Most Featured Stories are short videos or articles about real people whose lives inspire and demonstrate the positive efforts of individuals, families, and professionals.  Other Featured Stories tell of topics of interest to ODP stakeholders.


T’s Story

T’s story is about a man with an intellectual disability, neurodevelopmental disability, and a mental health disorder that challenged the thinking of his supporters about how things should be done.  His story is also a reminder that diagnosis should not overshadow the individual needs of the person or the person’s strengths and abilities. 

T’s Story  Listen to the audio recording – 14 Minutes
Read the T’s Story transcript (pdf)
Read more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the FAS Newsletter (pdf) 

Photo of a Lifesharing Family

Lifesharing in Pennsylvania

This 20-minute video provides an overview of Lifesharing. Lifesharing (also known as Family Living) is a service available in Pennsylvania in which an individual with intellectual disability (ID) chooses to share a home and his or her life with another person or family to form a caring environment. The video tells the story from the points of view of three Pennsylvania families, the individuals who live with them, and an individual’s aging parent. The video also presents Patty McCool, ODP Director of Bureau of Supports for People with ID, and Stephanie Brown, a PA Lifesharing Coalition member.

Watch Lifesharing in PA Video

Dennis’s Journey

“So many people see only disabilities. Look at Dennis. Look at the possibilities. He leads a complete and full and rich life. He has dreams and goals, and his community is behind him. Dennis has always led the way . . . And I have followed.”    – –   Dennis’s Mom

Watch Dennis’s Journey Video. . .

Congratulations on Celebrating Nine Years, Dennis!

Dennis and co-workers celebrate his nine years on the job. (Article reprinted with permission from the Pike County Dispatch (1/8/2015 issue) Read Article about Dennis . . .

Dennis hosts a pizza party for friends and co-workers in his new home.  Read about the event.

Photo of Dennis

Photo of Amber Smiling

Amber Communicates

. . . Just Listen

Amber doesn’t say much, at least in strings of words that most people would understand. “We have to use alternate modes of communication.”

Introduction to Amber Communicates
Meet Amber and Debbie (video)
Amber Communicates   (written version)
Amber Communicates (audio version)
Part 1     Part 2     Part 3
. .

Photo of Larry and Cheryl

Employment – How it Happened for Me

Larry started his path to a work career at VIA of Lehigh Valley, Inc. in a sheltered workshop setting and is now working in the community at a job he enjoys. Cheryl is an Employment Coordinator at VIA of Lehigh Valley, Inc. and is part of Larry’s support team. In his own words Larry shared how the transition to community employment happened for him.

Read the complete Employment – How it Happened for Me story .

 CDS Photo

The College of Direct Support

The College of Direct Support is a national, web-based curriculum for people who support women and men with developmental disabilities.

Read More about the College of Direct Support . . .