My name is Jackie Golden.
Background: Mother of two children with disabilities. Daughter with Attention Deficit Disorder, and son with Angelman's Syndrome. I am Partners grad from "95" in Maryland. Since my graduation these are the changes in my life, and they are pretty amazing:
- My son has been included in his home school program, that I designed myself. He has multiple disabilities and his inclusion into his home school is one of the first cases for Baltimore County to include a child with significant disabilities. He is doing great and I want to say, so is the school!
- I have written a grant called the Support and Outreach Project. In Maryland, high school and middle school age children are required to complete 75 hours of service learning hours in their communities. This grant matches students that need to complete these hours with families of children with disabilities. The students provide services from activities in the community to light chores for the family of the child with disabilities. They can also provide support to the siblings of the child with a disability, such as homework tutors. Anything that would give the family some type of support in the home setting. The grant also does disability awareness workshops in schools and phone support to families.
- I am now on Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Council as a member, which I love.
- I also am the Secretary of the Arc of Maryland Board of Directors.
- I help Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Administration with the State wide steering committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Self-Determination Project. I am the voice for Parents. I am in the process of changing my son's living arrangements. He currently lives in a group home. My husband and I are arranging for him to come back home. We are giving our home to him so he will have a home of his own for life. He will move into this new arrangement June 6, 1998.
- This year I have been awarded the Joseph P. Kennedy Public Policy Fellowship in Washington D.C. After interviewing last year I was awarded this fellowship and I am currently working in Washington D.C. on the Special Committee on Aging, Senator Grassley, Chairman, Iowa. All of the above accomplishments can be directly related back to the skills I received in Partners in Policymaking. I have always been an advocate for my children and all persons with disabilities, but Partners gave me the additional tools to take it too another level entirely. The Partners in Policymaking experience was wonderful, and I formed a solid foundation to build additional advocacy skills on. Maryland's Partners class is now going into its 4th year and I would encourage anyone who is a self advocate or Parent of a child with disabilities to get involved with this effort.
Partners in Policymaking