In this article I will talk about residential living for people with special needs, and what the steps are to achieving it. First, what is residential living? Really, there are different types of residential living, but anyone who is living in an apartment--whether they are an individual with a disability or not--is in residential living. Of course, oftentimes individuals with disabilities who have special needs will live in more specialized housing, such as group homes or community apartments, where everyone has some type of special need. Before I really talk about how to move into residential living I want to talk about independent living. Honestly, I have to say that this is the first step towards moving into residential living. Independent living and moving out on my own is something that I am well aware of both professionally, as a social worker, as well as personally, as an individual who was born with spina bifida who has always used a wheelchair full time. The process of independent living has not always been easy for me. I didn't go directly from home to an apartment when I turned 18. I started by going into a dorm in college. This was a very good start for me since it provided a more gradual process. I had quite a bit of independence but was not completely on my own. We had the opportunity to realize what skills I already had and what we needed to work on (when I use the word "we" I mean my parents and me) since they were and still are a very big part of my independence. In college I had a great social network who supported me and therefore I was not stuck by myself all day everyday. It also gave me an opportunity to learn what services were available for a person with special needs and more importantly what I needed to do myself in order to get the services I needed so I could eventually be on my own.