Self-Direction Budgets Expand Horizons
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we’re excited to celebrate and share stories of people supported by S:US! We believe that with the right set of supports, people with intellectual/developmental disabilities can live in, work in, contribute to, and participate in the community.
Last year, S:US launched Self-Direction with our first official approval of two budgets! Through Self-Direction, a person supported by S:US is able to hire and fire their own staff, and receives an annual budget which they allocate to spend their money throughout the year for further education or other endeavors to help them deepen their skills, enhance their connection to their life goals, and pursue self-development.
We would like to congratulate Ebonette and Mary! They’re the first to receive a self-direction budget. This opens up a world of opportunities for them as they expand their horizons and continue on their path towards independence.
Ebonette plans to take cooking classes and wants to get a health club membership to help her make healthy choices. Her love of cooking began when she would visit her grandma for vacations. Ebonette shared, “My grandma made us all kinds of food, she was a sweet woman and I want to be like her! I want to learn how to cook for myself.” Ebonette also plans to join a gym after the pandemic ends, so she can learn to use the treadmill and free weights, and would like to take yoga and karate classes. Her hope is “…to lose weight and learn how to defend myself so that I know how to help myself if someone bothers me.” Ebonette is thankful for Stephanie Lewis, her Self-Direction Broker, for helping her achieve this goal.
Mary is looking forward to learning new skills including knitting and baking but mostly, she’s excited to work with staff whom she hired herself. During the pandemic, Mary discovered that she enjoys cooking meals independently. Her dream is to bake her own desserts and have a bake sale for her community. Mary has been working with her Self-Direction Broker Shaquoya Bennett and appreciates all of Shaquoya’s support in advancing her life goals.