Independent Living Skills classes to be offered in Pagosa


By Carolyn Paschal

Special to The PREVIEW

Are you one of the many adults with disabilities in the southwest area who are living or look forward to living more independent lives, yet feel a need for more knowledge and support to do so?

There will soon be classes offered in Pagosa Springs that are specifically designed with this in mind. Aspen House and the Southwest Center for Independence are pleased to continue their free series of Independent Living Skills classes to persons with developmental disabilities to develop skills to live the lives they desire in their community. This series will focus on both self-care and job longevity. The goal for this course is to have each person walk away with tools to help them balance personal and work-related stress, as well as relate well in a interpersonal employment setting.

These classes will be held the second and fourth Friday of the month from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. They will begin with an orientation on April 26 and conclude with a graduation ceremony on Aug. 23.

Mashi Salomon, an independent living specialist with the Southwest Center for Independence, will be teaching the classes. Mashi received an associate degree in mental health and human services from Kingsborough College, with internships at both Menorah Nursing Home and Block Institute for Special Needs Children. She worked for Hebrew Academy for Special Needs Children and, upon moving to Colorado, gained her position as independent living specialist at the Southwest Center for Independence, helping people with disabilities attain their goals. She specializes in employment, working alongside her consumers to send out applications, attain interviews and achieve long-term success once hired.

The classes are free and we will do our best to make accommodations to allow for a wide range of developmental disabilities and learning styles.

Class topics will include:

• Life values.

• Life balance.

• Managing stress.

• Advocacy.

• Physical activity.

• Nutrition.

• Maintaining balance.

These classes will be informative and fun.

For more information, please contact Salomon at Southwest Center for Independence at 903-8339 or email Mashi at,