Author Archives: Jessica Stover

Networks @ 25… Wrapping up our year of celebration!

Networks @ 25 logo

Can it be??!!

Unbelievably, yes, Networks is now 25 years old!

While it’s certainly time to celebrate, it is also important to remember all those who have traveled with us, helped us, challenged us, cheered us on, & joined with us over these amazing 25 years.  You helped us realize our vision & assisted us to become more of who we are today.

Photos of Networks from the past 25 years with a 25th birthday candle in the middle

Together we have

  • fought injustices & discrimination
  • encouraged others to find & raise their voices
  • re-imagined schools, workplaces, communities, & lives
  • assisted groups to coalescence around important issues
  • found solutions (or at least some parts of solutions) to change the world to embrace ALL people.

 

We are still going strong & look to the next 25+ years of hard but exhilarating work.

But first, we will be taking time each month this year to look back, honor, & celebrate.

This month we are overjoyed to bring you some thoughts from a few more of Networks’ folks…. their perspective on what Networks is! ♥

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Networks is … helping people to grow where ever they are.  My first memories of Networks go way back to the 1990’s.  Not long after I received my Master’s degree and was having problems finding a job, I realized I would need to plan my own destiny and figure things out for myself.  So, I decided to apply for a grant and I asked Networks to look over the proposal because I had never written anything similar before.  I still remember Harriet Gordon sitting with me on my apartment floor reading through piles of printed pages to make sure everything was in order.  Back then, I was using a computer, but it was necessary to have several copies of the proposal, and for a blind woman with very little computer experience, it was no small feat.  But Harriet came over and proofed everything and I actually did get the contract.  Since that time, I have often sought help from Networks, and now I am part of it—helping others in their efforts.

    – Suzanne Erb; Accommodations Specialist, Networks

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Networks is…..

Never ending encouragement and positive support

Equal opportunities for all

Teamwork

Way of Viewing the world of accessibility … Universal Access and opportunities

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Ready and willing to provide training and support

Kind, caring and knowledgeable

Sharing of hopes and visions

   — Tracy Lapreziosa; Assistive Technology Lead, Networks

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Several years before there was a “Network” Mike and Rosa asked me what I saw for my son’s future.  Mitchell was almost 8 at the time.  I shared my vision of what I hoped his future would be and little did I know at that time that Networks would play a role in making my vision a reality.  I saw my son living as independently as possible in a place of his own, having a real job and making spending money.  He liked being around people and was already a part of his community, but I hoped for more.

When Networks was founded, I sometimes was invited to present at training sessions as  a parent to give my perspective to trainees; primarily employees in the ID system in Philadelphia.  Mike felt it was important for them to hear from real people living with children and adults with disabilities and what we would need and expect for the future.  Keeping a finger on the pulse and bringing reality rather than just theory into the classrooms was always important to Mike.  Just presenting theory was never enough.

When Mitchell reached transition age I happened to run into Mike one day near my office, a block away from Networks’ office downtown, and we caught up.  He offered to get involved with Mitchell’s transition and our district agreed to contract with Networks to do just that.  Networks staff got to know Mitchell during the spring and used the extended school year time to do community based assessments and job development for him based on his skills and interests.   They saw the strengths and potential in a young man who most people only saw his multiple severe disabilities.

Mitchell came out of that summer with a job he still has today; 17 years later.  Additional work opportunities were developed for him when he was leaving school.  At about that time, I was asked to serve on the Networks board where I still serve today.  While we have all changed over the years since then, Networks has maintained it’s philosophy supporting a ‘can do’ attitude.  As we celebrate a quarter of a century of Networks, my hope is that while changes continue to occur in the organization and the ID system and service areas expand, the basics of the beginnings of Networks will carry forward as the guiding principles of the organization for the next 25 years!

Ruth Landsman; Long-term Friend, Advocate, and Networks’ Board Director

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Networks is… opportunity, possibility, dignity and choice. Networks is… passion, hard work, creativity and discovery. Networks is… holistic, honest and open-minded. Networks wholeheartedly believes in each individual person and their potential. Other people ask, “why?”. Networks asks, “why not?” Why not do everything we can to provide people the supports they need to live their best lives? Networks is… giving it your all even when meeting resistance from The Way Things Have Always Been. Networks is… progressive and forward-thinking. The only way to be.

Nikita Arnett; Transition and Research Liaison, Networks

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Networks is a group of beautiful people, working to serve others in the ways they are inspired to help.  It’s about empowering, healing, supporting, making connections…and I don’t even know the half of what all these wonderful folks do!

