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My Thoughts About Being 50: Samuel O. Jenkins

As a person with a disability I get around the state, and travel to conferences, and learn, and make the right choices. As a 50-year-old person with a disability, I feel I can do all the things a young person can do, but better.

I work for The New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project in North Brunswick as an Information/Referral Coordinator. I have worked for the project for over six years. My role as the Information/Referral Coordinator involves giving resources and information, plus providing training to self-advocates on how to speak-up for themselves and others. I assist self-advocacy groups with setting up projects such as testifying before legislators, writing letters to the media, and facilitating discussions between self-advocates, staff and administrators of provider organizations.

My interests are listening to music, educating others, learning new things, and, most of all, enjoying life. I feel people 50 years and older have the same chances as younger people have -- and more! Especially people with disabilities. Finally, I feel older people with disabilities shouldn't let their age or disability stop them from getting the job of their dreams or having fun.

Contributed by Samuel O. Jenkins, Plainfield, New Jersey.


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Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota ( Citation: Heller, T., Stafford, P., Davis, L.A., Sedlezky, L., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Winter 2010). Impact: Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 23(1). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration].

The PDF version of this Impact, with photos and graphics, is also online at

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