Adulthood, Aging and Disability

A Product of Disability Access: Empowering Tribal Members with Disabilities & Their Families
by Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.

Welcome to the Adulthood & Aging Workshop by Disability Access

Dr. Longie teachinWelcome to the Disability Access workshop on adulthood and aging. Prepare to be challenged as we look at what it means to be an adult, the world of college, work and independent living. Maybe it is impossible for you to get a job, graduate from college and live on your own, due to your disability.

Maybe. But we really, seriously doubt it.

This workshop is very different from our other community education offerings. Our other workshops are more organized in sections, e.g. an introduction to disability and then the 13 categories under special education law. The on-line workshop on Adulthood is more by topic, like the series of readings a person would get in their last course in their senior year of college, or in a course toward the end of a graduate program. By now, if you have been adjusting to a disability for forty years, either your own or that of a spouse or child, you know what the diagnosis means, you know the address for the Social Security office and you have already been in a fight with someone at IHS over medical care.

At this point, you are probably looking for kindred spirits, for people who understand and can sympathize. Out of your community education, you want less education and more community. In this workshop we have more personal stories. Jessica Holmes talks about growing up with a father who is schizophrenic and obsessive compulsive. She says,

"Even at eight years old, I knew there was something wrong with my father. Looking at the way he had to obsessively organize our refrigerator shelves told me that."

Erich Longie writes about the loss of his seventeen-year-old son, Dakota beliefs on grief, death and a year of mourning.

Each of our topic areas includes personal stories. In each, we also try to present issues across the adult years. For example, our section on exercise and health includes a discussion of wheelchair basketball but also range of motion exercises for people with arthritis and prevention of pressure sores, a particular danger for older adults who are bed-bound.

As with all of our web-based workshops, this is a continual work in progress. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at

Let's begin with the most common disability on the reservations, learning disabilities.

NEXT buttonLearning disabilities in adulthood


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