Independent Living Skills classes to help adults with disabilities


By Carolyn Paschal
Special to The SUN
Are you one of the many adults with disabilities in the southwest area who are living or look forward to living more independent lives, yet feel a need for more knowledge and support to do so?
There will soon be classes offered that are specifically designed with this in mind. The original purpose was to prepare young adults for their transition into Aspen House, but has been expanded to include all adults with disabilities.
The Southwest Center for Independence and Aspen House are pleased to offer free Independent Living Skills classes to adults with disabilities looking to develop skills to live the lives they desire in their community.
These classes will be held the second and fourth Friday of the month from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. They will begin with an orientation on March 9 and conclude with a graduation celebration on Aug. 10.
Ruthie Uhl, the independent living coordinator for the Southwest Center for Independence, will be leading the classes. Her career in the human services field includes positions at Manna Soup Kitchen, Community Connections Inc., Axis Health Systems and now as the independent living coordinator at the Southwest Center for Independence, a state-certified independent living center that serves Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma, La Plata and San Juan counties.
Uhl has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in human services. Uhl has several years of experience working directly with people with a wide range of disabilities and has helped many residents of this area to become more independent in their daily living.
“This class is important to the disability community because it can teach a person with a disability how to live well while tackling some of the barriers that can prohibit that from happening. The goal of the class is to have each person walk away with a new skill set and a new outlook on what living independently with a disability can look like,” said Uhl.
The classes are free and we will do our best to make accommodations possible to impact a wide range of disabilities and learning styles.
Class topics will include:
• Goal setting.
• Problem solving.
• Healthy reactions.
• Beating the blues.
• Healthy communication.
• Seeking information.
• Physical activity.
• Eating well.
• Advocacy.
These classes will be interactive, informative and fun.
For more information, please contact Uhl at the Southwest Center for Independence at 903-5880 or email