An Interview with Denise L., Self-determined and Loving It!

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: