Ruth lives with a roommate in her own apartment. She holds a rewarding job, goes to parties, and loves to eat out. She likes to cook, keep her apartment clean, and celebrate the holidays. She loves to travel.

Her Planned Lifetime Assistance of New Jersey (PLAN/NJ) service coordinator ensures that she receives the support services she needs to live an independent life, one that is similar to those who have no disabilities, which is imperative to her well-being. Her apartment complex is run by a nonprofit organization that provides residential and other support services for individuals with disabilities.

All people have the right to experience a good quality of life, and PLAN/NJ works to achieve this for those who live with disabilities. Clients who receive Guardianship and Home Visit Monitoring Services have opportunities to live in community-based housing, to be employed, and to participate in recreational activities.

Independent living does not mean that PLAN/NJ clients do everything by themselves, or that they do not need anyone. Rather, it means that people who live with disabilities are entitled to the same choices and control in their everyday lives that others often take for granted: things like going to school, working in jobs that are educational and interesting, and participating in activities of their own choosing.

Ruth’s PLAN/NJ service coordinator assists her with getting to medical appointments, and advocates with doctors on her behalf to address important medical concerns. Earning a paycheck is important to Ruth, providing a sense of independence and enabling her to pursue her travel interests and hobbies. She enjoys her job helping patients at a nursing home with activities and morning meals. Ruth recently took up knitting and computers as new hobbies.