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Q: What is independent living?

A: Consumer autonomy and consumer control, so individuals with disabilities have choices regarding their living and employment situations, transportation, recreation and social activities. Individuals with disabilities are given supports so they can fully participate in their communities and make decision about their everyday lives.

Q: Are all independent living centers called "AIM"?

A: No. Each independent living center (ILC) has its own name. For a national directory, click here. There are more than 500 ILCs nationwide and more than 3,000 throughout the world.

Q: How do ILCs differ from other service organizations?

A: ILCs have substantial involvement from people with disabilities in policy decisions and delivering services. The basic idea about independent living is that people with disabilities know best what services they need in order to live independently. A majority of an ILC’s board and staff must consist of individuals with disabilities. ILCs are required to be community based and nonresidential.

Q: Do you provide or pay for housing?

A: As an independent-living center, AIM is nonresidential and does not directly provide housing. AIM provides information and assistance on community-based housing options and funding sources for subsidies.

Q: What is peer counseling?

A: Peer counseling allows individuals to share their experiences with people facing similar issues, concerns or disabilities.

Q: Does AIM only serve individuals in wheelchairs?

A: No. AIM serves people of all ages, with any type of disability. It also provides resources to families and friends of individuals with disabilities, the businesses that serve individuals with disabilities and anyone with an interest in learning more about the disability community.

Q: Is there a fee for services?

A: Information on our services is free, and most individual consumer services and programs are free. Some programs or services are Medicaid billable. Some programs do have a fee schedule. No individual will be turned away from an ILC due to an inability to pay.

Q: Do I have to join AIM in order to get services?

A: AIM does not have a membership requirement. We just need the individual to make the first contact to the best of his/her ability. AIM staff is accessible by phone, TTY and email, and can be met in person, by appointment, in our offices.

Q: What if I can't leave my home, am hospitalized or in a nursing home?

A: Consumers who can’t travel to AIM's offices can arrange for a home visit by an AIM advocate.