Jeremy Duke; Wholistic Practices Team Member, Networks

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At its core, Networks is an organization of people devoting their lives and careers to help other people.

These days it seems that such an occupation is becoming less and less “fashionable”.   Starting with the “me decade” of the 70’s, success has been increasingly defined in terms of personal achievement and self-service.  Yet Networks has been steadfast, continuing to pursue Mike and Rosa’s original vision with consistent and remarkable success.  While my contribution has been marginal, I am proud to have been a part of the family for these 25 years.

Paul Bartolomeo; Attorney, Friend, Inaugural Board Director, and Board President

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And last of all, Tracy offers us a look back at this 25th year and how we have celebrated…

Networks: Celebrating 25 Years!

While it’s certainly time to celebrate, it launched us into a year of reflection, sharing, and gratitude to all those who helped us realize our vision and joined in our journey to where we are today.

Where to begin?

Rosa started us off with a launch of the historical video of the “birth” of Networks sharing how it all came to be!    We began meeting regularly eagerly planning fun surprises and ways to show our thanks to our supporters.

In January, we honored our 2nd most senior individual still at Networks, George Callaway.   Did you check out the video?   We expressed our gratitude to Anthony Gallasso a former Networks team member for leading and guiding George to his employment at Networks.

March began with a giant thank you to the Assistive Technology Advisory group participants who helped guide the direction of our focus and delivery of Technologies for Independence and Control.  The group included friends of Networks and others in and outside of the field to bring objective insight and considerations of our AT work.

Jessica shared a beautiful description of our Wholistic Practices in June to celebrate our work in this area.  Alternative modalities such as massage, meditation, energy work, breathing techniques aromatherapy and much more are real options for EVERYONE, not just tree hugging folks!

In September, Shauna shared how our Community and Organizational Development has evolved and changed to meet the needs of those we serve and support.   Styles and topic areas have changed with the times as we assist groups of varying sizes.  Networks may be small but our ripple effect has been instrumental in bringing change and growth to many over the years!

Throughout the year, staff members, board members, Networks friends and supporters have been sharing personal thoughts of what Networks is to them.  As you read each one, it is evident how much Networks has impacted not only those we support with our services but our own team members and our personal supporters.

And, of course, we will end the celebration year, with good eats, games, music, dancing, singing, playing, sharing and reminiscing at our Anniversary Party in Philadelphia.  Looking forward to the energy of a room filled with love and gratitude!

Plans are in full swing for the future of our next 25 years!  This coming year will be filled with more trainings, plans for expansion, and helping other organizations.

 

Networks @ 25… Wholistic Practices

Networks @ 25 logo

Can it be??!!

Unbelievably, yes, Networks is now 25 years old!

While it’s certainly time to celebrate, it is also important to remember all those who have traveled with us, helped us, challenged us, cheered us on, & joined with us over these amazing 25 years.  You helped us realize our vision & assisted us to become more of who we are today.

Photos of Networks from the past 25 years with a 25th birthday candle in the middle

Together we have

  • fought injustices & discrimination
  • encouraged others to find & raise their voices
  • re-imagined schools, workplaces, communities, & lives
  • assisted groups to coalescence around important issues
  • found solutions (or at least some parts of solutions) to change the world to embrace ALL people.

We are still going strong & look to the next 25+ years of hard but exhilarating work.

But first, we will be taking time each month this year to look back, honor, & celebrate.

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At Networks, we’ve done a lot of innovative, creative, and what some might consider “off the wall” things over the years.  I think we kind of pride ourselves on that. 😉

One of the more recent “off the wall” areas of exploration has been getting into offering our newest service area, “Wholistic Practices”.

I am sure there was talk consisting of, “What in the world are those hippy tree  huggers doing now?” when we first started openly advertising these new activities.  We’re not all hippy tree huggers at Networks, but some of us are… some of use like to wear tie dye, Birkenstocks, run wild and free among the country side… sit around campfires and sing songs while playing a guitar… play in the ocean, connect to the community, embrace and believe this world is for everyone, make change, push boundaries, hug, laugh, eat good food, touch and connect with others, hmmmm… well then maybe we are hippy tree huggers (without the tie dye and Birks on everyone)!

