Here’s a way for the Vikings to give back

I work as a support person for adults who have developmental disabilities. There’s one guy whose bedroom is basically a shrine to the Minnesota Vikings: pennants, purple and gold bedspread and pillows, a Minnesota Vikings blanket. During my training the facilitator said that many residents, or consumers as they’re called, are huge Vikings fans.

As amendments are traded back and forth in order to get the Vikings their new stadium, I’d like to propose one.

Public service for the Vikings.

Have them work with consumers who have developmental disabilities. Visit a group home, either a public or private residence. Hold an autograph session at the new stadium. Have a day when adults or children with developmental disabilities can watch the game for a reduced price.

One of my responsibilities as a DSP, or Direct Support Professional, is to advocate for consumers when they’re out in the community: making sure they get the respect and service that any other person gets. During my training the facilitator shared a story about an event that happened a few years ago. A Minnesota Vikings star (the name escapes me) had an autograph session at the Mall of America, and a DSP brought a consumer to get an autograph. They waited in the long line. When it was their turn, the consumer was thoroughly excited to meet his idol.

He doesn’t need an autograph. He can’t even read, the Viking star said.

The DSP swiftly, firmly, and politely informed the Viking that his assumption was disrespectful. 

I hope I can be equally effective advocate for developmentally disabled individuals. And I hope the Vikings consider giving back to an audience that unconditionally wants them to stay.

These opinions are my own and are not intended to speak for anyone else.

This post was written by Susan Maricle and originally posted on Poultry and Prose. Follow Susan on Twitter: @poultryprose.

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