Navigating Health and Housing for Individuals with Disabilities with Patricia Calandra

In this episode of IDD Health Matters, Dr. Craig Escude welcomes Patricia Calandra, a passionate advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Broadcasting from the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation conference, they delve into Patricia’s personal journey as a parent of two adult children with autism, her role as a self-direction broker, and her innovative work as a Master Housing Navigator.

Patricia shares her family’s experiences navigating the complexities of self-direction and residential living, highlighting the challenges and triumphs of seeking independence and appropriate support for her children. She emphasizes the importance of personalized care, the transformative power of technology in enhancing independence, and the critical role of telehealth services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conversation also explores the concept of non-certified housing, offering individuals with disabilities more autonomy over where and how they live. Patricia’s insights into the need for better compensation for support workers, the exhaustion families face from constant advocacy, and the potential for technology to reduce reliance on human services are thought-provoking.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of health, wellness, and disability advocacy, offering valuable perspectives on improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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