“There is a light bulb in Stephen waiting to light up.” Katie-Mom
Katie first learned about the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy (MA21) two years ago at a presentation given by Cathe Carpenter on “Lessons from our Past to Guide our Future Disability Policies”. Upon graduating from the MFOFC Southeast Region Family Leadership Series (FLS) this past April, Katie expressed great interest in using person centered planning to take action with the vision she had created for her son.
At a June presentation on “MA21-Connections to a Life in the Community”, Stephen stood before several family members and shared his vision. He is a 26 year old talented artist and singer who lives in Abington. He enjoys singing at Karaoke events in his community, has participated in talent shows and frequently attends community events with family and friends. His artwork was recently exhibited at the Hanover YMCA. Stephen’s desire is to take art and voice lessons, become more independent using public transportation, learn how to manage and budget his personal finances, find employment that suits his interests and join a fitness club. He is on his way to achieve even greater things, absorbing the positive energy from those blessed with his gifts he freely offers.
Dianne Huggon, MA21 Family Outreach Coordinator in the Southeast Region is delighted that Katie and Stephen have allowed her to assist them in their advocacy to seek services and supports that will allow Stephen to have a Real Life. Katie’s advocacy and leadership began years ago, but today she sees a brighter future for her son, Stephen and knows nothing is impossible.