We host blogs with writings from people with disabilities, like Adria, to provide insights into disability through the lens of their personal experiences. We also sponsor student groups like the Students on the Spectrum Club for IU and Ivy Tech students, and parent groups of children with autism to provide a foundation for self-directed mutual support.
Adria is a young woman with multiple disabilities who lives in Indiana and who works and lives independently. She’s learned what support she needs and what works for her. One of those supports is her service dog Lucy. Adria's Notebook contains her posts and thoughts on what it's like to live independently with supports in her community.
Home and Community-Based Service Waiver
Hear from Adria Nassim, disability advocate with the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, as she addresses the importance of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in supporting daily living and the employment of people with disabilities.
This video, made for the Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE), is in response to a call by APSE to provide voice to critical policy debates and help Congress determine what the most pressing needs are for people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them. For more about APSE, visit apse.org.
Description of the video:
Hi everybody, my name is Adria Nassim. I live in Bloomington, Indiana. I receive services in the community for direct support. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, as well as a severe learning disability and an autism-spectrum disorder in childhood and mid-adolescence. I need services to help me be able to live independently. Just to give you an example of that: I was on a phone call yesterday evening with a friend of mine, Rachael, who actually is a college student here at Indiana University Bloomington. She said, "Adria, what did you eat tonight for dinner?" And I said, "Rachael, I ate some steamed broccoli in the microwave and a frozen meal." And I told her I eat things like that right now because I actually don't have anybody supporting me, and when I'm alone I typically do eat things that are made in the microwave because it is a safety hazard for me to be using an oven or a stove independently without supervision." So it takes someone doing cooking and making food on the stove with me with direct supervision. And life skills and independent living skills—things like cooking dinner, folding laundry, paying bills—require assistance for me to be able to live independently. And I guarantee you my parents don't want me living in their basement. As much as I love them, they have done their darnedest to see that I have the skills needed to live away from them and live a productive and meaningful life. And that is why I need direct support from college students like Rachael and other girls that I have in my life to support me. And that's why it's so vital that we make sure that these providers are paid adequately and are able to get to their clients during this crisis. So thank you so much for paying attention and giving me your time. I really appreciate it. And let's make sure that these clients have the services they need. Thank you so much.
Students on the Spectrum
All Indiana University or IVY Tech students who live with an autism spectrum disorder or consider themselves to be neurodiverse are welcome. SOS is a self-directed club that helps students stay socially connected, become effective self-advocates, and explore supports and activities on campus and in the community. A listserv is used to keep club members informed, and for them to communicate and connect with each other. Events are scheduled with club members only, and in conjunction with the Neurodiversity Coalition and the College Internship Program. SOS is not a counseling program.
The SOS Club is now being led by Dr. Rebecca Martínez, Director, Indiana Resource Center for Autism. For more information about becoming involved or if you have suggestions for the group, contact Dr. Rebecca Martínez at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (812) 855-6508.