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 Arizona

by Laurie Roberts – Jul. 10, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

If you were anywhere near north Tempe around midmorning Friday, you might have noticed a brief uptick in the temperature. I think it was the glow from Jerry Fischer’s face.

Jerry, you see, had just heard that he’s going back to work, and his smile was enough to warm even the coldest heart at the Arizona Legislature where our leaders this year were forced to make “tough choices.”

Unfortunately, one of those tough choices involved Jerry and 700 others who, like him, have mental disabilities. In order to save $3.7 million, the state cut them loose.

Jerry, 51, has Down syndrome and lives with his brother Jack Florez in Glendale. For 11 years, Jerry has gone to VALLEYLIFE, formerly the Valley of the Sun School and Habilitation Center, where he has participated in a vocational program supported by state tax dollars.

Though there is a lot that Jerry can’t do, there is a fair amount that he can do, and with VALLEYLIFE’s help, he has been able to go to work and earn a paycheck and feel like he has something to offer the world.

Tempe, Arizona

Read More …  http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2010/07/10/20100710roberts0710.html



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