How life has changed for the better

by Rob Tippe

Rob Tippe with his parents Bob and Sharon.

I think things have gotten better for people with disabilities because there are more community agencies and professionals that believe in people and believe that we can succeed. When I was growing up people always thought that I would never finish high school, or get married and that I should live in an institution. But here I am today- married, home owner and own my own business, ‘Rob’s Handy Service.’ It just goes to show that when you put your mind to something and when others believe in you, you can actually achieve.

Luckily when I was growing up, both my mom and dad knew that it just might take me more time to learn and get ahead, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t succeed. For my parents they didn’t have support from agencies or school like there is today. In grade 2, I was put in a cardboard box if I didn’t work on my lessons. In grade 3, I was tested and they told me that I should be put in an institution.

In grade 6 and 7, teaching was different and my mom was happy that I was going to be able to go to high school and I was put in a modified program. High school teachers started teaching at my level and I was allowed to actively participate. My mom was my school partner after school from 4pm to 9pm and I graduated from high school with the support from my family and service providers who believed in me.

Today, there are community organizations and advocates that can help people get through the hard times and who care. My life has changed today because of my own self advocacy and because of other community advocates who I can count on. I want to thank all the service providers who have actually helped me through my life to become the person I am today.

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