We are a fun group of marauders, no doubt.  And we also believe deeply that everyone is connected and relationships are vital to our existence.  Touch is as important if not more so… those who we’ve had the honor to walk with over these 25 years live in a desert of touch – and, in turn, a desert of loneliness… and potentially a desert of (un)wellness.  We want to change that.  We want to show communities and systems that “alternative” modalities (such as massage, meditation, energy work, breathing techniques, aromatherapy, sound healing, and more) can be real and viable options for everyone – to increase our place in this world.  And our wellness in life.

In a time when the world is swirling and feeling (at times) tumultuous and uncertain, we want to show there is a small light.  There IS a way to explore different.  There ARE additional ways and considerations to support ourselves and those we are honored to support.  The beauty of it all?  It’s not hard.  Wellness, however that exists for a person, should be a true and viable option.  People shouldn’t have to go to a “special” center for massage or seek treatment from a practitioner “specially certified to work with [insert the condescending terminology of your choice]”…  We want to create a lasting change.  Bodywork practitioners can (and do!) adapt their practice.  Can’t get in an anti-gravity chair to get reflexology?  No problem.  We’ll lay on the floor to get a good angle to hone in on those pressure points on your feet.  Supporters don’t think she/he would like to get a massage?  Come on… let the person decide for themselves!

Let’s gently (or maybe not so gently) push the norm and status quo of what we think “wellness” should be.   The person you support lost 5 pounds in the last month, hasn’t had any “aggressive behaviors” in the last 2 weeks but concurrently, takes 15 medications a day, doesn’t have a job but attends a social group 3 times a week, is ostracized by their family, lives with a history of trauma, has no “FRIENDS” (other than the folks who are paid to be with him…) – but they’re happy, you say?  Their doctor gave them a good bill of health.  But, is this person living well??  It’s all in terms of what we view as living well and being “well.”  Did we every ask this person what they think living well looks like?  Or how they would like to live???

Let’s dance more… laugh more… sing together and eat good food – together.  Let’s work together to explore what it means to be well and how we can assist others to live their lives well and in how THEY WANT.

Let’s stop making decisions for others, let’s stop putting the brakes on trying something new (“Massage?  But she/he HATES to be touched!” …do they, really?).

Let’s stop dictating what someone else’s life looks like and is formed into being.

Let’s ask more questions.

Let’s try more things.

Let there be more responses of “HELL YES!” instead of… “Nope, that won’t work for ‘my’ person.”

Let’s connect.

Let’s do this…. now!!


Children dancing in Asia

“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?”
–Gabrielle Roth

Networks @ 25! …Honoring our Assistive Technology Advisory Group…

Networks @ 25 logo

 

 

 

Can it be??!!

Unbelievably, yes, Networks is now 25 years old!

While it’s certainly time to celebrate, it is also important to remember all those who have traveled with us, helped us, challenged us, cheered us on, & joined with us over these amazing 25 years.  You helped us realize our vision & assisted us to become more of who we are today.

Photos of Networks from the past 25 years with a 25th birthday candle in the middle

Together we have

  • fought injustices & discrimination
  • encouraged others to find & raise their voices
  • re-imagined schools, workplaces, communities, & lives
  • assisted groups to coalescence around important issues
  • found solutions (or at least some parts of solutions) to change the world to embrace ALL people.

We are still going strong & look to the next 25+ years of hard but exhilarating work.

But first, we will be taking time each month this year to look back, honor, & celebrate.

——————————

A Thank-You to our Assistive Technology (AT) Advisory Group…

Several years ago, Networks established the first of 4 advisory groups.  This and subsequent advisory groups were born out of a need and wish to look more deeply at the work we have offered to people, teams and organizations with deep heartfelt desires to assist in creating lasting change and to provide alternatives to the status quo of traditional support systems.

The AT Advisory Group (connected to our service area, “Technologies for Independence and Control”) was a guiding light as we re-thought deeply (and sometimes painfully), “Should we continue to do this (specific) work… how can we re-offer our skills to others… what areas should we (and should we not) focus…” and more.  During the beginning of this Advisory Group we, at Networks, were seriously thinking about our focus and the delivery of Technologies for Independence and Control in the face of questions at that time coming from the outside world.  We chose to invite not only friends of Networks, but also people in and outside of the “field” who would bring to the table highly objective insights and considerations of this very work.

While some on this Advisory Group have since moved on after offering us their personal and professional assistance, we wish to sincerely thank each and every person who was a guidepost along the way.

