Living with disabilities on a daily basis can be more difficult then some realize. Many people who are born with developmental disabilities start their education and therapy at a very young age and there are also those people who have been diagnosed with a disability sometime during their lifetime. But what is there for them to do once they have graduated from high school or are told they are too old to continue in a regular school or they are simply told they aren’t accepted in the “normal” community? In all reality there really isn’t much for people with developmental disabilities to do with their time and life after they finish school.
The issue of people with developmental disabilities not having a productive future once they are done with the required schooling is forever growing in today’s society. After conducting some research I came across an act known as the “Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act”. What caught my attention about this act was that in its “findings” it states that a substantial portion of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families do not have access to appropriate support and services, including access to assistive technology, from generic and specialized service systems, and remain un-served or underserved.It also says that in almost every state, individuals with developmental disabilities are waiting for appropriate services in their communities. Additionally, this act is used to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and integration and inclusion in all aspects of community life.
When reading through this act as well as many others, they all sound as though they have best interests of people with developmental disabilities at heart. But the issue is that not everything in these policies or standards is being acted upon. On a more personal level my only sister is 23 years old and she is down-syndrome. She graduated from high school almost 2 years ago and both myself and my mother are having an extremely hard time finding some sort of service or even a facility that can help my sister continue to learn independence as well as continue some type of education.We have tried everything from the local community college, which turned her down because she isn’t able to read at an 8th grade level, to the El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center, who wouldn’t help her because she didn’t need to be institutionalized. So the problem here is that regardless of the governments regulations purposes and policies, there still isn’t enough being done to help people with developmental disabilities lead a somewhat normal life or to continue an education so that they are able to fit into the “normal” community, as well as not sit at home for the rest of their life with no social interaction.
In my personal situation, it would have helped out tremendously if after my sister graduated from high school, we were given some sort of an idea of what she could do from then on. One thing is for sure my sister will never be put in an institution, she will always have someone to live with and take care of her, but at the same time she needs interaction with other people who deal with the same day to day struggles as she does and have the same interests as her. She also needs to continue learning just as she did in school and right now she doesn’t have that option.However, there may be a simple solution to this, I think that if at all possible each school district and possibly each school should have some sort of liaison who is educated about people with disabilities and who is also aware of many different types of programs and organizations within a specific area.
Having this type of liaison available to families who have children or other loved ones with disabilities graduating or getting ready to graduate would be a tremendous help.Some families’ only option is to put them in adult daycares and sometimes even group homes because there isn’t anyone to monitor and care for the handicapped/disabled family member. Furthermore, with the help, direction and advice from the school appointed liaison, families will have more options to help decide what is best for their loved one. The majority of the time there are programs and services available to families of people with special needs, but without the right information some people are not aware of them and they feel helpless.Having someone who is dedicated to helping people with disabilities and their families, all of the trouble and worrisome can be eliminated. Now, with any type of service, program or organization there are always issues when I comes to social policies or government regulations.
Sometimes the government regulations might see that this isn’t something they are responsible for providing, that the future of a person with developmental disabilities is completely in the hands of that persons’ family.The government might not be willing to allow funds to be distributed to each and every school district or school, to pay someone to offer these types of services. While that is completely understandable that these funds may not be available or are not going to be approved for whatever reason, we need to keep in mind that when a person with any type of developmental disability isn’t given some sort of alternative to sitting at home and watching T.
V.for the rest of their life, they can sometimes end up wandering the streets homeless. There are times when the family gives up trying to find services for them and the disabled/handicapped are left to fend for themselves and that can then become a problem for the society as a whole.
Having developmentally disabled people living on the streets can sometimes be very dangerous. They are not always aware of what is right or wrong and that can lead to them hurting themselves and even other people.Before taking this course I had never realized how important and how extremely helpful health and human service workers are. I now see how much they are needed and how the services that they are able to provide will be very crucial for future Americans. In all honesty through my personal experiences, I always thought that health and human services workers were just nosey and only wanted to make you feel worthless for needing any type of service but I have come to realize that all they really want to do is help.I have also come to see how much the current health and human service industry is growing and how there is such a great need for workers in this field. There are so many people our there that are in need of services but many are turned away or discouraged by the fact that health and human services agencies are lacking the adequate amount of workers to address everyone’s needs. As the years go by and the older generation starts to retire, the younger generation needs to step up and be ready to take on the ever-growing population.
Now as for my future career in the health and human services field, I feel that this specific course has provided me with some great beginning tactics. To ensure that I will, not only enjoy my career but also provide the best possible services to clients that are in need. This course has shown me that health and human service workers are a very crucial part of today’s society. They are the ones that will help people receive the services needed to live a safe and productive lifestyle.I’m looking towards helping those with developmental disabilities because I know first hand what types of services they are lacking and I have great ideas to help them lead a healthy and meaningful life. People with developmental disabilities have a difficult life to begin with but being left without any options to continue their education and to socialize with others, only makes things harder for them as well as their families.
Providing families who have relatives with developmental disabilities, some type of assistance in finding a program or organization to help them lead a productive life is one of the best things that the government as well as school districts can do to help the society as a whole. References Burger, W. R. , & Youkeles, M. (2004). Human services in contemporary America (6th ed. ). Belmont: Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning.
United States department of health and human services. Retrieved December 9, 2006, from HHS Web site: http://www. hhs. gov