Monday, July 15, 2013

My Life, My Choice: You deserve to choose how you live

Choices, Choices,  Choices.... From the time we wake up in the morning until the time we lay down to sleep at night, we make choices that affect us.  Sometimes we're affected in little ways, sometimes in life altering ways.  Whether it's how to have your cup of morning know... black, cream, sugar, cream and sugar, etc, etc...  one choice out of endless combinations that makes that cup of coffee... YOURS.  Don't you just love being able to pick out an outfit that expresses "YOU" any day of the week?  Just think about it: every outfit chosen fits an occasion, whether its a wedding, a party, or a day out with close friends.  Every outfit has little touches like a scarf, purse, shoes, necklace and earrings....that make it...YOURS.  The list goes on, but the point remains that the choice is: YOURS. You don't ask the barista at the coffee shop how you should have your coffee, or the fashion consultant at your favorite store what you should wear.  Other people may give you tips as to what's in style or what's popular among other customers, but in the end, it's YOU who makes YOUR decision!

Sometimes making decisions can be difficult, especially if you feel pressured, perhaps. You may not want to hurt someone's feelings by making the wrong decision, so the tendency is to put it on the back burner, or if someone asks you what you think about might choose to answer with a shrug, "Oh, I don't know...I'm not the greatest at making decisions."  It may be that you just haven't been given the chance to make decisions, especially by those who don't know you or your situation.

What if a person was willing to help you understand the options you may have, so that you can make informed decisions.  As far as where you want to live, if you can live with a roommate, or which services are available to support you in making the life you dream of a reality.  Well, good news!  The Arc of Indiana has you covered!  The "My Life, My Choice" project was launched from July through October 2012.  A team of two gathers information to assess your unique situation.  One of the team members is a person with a disability who understands where you are, how hard it can be to make decisions that can be life changing, but, also how good it feels to take control of your own life.   Don't be afraid to talk openly about how you feel, where you see your life going, or who you see being part of your support team.  There are no right or wrong answers in the interview!  It's a time for you to be heard and supported!

This project touches me very deeply!  The dignity and respect shown to people with disabilities in doing this project is outstanding!!  How deeply it touches a persons' heart to know that are heard, understood and cared for!

Michelle Fischer is host of A View from My Window, a podcast produced by The Arc of Indiana

Hear the interview about My Life, My Choice with Rebecca Scherpelz, the Arc of Indiana's Self Advocates Administrator and the Arc Network Employment Advocate Here:,%20My%20Choice%20Project.mp3