:

  1. Community Services and Supports: What We Have and What We NeedArizona Community Living NOW
    Residential services and housing options, behavioral health housing, public housing
  2. Transitions: My Chosen Life and What it Means to Me
    Concept of meaningful day, transition to independent living, future planning, new service paradigm
  3. Making Informed Choices in Rental and Home Ownership
    Home ownership, renting an apartment, home modification for accessibility
  4. Shared Living: Important Discussion about Daily Life
    Concept of shared living, supported living and individualized supports, creative approaches
  5. Special Needs Planning: Guardianship and Living Trusts
    Guardianship, conservatorship, special needs trusts
  6. Creating Real Homes for People with Disabilities
    Housing cooperatives, important relationships and partnerships, caregiver’s perspective on creating “real homes” for family members with a disability

Each of the trainings was two hours in length and the Sonoran UCEDD staff, community leaders, and family caregivers presented the content areas.  The trainings were “live” through interactive video (taped video recording with audience participation) and simultaneously viewed at sites in Cochise, Coconino, Maricopa, Pima, and Yuma County.  The videos, searchable written transcripts, presentation materials, and additional resources remain available at the AZ Community Living NOW website.

The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has generously provided additional grant monies to support the development of a manual and web-based module that will guide and challenge individuals with disabilities and their families to think creatively about community-based living options. These resources will be available in 2012.

For more information about the AZ Community Living NOW trainings and Year 2 activities or to share housing relating resources, please contact the Grant Manager:
Lynne Tomasa
Phone: (520) 626-7823