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Living with a Developmental Disability

by Leticia Martinez, Central Coast Center for Independent Living, Salinas, CA

Laura, who is 45 years old, was born with a developmental disability. Although she’s lived a very sheltered life, Laura never allowed her disability to get in the way of her goal to become independent and make her own choices.


Laura was placed in employment through HOPE Rehabilitation services, which was able to guarantee a work contract with an employer.  She does not mind going to work every morning, even though it means leaving home at 6:00 am.


Laura enjoys being with others and works along with 12 other colleagues. In order to be successful at work, they receive support from two job coaches. With the guidance and support of her job coach she is able to meet her responsibilities on the job. Now that she is working, Laura has enrolled in the 250% Working Disabled Medi-Cal program, which allows her to have better health coverage, including vision and dental benefits. Not only has she become more independent, she now lives with her legal representative.