Each advisory group functions a bit differently – with a different scope and set of goals – all offer us, and the world at large, unique considerations.  Their opinions and points of view continue to be invaluable and create opportunities to push ourselves further organizationally and dream of a future which is bigger, brighter, and more inclusive than it is today.

To read more about our service area, “Technologies for Independence and Control” and to also see who is currently members of this AT Advisory Group, please read further here: http://www11.networksfortraining.org/services.php#technologiesforIndependenceControl

Networks @ 25! …Honoring George Callaway…

Networks @ 25 logoCan it be??!!

Unbelievably, yes, Networks is now 25 years old!

While it’s certainly time to celebrate, it is also important to remember all those who have traveled with us, helped us, challenged us, cheered us on, & joined with us over these amazing 25 years.  You helped us realize our vision & assisted us to become more of who we are today.

Together we have

  • fought injustices & discrimination
  • encouraged others to find & raise their voices
  • re-imagined schools, workplaces, communities, & lives
  • assisted groups to coalescence around important issues
  • found solutions (or at least some parts of solutions) to change the world to embrace ALL people.

We are still going strong & look to the next 25+ years of hard but exhilarating work.

But first, we will be taking time each month this year to look back, honor, & celebrate.

——————————

George Callaway smiling and looking at the camera

George Callaway

This month we are thrilled to honor George Callaway, the 2nd most senior person still at Networks!  George is probably the best known Networks’ employee and has served us in more ways than any of us can count — copier of reams of training handouts, transcriber of many workshop evaluations, teacher, trainer, jokester, techie extraordinaire (especially phone systems), shoulder massager, great hugger & consoler on tough days, transportation guide (especially mass transit systems), and so much more!

Image of Anthony Galasso sitting a computer desk and smiling

Anthony Galasso

And George would not be at Networks if it were not for his good friend and Networks’ former employee, Anthony Galasso.  It was Anthony who George 1st visited and helped, and helped yet again… leading to George being employed by us.  It was Anthony who was George’s 1st job coach.  And it was Anthony who remained there with George long after he moved on from Networks continuing as George’s good friend and champion.  We can never thank you enough, Anthony, for all you gave us…. including George.

Love you both forever!

And here’s a fun version of George’s story!  Enjoy!!

https://youtu.be/yeq7mVPifhc

What is NOT assistive technology?

Recently on a listserv (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology – www.qiat.org) , a question was posed which caught my eye, “What is and what is not assistive technology?”

WHOA!  That could be a pretty heavy question…!

question marks

What?

At Networks we think everything is assistive technology (AT) and are always looking and exploring different, new, and creative AT, accommodations and adaptations.

What unrolled on this listserv and the responses were nothing short of fantastic and did not disappoint.  If anything, it spurred us to think even more deeply and fully confirmed so much of what we’ve known for years.  We’ve been in situations where a support person didn’t feel AT should be afforded to a person because they saw it as a “crutch”  (my brain was boggled!) where, in fact, it was (in the end) a full support for the person in question to do their job (yes!  a paid job in the community earning a competitive wage!) more effectively.  There are still SO many misconceptions and false beliefs surrounding assistive technology, accommodations, and adaptations.  Part of this is, potentially, just CALLING it assistive technology — these two words alone sets apart things as special and only for a particular group of people…  But, this is a conversation (and posting!) for another day.

We compiled nearly all of the thoughtful responses below.  But, before you read further, ask yourself…  what IS and what is NOT assistive technology?  We hope you’ll leave you thoughts in the comment section & let’s get the conversation started!


What is Assistive Technology, Accommodations, and Adaptations?

 AT is….

  • a game changer
  • access, transforming
  • problem-solving access
  • about asking “how can we…?” and “what can she/he do with the right support?”
  • about discovering new strategies and tools to expand access and opportunity
  • about building the best toolbox
  • a team effort, including the person
  • a process of involving more than just the person to access potential
  • goal driven
  • a dynamic process
  • evolving and constant research
  • (can be) magical
  • a journey, not a destination
  • a tool
  • a process
  • a tool used by a person
  • to express themselves and interact with the world
  • dynamic and ongoing
  • everything
  • a set of words that creates something “special” for a person / creates a separate group (not good!)
  • a state of mind, analogous to the maker movement
  • a state of mind is not all that compatible with the status quo and business as usual

 AT is not….

