Programs and Services
Information, Referral and Networking
Through the information service, library and educational programs, persons with disabilities get up-to-date information to make informed choices about disability issues and services. ILNS answers questions by phone, mail, email or in person.
Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Pilot Project
ILNS has partnered with the Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians (SDHHNS) and the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services to help persons with disabilities and their families open Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs). This pilot project—funded by the Poverty Reduction Strategy fund and Maple Tree fund— offers free information session presentations, so individuals can learn about the RDSP, the benefits of having this type of long-term savings plan, the requirements needed to opening an RDSP and the steps to making this happen. Through this project we also provide one-on-one support for individuals who may have questions or need help navigating the RDSP process. Currently only 23.9 percent of Nova Scotians who are eligible for the DTC actually have an RDSP, which is a significant reason why this pilot project was established. For more information about RDSPs and this project, please click here.
ILNS offers social events and activities to bring persons with disabilities together to share experiences and learn from each other. Some of the events include our Christmas Gala and Dance, Art of Disability Festival, Blue Nose Marathon, and Summer Camp Programs. To see upcoming ILNS events, please click here.
The Adolescent / Young Adult Autism Summer Camp
Throughout this camp, attendees participate in various activities around the city of Halifax and beyond. Some of the field trips include: swimming, bowling, picnics, and visiting museums and parks. During the program, participants practice social skills while also working closely with trained councillors.
Research and Community Development
ILNS conducts research projects with the goal of developing programs such as the provincial self-managed attendant service and high school transitional program offered by several post-secondary institutions.
Independent Living Skills
Through workshops and training sessions, persons with disabilities gain independent living skills, from healthy and active lifestyles to employment support.
The Next Step Program
The Next Step Program is for youth ages 18 - 30 who identify as having a disability and face barriers to employment. This program will be offered from September 2019 to May 2020. This is primarily an employment-based program where participants will partake in professional development and employment skills training while also partaking in job shadowing exercises and paid internships.
COMM ACCESS Program
The COMM ACCESS Program is for youth ages 18 - 24 who identify as having a disability. This program will be offered from October 2019 to March 2020. This is primarily a community-based program where there will be personal development, self-advocacy, and employment skills workshops and weekly recreational activities. There will also be time to create community and employment engagement action plans, so you can reach your goals. To apply for the COMM ACCESS Program, please click here.
Self-Managed Attendant Services
Independent Living Nova Scotia continues to offer support to a small number of “self-managers” through a 16-year pilot project, Self-Managed Attendant Services. In this project, persons with a high level of physical disability manage the attendants who assist with their activities of daily living from personal care to support at one’s workplace or at social and volunteer activities. In the context of this program, “self-manager” refers to a person who is able to manage independently all aspects of his/her attendant services, including the recruitment and hiring of attendants, training, supervision and handling payroll. The Nova Scotia Department of Health has provided funding for the Self-Managed Attendant Services project, and now offers a province-wide self-managed care option, modeled in part on our successful pilot project.
Student Self-Management Attendant Services
A program through which post-secondary students with disabilities manage their own educational attendants. The Nova Scotia Department of Education funds this program. Each year ILNS trains and supports about 20 university and college students across the province.