Patrick Sandy Interview
“We were scratching our heads saying, this is wrong. This isn't the right way to do it, but I'm not sure what the right way is,” describes Patrick Sandy of his experience with the Deinstitutionalization Project at the Developmental Training Center (DTC) in Bloomington, Indiana in the 1970s. The project brought residents of Muscatatuck State Hospital and Training Center to the DTC to live and find opportunities for community participation. After seeing individuals with disabilities have no control, choice or variety in their life, Patrick changed his focus in college to disabilities.
When Patrick first started working in day services, it was just a place to warehouse people. There were few planned activities during the day. President/CEO Easterseals Crossroads in Indianapolis when he was interviewed in 2016, Patrick believes day services are evolving. There is more effort to figure out what the individual with a disability wants to achieve in the community.
Patrick believes parents and university research drove the supported employment movement. Although in Indiana, he feels parents were apprehensive at first. Patrick discusses some of the current challenges facing supported employment and possible solutions. He describes Employment First and Vocational Rehabilitation’s funding of the discovery phase in assisting people find better job matches.
Patrick was asked to share some stories about Steve Savage, his close friend who was executive director of the Arc of Greater Boone County when he died in 2015. “He got involved in the industry when he was in college… When I think about what he brought, first of all, he brought the Savage enthusiasm to the industry. And by that I mean he was just full of energy and didn't take no for an answer. He was just one of these people that could push things forward and he did it in a way where he would make people laugh, he'd engage people as friends,” says Patrick.
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