Just Do It!

In closing we want to say that when we prepare these presentations we always try to think of how we can give the most practical information and tips for utilizing best practices to promote employment and community inclusion. We have decided that there really are no magic tips or strategies. If you have the drive and determination and you build on your own contacts, creativity and work ethic you can help your clients – even those with the most severe disabilities - maintain employment and lead fulfilling, meaningful lives, with jobs, friendship, health and happiness.

"I helped create PDS almost 20 years ago and. I still work with most of my original clients. We have been through a lot together and we have come a long way. But it is still struggle every day. I sometimes feel like a black sheep among my colleagues. And sometimes I feel exhausted-especially when we are short staffed or facing budget cuts-but when I think about clients like Sallie and Guy-and all that they have been through and how strong their spirits are- and they give me energy and motivation to stick to my principles and to keep plugging away." Lisa Markey Giraldi, Executive Director


A Word About Integrity (adapted from Susan Forward, author)

Integrity is that place inside us where our values and moral compass reside, clarifying what’s right and wrong for us. Though we equate integrity with honesty it is actually much more. The word itself means “wholeness” and we experience it as the firm knowledge that “This is who I am. This is what I believe. This is what I am willing to do and this is where I draw the line.”

Most of us know what we should do for our students or clients and we know what our ideals are-but honoring and protecting our integrity is not easy. Adhering to the 20 points we have outlined here, in challenging economic times, and defending our beliefs when others are either not helping or are actually making our job more difficult, is extremely challenging and it can also be lonely, especially when we are the black sheep among our colleagues.

Nevertheless standing up for what we believe in and keeping the promises we have made is actually very empowering and liberating, not just for us, but also for the people we serve.