James Takes New Steps Toward Independence

While many of the people living in our 24/7 care residences receive support from staff and their families, they also strive to achieve as much independence as possible. When James, a person we support at our 52nd Street residence, recently told staff about his desire to learn how to travel on his own, they immediately started putting together a plan to make it happen. 

Our Community Services staff are committed to supporting individuals at home and in the community to learn skills that help them reach their fullest potential. James worked with staff members at his home to find the best solution to support his quest for further independence and developed a travel learning plan with him.  

“James said he wanted to work on this himself,” said Psychology Administrator Deniz Altan. “We met with him to talk about how to support him, and one of the least restrictive ways is to use his location on his phone.” 

Using his phone, staff can track James’ precise location and ensure he is being supported during his travels. However, to approve sharing James’s location with anyone, he needed to provide consent and receive approval from the Human Rights Committee. James advocated for himself, consenting to his location being shared and presented his travel learning plan to the committee himself. Now, after being approved and practicing with the technology, James can get to his day habilitation program on his own, fulfilling his wish to be more independent. 

“I feel really brave when I am travelling on my own,” said James. “I feel great, like a brand new me.”   

Staff assist him on his travels each day and are always aware of any changes that may occur to his schedule while travelling in the city.  

“If I need help, it is there when I need it,” said James. 

“James is being supported out in the community without staff being physically with him,” added Deniz. “He’s really independent.” 

When James isn’t travelling, he enjoys watching movies at home and talking to his friends.