How to Obtain a Referral to the Independence Organization
At Independence Association, we are dedicated to providing support to adults and children who have been diagnosed with mental retardation, autism, mental illness or other disabilities. State and Federal monies acquired through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) primarily fund the Association’s programs. Acceptance for services will be prioritized based on town of residence, commitment of third-party funds, and the Association's capacity to meet the needs of the individual applying for supports. The first ninety days of service will be an assessment period during which Independence Association will evaluate its ability to continue to meet an individual's needs. Independence Association will not refuse admission to any individual based on religious, racial, sexual, cultural or ethnic orientation.
Independence Association’s programs are developed to best meet individual needs with varying levels of support in areas including but not limited to employment, life skill-building, self care, health and safety, therapeutic services, community inclusion, learning and problem-solving skills, and self-advocacy. Each program has specific admission and discharge criteria related to the services provided within that program. Individuals interested in applying to a specific program may receive a copy of the admission and discharge criteria at the time of referral.
How do I start?
- You must be referred to an Independence Association program. A referral is a request for supports made by you, your family, or another agency such as DHHS, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), or your school system. A referral can be made either in writing or via telephone.
- The Referral Team will review your information and evaluate whether you qualify for supports.
- If you qualify, an interview will be scheduled so that we can meet with you. At this meeting, you can ask questions and learn more about the programs. People in attendance may be your parents or guardian, people close to you, a representative from the program you are interested in, and an Association Program Director.
What you need to do before you can be accepted into a program
- Sign "Permission to Release Information Forms," so that we have your permission to get information about previous supports you may have received.
- Complete an Application for Supports Form.
- Provide a copy of a physical examination you have undergone within the past year.
- Provide a copy of a psychological or psychiatric evaluation you have undergone within the past year.
What Independence Association will do?
At the interview, Association staff will describe the program and supports we offer. You may receive a tour of the programs you are interested in.
- We will ask about what you have done in the past and what kind of help you previously needed.
- Following the interview, we will review your information, determine whether the service is likely to meet your needs, if the program has an opening, and whether there is funding for you to participate in the program.
- If you are not a client of the DHHS or the VR, we can assist you with a referral.
- At times we are unable to offer the service right away because there are no openings in your desired program. However, if you qualify for supports, you may be placed on our waiting list.
- Once eligible, and funding for the service is secured, we will schedule a pre-placement meeting to determine the date to begin supports, as well as your schedule, and we will send you an acceptance letter.
- You will be asked to participate in an orientation for each program so you will have the information you need to ensure your participation in the program is healthy, happy, and successful.
- When you start, you will participate in an assessment period. During this time, the staff will determine if our supports effectively match your needs, and during this time you can decide if you want to continue in the program.
- You will be assigned an Individual Supports Manager who will assist in identifying your needs and desires through a Person Centered Planning Process.
- You will be asked to participate in preparing and updating your plan. The Association uses several different methods and questionnaires to help you do this.