Change Makers & Change Needed

May 21, 2024

I’m so impressed with what parents are doing around the world to improve opportunities for their children with disabilities.  This ranges from creating films that spotlight the unique challenges many of us face, to creating businesses and communities that celebrate the strengths and abilities of our sons and daughters as they move toward adulthood.  In each case, they’re helping nurture the seeds we plant in youth so our adult children can build lives filled with joy, value and confidence.

For some families, the journey includes identifying and accessing a “home away from home” in which adult sons and daughters can find support and strength to pursue lives that are independent from their parents and siblings.  Because you asked, today’s newsletter provides information on two unique communities worth spotlighting for different reasons.

Letting go is something we’ll revisit in future issues.  It’s a lifelong challenge for most of us and definitely not something mastered easily by most parents. I hope today’s newsletter helps expand your perspective on this important subject.  How should your son or daughter be living five years from now? What will enable them to achieve this? How can Another Normal help?

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Henry Havelock Ellis

Expensively exquisite.

Sedona Lago Gardens is a brand-new community in Arizona committed to “redefining what’s possible” for neurodiverse individuals.  Doors will soon open and applications of inquiry are currently being accepted here.  A digital brochure is also available. 

This community is a great example of what change-makers can accomplish with vision, resources and perseverance.  Exquisite environment. Top notch programming. Caring and supportive staff. But the price tag! According to the organization’s website, Sedona Lago Gardens charges $1,000 to apply and $9,500 a month for on-campus residency and program participation.

Families get so excited to learn about options like this and then very disheartened when the sticker shock sets in.  How can we make places like this available to most parents who can’t afford $100,000+ a year? Providing for people with disabilities is essential for a rich, diverse society. Not $ rich. Rich by other measures. Am I dreaming or just asking important questions? What do you think?

Less dollars. More sense.

An affordable alternative to Sedona Lago Gardens are the communities of Sunflower Hill. This California non-profit aims to create places and spaces where adults with I/DD live, work, learn, and thrive as part of the greater community. Where people of all abilities are welcomed, empowered, and valued. Developed in partnership with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, which also serves a property manager, Sunflower Hill Irby Ranch offers 30 private apartments that are rented to qualified residents at a rate of 30 – 80 % AMI (local area median income). The independent living community offers families a cost-effective option that may be worth replicating where you live.

Look, Mom. No hands!

Purdue University researchers have prototyped an autonomous vehicle specifically for people with disabilities. Their creation earned them a million dollar prize this month from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will be used to establish the Purdue University Center for Inclusive Design. Kind of feels like we’re looking into a crystal ball. Oh, how I love the feeling!

Swiping right safely.

As part of its commitment to help people with developmental disabilities lead sexually healthy lives, Elevatus Training is offering a virtual webinar February 8 from 1-4pm EST on supporting people with I/DD who use dating apps. Click here for more info. Below, Elevatus’ founder explains how and why parents should become more comfortable talking about sexuality with young adults with I/DD.


Do you want to learn more about this topic through Another Normal?


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