"Independence" means different things for everyone. For some, it means living on their own...for others, it means reaching an individual goal (developing social connections, learning new skills, etc.). The Independent Living Retreat (ILR) is a weekend-long experience for adults with Down syndrome looking to gain their own version of independence. The retreat provides opportunities for community service, learning new skills, making friendships and overall growth. There is a strong emphasis on developing and working through individual goals.
Retreat attendees will spend the weekend in an apartment-style dorm located on Xavier University's campus. Attendees will share a living space with 4-6 roommates, including volunteers. The ILR team carefully reviews the history of each attendee and makes accommodations to provide a safe and comfortable setting for everyone.
The first night (Friday)- attendees will attend a class on the importance of goals. Friday is also a 'networking night', so attendees can get to know one another and the facility. They will review proper dinner etiquette and practice at a formal dinner.
Saturday morning - the group attends classes to learn new skills. Classes have included money management, healthy eating, character strengths, communication, cooking and relationships.
Saturday afternoon - the group heads around town for various community service projects. This teaches the importance of giving back and builds confidence.
Saturday evening - the group gets to socialize off-campus. Social events have included dancing on fountain square, a Reds game, pottery, bowling and more!
Sunday morning – participate in a closing celebration event with their families. Pictures and learning will be shared! Attendees will review what we’ve learned and reflect on goals in small group. Participants will pack and depart from the retreat.
We accept 30 retreat attendees per year.
Attendees must reside within our 12 counties, have Down syndrome and be 18 or older.
15 spots will be reserved for NEW attendees. NEW Attendees are specified as anyone who has never attended or has not attended the event for the last two years.