The services cliff and its impact
Parents face considerable anxiety as adult children with disabilities encounter the services cliff – an end to support services – when transitioning from high school. A lack of access to support services for young adults at this critical juncture often translates to unfavorable prospects in higher education, employment and independent living.
According to a recent study from The Arc of the United States and CQL, around 75 percent of adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities live with a parent or caregiver. As their caregivers get older, many of the young adults do not receive publicly available services, may not be employed and moreover may be leading isolated lives.
Family launches large-scale inclusive housing project
Nationally, more families are taking charge by creating inclusive residential developments aiming to improve quality of life for young adults with disabilities. Anxiety about the impending services cliff for her son pushed Jillian Copeland to launch ‘Main Street,’ a residential project set to open this year in Rockville, MD. About 25 percent of the residences in the apartment building are designed and allocated to serve as housing for people with disabilities and about 75 percent of apartments will be designated as affordable housing, thanks to low income housing tax credits from the State of Maryland.
In addition to providing easy access to public transit, Main Street will offer a 10,000 square-foot community center on the ground floor where residents and non-residents “of all abilities” and caregivers can participate in programming ranging from yoga and wellness to book clubs and cooking.
Main Street is a large-scale project, no doubt, but Jillian Copeland envisions a place that transforms lives and serves as a model that will be replicated elsewhere. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this webinar in which Jillian and Scott Copeland explain the process they undertook to make this community a reality, including planning and funding for the project.
Upcoming webinar on person-centered planning
MFOFC’s May webinar continues the exploration of person-centered planning, and this time, we focus on the relationship with the support provider. Join us on May 13 when guest Susan Yuan, parent and practitioner, will discuss how her son Andreas’ living arrangement has evolved over time. You can register for the webinar here.
Do you have examples of person-centered planning or inclusive living arrangements you’d like to share with us? Have comments? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.