ACTIVE IN OUR COMMUNITY
Milestone is embracing an opportunity to engage the persons it supports in more community-based activities. Federal regulations aligned with the Americans with Disabilities Act stipulates that persons with disabilities must be served in the most integrated environments possible and given opportunities to engage with non-disabled persons who are not family and not paid by an organization.
“Persons supported by Milestone have always been involved in the community,” said Stacey Dowden, Assistant Executive Director of Intellectual md Developmental Disability Services. “Now, we’re focusing on getting them engaged in the community.” Dowden said the goal is to focus on the needs and wants of persons supported, while empowering them to be active in community service.
The foundation is already being established. Persons who participate in Milestone day programs have performed volunteer tasks such as helping with bingo games at nursing homes, re-shelving books at local libraries and food sorting and distribution at food banks.
“The people served by Milestone have a lot to offer and can do meaningful work,” said Dowden. “We’re seeking destinations where they can ‘give back’ by their actions and we’re always looking for willing venues.”
Finding the right locations is the responsibility of Milestone’s Community Participation Specialists. These staff act as liaisons between community partners and Milestone programs. They not only arrange visits, but follow up to gauge how the visit turned out.
And, as is always the case, individual choice plays a big part. Milestone staff understand individual interests of persons supported, who always have the right to decide where they want to go and what they want to do. Dowden explained that persons supported are enabled to make informed choices, helping ensure the agency provides opportunities that are productive to those we serve.
Keep an eye out for us. We’ll see you in the neighborhood!