Becoming Independent Receives National Recognition

The NADSP, on behalf of our partner organizations, the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), is pleased to announce the 2020 Moving Mountains Award for best practices in workforce development.

Becoming Independent, Santa Rosa, CA: “The Discovery Project” 

Becoming Independent (BI) is one of California’s most innovative and respected agencies serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and epilepsy. The agency was founded 53 years ago by a small group of dedicated parents who shared a belief that there should be an alternative to institutionalization for their adult children with disabilities. Over the past year, Becoming Independent has offered 1:1 services in its day settings via a new program called the Discovery Project. This is allowing the organization to re-imagine how they provide services and assist people who have been in traditional day programs for many years. The process involves two phases; each includes the person, their family, as the individual desires, and a support circle of their choosing. Becoming Independent’s Discovery Coaches (Direct Support Professionals) are trained to see beneath the first thing people say and listen instead for the unspoken. The direct support professionals encourage those they support to look past the current service offerings to imagine what interests and dreams they hold. The exercises and activities in the 1:1 coaching sessions uncover and build on the strengths, gifts, talents, skills, and contributions of the individual and those who know and care about the individual. Click here to learn more about the services offered by Becoming Independent.