"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."
~ Napoleon Hill

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

All Hail the New Leader: Disability Support Program

I stumbled across this by accident on the Disability Support Program website. Very, very interesting. Of course, whether it will actually mean anything for the disability community's point of view remains to be seen.

I can tell you, however, that I recently met with Maria Medioli, who has taken over Joe Rudderham's position as Executive Director of the Disability Support Program. And I must say that I was positively impressed - which is not an easy feat with this long-term cynical parent/ disability lawyer.

You might remember that it was Ms. Mediolia that recently commented to the effect that parents and caregivers should contact staff at the DCS, who will "will bend over backwards to support families as best they can."

I must admit that when I first read that, I rolled my eyes, shook my head and wondered why the more things change, the more they stay the same. And that, as they say, was that.

Or at least it was until I actually spoke with Ms. Medioli in person (as part of a small group of families). The conversation lasted close to two hours and she seemed very open and honest in her answers/comments. To say it was a pleasant surprise would be a very large understatement.

So, let's put it this way, Mr. Rudderham and I never really hit it off from the first day we met but I got a very different, very positive feeling from Ms. Medioli.*

Never fear, though; I remain somewhat cynical. After all, does anyone remember the story of the former Student Services Coordinator for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board who sounded like God's gift to parents whenever she spoke in public but was pretty much the polar opposite when a family actually had to advocate on behalf of their child?

Whether some people start from the right place but quickly get sucked up and corrupted by the system or  are simply very good at "playing the game" (generally to the detriment of individuals with special needs and their family members), I take very little at face value.

But I will give Ms. Medioli a chance to show that she not only talks the talk, but actually walks the walk. Maybe you should, too.

* Ironically, some might say, at the end of our meeting, Ms. Medioli commented that it had went much better than she feared though it would. Skeptic meet Skeptic.


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