SMILES is guided by values based on the independent living philosophy:

  • Consumer Control
  • Consumer Need
  • Individualized
  • Community-Based
  • Architectural and Environmental Access
  • Equal Opportunity

Guidelines for Eligibility
Service is provided to all disability groups where barriers are present that limit the individual’s ability to live independently.
Acceptance into a program is based on:

  • Presence of a disability that limits the ability to function independently
  • A reasonable expectation that independent living services will assist the individual to achieve a degree of independence.


A system of changing the “what is” to “what should be.” Advocacy, whether individual or system-wide, involves problem solving to reduce or eliminate the barriers that persons with disabilities may encounter.
Learn more about our Advocacy services here.

Assistive Technology & Ramps

Any customized item, product or system used to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. SMILES provides assessments, training and a lending library to ensure customer satisfaction.
SMILES Ramp program offers three custom designed ramps to suit the needs of consumers.  The process involves an initial needs assessment, home visit and consultation, and build done in consultation with the consumer.
Learn more about our Technology and Ramps services here.

CDCS Planning

Consumer Directed Community Support planning services offers one-on-one yearly planning with families who qualify through waiver programs.  Planners then work with the family, county case managers and fiscal agents to meet the needs of consumers.
Learn more about our Consumer Directed Community Support services here.

Independent Living & Skills Training

Program serves youth and adults, individually or in groups with an opportunity to make appropriate choices and learn skills that will assist them to achieve the highest level of independence possible. Licensed by the State of Minnesota, the program offers in-home community supports to persons receiving assistance through Developmental Disability, Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals or Traumatic Brain Injury waivers, or Semi-Independent Living Services.

Learn more about our Independent Living and Skills Training services here.

Information & Referral

CILs assist people with disabilities in locating available services and products such as affordable, accessible housing, transportation options, adaptive equipment, support services, and more to help them develop the abilities for living independently in the community.

Learn more about our Information & Referral services here.

PCA Programs

Program offers greater control and choice for the consumer.  The consumer is responsible for hiring, training, scheduling and terminating their personal care assistants. As a provider agency, SMILES Center for Independent Living is the employer of the personal care assistant and the qualified professional.
Learn more about our PCA Programs services here.

Peer Mentoring

Volunteer Peer Mentors assist persons with disabilities to achieve the independence they desire by sharing experiences, providing educational resources and giving support.
Recreation programs are designed by the consumers and cover all ages and interests.  Activities are also designed as informal mentoring opportunities where consumers forge friendships, share ideas and concerns and oftentimes find solutions to problems by way of shared experiences.
Learn more about our Peer-Mentoring services here.

Representative Payee

Representative Payee (Rep Payee) is a program for individuals who have been informed by the Social Security Administration that they need to obtain a payee/fiduciary or who need assistance managing their benefits. The Rep Payee keeps records of monthly benefits received and how that money is spent.

Learn more about our Representative Payee services here.

Transition to Community

Transition from School to Community provides a bridge from the security of school to the responsibilities and opportunities of adult life. This program is available for students with disabilities 14 to 22-years-old.
Nursing Home Relocation Project assists persons with disabilities to relocate from a nursing home to an independent living situation by accessing services needed to support community-based living.
Learn more about our Transition To Community services here.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (W.I.O.A) is a new regulation under federal law that provides choices to individuals who are earning less than the federal minimum wage. The W.I.O.A process provides individuals with the opportunity to learn about services and supports available to assist them in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.
Learn more about our W.I,O.A. services here.