Person-Centered

Thu, February 23, 2012
I recently picked up and am in the middle of reading "The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to be a Better Husband" by David Finch. While I have mixed feelings about it so far it is witty, insightful and an interesting read. The author discovers that he is an 'aspie' (a person with Asperger's syndrome) in his 30s. But the main take away I have is that this is a man who is trying to understand himself, his world and how to navigate it better...
Wed, January 25, 2012
We make our voices heard as loud as we can. We visit lawmakers in Albany, telling them we vote and we have a message. We have been able to keep the legislators from making some budget cuts by telling them our personal stories. We advocate by going in the community and showing people our abilities. We've volunteered at the New York League for Early Learning's Harry Gordon School to work with children with disabilities and serve as role models. We show community members that people with...
Thu, January 12, 2012
With more than 50 of her friends gathering at a local restaurant, I was fortunate to be among them celebrating Gwendolyn's 100th birthday. I've known Gwendolyn for a few years, as she receive medicaid service coordination from RCALD. For Gwendolyn, who loves eating out at restaurants, the party with so many friends from the Hudson Valley DDSO, was extra special. A highlight of her birthday was receiving a birthday card from President Obama. "Gwendolyn has a love of life and an enthusiasm that...
Wed, March 11, 2015
Talk about person-centered ... Mark Prediger and Zakia Lewis, who live at our Rockland County Association for Learning Disabilities' (RCALD) Alice Drive residence, have been busy picking out furniture, dishes, linens and curtains for a supported apartment they will share in Nanuet, N.Y. Alice Drive and Supported Living staff have been helping them move everything into the apartment, but they're still awaiting the final state certification survey. Acquiring the Skills Move-in day can't come soon...
Thu, December 15, 2011
As a person with a disability, in the past it's been a real struggle for me to obtain employment. I've been working at the New York City Self Advocate Association for the AmeriCorps project. The people, the office . . . working there was great. This October I got a call from my Job Coach at YAI: “There's a library job opening at the New York Public Library.” I jumped on it right away! I'm currently working as a page at the library where I look for books, put them back on the shelf, and do...
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...
Fri, January 20, 2012
I recently got transferred to a new floor at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue. Looking from the outside, the library looks more like a small fortress or mansion. I started working on Stack 5 -- always busy. Most of the time I’m on my feet. I was recently transferred to Stack 3. The reason was the area should be less stressful. A few weeks ago, I was given the schedule for when I was to go on break. Then, on my own, I took a break (which wasn't the exact time as on the...
Mon, February 06, 2012
Several years ago, YAI's Education and Training Department decided that if we were going to produce DVDs that were for or about people with developmental disabilities, it made sense to have them portray themselves if the DVD's were going to be realistic. We did not want to dilute our message and have those people who watch or purchase our DVDs say that this or that wouldn’t really happen because we used trained "professional" actors and "real" people wouldn't act that way. I have assembled a...
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...
Mon, June 18, 2012
It all started with the "In My Shoes Presentation" at the YAI International Conference in May. "It was one of the main highlights of the conference," one person told me. In fact a self-advocate from North Dakota was so impressed, she asked us if we would travel there to do a show! Jerry and Melvin's photography and artwork were displayed and available for sale at the conference. Then came the Central Park Challenge! The YAI Self-Advocacy Group was asked to perform a Rap number on stage. It was...

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