Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Welcome To WaiverMarket on the Wire

My sister is developmentally disabled. 

I have to remind myself of that sometimes just to keep me grounded.

I get upset sometimes with my neighbors when they play the music too loud.  Or when I have to drive around town because a store doesn’t have my beverage.  Or I get frustrated when I don’t know what to do on a Friday night.  Or how I hate my job.

All things that my sister would probably give just about anything to do.  I don’t like my neighbors, I can easily find a new place to live and just move.  My car and my license allow me to remove myself from almost any situation at any moment, whether I’m thirst or not, on a Friday night or not, and my job pays me extremely well so I can do all those things.

My sister is just trying to live her life and experience as much of it as possible. 

Her situation is not her fault.  There’s an argument to be made it’s her parents fault (she’s adopted) but even then, there are millions of individuals out there with setbacks that just want to be able to be a part of the world. 

They want a say on what town they live and what type of people they live with.  They understand and accept that many of them won’t be able to live truly on their own, but that doesn’t mean they give up getting as close as they can.

My sister wants to be respected.  She wants to be heard.  She’s not a child, she knows that, we know that, but sometimes we forget, or we don’t listen or we’re just bad brothers. 

She wants to be able to see what’s out there that she can be a part of, whether it’s a new home, learn a new skill like cooking or a foreign language, or be a part of a program during the day so she’s around like minded people.  It really isn’t that much to ask.

So how do we create that environment?

We started with, an online platform for individuals with disabilities, for my sister really.  The idea is that if we can get service providers to be listed, individuals with disabilities will be able to search them out based on need and not some alphabetical listing or pay to play scheme.  

Everyone will be listed.

Now we do have premium accounts which allow service providers to highlight more of their services, add more pictures, and make their profile more attractive, but the sit doesn’t sift through and block those who have a free profile, because my sister deserves more than that.
If my sister wants to find a new place to live, she should have a place that she can look up places that have available rooms. 

But hasn’t eliminated the Case Manager, we’ve only enhanced what they’re able to provide.  They don’t have to set up appointments, call around to vacancies and spend most of their time doing the research, my sister can do her research, we can help her.  This frees up the case manager to ensure that they fully understand not only my sister’s needs, but the needs of everyone else in their case load.  They will have less work because my sister is driving her care.

We created because sometimes we need to be reminded that my sister deserves more.

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