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Corliss Proves She Can Do More

March 22, 2017

Impact Stories

At our 2017 Spring Gala and Auction, HeartShare premiered a video featuring Corliss, who was told that she couldn’t work or live independently because of her disability.

Corliss refused to accept the limitations that others put in place for her. When she first attended a HeartShare Day Habilitation Program, Corliss relied on provided transportation to and from home. Corliss, however, knew she was ready to venture out alone. With her commute route in hand and contingency plan in case she got lost, Corliss decided to get home on her own.

“What are you doing here?” her brother asked Corliss, when she showed up much earlier than usual at home. “I came home by myself,” she said with a mischievous grin.

Here’s Corliss’s story in her own words:

When I was younger, a lot of kids would tease me, “Oh, you are handicapped. Oh, you can’t do anything.”

I go shopping on my own.

I make my own meals.

I live on my own.

I taught myself how to take the subway.

Sometimes, I go over my friend’s house or my family’s house.

So, I’m proud to say, I could do more things than I thought I could do.

HeartShare means a lot to me. I’ve been with HeartShare since 1989.

I remember I met a whole lot of people that told me I could do it.

What my difficulty is — is talking up to people. If I talk to you, they’re going to say I’m talking funny. My parents told me, “Just overcome it.”

And I try. And I keep trying.

Independence is important to me — it shows that you can do what people say you can’t do.

Independence. It means I have my life.

And this *arriving at her work desk* is where my day begins . . .

I’m Corliss. I work in Brooklyn, New York and I’m also from Brooklyn. And I’m very independent.

Corliss, who has an undefeated spirit and endearing sense of humor, was confident that she could lead an independent life. HeartShare believed that she could too.

Children and adults with developmental disabilities have historically been excluded and have had limitations placed on their potential. Since 1977, when its Developmental Disabilities Services were founded, HeartShare defied those expectations: Why can’t people with disabilities do more? Why can’t they dream like the rest of us?

Learn more about HeartShare’s Developmental Disabilities Services, helping children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live in, work and enjoy the New York community.