Denise L., an individual that has a self-determination plan, sat down with our intrepid roving reporter, Kristen, to tell us a little about her self-determined life.
PBSCF: What do you think self-determination is?
Denise: When somebody gets a house or an apartment and lives on their own.
PBSCF: Why does self-determination work for you?
Denise: Self-determination works for me because it allows me to travel, do the things I want and plan for my future.
PBSCF: What is so important about being self-determined?
Denise: Because you can live on your own and have your own dreams and live under your own roof.
PBSCF: Do you like living on your own?
Denise: Yes I love living on my own and living with someone else in the program.
PBSCF: How long have you been living on your own?
Denise: 3 years.
PBSCF: How many years have you been working at Stop and Shop?
Denise: 7 years.
PBSCF: Tell me exactly what you do at Stop and Shop.
Denise: I bag and put items on the shelf.
PBSCF: How do you do your job differently than others?
Denise: I am more focused on dealing with customers and greeting them and making them feel welcome.
PBSCF: What obstacles have you had to overcome at the job?
Denise: Getting along with managers and coworkers.
PBSCF: Who are your managers, who have you known the longest, tell me something special about your relationships?
Denise: Managers come and go, but I really like my current manager, we are close and he’s a very good boss.
PBSCF: Why should other places of business be open to hiring people who have challenges?
Denise: Other places have to understand us and we can overcome our disability. I don’t act like I have a disability. I’m normal I do everything everyone else I can. I’m engaged, I live on my own and I’m not different. Our disabilities don’t hold us back from working.
PBSCF: What do you do for recreation or for fun when you are off work?
Denise: I like to go on the computer, talk to Jack on the phone, get my nails done and just hanging out.
PBSCF: What was the most important or defining moment in your life?
Denise: Getting engaged has been my most life changing moment.
PBSCF: How would you complete the following sentence: “The thing most people would find interesting about me is …?”
Denise: The thing that people would find most interesting about me is that I came from a fire department family.
If you want to be interviewed or just share your experience as a self-determined individual, or if you are someone whose life is touched by someone that is self-determined, please contact us: info@PBSCommunityFoundation.org.