When I was younger my mom and dad were my guardians. When I turned 18, I became a legal adult and was able to make decisions on my own, though my parents still supported me with some decisions. When my parents passed away, my sister became one of the primary people I turned to for advice. Over time, through self-advocacy and my employment with The Arc Tennessee, I learned the skills to make even more decisions for myself. Now I make most of my own decisions. I discuss my wants and needs with my sister and my circle of support. We are a team.
I also turn to my co-workers at The Arc Tennessee for decision-making support. I have worked at The Arc Tennessee for 33 years. I love working!
I believe it is important for self-advocates to have family to help with decision-making. The self-advocate should come first and the disability second.