Programs and Services

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 is primarily an employment-based program where participants will partake in professional development and employment skills training while also participating in job shadowing exercises and paid internships.


The COMM ACCESS Program is for youth ages 18 - 24 who identify as having a disability. This is a community-based program where participants partake in personal development, self-advocacy and employment skills workshops and weekly recreational activities. Program staff and participants also create community and employment engagement action plans so participants can reach their goals.

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 open 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 have an RDSP, which is a significant reason why this pilot project was established. For information on the RDSP please click here

Independent Living Support (ILS) Service Provider

The ILS program promotes independence, self-reliance, security and social inclusion by creating a flexible and responsive delivery system that incorporates the strengths of a participant, their personal and community resources and approved ILS Service Providers. This is achieved using a person-directed and collaborative approach.

The Adolescent / Young Adult Autism Summer Camp

Throughout this camp, attendees participate in activities within Halifax and beyond. Field trips include, but are not limited to: swimming, bowling, picnics, and visiting museums and parks. Participants also regularly practice social skills while working closely with trained counselors.

Research and Community Development

ILNS conducts research projects with the goal of developing programs such as the provincial self-managed attendant service and Research and Community Development high school transitional program offered by several post-secondary institutions.

Self-Managed Attendant Services

We continue offering support to a small number of self managers through this long-standing pilot project. In the context of this project, “self-manager” refers to a person who independently manages all aspects of their attendant services, including the recruitment and hiring of attendants, training, supervision and handling payroll. In this project, persons with a high level of physical disability manage attendants who assist with their daily living activities from personal care to support at one’s workplace and/or social and volunteer activities. The Nova Scotia Department of Health has provided funding for this 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.

Peer Support

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.

Information, Referral and Networking

Through our information service and educational programs, persons with disabilities get up-to-date information to make informed choices about disability issues and services. We answer questions by phone, mail, email or in person.

Supporting persons with disabilities live independently in the community

Our Corporate Sponsors

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