It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

 

Therapy Garden at Fircrest

 

 

Today was a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  I have been volunteering frequently in the community gardens at my son’s supported community.  As I spend more and more time on campus I see more and more how strong and supportive the community is.

Today I had 5 residents from 3 different houses helping fill the watering cans from the rain barrels that have been collecting rain water, planting peas, parsley, carrots, and watering the strawberry plants that we planted last week in the new strawberry field.  In addition to this we all sampled several varieties of the tasty greens that we are growing – the favorite is the Ruby Streaks Mustard Greens and the Tatsoi – an Asian green that is crisp and mild.

We then cleaned spruced up some gardens which have a huge dill plant and then weeded around the raspberry plants which are rejuvenating.  Next on the list was to water the blueberry grove which also has lots of onions and garlic growing around the perimeter.  It’s great that some of the residents have really taken on ownership of these gardens and the watering!

While I was there today I know that residents from two households were going to go to movies – different movies at different theaters and some others were going to go out for dinner.  Many were out walking and enjoying the weather and it always amazes me that everyone knows everyone else and they watch out for each other.

I also witnessed a support team call  – in this community there is always the opportunity at any moment for a crisis to erupt given the high intensity and support needs of most of the residents here.  When a support team call goes out there is extra staff that respond from various houses to the house in need to add extra support to manage whatever crisis has or is occurring.   When there is this type of support in a community it alleviates the need to call 911 for police to respond because the staff are familiar with the residents and are trained to manage the types of behaviors which typically cause a crisis.

It is shameful that many people, included those who call themselves advocates for people with developmental disabilities, push to close these supportive communities.  One reason they do this is because they are clueless as to the benefits of a supportive community for those who need this level of care.  They call these communities “institutions” because they have not visited recently and have a pre-conceived ideas in their head that if these residents were dispersed, away from their friends and supports, they would be much better off!  They use incomplete information to say that the supportive communities are too expensive.

It’s such a shame that those who push to close these supportive communities refuse to visit and refuse to look at complete and accurate data regarding the cost, supports and services – comprehensive and cost effective and SAFE!

I do know that I enjoy spending time at my son’s community.  It truly is a “neighborhood” where everyone knows your name!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let Your Voice Be Heard

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.
NCD’s quarterly meetings are open to the public. People and organizations that represent the interests of people with disabilities are encouraged to attend these meetings, in person or by phone. The next NCD meeting is April 22 – 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The focus of this meeting will be NCD’s future “Policy Roadmap.” Families living in the D.C. area are encouraged to attend in person or you can join the meeting by phone (download the agenda, with location and phone details, here).

 

Next Phone & In-Person Public Comment Opportunities

April 22 – 23, 2013 during the NCD Quarterly Meeting

NCD will host two open public comment periods at its upcoming quarterly meeting on April 22-23, and we’d love for you to share your insights with us about emerging issues or other concerns on which you believe NCD should focus its attention.

For the two open public comment periods, statements will be received on any topic on a first-come, first-serve basis by phone and in-person. The first 30-minute open session is Monday April 22, from 4:45 P.M. until 5:15 P.M. ET and the second open session is Tuesday April 23, from 11:45 A.M. until 12:00, noon ET.

On Tuesday, April 23, NCD will hold an additional public comment period from 9:30 – 10:00 A.M. ET, reserved for in-person comments only regarding recommendations for NCD’s engagement on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

If you are interested in giving public comment, you will be asked to provide your name and organizational affiliation, if applicable, and to limit your comments to three minutes so we can hear from as many people as possible (for this reason, it’s advisable to write out what you intend to say).

NCD’s quarterly meeting is open to the public, and interested parties may join in-person or by phone in a listening-only capacity (with the exception of the public comment periods) using the following call-in number: 1-888-727-7630; passcode 5450168. If asked, the call host’s name is Stacey Brown or Jeff Rosen.

You may also provide public comment at any time by sending your comments in writing to Lawrence Carter-Long, Public Affairs Specialist, at LCarterLong@ncd.gov, using the subject line of “Public Comment.”

 

NCD April 2013 Meeting Agenda