In 2015, almost 40 million Americans were identified as having disabilities that affect their daily life. Although the vast majority of them are not institutionalized, they require varying degrees of support to live successfully in the community. Instead, most people with intellectual/developmental disabilities will want to choose providers like the Individual Advocacy Group (IAG).
Non-Stop Person Centered Supports
When people with intellectual/developmental disabilities need 24-hour supports and want to live in the community, finding appropriate help may be difficult. Meaning, the person that needs help will not have any input when it comes to the staff selection or house they want to live in. The Individual Advocacy Group is different.
Unlike most traditional outlets, IAG allows the individual and their family to participate and have their own vote when it comes to the staff selection. In turn, the person with the disability can actively impact the process and select those professionals that fit their needs. Additionally, the IAG also aids the family with housing. Instead of leaving it all on the individual’s shoulders, they find rental properties on behalf of the family. Doing so helps speed up the process and ensures the best living conditions are available.
Often people with a disability find that costs of maintaining a home exceed their income. However, sharing the costs with one to two housemates, though practical, requires assessment of compatibility. Unfortunately, most agencies do not invest in high-end matching algorithms to help place people with disabilities. The Individual Advocacy Group, however, allows each person being supported to give their own input. In translation, the individuals being supported have a vote when it comes to selecting their housemate(s). Since the rental properties that the IAG locates are obtained through leases, these housemates become additional signers and effectively take control of their own living situation.
IAG requires that the staff are certified Direct Support Professionals. That means that the staff is taught how to support a person with disabilities including medication management, daily living supports, and behavioral supports to name a few areas. IAG also customizes training for each person with disabilities in the home, so staff is knowledgeable about all facets of a person’s needs.
With Individual Advocacy Group, things are done differently. Instead of going through cookie-cutter sessions, families can inform the staff of everything that they should know. So, an individual’s preferences will be taken into consideration, and the varying level of their symptoms will be carefully analyzed. In the end, the knowledge that such highly-trained staff will always beat the general knowledge other professionals come with.
Unlike with the majority of support agencies, the ultimate goal is not to simply facilitate the day-to-day activities of individuals in need. Although this is an important part of their mission, groups like the Individual Advocacy Group go beyond that. Instead, they assure that the individual is given the resources to pursue happiness, feel secure, and engage in their personal interest in the community to constantly learn. This is done by developing long-term goals and working with the families and individuals to attain them. It also helps motivate the person with disabilities and keeps them mentally engaged. In turn, their quality of life increases.
Families who are dealing with adult children with disabilities often find that they lack the expertise to help them. Depending on the situations at hand, some of these adult children may need constant supervision and care. IAG has experienced, trained case managers, direct support staff, and licensed, certified Behavioral Support staff to provide individuals with the assistance they need to be successful in the community. Access to these types of staff increases the individual’s likelihood for a high-quality life in the community.
Understanding the Person
Ultimately, to fully utilize services provided by groups like the Individual Advocacy Group, one must know the person with disabilities well. Since our example revolves around adult children, parents are normally most knowledgeable about their child’s needs. Nevertheless, it is important to comprehend the needs of the person to be fully supported. After all, the family will be involved throughout the entire process. As mentioned, they will first help select the rental property where the person with disabilities will live. Then, they participate in the housemate selection process. The family also helps select the staff and even trains them on specific topics. Thus, the family should have a firm grasp of the child’s underlying needs.