  • a crutch, cheating
  • quantifying deficits
  • about justifying why something has always been done a certain way
  • done
  • always high-tech
  • a magic wand
  • one size fits all
  • causing an unfair advantage
  • an immediate fix
  • a destination
  • a specific device/app/piece of equipment
  • the complete solution
  • a persons identity [i]
  • a product
  • thinking for a person
  • making connections between ideas for a person
  • analyzing information for a person
  • completing an assignment for a person
  • providing an unfair advantage for a person
  • a one-time event
  • without continual attention

[i] Unless the person using the AT defines it that way

Adapted from QIAT (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology) Listserv, November 2017

 

Strengthening Your Team!

How often does your team get together to reflect, learn, brainstorm, strategize and have fun? Networks team members have a history of spending focused time and energy in connecting with one another routinely and have been doing so for 25 years! Our most favorite times are often during get-away retreats, but even having half-day or full day events closer to home where we reconnect is always a welcomed opportunity to strengthen our team. Meetings on the beach, visiting an aquarium, making training plans for the next fiscal year over dinner, playing board games and connecting are but a few of the creative ways we have strengthened our group and kept ourselves energized and focused on our mission.
What is your team doing to stay strong, current, creative, and connected with one another? It doesn’t have to be expensive to have fun and be meaningful! Consider parks and local resources for your getaway places. You need not be far away, but getting out of the office and into a new setting is often all that it takes to help your creative juices flow and your team to bond together. Spring is almost upon us, why not start to make plans for a team-strengthening day today?
– Michelle Sparling

Being a Connector and Relationship Builder

Some people are natural connectors, some people are not, but everyone can learn the art of connecting! I never really thought too much about the impact I have had on people related to connecting and relationship building, it is something that I have naturally done and enjoyed doing. In the last few years, I have seen my connecting ability in action. It has taken but only a few minutes to make a lasting impression on people I have been connected to, send a message, answer a call, or brainstorm a list of contacts and without any expectations, the lives of those people have flourished as a result. From more than doubling the income of a friend’s client based business, to editing resumes and graduate school application essays that have let to acceptance letters and offers of hire, those in my own personal network are having success….and it feels great to be a part of the process with them!

So what can you do? Who do you know? Who is in your network that has a need, and if not a need, perhaps something of value or even an experience you can share with them? It does not need to take much time, you only need to be open, receptive, and willing to take a few extra moments to listen, think, connect and share. Take some time to be intentional and watch the power of connection in action! It not only impacts the lives of others but changes your life as well.
– Michelle Sparling

Meet Nancy Jo Geise…!

Hi there! My name is Nancy Jo Geise.  I am the Augmentative and Alternative Communication Liasion at Networks for Training and Development, Inc. for over 7 years primarily working in the Northcentral, PA area.  I know that title is a mouthful but what does that mean?  Well, let me tell you what I do.

My first 4 years at Networks I worked in our office, that was also set up as a “smart home” in Sunbury, PA. While there, my job was to maintain the library of assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. I also did scanning and filing, , acted as the hostess for those who came to use the office, helped with day to day things at the office such as checking general email inquiries and was a co-presenter at trainings about assistive technology and augmentative and alternative communication as well as employment in the community.

I am a 2011 graduate of the Communication Mentors Course. I also met with people who were just beginning to explore AT and AAC to give them encouragement and to show others what is possible to be more independent.

For the past 3 years I now work out of my home office. I continue to check the email, and scan but I have learned some new jobs as well. My job coach helps me to deliver flyers and taught me to convert VHS tapes to DVDs. I also continue to enter evaluations from trainings into the database and generate evaluation summaries.  Additionally, I am working on archiving photos through scanning and making them digital.  I also continue to maintain our AT library we have up here.  There is a lot more I do, but that’s my job in a nutshell.   

One Word!

2015 2016 written into sand with wave washing away written 2015At the start of 2015, many of us identified “One Word” we hoped to work toward, live up to, embody, strive toward and more…  Here are a few of our reflections (along with, maybe, our new word for 2016)…!

Jessica shared, “My word for 2015 was “creativity.”  I’ve been conscious of my need to create & the joy I get from drawing, doodling, painting, and more this year.  Each morning I try to begin my day with drawing something, doodling, or what have you.  It really helps me to ground me in my day.  If I can’t do that first thing in the morning, I’ve been making sure to do something creative throughout the day overall… or evenat the very end of the day.  My word has absolutely kept me in a state of presence and gratitude.  Creativity has lead me to reclaiming joy!  2016 will be my year (and word) of JOY!”

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Julie’s word for 2015 was determination!

