What do you do when your dream is not a reality?- John ‘s Story

30 year old John and his parents needed help creating a meaningful day schedule based on John’s desire to become a fireman. Unfortunately, John was unable to meet the required firefighter training criteria.
Although disappointed, John and his family met with Kathy Hamelin , a MA 21 Family Outreach Consultant from The Arc of Massachusetts. Kathy helped to facilitate a discussion to create a plan by identifying John’s likes and dislikes, his local support system, and need for scheduling and routine. Together, they were able to think out of the box and motivate the family, John and his support staff to create a personalized schedule for inclusive days in the community.
John’s days now include going to the gym, doing yoga, spending time on the computer, making pizza boxes at a local restaurant, socializing at a weekly social club, and observing local farmers which often include free tractor rides! The best part of John’s week is his special project where John and his staff visit and photograph area fire departments. Together, with the use of his computer, they are working on creating calendars for each department. The firemen also enjoy the cookies John brings to them. John feels welcome and fully included in his community!
The mission of the Massachusetts Alliance for 21st Century Disability Policy is to advance full community participation for individuals with disabilities. For more information visit http://thearcofmass.org/advocacy/

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