Impact Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

My Thoughts About Being 50:
Samuel O. Jenkins (sidebar)

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.