My Idea for FUNDING “EXCEPTIONAL” WAIVERS: consumer choice funding
(waivers include both Autism and ID disabilities)
1) Release monies to “cognitively aware” consumers, parents, care givers, legal guardian, etc.
2) Consumer choice-(where and how funds are spent)
3) Put guidelines in place where the above, consumer, must report what “natural supports” they are using, before needing the waiver funding.
4) Create a hub/resource center where consumers can get the supports they need.
5) Create an integrated range of supports that allow, encourage, support and promote consumers to live and work in their communities.
6) Determine if the consumer can successfully live and work independently utilizing resources that are readily accessible, cost effective, and efficient. These resources should reduce consumers’ anxiety, stress, and depression. These resources should enhance safety, happiness and success in developing consumer’s self-esteem.
Q) Why does everyone with Autism NEED immediate funding at the age of 18 yrs. old?
A) Because there are many good opportunities that can help train young adults while they are in school. There are special overnight camps, weekend trips, social skills clubs’, require money to serve clients that would gain immediate skills and retain these life skills into adulthood.
*some community resources in Pennsylvania promoting the above:
a) Carousel Connections www.carouselconnections.com
b) Summer Matters www.vfes.net
c) Autism Cares Foundation www.autismcaresfoundation.org
d) “Abilities Programming” at the Ambler YMCA (and other Freedom Valley YMCA’s) www.philaymca.org/branches/ambler/ability-programs
Life is like a “head of lettuce”. There are many layers. Some taste sweet and some taste sour. Some are big, some are small. Which pieces will you use to make your salad? -author unknown
Immediate Actions needed NOW:
1) Funding (everything can be done with money)
2) Community HUB (educational resource center-maybe a library?)
3) Relationship Building in Communities (community coordinator helps high school students connect with local businesses)
4) Training (the entire community needs training; specifically, businesses need to learn about the benefits of employing individuals with differences, including special individuals in town)
5) Safety (see www.aaware.org)
6) Community companions (when an individual needs support going in the community with a little support to help with social boundaries, safety, social awkwardness, purchasing items at grocery store, banking, getting a haircut, going to the doctor, etc.)
7) Transportation (can the individual learn to use public transportation? Can the individual use Transnet? Private car service? CCTC? Shuttle system? Can the individual get transportation at night or on the weekends?
8) Public Transparency (getting individuals out into the community on a regular basis)
9) Training on-site- starting in high school- Vocational Tech schools, Internships, Job training, volunteering, etc.
10) College (Temple University has started a very good program for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, if a waiver for Autism is reinstated, they will accept individuals with Autism as well.)
11) Working independently (job coaches for ongoing support in the work place; OVR and CIS agencies can help individuals with the pursuit of “I WANT TO WORK.”
12) Independent Living Models (be open-minded and creative to different housing options-ask what consumers want and why they want it-help them to attain an appropriate setting)