Another Look at Choice [PDF]

Lessons for a Changing Workforce from the
RSA Choice Demonstration Projects

Prepared for The Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities

John O’Brien

June 2000

I have a friend back home who also has cerebral palsy. She was in the same class with me all the way through school. Now she lives with her mother. She gets SSI and sometimes goes to a day program. She is my benchmark because just before I got involved with Choice I was pretty discouraged. I didn’t think my schooling was ever going to help me get a job. I was one step away from moving back home to live with my mom. My life and my friend’s life would have probably been pretty much the same. Not awful maybe, but not really much of a life. Not the kind of life I have now.

Instead, because Choice helped me get the confidence I needed to go through the door, I have a good job that I love. I work hard and long hours, but I get paid well and we have a lot of fun. I like the people I work with in a way that only happens when you share the same interests.

I met my husband at work. We’ve bought a home and we’re settling down.

I guess you could tell people that Choice made a big difference to me.