Adulthood - Success Stories

Rafael Felix
Rafael’s Previous Services:  In the past, Rafael has lived in group homes and in supported living programs run by private providers.  Rafael was often frustrated living in these different environments.  He didn’t enjoy living with groups of people, nor did he like having to follow the rules set by agencies.  Mostly, Rafael was unhappy that it didn’t feel like he could live his life like everyone else.  He wanted to have a life that was similar to the life of his non-disabled siblings.
Rafael’s Current Services:  Today, Rafael lives in his own apartment and is supported by people he hires.  He enjoys taking care of his home on his own and having friends and family members spend time with him at his apartment.  Rafael also likes being in charge of his own home and being in charge of his life.  He loves the support staff he has hired to work with him and likes being the “boss” of his employees.  These changes have also resulted in Rafael being happier in other areas of his life.  He loves his job, he has lots of friends he’s met through his volunteer activities and he’s an active and welcomed member of his community.  This is a big change for Rafael.  In the past, when he was unhappy, everyone around him was unhappy.  Now that he is happy, everyone is happy!
How Rafael got from his old life to his new life:  Rafael’s mom and his family have always been his biggest advocates.  When his Mom learned about self determination, she immediately contacted Rafael’s case manager and advocated that Rafael have a chance to make more choices and have more flexibility and authority in his life.  Rafael’s case manager helped him to create an individual budget and helped Rafael and his family learn all about what it meant to hire your own staff and be an employer.  Rafael then made his money portable and began hiring different staff.  He eventually found the staff that were “just right” for him.  He has now had these same staff for many years and is very happy with his role as boss!  Rafael says, “If I can do this, you can too!