• Livin My Dreams Art Studio and Co-op in 2011

  • Congressional Gold Medalist

  • Public Speaker

  • Rebecca and Jerry In the studio

I am a Self-Advocate.  I stand up for myself and people with disabilities.  A Self-Advocate is:

  • Speaking up for yourself.
  • Asking for what you need.
  • Negotiating (reaching an agreement).
  • Knowing your rights and responsibilities.
  • Using resources that are helpful to you.

As a self-advocate, you make choices about your life.  Making choices means that YOU determine the life you want to lad

Self – Determination has taught me how to live my dreams.  Self-Determination is…

  • Freedom: to make your own life decisions
  • Authority:  to decide how you spend your money
  • Support:  to reach your goal
  • Responsibility:  to give back to the community
  • Confirmation:  that self-advocates lead the way

Most states have programs for people with disabilities called Self-Direction, Consumer Direction, or Money Follows the Person.  These programs enable the Medicaid participant to be Self – Determined, giving them more choices and more independence in life.  I started on the Self – Direction program in Idaho,  moved to TX and was on the Consumer Direction program in Texas, and now I am back in Idaho on Self-Direction.   I love it!  It helps me… Live My Dreams!

In Texas, I was on the Personal Home Care program, so I got a few hours a week with a support worker, who I chose.  My sister, my neighbor, and my aunt helped me cook, clean, and do other stuff around the house.  I used Alamo Consumer Direct Agency to help me with my paperwork on the program.  We liked the company so much that my mom started working for them!

Back in Idaho, I am on Idaho Self Direct.  I have 5 support workers who help me Live My Dreams!  One of them is a great cook, (like me) and we cook once a week to make meals that I can easily make for myself and reheat.  One of them is great with animals, and she takes me horseback riding and helps me keep my service dog in top shape.  One of them is my workout buddy.  My sister hangs out with me and tries to give me sisterly advice 🙂   And last but certainly not least is my support worker who helps me with my business and makes Livin My Dreams Art Studio possible.   I love all my support workers and appreciate their time with me.

If you are interested in Consumer Direction, go to Alamo Consumer Direct for Texas, Consumer Direct Idaho for Idaho, or Consumer Direct Care to see if they are in your state.

If you would like me to come speak to your group about Self Determination, please go to my speaker page.

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