We are all so fortunate to have so many skilled, dedicated, friends and colleagues serving people with special needs in our communities. This organization and our sister and partner organizations at the heart of it are about team and colleagues; a team is always greater than one person, it’s really about us- and the ‘us’ is the team that you represent in your communities. We are representing the teams of thousands of people who work tirelessly in communities throughout our state to provide what?
I will share with you, for me it has always been about freedom.
We have not only been a “rehabilitation field” to me we have always been a freedom movement. We have assisted tens of thousands of people to be free of institutions, physicals barriers, stigma, and often negative public belief in the true power of allowing individuals to reach their true potential.
We assist people to be free to achieve their dreams.
Our field was and is the key to freedom for thousands of people, and a safety net for those yet unborn to being imprisoned in a system that could deny them their basic human rights and personal dignity. We are the rear guard to ensure we do not go backwards. In my mind we have never only been administrators or social workers or case workers -we are freedom fighters.
The journey is never over, the road is long, and together you must continue to lead the way. For me, and I am sure for you, there is no greater honor, acknowledgement, appreciation or reward for us than the satisfaction of teaming together to provide a person their own bed, perhaps for the first time, their own room, their home, a marriage, a job, a car, the ability to take a vacation and personal freedoms of choice. We did that! For thousands of people through the slings and arrows of half-a-century, we did that. With parents, advocates, government partners, individuals yearning to be free- our teams helped people to be free. Helping an individual reach their dream or goal lifts and unites all of us.
Our successes compound across artificial boundaries, the cumulative effect of our influences in our communities lift expectations for greater freedoms and successes for all. We have given back to our communities the immeasurable values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to people who often have no other champions.
The basic freedoms upon which we were founded as a nation, even with the occasional human foible or organizational misstep, we are committed, dedicated and honorable.
We get positive results, we all know that and we must continue together to deliver the goods.
Organizations like Access and our partner organizations are alive and well because we all believe in the power of freedom for the individual, body, mind and spirit and we lead our teams together to make it so.
Some say the road to freedom is more rugged and rough today, more impassable.
I say that road to freedom has always been rugged and rough and it is never impassable.
We are what make it passable today in our time for others to follow on their road to freedom.
So I say to you: who are we?
We are: Freedom