A Few Basic Things

 By David Morstad

Last week in Pittsburgh, Lutheran Services in America held their annual conference. On Tuesday afternoon, the Disability Network of that group sponsored an open forum titled “Long Term Supports and Services,” featuring Dr. Charlie Lakin, director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Continue reading

Equal But Different?

By Ellen Hierl

It is great to get a discount, just ask any senior who gets their meal at a discount or the AAA member who benefits with reduced admission when on vacation. We like to find bargains when we are shopping and often brag about the deal we got. In some instances, the people we support are given discounts or even free items with the only criteria for this discount being they have a disability. Let me be clear, I am referring to discounts that would not be given to the person if they did not have a disability.

At first glance, I tend to think this is great. Continue reading

Don’t Just Sit There

By Ellen Hierl

As we begin Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, I was reminiscing about how far we have come in the 20 years I have worked in this field. I have actually spent all of those years with the same organization. When I started, I remember the long-term staff telling me about how services were when they started in the field and how far we had come. Frankly, some of what they told me seemed shocking at the time. Well, I am now one of the long-term employees and I have my own stories to tell.  Continue reading

Quality in Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

By Cathy Ficker Terrill

Throughout the United States, there has been a shift in the manner in which people with disabilities, service providers and accrediting bodies are defining quality. The current national and international trends move beyond compliance to established processes to redefining quality within a context of community inclusion, rather than on programs, services and organizations. Continue reading

Services or Supports?

By Kelly Thran

In working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities I find that we use the words “support” and “services” interchangeably when describing how we are paid to interact with people.  These words have very different meanings, with a wide ranging influence in the quality of interaction.  They may hold even more meaning and influence when working with adults who rely heavily on others to navigate their day. Continue reading