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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Young Man Goes From "Persistent Vegetative State" To Self-Determined Life
July 14, 2005

BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA--Renzo Viscardi, 21, plays a guitar, writes poetry, attends classes at a community college, and works part-time.

And it looks like he will soon be achieving his goal of living independently in a home -- which he will own.

Not bad for a fellow who seven years ago was diagnosed by doctors as being in a "persistent vegetative state", with no brain activity.

A recent edition of The Morning Call featured a story about Renzo, and told how his parents refused to accept the diagnosis, how they pushed for rehabilitative therapies, and how -- with a little help from his friends -- they helped him to develop a plan for a self-determined life in the community.

"At the beginning doctors told us what was impossible," explained Renzo's mother, Cheryl Dougan. "This is about looking ahead at what is possible."

Renzo said of his plan: "I want to be free."

"Bethlehem man came back from 'vegetative state'" (The Morning Call)


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