St. Louis Center strives to empower each resident to achieve their highest level of independence.

Three men in a conference room

This summer, the Social Work department guided a cohort of 10 residents through a curriculum known as the  “Independence College”. The Independence College was designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to grow their independent living skills in a safe, supported environment.


Ten residents successfully completed a semester of the program designed to help them gain independent living skills. Thanks to the diligence of Lilly Teachout, a social work intern, a new curriculum was developed for the Social Services Specialists. Some of the topics covered were job etiquette, money management, cooking skills, and street safety.

A happy mature man with developmental disabilities.

I liked the class on stranger danger. It will help me when I go shopping,” Joe said. “Brian [McKeever] takes me to Walmart every Tuesday, but I usually do curbside pick-up.”


The summer concluded with a celebration for all participants in the program. Social Work staff will continue to support the generalization and maintenance of the skills the residents learned at Independence College through regular follow-up check-ins in their home environment.

The Social Services Department is looking forward to offering Independence College courses for more residents. Each person who participates feels empowered by what they have learned and enjoys sharing that knowledge with others.

Interested in learning more about life as a resident? Set up a tour and see what’s happening at St. Louis Center!