Like many services that families of people with disabilities depend on, regulations regarding background checks are set by the individual states. Unsuspecting families may be told that all workers must pass a "background check" but depending on where you live, that could mean a host of different things. The figure below from a recent government study shows the variety of state policies.
This post was originally featured on 3/20/14 in honor of WDSD by our guest Susan Holcombe - mother of Rion.
The other side of awareness
When Rion Told Me He Had Down syndrome
For three years, we hosted a “tweens” bible study group in our home every other Friday. My daughter was in middle school and Rion was 15 at the time. The group of kids that convened at our home included my daughter’s friend, Josh, who has a form of dwarfism that has resulted in him being only 25 inches tall. At school Josh would use a wheelchair to get around, but in our home he would either be carried by his younger sister or he would scoot and roll. Walking was too painful for him. Because of his size, my son Rion, assumed he was a toddler.
These questions sound absurd and they would never be asked by strangers, yet parents of adult children who have intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) get asked similar questions all the time. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me “Is your son high functioning?” The question is, to me, irrational. First of all what IS high functioning? There is no clinical definition. As a social construct, most people use it to indicate a higher IQ than what is typical for a certain population. If we accept the premise of high functioning then think about what that says about the rest of the population in contrast.
Originally posted 5/4/14 by Stephanie Holland
It's a tiny state really, the smallest there is (area-wise). Slightly over a million people live there. A recent story in the Brown Political Review adds some detail to the story that has captured the attention of parents of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities across the country.
Karen posted this originally at the end of May, as the Workshop discussion was picking up steam. To catch up on Josh's experiences thus far, check out his Facebook page Just Joshin' Ya.
Work - in this house -
The purpose of this post is not to debate sheltered workshops, but to give those who are interested, insight into the vocational process we have experienced with Josh. His "resume" of sorts.
These are OUR OPINIONS & OUR EXPERIENCES, nothing more and nothing less. I will start by saying that Josh will never be allowed to stay home on a daily basis unless he is sick. I have to work, dad has to work, big brother has to work, AND Josh has to work. Plain and simple, Josh has to work just like the rest of us. Even if he were to be home all day long WITH a list of chores to be accomplish everyday, he still would go crazy (as would I). His mind is very active and he needs something to occupy it. So, work, in this house, is a requirement.
You first must understand how the process works here in our state. Every state is different. Any educational or vocational program we design for Josh is paid for by the city that we live in until he turns 22 years old. Josh only turned 19 yesterday, so we continue to work with the city to develop a program for Josh.
A few days ago President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. If you're interested in a PDF of the bill summary, just let me know and I'll shoot you a copy.
I wrote a brief post here on The Road We’ve Shared about a month ago about Sheltered Workshops and it can be found here.
This week I posted a more complete rant, as I lovingly call it, in three parts.
1) Why Sheltered Workshops Work?
2) What Forces People Into Sheltered Workshops?
3) What is the Answer to the Sheltered Workshop Question?
Well, that’s enough light reading for today J Please do keep us at The Road in the loop of what you know and learn and also please share any way/where you think we should be adding a voice.
And remember that all points of view are respected and valued here on The Road.
In March 2014 the theme on The Road was stories. In this post, originally shared 3/19, Mardra shared a few of the stories she shared with professional service providers who work with developmentally delayed adults.
Speaking of Stories...
I'm sharing the mugshot, I mean headshot, because today I had the pleasure of being a professional parent.
A group of professionals who are part of an organization that provides a variety of services for adults with developmental disabilities: housing, vocational resources, work environment, and day centers. Listened to me regale them with facets from my own story as well as answers from other parents of adult children.
They asked me to address "Team meetings." So I started with this picture…
Originally posted 1/31/14 - Updated 7/24/14 by Stephanie Holland
*Our first radio show was a 2 hour conversation about "Guardianship."
I know not everyone can listen to two hours of interview - so if you want to hear just the intro's for the team - here they are!
Intro to the Show, Community, Josh, and me...
From Karen & Just Joshin' Ya! Originally posted in January of 2014 - the job scene has changed since then, but not his spunk, so be sure to catch up with Josh on his Facebook Page!
Payday last Friday (snow day) ~ Supervisor out on Monday ~ Brought paycheck home on Tuesday ~ Informed me he would "need to go to the bank on the weekend."
This morning, first thing, Josh appeared in my office all dressed up, coat on. I said "where are you going?"
He said "TO THE BANK!"
"Oh yes, sorry, I forgot!"
There he is waiting his turn in line. He is independent at the bank and reminds me to, "Stay here in line and wait your turn," which of course being the obedient mother I am, I complied with his request.
He goes to the next available teller who says to him "Hi, how are you?" Josh replies, "fine, you?" The teller asks, "what can I do for you today?" Josh says, as he places his check on the counter......"My check from Goodwill, twenty dollars, seventeen cents, all ones please" and he hands him his ID. The teller takes the check and ID and Josh stands patiently waiting. The teller hands him the coins and counts out 20 $1.00 bills and asks, "Would you like an envelope?" Josh replies, "SURE!"
Life on "the road" of caregiving for adults who have Down syndrome.
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