Everyday Lives: Values in Action: Everyday Lives is rooted in the concept of self-determination, promotes the belief that, with the support of family and friends, people with disabilities can and should decide how to live their lives. The foundation of Everyday Lives: Values in Action is two (2) statements: 1)We value what is important to people with disabilities and their families, who are striving for an everyday life and 2)People with disabilities have a right to an everyday life; a life that is no different than that of all other citizens. In 2016, there was a major accomplishment when the State of PA was accepted into the National Community of Practice: Supporting Families throughout the Lifespan. PA’s approach to the Community of Practice includes the following: Develop the PA Family Network, encourage the launch of “Regional Collaboratives” in counties across the state, initiate Support Self-Advocates United as One to Build local groups, continue to uphold and teach concepts of Person-Centered Thinking, involve the PA Sibling Network and Ambassadors, renew Waivers to reflect supporting families and everyday lives, and continually learn and share learning with all who touch families’ lives. Community of Practice for Supporting Families is the cornerstone for community integrated services. Since the vast majority of people with disabilities in PA live with their families, families need support in order to make an everyday life possible. Families need information, resources and training. They need connections with other families and support services. The LifeCourse Framework was developed to help families, individuals of all abilities and at all life stages, and all who support them to develop a vision for a good life, think about what they need to know and do, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to create the lives they envision. The foundation of the LifeCourse Framework starts with the core belief: All people have the right to live, love, work, and pursue their dreams and aspirations in the community.
On a local level, a regional collaborative is in place. The mission of the collaborative is to introduce individuals with disabilities to our community. Additionally, we would like to have a better understanding of our local communities and service organizations so that we can share this information with families/caregivers and individuals with disabilities. We are currently in the process of planning a Community Awareness event as well as training and education initiatives. The focus will be on “Changing the Conversation: Engaging Communities in Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Disabilities.”
For more information, please contact:
Eugenia A. Galli, Developmental Services Program Specialist - Quality Assurance Specialist