Minnesotans with disabilities are increasingly experiencing choice and independence. As this happens, professionals in the disability field see success not only for the people they serve but sometimes for people closest to them.
Sharla Scullen, who works in fiscal policy for the DHS Disability Services Division, and her son Robby have seen firsthand how well Minnesota’s disability services can work.
Robby, who receives services under a disabilities waiver, recently moved from a corporate foster care facility he had lived in since 2001 to a townhouse of his own.
“So many aspects of Robby’s life have been impacted by his disability, including his ability to choose where and with whom to live,” Sharla said. “We started by asking Robby’s case manager about the possibility of changing where Robby lived and received services. She responded with enthusiasm and excitement, which was awesome!”
The case manager gathered information and provided help and guidance as needed and continued to advocate for Robby throughout the process. Robby is now renting a townhouse with the roommate of his choice – a guy he’s known since high school. He is now close to the walking paths and shopping centers he enjoys when he is not working, volunteering and going to church.
“With three counties, two case managers, three service providers and two individuals all working together, Robby was able to move out of an adult foster care and get the services he needs in his own place!,” Sharla said.