Due to shifting demographics and radical changes in government funding models for people with disabilities (PWDs), the old paradigm of congregate service settings for PWDs is being phased out across the country in favor of inclusive opportunities for work and social activities. With its pioneering model of breaking barriers for people with disabilities through authentic human connection, Becoming Independent (BI) has become a game changer in finding ways to embrace this new paradigm. This is a massive shift for BI – and the entire field of human services – but its staff are determined to replace what used to be known as “sheltered workshops” with full community engagement opportunities. With that goal in mind, the organization has become one of California’s most progressive and successful agencies for adults with special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and intellectual impairments. What began as a grassroots, parent-led organization 50 years ago has grown into the largest service provider of its kind in the North Bay region of California, serving nearly a thousand people every year.