In the spirit of person-centered planning, you are encouraged to take an active role in your learning, understanding, and application of the material presented in this course. You will write a paper on one topic of your choice from the list below:
Caregivers/ Family Members/ Guardians/ Advocates
Discuss the role of parents and/or other family members, appointed guardians, advocates caregivers, etc. in the life of an adult with developmental disability. How might the involvement or disengagement of a caregiver/ advocate influence an individual’s employment and independent living?
Discuss age-related issues for older adults with developmental disabilities related to supported employment and independent living.
Interpersonal Relationships, including Friendships, Sexuality, Romantic relationships, Family Planning, and/ or Work Relationships
Discuss legal and ethical considerations in supporting relationship development in individuals with developmental disabilities as related to employment and independent living.
Specific developmental disability (e.g. Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability, etc.)
Choose a specific developmental disability and discuss how the challenges unique to that particular developmental disability might affect an individual’s opportunities for supported employment and independent living. Be sure to include strengths associated with that particular developmental disability, and how those might also affect the individual’s potential for employment and independent living.
Regardless of your choice of topic, your paper must relate to aspects of both independent living and employment of adults with developmental disabilities. You should explain and critically analyze relevant scholarly literature, integrating your topic choice with information on employment and independent living for adults with developmental disabilities. Suggestions are included above under each topic choice.
Your paper should integrate both the content you learned as a result of reading the required texts Wehman, Inge, Revell, & Brooke (2007), Meyers (2008), and Holburn, Gordon, & Vietze (2007), and information you learned from your review of at least 5 peer-reviewed journal articles. You may choose to include some of the journal articles assigned during the course within this paper. You should also include relevant legislation presented within the texts, journal articles suggested for this course, and relevant U.S. government agency websites. You must include some scholarly literature (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles) that you have sourced on your own. This paper will be a minimum of 8 pages and must be written in the format outlined in the APA 6th Edition Publication Manual (e.g., cover page, headings, margins, references, etc.).
Your paper should include the following sections:
Introduction: Discuss relevant literature on your topic of choice. Discuss relevant literature and legislation about employment and independent living in adults with developmental disabilities. This section must illustrate your understanding of the current empirical knowledge from the research literature with respect to individuals with developmental disabilities.
Body: In this section you will explain the relationship between your topic of choice and employment and independent living for adults with developmental disabilities. Using empirical knowledge as support, discuss the effects of your topic of choice (e.g. Aging) on employment and independent living for adults with developmental disabilities, or vice versa (e.g. ways in which being an adult with a developmental disability may impact Interpersonal Relationships involved in employment and independent living). How has the understanding of this relationship changed over time? This section should make up the bulk of your paper.
Discussion: This is the point in the paper where theory, practice, and personal views converge. Based on your reading and personal experience, has your topic of choice (e.g. Caregivers/ Family Members) impacted service delivery or administration with adults with developmental disabilities positively, negatively, or both? What are some possible reasons for this? Identify any gaps in the research literature and/ or in the provision of employment and living services to adults with developmental disabilities.
Conclusion: Describe how the knowledge you have gained regarding the relationship between your topic of choice and employment and independent living for adults with developmental disabilities will shape how you work with individuals with developmental disabilities in the future. How will the knowledge you have gained affect future leadership positions you may have? What do you envision as the future standards of service provision for employment and independent living services for individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly as related to your topic of choice (e.g. a specific disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorders)?