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Life Skills: Building A Network of Community Care and Support

Click here for a list of Disability Community Resources.

Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (ILRC)

A non-profit organization that serves disabled people of all ages and income levels in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo. Their mission is to  “promote independent living and full access for individuals with disabilities through advocacy, education, and action in our communities.”

Some of the services they provide include:

  • A Community Living Advocate that will help look, apply, and maintain affordable housing. ILRC can advocate with you and your landlord to help you maintain your housing. ILRC advocates with individuals to ensure that they receive legally reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act and that housing is more accessible for all.
  • Find and personal assistance services, especially housekeeping, self-care, and other basic need services that help you to remain in your home. These services are usually provided by In-Home Supportive Services Programs and ILRC’s Personal Assistant Registry
  • Interpreting Support: ILRC provides an American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter Registry to ensure Communications Access at meetings, medical appointments, etc. 
  • Peer Support: Receive one-on-one support from disabled staff and peers who have unique lived experiences. These peers can empower you to build your community network and help you receive ILRC’s services. 
  • An Assistive Technology Advocate helps you find devices and equipment to assist you with everyday tasks. Including wheelchairs, walkers, canes, speech devices, laptops, software, etc. Advocates can help assess need, locate technology to try, and search for funding to purchase.
  • Youth Transition Opportunities and Support: ILRC is dedicated to training and empowering disabled people/people with disabilities to continue to be advocates for themselves and for their communities. ILRC believes that it is critical for community members to learn about their services and explore options early in life. Their Youth Transition Program provides individual services, group mentorship training, and opportunities to attend leadership forums and events. ILRC also engages in direct outreach to school and provides disability communication, history, and pride training and presentations.
  • Services for Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB): These services are specifically designed for individuals who experience vision loss or blindness and who are age 55 or older. ILRC can help purchase glasses, operate devices/materials with smaller print, provide training, and much more. 
  • Self and Collective Advocacy: ILRC provides self-advocacy training as well as community organizing/advocacy leading to systems change. If you are struggling to voice your needs and feel listened to, we can help you learn how to advocate for yourself. ILRC is very involved in our communities and consistently advocates for the disability community in the areas of accessibility, communication, the way services should be provided, etc.

How do I Apply for ILRC’s Services?

Koegel Autism Center

The Koegel Autism Center is located at the Gevirtz School of Education of UC Santa Barbara. This center provides diagnostic assessments, intervention services, parent support, and clinical training opportunities through its funded research projects and clinics.

  • The Assessment Clinic Main page, a diagnosis request form, and additional information can be found here. 

To learn more about their resources, research, and peer youth transitional programs, please visit here.

  • TEAM (Thrive, Encourage, Accomplish, and Make Friends) neurodiverse social group for UCSB undergraduate students. For more information or to sign up, please visit here.
  • Contact Information and Directions to the Center can be found here. 

Contact Information:


  • Email: (link sends e-mail)
  • Phone: (805) 893-2049
  • Fax: (805) 893-2658
  • Weekly Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-4:00pm and Friday 9:00am-2:00pm

Braille Institute of Santa Barbara

The Braille Institute of Santa Barbara provides various youth consultation resources, an audiobook library, assistive technology support devices, and career or volunteer opportunities to those who experience low vision or are blind. To learn more about their services and eligibility processes, please visit their website here. 

Contact Information:

  • Phone: (805) 682-6222
  • Address: 2031 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
  • Weekly Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is a California state department and agency. DOR works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities/disabled people. It administers the largest vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in the country. Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to help job seekers with disabilities obtain competitive employment in integrated work settings. Independent living services may include peer support, skill development, systems advocacy, referrals, assistive technology services, transition services, housing assistance, and personal assistance services.

Contact Information: 

  • Phone: (805) 560-8130
  • Directions to the Santa Barbara Office or to search for offices near you, please visit here. 
  • To determine if you are eligible to use DOR’s services, please visit here. 
  • To apply for services and to visit other related links, please visit here. 

Tri-Counties Regional Center (TCRC)

Tri-Counties Regional Center (TCRC) is one of twenty-one non-profit regional centers in California providing lifelong services and support for people with developmental disabilities residing in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties. TCRC provides vocational/employment services, residential support, early child development services, respite care, and parent to parent support, transportation services, additional services that promote and maintain the independence, dignity, and community care of disabled people and their loved ones. 

  • For their full mission statement and detailed Youtube video about their various services, please visit here. 
  • Once an individual is eligible to use TCRC’s services, they will be assigned a service coordinator. They will help them set up an Individualized Program Plan (IPP). This plan helps direct an individual to the appropriate services and ensures that service coordinators actively communicate with individuals and their loved ones. This person-centered support helps service coordinators understand and respond to an individual’s access needs and long-term goals. 

Contact Information:

  • To email, call, or set up an intake appointment with a TCRC service coordinator, please visit here.  

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