Jean and Luis

Meet Luis and Sarah

Meet Luis and Sarah –

Luis and Sarah

Luis and Sarah

These two students are from the Polaris School in East Hartford. They had the opportunity to volunteer in the CLCC greenhouse, and now they are learning about the jobs at the Round Hill Alpaca Farm. The Round Hill Alpaca Farm hosts several alpacas which will be part of the CLCC farm when it is up and running.

Each week students come not only to see and learn about the alpacas, but also to learn and help with all the various tasks needed to keep the farm in good order.

Luis says that he likes to work with animals – getting to know their names and all about alpacas.   Luis enjoys learning how to use the leaf blower and digging the aged compost into buckets to bring back to the school’s vegetable garden.

Sarah loves to fill the feed bins and the hay feeders.  They enjoy feeding the alpacas treats and watching them in the pasture.

Thanks to both of you for jobs well done!

Curtis & Sibling

“Sib”

I am a sibling of a person with a developmental disability, or as we’re known in the disability world, a “sib.”  My brother Curtis is a twenty-seven year old with autism.  Although I’m considered the “typical” sibling, being the sibling of a person with a developmental disability is by no means a typical experience.  In the future I will be legally, financially and relationally responsible for my brother in the same way that my parents are now.

My experience as a sibling is in no way unique.  According to the Center for Disease Control, one in six children in the United States currently has a developmental disability.  When these children become adults, that will require a range of support systems to provide for their physical, emotional, spiritual and vocational needs.  Therefore there are literally hundreds of thousands of families that will be, and are currently, confronted with the same questions of how to best provide for their children with developmental disabilities as they leave the school system and aging parents are no longer able to fill the role of primary care givers.

As state and federal resources for families continue to dwindle, CLCC’s farmstead village will not only fulfill an immediate need by providing a supportive living environment for people with developmental disabilities like my brother.  It can also be a space in which people with developmental disabilities themselves are empowered to be self-advocates.  It can be a space in which families and other concerned individuals advocate for just and sustainable policies and practices that allow people with developmental disabilities to not only live, but live fully and flourish.

CLCC is important for me as a sibling, because it is one piece of the puzzle toward creating a society in which people with developmental disabilities are valued as full human beings and contributing members of society.