Family Support

Fri, February 10, 2012
Earlier this week, Barry's son Jeffrey moved into the E. 52nd St Residence in Brooklyn. I think Marion (my wife) is doing better than I am. I'm taken aback by the depth of my feelings. Don't get me wrong, after 10 or more years, I wanted to see Jeffrey move into this home. Now that it's done, it seems like he has taken to it like a duck to water, which is what we had hoped. Every parent wants to see their child safe, comfortable and happy. When he called the other morning to say, "Hi Dad, I'm...
Wed, February 08, 2012
I was so proud to be part of the opening of our East 52nd St. Residence (also known as YAI's Dream House) on Tuesday. My heart filled with joy, as I heard a YAI residential coordinator describe how long the residents had been waiting for this house so the group of six individuals, all friends, could begin to share their lives together. This was the first time in my 11 years with YAI that I was involved in opening a residential program. I was amazed, how the house was transformed into a...
Tue, February 21, 2012
I worked in residential/service coordination in Virginia, my home state, for about five years. So when I read that Virginia will close four state institutions for people with developmental disabilities and move thousands of people to their own homes, their family's houses or group homes as part of a settlement announced recently with the U.S. Justice Department, I thought this is great news about a move in direction that is long overdue. The agreement came after a scathing federal report of the...
Tue, January 17, 2012
Yesterday I visited the Al Dlail institution in northwest Jordan. It is difficult to put into words what I saw and how I felt. Having been part of the revolution, moving people with disabilities from institutions to community-based programs, it was a reminder of how far we have come and to never forget how people with disabilities have been mistreated. When I first arrived at the institution, I was taken into a room to meet the senior staff and see a slide show. The slides were quite revealing...
Tue, February 07, 2012
I've waited years to see this. And Tuesday, Feb. 7, was definitely worth the wait. Six residents moved into their own home in Brooklyn -- the "Dream House" or E. 52nd St. Residence, whichever you prefer. It doesn't get much better than this. There were parents hanging boxes, bags of clothing being dragged in, hooks going up on closet doors, siblings working on the wireless system . . . just like any other people moving into a new home. But this was not an average day by any means. The home had...
Fri, February 10, 2012
I am very passionate about advocacy and am committed to speaking up when meeting with legislators to help maintain full support for people with developmental disabilities in helping them to gain justice, inclusion and full community participation. I also felt honored to speak to them during NYSACRA's Legislative Day on Jan. 31, 2012 about the importance of the work that we as Direct Support Professional provide to people with developmental disabilities, and how we go over and above our call of...
Fri, September 14, 2012
In honor of National DSP Recognition Week, Margaret Puddington delivered these remarks at a rally on the steps of City Hall on Friday, September 14. Our son Mark, nearly 32 years old, is a sunny, happy person with a great talent for making friends. Mark also has significant developmental disabilities; he has cognitive and physical challenges and is not able to speak. Every task of daily life is an enormous struggle for him, whether it’s cutting up his meat or buttoning a shirt. Mark cannot...
Tue, January 10, 2012
Because of our son's disability, my husband's and my hands-on parenting responsibilities for Jeff have gone on many years longer than with our other child. In spite of a relatively high level of independence that he has been able to attain, we continue to have to monitor his comings and goings closely. We anticipate a big hole in our lives when he moves out next month. We are very excited but also nervous about how we fill that hole. YAI Dream House As the day comes closer and closer, our...
Wed, January 18, 2012
YAI's West 187th Street Residence is very unique program. There are five individuals who live there, and 10 staff, including morning, evening, weekend, overnight direct service professionals, and our supervisor. News travels fast in the residential system, and it’s almost instantaneous at our residence. Summer was approaching, and I was joining one of our new morning staff on medical appointments. We were going with Michael* (name has been changed) to a follow-up appointment, and Michael was...

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