January 18, 2016
By: Alicia Munson, Community Outreach & Advocacy Manager
Valentine’s Day is less than a month away, and love is in the air! Committee of Advocacy & Leadership (COAL) members are looking forward to celebrating the occasion with their Sweetheart’s Dance & Fundraiser on Friday, February 12 from 7-9 p.m. in the Opportunity Partners – Koch Campus. Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the door.*
Many people we support look forward to this annual event as an opportunity to share the holiday with their loved one. It’s important to remember that people with disabilities have the right to fulfilling, romantic relationships if that’s a personal priority, and can be successful in these relationships with the right support.
Koch COAL members discussed healthy relationships during their meeting this month, and developed some helpful tips for self-advocates to keep in mind:
1) Leo said, “If you want to go on a date, there are lots of fun things to do like a dance, the YMCA, or Leeann Chin’s.”
2) Dan said, “A good way to communicate is talking on the phone.”
3) Bobby said, “Always make sure you’re comfortable with the person you’re dating.”
4) John said, “Learn each other’s boundaries and when to say yes or no. Compromise!”
5) Debbie said, “Choose a relationship with a peer – not a staff person, because they work for you.”
6) Denise said, “It’s important to make time to see friends, not just your boyfriend or girlfriend.”
7) Heidi said “If you’re not interested in dating someone, tell them to respect your decision and your space.”
More great healthy relationship tips for people with disabilities, and those who support them, can be found here.
COAL members look forward to seeing you at the Sweetheart’s Dance next month!
*Staff or family members are required to attend, to help provide support for individuals with less than two hours of unsupervised time in the community, but are not required to purchase a ticket.