Ann Greer has lived and worked in disability for over 40 years. She is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities get an equal opportunity life and believes that this will occur if we pay attention to the twin needs of the person themselves and the community. Valen, Ann’s son is now 36 years of age. His future did not look bright as a little boy as he was very troubled and the family did not always understand what he experienced on a day to day basis.
Ann sees Valen as one of her greatest teachers and is very pleased to say that Valen is a wonderful son – loving and kind. He still lives with many challenges but he and his support team have built the necessary skills to create a great life. Valen lives with his dad, John and is supported every day to manage his life, bank, shop and manage his micro business – two coffee machines that he maintains and replenishes with the support of his team.
This presentation will discuss the complexities of building a good life around a person considered to have multiple challenges. An outline of ‘what it takes’ to achieve this will be shared with the participants and will be told in stories and anecdotes. Ann will discuss the understandings that have come as a result of actively ‘listening’ to the nuances of her son’s behaviour and working with him from a standpoint of deep respect and love for who he is as a human being. Valen’s primary place in his family life is as a son and a brother not as a ‘challenge’ or a ‘burden’. He is an active participant in all aspects of family life and community life to the level that he can cope with and aspires to. Valen has been consulted on the contents of this presentation and has agreed with what is being shared