AP NEWS

Students with disabilities can advocate for a bright future

May 9, 2019

My name is Chad Sinanian. I’m a gung-ho, hard-charging, dedicated and compassionate advocate for adolescents and adults with disabilities.

I’ve worked at Ability Beyond as a consumer advocate since January, 1994. I’ve served on the Connecticut Council of Developmental Disabilities from 2003-2008. I’ve been on the People First of Connecticut board since 2001; I’ve been on the ARC of Connecticut board for several years.

I’m writing this letter to encourage and inspire young adults in high school with disabilities to advocate for themselves with their parents and school districts to be taught competitive employment skills, and life skills so they’ll be better equipped and prepared to live independently in their communities.

It’s time that individuals with disabilities in high school special education classes realize that your parents aren’t going to support you forever, and that you can’t live with them all your lives.

I know there are thousands of adolescents and adults with disabilities who want to pursue college education, competitive employment and learn life skills so you’ll all be able to live independently in your community.

I ask that you show confidence in yourselves, believe in your capabilities, and advocate for yourselves with your families, your school districts, your therapists, telling them your goals and ambitions.

Lastly, please keep fighting and advocating for your programs and services, get involved with the ARC of Connecticut and People First of Connecticut and WeCahr, our advocacy agencies.

I want people with disabilities to succeed, not fail!

Chad Sinanian

Danbury

“The People’s Advocate”