Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Mark on the City of Destiny

My mark on The City of Destiny.
Aide update!
A new chapter is beginning in my life. Jaclyn Ellis is not only doing Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day but she is also taking over the night shift, which is Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday day and night, Monday Tuesday Wednesday nights and Thursday evening until we are done with school. Thank you Jaclyn for signing on to help.
Brian’s Birthday
My brother Brian turned seventeen over the break and in honor of his birthday I would like to dedicate this blog to him. We went to Comedy Sportz in Chicago which is improv competition club. We all loved it. It was perfect for all ages. I really recommend it. I could tell that Brian was enjoying himself. . For someone who has a hard time expressing or recognizing his feelings he does a great job at telling a joke or cheering people up. I can always count on him when I am having a bad day. I also think he is fantastic at fixing spelling mistakes. Many people call him the family comedian I think that we are like a ying yang because he helps me with the physical stuff and I help him with the social stuff. He said he is proud of me for living on my own with a self-determined life. He said he didn’t know I could do it and I think the fact that I am living in an apartment, gives him hope that his future could bring opportunities for a life of choice like mine with similar supports. I love you Brian!
ABC Channel News!
Yes you read that correctly! I want to thank ABC channel 7 News and the Illinois Council on Development Disabilities for allowing me to share my views on freedom of choice for people with disabilities. I think that the more people see productive people like me living in environments just like anyone else, the more we are looked at like a neighbor and not like someone who belongs in a segregated community. I feel it is important work to speak up for those who might not have a voice to communicate these basis human wishes and needs. I enjoy doing it and I hope my work is heard by many people who care to make a change in our great state. It is something I enjoy doing and consider an honor every time I am asked to speak on behalf of people with disabilities and I plan to continue advocating now and in the future because I believe that it can only do good. The show will be on Sunday February 8th, at 8:00 am. If you miss it… Check out the reporter, Karen Meyer’s website on Channel 7 News for her archived segments.
The City of Destiny
When my friend Rebecca told me that she found out that Des Plaines was The City of Destiny, I almost fell out of my chair from laughing. It was one of those kinds of laughs that I make with my whole body and no sound coming out of my mouth. Then people start to wonder if I am breathing! You get the picture! Which brings me to my final stories for the month. I was on my way to the library, which is right by my apartment, and I got stuck in the snow. I called Jaclyn but for some reason I couldn’t hear her so, I decided to put my flashers on to see if someone would come and help me sure enough they did. I guess my flashers aren’t just for fun after all. After all that the funniest part was when I came upstairs and Jaclyn said to me who was that man you were talking too? I guess she heard our conversation and I didn’t even know it. Then another crazy thing happened to me the other day. I went to get my bangs straightened at the nearby hair salon but before doing so I wanted to dry my wheels off because they were really wet and I thought it would be good to have them nice and dry. Little did I know, my wheels got extremely stuck in the carpet. And after 45 minutes of Brenda, her daughter Kathy and the whole salon working to get my chair out of the carpet, we decided to call the non-emergency police and sure enough I made a huge hole in there carpet. I have definitely made my mark on the city of destiny but not the way I wanted too. LOL! I would like to leave you this month with something that really hit home for me from our newly elected precedent. It reads,

"We must build a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and
discrimination.... policies must be developed, attitudes must be
shaped, and buildings and organizations must be designed to ensure
that everyone has a chance to get the education they need and live
independently as full citizens in their communities."

-- Barack Obama, April 11, 2008

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a comprehensive agenda to empower
individuals with disabilities in order to equalize opportunities for
all Americans.

In addition to reclaiming America's global leadership on this issue
by becoming a signatory to -- and having the Senate ratify -- the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the plan has
four parts, designed to provide lifelong support and resources to
Americans with disabilities. They are as follows:

First, provide Americans with disabilities with the educational
opportunities they need to succeed by funding the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act, supporting early intervention for
children with disabilities and universal screening, improving college
opportunities for high school graduates with disabilities, and making
college more affordable. Obama and Biden will also authorize a
comprehensive study of students with disabilities and issues relating
to transition to work and higher education.

Second, end discrimination and promote equal opportunity by restoring
the Americans with Disabilities Act, increasing funding for
enforcement, supporting the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination
Act, ensuring affordable, accessible health care for all and
improving mental health care.

Third, increase the employment rate of workers with disabilities by
effectively implementing regulations that require the federal
government and its contractors to employ people with disabilities,
providing private-sector employers with resources to accommodate
employees with disabilities, and encouraging those employers to use
existing tax benefits to hire more workers with disabilities and
supporting small businesses owned by people with disabilities.

And fourth, support independent, community-based living for Americans
with disabilities by enforcing the Community Choice Act, which would
allow Americans with significant disabilities the choice of living in
their community rather than having to live in a nursing home or other
institution, creating a voluntary, budget-neutral national insurance
program to help adults who have or develop functional disabilities to
remain independent and in their communities, and streamline the
Social Security approval process .

President Obama and Vice President Biden are committed to supporting
Americans with Autism Spectrum Disorders ("ASD"), their families, and
their communities. There are a few key elements to their support,
which are as follows:

First, President Obama and Vice President Biden support increased
funding for autism research, treatment, screenings, public awareness,
and support services. There must be research of the treatments for,
and the causes of, ASD.
Second, President Obama and Vice President Biden support improving
life-long services for people with ASD for treatments, interventions
and services for both children and adults with ASD.
Third, President Obama and Vice President Biden support funding the
Combating Autism Act and working with Congress, parents and ASD
experts to determine how to further improve federal and state
programs for ASD.
Fourth, President Obama and Vice President Biden support universal
screening of all infants and re-screening for all two-year-olds, the
age at which some conditions, including ASD, begin to appear. These
screenings will be safe and secure, and available for every American
that wants them. Screening is essential so that disabilities can be
identified early enough for those children and families to get the
supports and services they need
Best wishes for 2009!