The most important things that I learned in college that shaped my relationships with people with disabilities is that they have the same rights as anyone to make choices and take risks. We do not have the right to try to change people to behave the way we might want them to behave. And also, because they have difficulty learning and tend to easily forget, we need to teach them things that are functional, age appropriate, immediately useful and able to easily transfer across environments.
I started with In-Pact in January 1997 as a Direct Support Professional at Sherwood Group Home for one year. I then became a job coach with our Employment Services for one year. For the next 6 ½ years I managed the Heavilin Group Home before transferring to manager at the Vermont Group Home for 14 years.
I grew up in Chicago. At the age of 19, and after completing one year of nursing school at Northwestern/ Wesley Memorial Hospital, I moved to Canada where I lived for 26 year before moving to Indiana. While living in Edmonton, Alberta I attended Gran MacEwan College where I received an associate degree as a Rehabilitation Practitioner and began working for Resources for the Dependent Handicapped, Government Of Alberta.