Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Policy > Person Directed Services > Stories

Colton Vazquez's Story

photo of colton signing a paperWhat are some of the things you enjoy about directing your own services and supports?
I want to be the boss of my life. I'm in charge.

Tell us about a time when you and your support service professional (SSP) tried something new in your community. Where did you go? What did you do? What did you like about this activity? How did your SSP support you in this new adventure?
I am in college now and I live in the dorms. My supports coordinator Val helped me pay for some of my classes with my waiver. I am the first student with intellectual disabilities to live on campus in the dorms at Duquesne University. I used my waiver to hire another student to help me learn the campus and to use all the stuff they have there like the starbucks, dining hall, the gym and where my classes are.

Is there anything you think is hard or challenging about directing your own services and supports? Tell us about a time that you faced a challenge with your support staff and how you worked through this challenge.
It takes too long to get them approved to pay them. Two people quit before the paperwork was done.

Directing my own services and supports is important to me because...
Someday my mom and dad won't be here to help me. I need to learn this myself. I don't want someone else telling me what to do. My supports coordinator meets me on campus and I sign my own papers.


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This project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council; in part by grant 1901PASCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.





Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education and Human Development
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service