Founding Independent Futures
In 2002, Kay Branz and Jane Doyle co-founded Center for Independent Futures. As women raising daughters with developmental disabilities, Kay and Jane navigated the challenges of our school systems. Together, they advocated for programs and experiences that could prepare their daughters for the world beyond high school transition programs.
But when their daughters graduated high school, the world didn’t offer the life skills development support or opportunities they deserved. This realization led Kay and Jane to co-found Independent Futures. They developed innovative ways to support individuals with disabilities and their families.
Independent Futures’ Philosophy
Our daily work consists of providing individual support to over a hundred individuals throughout the Chicagoland area. However, Independent Futures also consults nationwide with other agencies focused on person-centered planning.
The Full Life Model™ is the lens through which we view an individual’s opportunities and full life. Surrounded by 8 essential aspects of a full life, an individual’s hopes and dreams are at the center. Our person-centered planning takes into account an individual’s hopes. Then, we support the individual to create learning goals based on the full life circles.
Informed by the Full Life Model, Life Skills Tutors use My Full Life™ to support individuals in creating their individualized goals. Next, tutors mentor individuals to create action plans and identify the skills they need to achieve their dreams. The Skills Inventory provides an opportunity for individuals to comprehensively define skills they have already begun or mastered and determine which additional skills they may wish to acquire.
Individual Support For The Future
Today, our community includes our passionate and talented staff, a dedicated Board of Directors, energetic Young Professionals Board, informed Advisory Council, a network of professional resource partners, engaged families and individuals, and generous supporters.
Thanks to the commitment of these groups, Independent Futures continues to grow our vision of a future where all individuals have access to the opportunities of a full life.