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Don't let my son plunge off the 'disability cliff' when I'm gone



By Michael Bérubé, Trustee Camphill Foundation North America 

My adult son has intellectual disabilities and needs  lifelong support systems. For now he has us, but we also need solutions  like intentional communities.


Imagine you're driving 80 miles per  hour. The road ahead ends in a precipitous descent. What lies beyond the  cliff's edge, you can't see. You only know that you're going to fall,  hard and fast. And you desperately hope that someone or something will  cushion the terrifying drop.


It's a  dramatic metaphor. But, figuratively speaking, it's not far from the  reality of what happens to people with disabilities and their families  when they fall off the so-called "disability cliff."  That's how we describe what ensues when an individual with disabilities  turns 21 and ages out of the support systems that have sustained him or  her from infancy through adolescence. It’s where the law ends and a  dark, uncertain wilderness begins.


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