Erika Steuterman Interview
“I have a servant's mentality… so what do I do? Well, now my focus is on helping families with young children with disabilities and as they go up through the school system, how do you get supports after age 22.” Erika Steuterman has two daughters with intellectual disabilities and has experienced changes in resources and supports over the past 30 years. She discusses natural supports, employment opportunities, housing, and The Arc of Indiana trusts.
Erika also has two siblings with intellectual disabilities. “I remember seeing these round scabs on his arm when I was a kid and I just knew that something evil was going on there, describes Erika. Her brother went to Central State Hospital in Indianapolis when Erika was about 11 years old. In 2013, Erika visited the Indiana State Archives to discover what happened to her brother while living at Central State. Erika says, “The stuff I saw would turn my stomach.” One piece of information she found was a checklist with the number of times her brother was tied up. There were days where he was tied up longer than he was not tied up. Today, Erika says her brother lives with two housemates and has a full life.
Erika’s younger sister lived in a few state hospitals before moving into a home in Indianapolis. Erika talks about how she supports her sister today. She also discusses the importance of her daughters speaking up for themselves and plans for when Erika and her husband are no longer able to provide support. Erika was interviewed in 2016.
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