Making a Difference by Changing Your Community or a System
Family leaders often use what they’ve learned working for their own child to make a difference on a larger scale. This might mean working to change access and attitudes in their communities, or addressing issues within local, state or national systems such as school districts, financial resources, medical care or provider agencies. Here you will find examples, resources and stories to spark your own efforts to make a big difference.
I now have a job in the disability field and use what I learned. I am employed as an Employment Support Specialist and work with individuals to obtain successful employment and to maintain their jobs. I love my job and the work it entails in helping individuals with disabilities in the community and in school.
I have been successful in getting my town to include four deaf-blind children in a recreational program offered to other children in town.
I felt very confident going to our State Capitol and talking to legislators and staff about why cutting Medicaid, in any way, was bad for people and families. It also gave me a stronger purpose for why I need to do this work. Other families in my situation have children in school or are at a critical point in their child's health and can't do the work I am somewhat able to do.
My husband and I tell our story to 2 college classes each year- I am now able to incorporate some of the skills I've learned into that experience and be more educated about the impact db has on a child and their family.
Family leaders have been responsible for legislation being passed to expand services for children with deaf-blindness within our state and a few have even been involved in national legislative issues.
I organized parents to contact state officials to draw attention to implications of state budget cuts on educational services for my daughter and other children with multiple disabilities.
Family Leaders now comprise the majority of our family organization boards as well as serve on state level advisory committees and boards.