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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guardianship Thoughts

Last week I watched a webinar about the Beyond Academicss Program at the University of NC Greensboro.

Last year I blogged about how impressed I was with their program after talking to them at the NDSC Convention and this webinar just reinforced to me how much I would love for Kayla to attend their program, or one very similar to it.

Just a few examples of the success their graduates have had compared to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities across the nation:

61.5% were employed compared to just 35% across the nation
54% lived independently/semi-independently compared with 36%
77% had checking account and wrote their own checks compared with 29%
92% completed volunteer/community service in last year compared with 19%
100% registered to vote compared to 62%

There was a lot of great information shared on the webinar but something stuck out to me that I didn't realize, or hadn't thought of before.

To be eligible for the program students have to be their own guardian - the parent(s) can not have guardianship.

I'm not sure if all programs have that requirement - and it's not mentioned on any of the ones I looked at on Think College, but I imagine the same would be true for any of them.

It does make sense that if you're sending your child away to a 4-yr residential program like this that you would not have guardianship of your child, but it was not something I had given a thought about.

We still have a few years left before we decide if we're going to pursue guardianship of Kayla or not. I know I don't want to have to do that, but it's something we really need to research and figure out what we're going to do.  If having guardianship impacts her ability to attend a program like this we definitely need to take that into consideration.

There are some options to not pursing full guardianship though. ABLE South Carolina has an informative video about Supported Decision Making: A Family's Perspective.

This is something we will be exploring as a possibility for Kayla.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

TASH [the Association for Severe Handicaps] is doing a "Supported Decision Making" workshop on the 14th December in Atlanta:

https://2017tashconference.sched.com/event/CdKg/supported-decision-making