My Success Story: Moving Into My Own Apartment
Written by Jamie Louchen, Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Self Advocate Coordinator
A goal I have had for myself is to move into my own apartment. My team didn’t think I was ready for this big step in my life. I lived in an apartment with two housemates. One of my housemates and I would argue all of the time. I was very unhappy and I started to advocate for myself at my IP meetings. I prepared before the meetings by writing down the goals I had for myself and what supports I thought I would need to achieve my goals. I also wrote down what I needed to work on to show my team that I was ready to live on my own.
I spoke up for myself in my IP meeting in September, 2010. My team said they didn’t think I was ready to move on my own yet. I didn’t give up. I continued to speak up for myself. At my IP meeting in April I told my team all of the reasons and changes I have made in my life to show them that I was ready to live on my own. My team thought I did a great job speaking up for myself and were impressed that I was so prepared for the meeting. They said they thought I was ready to live in my own apartment. My dream came true.
I moved into my own apartment July 1, 2011. I love my apartment and I love being more independent. To make my dream come true all I needed to do was to be a good Self Advocate and take charge of my life. My next big goal is to hire my own staff.