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A Resolution for Inclusion


The New Year is upon us, and for many it is a time of change, renewal, and the setting of resolutions, which we often define as goals for the year ahead. Setting goals is a healthy activity and leads more readily toward success because it is easier to forge a path when you know the destination. Studies have shown that clearly defined and realistic goals are best, and those who write everything down are 33% more likely to achieve their goals than those who simply keep things in mind. In addition, many of us build a support network along the way, whether it is asking a friend to keep us accountable in avoiding sweets or joining a book group to motivate more reading.

This goal-setting process also holds true for individuals living with a disability. They have hopes, dreams, and plans for their life, and mapping out a specific path is an excellent way to achieve them. For some, their journey might require additional or specialized supports or possibly environmental modifications, and their support network goes beyond friends and family to include behavioral specialists, wraparound services, or other expert advisors. This clinical support team will assess the individual’s status and help write objectives to reach long-term and short-term goals. For instance, the individual may wish to live independently—a long-term goal. A few of the objectives to reach the short-term goals along that path may include learning to heat dinner, use public transportation, and go to the bank. The clinical support team will help craft these objectives, but the key is ensuring that the individual is central to the entire process of setting goals for their own life.

At Arc Human Services, we work with individuals who have a range of differing abilities—including intellectual disabilities, autism, and mental health challenges—to help them find success as they have defined it. It could mean living an everyday life that is safe, happy, and healthy; being involved in their community; trying new things; or visiting new places. But the organization’s heart and soul is making sure that these individuals are included and involved in mapping out their own future.

For more information on Arc Human Services’ Clinical Program and other resources and services in Southwestern PA, contact Karen Gleason, Coordinator of Integrated Clinical Services at gleason.karen@archumanservices.org or Grishma Solanki, Director of Integrated Clinical Services at solankig@archumanservices.org or (724) 745-3010 ext. 118.

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