3 Reasons Community Integration is Important for Individuals with an IDD
Adults with developmental disabilities cannot be defined by their diagnosis. While they might require varying levels of oversight from caregivers, this doesn’t necessarily prevent them from being active members of the community seeking to live fulfilling and engaging lives. A successful habilitation program then necessarily includes community integration services so as to empower people with an IDD to remain engaged and interested in contributing to the environment in which they live. Below, we’ll discuss how community integration plays a vital role in this habilitative process.
A Richer Life Experience
If an individual with an IDD’s caregiver provides the individual with only the most basic of house-bound daily routines, it’s likely that that adult with a developmental disability will never achieve a sense of accomplishment. And to be clear, regardless of an individual’s specific challenges in life, they are not exempt from having the same life interests, favorite activities, and goals as those without an IDD. Vocational services and supported employment services allow individuals with an IDD to break down barriers between themselves and the world at large, so that they too might explore their passions and learn new skills. The empowerment this provides to an individual who otherwise relies on the services of a caregiver can be a complete paradigm shift. When they gain access to these activities and are surrounded by others like themselves as well as people from the community, their sense of fulfilment and accomplishment is boosted.
A Reprieve for Caregivers
Providing care for an individual with an IDD at any age or stage in life can be a lifelong commitment that takes up much of the caregiver’s everyday time and effort. As we’ve talked about in another blog, providing a constant level of care can wear a caregiver down emotionally and professionally. Experts in the field capable of providing individuals with an IDD access to community integration services allow caregivers the opportunity to recharge, disconnect from the job of maintaining the life of another, and focus on their own needs briefly. A caregiver able to recharge will over time provide more meaningful and focused care than one who is suffering from the effects of overwork.
Community Diversity and Acceptance
The most important component in the total care for adults with developmental disabilities is providing them with access to vocational services, supported employment services, and an overall community integration plan. While such programs provide those with an IDD to pursue their own dreams, it also provides the chance for them to interact with and become an active contributor to the community. Pottery classes and communal gardens, co-op work spaces, these are all an opportunity to bridge a social skills gap as well as educate and guide those with an IDD from childhood into adulthood. Conversely, these programs allow the community the opportunity to learn more about people with IDD and connect with people with whom they’d otherwise never connect.
Helping Individuals with an IDD Live Their Best Lives
At Hands of Heartland, it’s our mission to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities across the spectrum are given access to community co-ops and vocational jobs training programs where we invite the Bellevue and Omaha communities to come and learn and work alongside us. Regardless of your family member’s needs, Hands of Heartland has a program designed to help them live the best life possible.