By Michael Bérubé, Trustee Camphill Foundation North America
My adult son has intellectual disabilities and needs lifelong support systems. For now he has us, but we also need solutions like intentional communities.
Imagine you're driving 80 miles per hour. The road ahead ends in a precipitous descent. What lies beyond the cliff's edge, you can't see. You only know that you're going to fall, hard and fast. And you desperately hope that someone or something will cushion the terrifying drop.
It's a dramatic metaphor. But, figuratively speaking, it's not far from the reality of what happens to people with disabilities and their families when they fall off the so-called "disability cliff." That's how we describe what ensues when an individual with disabilities turns 21 and ages out of the support systems that have sustained him or her from infancy through adolescence. It’s where the law ends and a dark, uncertain wilderness begins.