What "Dignity of Risk" means to me

Sharon Jodock-King
Guest Columnist

What if you never got to make a mistake?
What if your money was always kept in an envelope where you couldn’t get it?
What if you were never given the chance to do well at something?
What if your only chance to be with people different from you was with your own family?
What if the job you did was not useful?
What if you never got to make a decision?
What if the only risky thing you could do was to act out?
What if you couldn’t go outside because the last time you did it rained?
What if you took the wrong bus once and now you can’t take another one?
What if you got into trouble and you were sent away and you could never come back because they always remember you are trouble?
What if you worked and got paid 46 cents an hour?
What if you had to wear your winter coat when it rained because it was all you had?
What if you had no privacy?
What if you could do part of your grocery shopping but were not allowed to because you couldn’t do all of your shopping alone?
What if you spent three hours each day just waiting?
What if you grew old and never knew adulthood?
What if you never got a chance?


In August of 2010, DRW and other advocates put together a training for certified professional guardians.  The training is part of a DRW's efforts to train newly-certified guardans to advocate for the expressed wishes of individuals they serve. In the training, Sharon Jodock-King shared, through her communciation device, the above sentiments of "Dignity of Risk" with a poem from Linda Stengle's book, "Laying Community Foundations for your Child with a Disability." The poem is used in People First's Believing is Achieving training.