This is Video Week.

So far we’ve seen:

The Values of Inclusion: From Down Under
By Heather Simmons at the Institute of Inclusion in Sydney Australia.

More than just a Graduation Speech
By Jeremy Sicle-Kira, a young man with the label of autism who uses an augmented communication system.

Today’s Feature for all you country music fans is from the Ohio Chapter of People First and was shown during the Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) Conference in 2012.

I loved this video, the message, the music, the participation, the fact that the People First group made the video and presented it to the “professionals”–I mean, who is teaching who?

Thoughts on Jobs and the Role of Government

Every day I watch my son, Aaron who has the label of autism, as he sits and loses skills he had in high school. We still have the dream plan, we still have the hope, but we need help to make it happen.

Why is that?

I know it is very popular to bash the government. “Not a government plan”, right? But is that what we really want?

The model programs, grants, initiatives for work, and job coaches of ten years ago are gone-zap.

New RSC priorities and guidelines, cutbacks and more cutbacks on funds have dried up and forced us back to depending on the charity, kindness and pity of others.

It’s NOT a matter of not knowing what to do

We know how to support people in the workplace. It is difficult surely, but we know how to get people jobs.

Special Education and Rehabilitation Services has decades of research and model projects. Marc Gold, Lou Brown and hundreds of skilled teachers and professionals have shown us the direction and specific skills we need to get jobs.

Unfortunately, because there is no mandate for adult services (like public laws which require children to go to school), there are also no requirements for adult day programs. No certification for the people in charge (GED prefered instead of licensed teachers), no functional or community based curriculum, no related services like speech, physical or occupational therapists. Adults are on their own. And there is no due process rights for parents/guardians to hold people accountable. We are told to find another program if we are unhappy.

So, what are our alternatives?

We have to keep believing. Keep telling others about the vision of a job, or if not paid, then meaningful work/volunteer experiences.

Our young people have to remind us not to give up. They have to keep in our face singing, shouting and even misbehaving.

Certainly we need the government. And we need those government plans to be more than just pieces of paper–we need them to support each individual so they can at least partially participate in having a job.

Comments: Any thoughts on “I need a job?” Any other videos you want to recommend to our community?

Keep Climbing: Onward and Upward

All my best, Mary

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Remember this video:

Better than Church I still love this one, don’t you want to just sing along?

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