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Well, it is now 2009 and I have been a part of the program for over 4 years now.  I really love it.  I enjoy being a part of the comunity and I feel I have grown a lot.  I have become more self confident, and am better able to speak up for myself. I feel I have come a long way towards reaching my goal of independance.

Click here to learn more about Self Determination

What I am doing now

Being involved in Self Advocacy/AmeriCorps made me realize that I wanted more in my life than just going to Day Habilitation. I felt there was alot more I could do with my time and energy. Day Habilitation is a great start, but I thought I had reached the limit of what Day Habilitation could do for me.

When I was in AmeriCorps I found out about a new concept called Self Determination. This is where I tell Medicaid how I want to spend my days and my money.

I was introduced to Elaine Peckham from the Fingerlakes DDSO in Elmira, NY. She and my Circle of Support helped me out. A Circle of Support is a group of people who believe in you and your dreams. They help you make your dreams come true. A persons circle can include family, friends and any one who cares about you and believes in you.

We put together a plan for a van and a personal assistant for me. I can use the van for transportation to my presentations and to the Self Advocacy Office. I can use the van for anything that helps me reach my goals. My personal assistant helps me out in the office and assists me with my presentations.

I am very happy now that I am doing the things I love to do.
(c)2005 Kim Henchen  The information contained on this page may not be reproduced without permission of the author.