Meaningful Work Opportunities

As our understanding of disabilities, supports and equitable treatment improves, so should vocational opportunities.

The Privileges of Adult Status

People with developmental disabilities deserve the same rights as adults in society, regardless of ability. Most people don’t have to earn the respect and privilege that comes from adult status. It is a product of living and comes without consent. For example, at the age of 18 or 19, it is your right to live on your own, sign a lease, buy a car, but most importantly, it is the freedom to live a life that you have always dreamed of. On the other hand, those who remain at home often have… Read More

Improving Community Supports

Everyday courtesies that will overall improve supports. It’s easy to find situations in the community that are unique to people with developmental and or intellectual disabilities. When I worked in the direct support field, people would often ask me what was wrong with the men and women I supported. They never asked the people I was with, just me. This doesn’t seem to be something that happens to people without intellectual or developmental disabilities. I have managed to concoct several explanations for this kind of behavior, and while I don’t think people… Read More

The Community’s Role in Supporting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The worst thing you can do for someone with an intellectual or developmental disability is to not hold them to the same standards we hold ourselves and others. I was at a grocery store the other day and asked for a bag of ice. The gentleman working there appeared to have a developmental or intellectual disability. Though I asked for a 20 pound bag, he brought me a 5 pound bag. It is easy and maybe natural to wonder if this mistake was related to a disability. It is common however, for… Read More

Right Versus Results in Communication

Communication is not about what works best, but what is right. When we define our job in terms of results, we struggle to support the men and women who receive services at ILC in a manner they deserve. Direct support professionals are sometimes tasked with certain responsibilities that they see as their own, and to this end, will do whatever they need to to accomplish their goals. I have heard on several occasions someone justify using baby talk with an adult because that adult “responds better” to the voice. I’ve heard people… Read More