More About Community Works
“Community Works” is a project that increases the capacity of respite and ongoing care providers in the Maryland community by utilizing untapped resources (college & graduate students studying in related fields) by creating a process in which students become aware of the opportunities to support children and young adults with developmental disabilities.
Students are directed to the Community Works Bulletin Board where they have the opportunity to review ads, posted by parents, and apply for jobs according to their interest. They gain field related employment and develop a greater sensitivity to the issues and difficulties inherent in supporting and caring for a child or young adult with developmental disabilities within the family, and in the community. Furthermore, students are employed!
Parents obtain the care they need. The child or young adult is supported and cared for by an individual (student) who is motivated, creative and close in age, thus increasing the opportunities for typical and inclusive experiences. This experience fosters and develops disability awareness, inclusive practices, and family centered care. It also strengthens their resume!
The University benefits on two levels: First, its academic program is strengthened because it “gets to know the community”, via the students. It comes to understand the needs, and challenges that families face and can prepare its students accordingly. Second, its ability to provide rich, informative experiences for its students makes it a more desirable and competitive institution.
Finally, the community wins because children and young adults with developmental disabilities receive the support and care they need. Consequently, they, as well as their families, are less isolated and have the opportunity to live fuller and richer lives. Everyone wins!