Jane Bernstein, author of the UIP books Loving Rachel and Rachel in the World, has a new essay on Vice about her daughter Rachel’s job. As in both her acclaimed memoirs, Bernstein pulls no punches. Proud of Rachel, Bernstein nonetheless faces anxiety, uncertainty, and real-life obstacles surrounding her adult daughter’s job.
It thrills me to see my daughter productive and content. When I mention her success at TOC, I’m often asked, to my surprise, who pays for all of this. Federal block grants go to the states, the kind of funding tax-averse politicians and their constituents rail against. The Federal money they claim is wasted on “welfare moochers” is spent on support services for children or the aged, for people with mental health, intellectual, or physical disabilities.
But these days my pleasure at seeing Rachel at work is tinged with anxiety. This kind of supported worksite is being phased out in every state. If TOC is shuttered, she will lose her job, her community, and all the steadiness and satisfaction she has found since she’s begun to work here.
Bernstein, as always, opens up the conversation for parents with disabled (in this case adult) children. It is a fascinating, powerful read, and a new chapter in Bernstein’s—and Rachel’s—ongoing life story.