Supported Employment: Keeping Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the Community
What Does it Mean to be Part of a Community?
A community is formed by individuals who come together to connect with one and other based on shared ideas, values, interests and goals. Inherent in this definition is the fact that unique human beings, each one of them different, choose to create something together. All too often we seek connection and shared understanding in the banal, hoping that a spark with another individual will come as a result of the fact that we wear the same size clothing or commute in the same rush hour traffic. As a result, we end up feeling empty and disconnected.
How do we create communities? We do this by sharing feelings of empathy, by joining together to create art or to play a game, by celebrating cooperative achievements, or by investing time in getting to know another individual. We look to children to remind us how to be curious and how to play. We look to the elderly to teach us how to avoid mistakes and how to survive hardships. We look to those who are different than us so that we can learn ways to be better and deepen our understanding of humanity. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are vital components of any community wishing to stay in touch with what it means to be human.