This week's Gazette Golden Pen Award winner is a mother explaining life goals for her son, who has disabilities. Thanks to Faith E. Bollman for sharing her hopes and insight with our community.
Community must be part of son's life As the parent of a mentally challenged person, one of my goals is having him integrated in the community - a responsible, productive individual who contributes to the community and who is employed within the community.
I expect the same standards to be applied to him when he is working. If this cannot be met, my son has access to job support to achieve these goals. What I do not expect is to have his working hours cut back to one day a week and working less than two hours on that day. I find it hard to accept that a manager would do this rather than solve the problem with job support or by releasing him from work.
I still want my son to be a part of the community. The community also has to be part of my son's life. The community/work/church/
recreation facility etc. has to accept my son also. If there are problems, these can be solved only when people are willing to seek help. And by help, I mean talking to people with handicapped children, social workers, job coaches, housing supporters.
Faith E. Bollman