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Rosa shared, “…dance! It’s for the actual activity that I want to do more of but it’s also the metaphorical meaning of “dancing” — meaning flexibility, impermanence, joy, lightness, etc.  …(I) have certainly held this mantra all year…. & boy, has it fit & taken me on many extraordinary adventures!!! Throughout 2015 I feel I have “danced” with so many new and interesting people, travelled to several exotic locations to literally dance & help others dance, & have looked for ways to bend & be more flexible as life sometimes happens.  The lovely blend of real dancing & the idea of dancing has clearly been a theme for me this year, & has pulled me back into my youth as well as pushed me forward into more of the now me.  I have visualized a need to sway more, jitterbug, or even samba through situations.  I have also needed to pick up my pace, do a stomp, take the lead, & more importantly / more often lean into my partners more to go with their rhythm (admittedly, not always easy for me).  I have connected with an amazing jazz musician who learned of my love of tap dancing & has asked me to dance with him on a few occasions.  And I now have a very colorful tutu that I ran 2 5k races in!  As to 2016, the word that keeps coming to me in many ways & from many sources is wholeness.  This represents to me a desire to go deeper & to find connections with various threads in my life, to better connect my many selves, & to find within me other ways to grow in fullness & oneness.

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Nancy Jo writes, “My word is helpful this year (2015)”

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Stacey shares, “…I believe my word is commitment!  I found at times, I wasn’t sure about something so I said to myself just make a decision to commit to it and own it. …Or keeping a commitment to someone or self.   It was about a lot of things…making and reaching goals, personal and professional. …Going places, Doing things, Seeing people, What clothes to wear, and so forth…make a decision no matter what and commit to it. 

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Michelle writes, “My One Word for the year has been “give.”  I had grand plans of “giving” in different ways each week, but life took me in a different direction!  Instead of quick “gives,” they turned out to be much more thoughtful, some very involved and time intensive, some required giving of myself in ways I have never done before!  The year has opened not only my eyes but also my heart to the real meaning of “giving.”

Next year’s word:  Pause — My new word is “pause,” and has two meanings for me.  One is to stop before taking action, to think, process, and make good decisions.  The second is to pause and observe the wonders around me and enjoy moments and create new memories, using all of my senses and abilities.”

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Did you have a “word” for 2015?  Do you have a “new” word for 2016??  Please share it with us!

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Assistive Technology, Accommodations, and Employment – “It’s All About the Little Things!”

It's the little things

“It’s the little things.”

 We hear time & time again… it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference… or at least, as of late, this is all ringing true for those who are in my professional & personal life.
I had the opportunity to hear of the success a particular person has been having & experiencing while interning with an area business… his name has been changed, but the story is the same. His job coach led off the story with, “It’s all about the little things…”
Michael had a real knack for information & researching where & how to find out information… & enjoys sharing his know-how & knowledge with others. Michael also discovered a real interest in using computers & is excited & motivated to learn more about them & all the ways he can use them. Researching addresses to send fan mail to his favorite celebrities got him started…
He also doesn’t like being on his feet for a long period of time. He tells us, “I’m not as young as I used to be.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? We’re not all spring chickens anymore. He also doesn’t like to be hot. Hot work environments are not his cup of tea. I can’t say I blame him.
His supporters, employment specialist, & job coach were hearing all of this & keeping good notes.
His job coach said, “It’s all about the little things…” Michael needs the room temperature to be (at least) 73 degrees. 74 degrees won’t work (they tried!). If Michael had it his way, his office would be in a meat locker. No lie. He needs a comfortable chair, a dedicated & quiet work area, & a place to keep his lunch cold.
He was previously attending, regularly, a sheltered workshop. While there, he stopped keeping his lunch in the refrigerator. A few times someone took his soda, or lunch. He didn’t like having that happen, so he kept his lunch in his thermal bag with him. The thermal bag only keeps things cool for so long. By the time lunch rolled around, his would be warm. He wouldn’t eat all of his lunch most days (or sometimes not at all). He’d be tired. He wasn’t eating a good lunch. It needed to be cold. Now? He has a cold lunch. He eats all of his lunch… & happily.
Now, he’s very productive. Really productive & motivated. Really motivated. He doesn’t want to leave at the end of his time interning that day. What did it take? Doing something he likes doing, doing something that is meaningful for him. Having a comfortable chair, a cold lunch, & a quiet & cool work environment.
Remarkable.
Or is it?
What are some of the things you need to be successful on the job?