Liberty, Freedom of Choice and Independence Worth Celebrating

Group of people with developmental disabilities marching in a parade for Independence Day

On July 4, Independence Day, we commemorate the passage of the Declaration of Independence. It’s the day the United States officially became its own nation, independent from British rule.

With the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers declared, among other things, that we’re all created equal, and we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberty is just another word for freedom within society, freedom from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life.

At AbleLight, we understand liberty and independence. We believe in, support, and sometimes fight for the freedom of choice people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are often denied.

Here are a few of the ways we protect and promote the freedom and independence of people we serve.

Supported Living Services

People with developmental disabilities can often live independently, in their own home or apartment and as active members within their communities. Our Supported Living Services provide the customized support individual needs to achieve their own personal life goals. From budgeting and managing money to food preparation and transportation, Supported Living Services provide the supports people with disabilities need to live a full and meaningful life within their community.

Safe and Loving Homes

At AbleLight, we meet each person we serve where they are and provide individual supports that enable independence. People we serve in group homes decide how they want to decorate their room, the music they prefer, how they spend their time and more. Our focus on individual supports enable independence, whether they want to learn to eat independently or need transportation to their job.


Self-Advocacy is about having a voice and a choice. It’s about speaking up for ourselves and others. We empower people with developmental disabilities and can tell you, the first step is often as easy as listening when they speak, and hearing their wants, needs and experiences. Giving people we serve the opportunity to control their own lives and make their own decisions while providing the supports they need to accomplish their goals is how we support the voices of people with disabilities.

Achieving Independence

Jacob, a person we support in a group home, wanted his financial independence.  He wanted to be his own rep payee and manage his own benefits. A representative payee is a person or organization appointed (by the Social Security Administration) to receive Social Security or SSI benefits for anyone who can’t manage or direct the management of their own benefits. Chase, an AbleLight direct support professional, who worked with Jacob, supported his decision, and worked with him to make it happen. Jacob is now his own rep payee and one of hundreds of examples of people we support achieving independence, living independently and loving life.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence with community and family gatherings, parades, fireworks, and barbecues, remember that the independence our nation fought for applies to all of us. And, it’s especially important and valued to those who require a little extra work to achieve it. Let’s all welcome people with disabilities into our communities as our friends, neighbors and colleagues.