An upcoming change in the work field for adults who are developmentally disabled
This petition had 8,066 supporters
My sister, Jenna, is 25 years old. After a complication at birth, Jenna was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When Jenna graduated from high school in 2012, my family knew how important it was to find a place for Jenna to start the next chapter of her life. After numerous visits to several pre-vocational training facilities, as well as significant soul searching and evaluations as to what would be best for Jenna, my family concluded that Associated Productions Services, Inc. (APS) in Trevose, Bucks County would best suit Jenna's future needs.
There is not a day since Jenna started at APS in June of 2012 that we have regretted this decision. Jenna wakes up every Monday excited to go to work. She has developed a large group of work friends – friends with whom there is some after hours socialization. When Jenna is asked if she likes her job, her reply is heartfelt and always the same: “I don’t like my job, I love my job”. APS is safe environment for these developmentally challenged individuals. Even more important, Jenna feels safe and she deserves to feel safe and secure in a work environment.
Recently, I have learned that The Office of Developmental Programs, The State of Human Services is planning to transform pre-vocational training facilities for adults who are developmentally disabled into a 75% community based program. This would mean that APS (Jenna's work) will be closed down and community based programs will be the only option. Unfortunately due to Jenna's physical and intellectual limitations, working in the community would not be an option for her.
Jenna would truly be devastated if APS would no longer be an option, a CHOICE, for her. She is not capable of being employed in a community setting. The new program/plan will take away Jenna's opportunity to work and will take away Jenna's sense of self worth, pride and confidence that she has gained since she began working at APS.
In our society, I have learned how important it is to speak up, voice an opinion and get support when you realize that some new plan or Program is not the best for those involved. It will only benefit a select group of individuals who are developmentally disabled. One must speak up in situations where others are adversely affected. While the Program may well have good intentions, it does not recognize how many individuals will be adversely affected.
Many of Jenna’s co-workers are adult individuals who live in group homes whose families, for whatever reason, are not involved in their lives. They do not have a voice. I am asking you all to be their voice. Please sign the petition in hopes that this "one size fits all" community based plan will be revoked so individuals like Jenna are given the CHOICE they deserve.
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