This week, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts will “reopen some outdoor Phase 4, Step 2 industries effective May 10th and put plans in place for further reopening on May 29th and August 1st.” What wasn’t said is very important to our community: When will re-opening of our community day and employment services take place?
Imagine if you had an intellectual disability, autism, or other developmental disability and had to rely on family and friends for any support you may need. That was the reality in 1960. Today, eight (8) decades later, there are public benefits which allow many with disabilities to have a full life in the community.
You may have taken a moment of silence at 8:46 am last week on September 11. 9/11 resulted in grief and trauma. New York City and others affected across our country came together to make sense of 9/11 and work through the tragedy. People offered each other support and slowly began to rebuild lives, families and communities.
The article below was prepared just days before COVID-19 deeply changed the way we all are doing our work and living our lives. But one of the many things revealed by the pandemic is that our human service system’s workforce is in even deeper crisis than we thought and—despite many stories of strength and commitment—quite fragile, too. But another lesson underscored by the pandemic is that relationships and friendships may be the best vaccine against the isolation and loneliness. So always—and especially now—our workforce needs to devote attention, time and creativity to helping the people they support connect deeply with others in their communities.