From the Editor’s Desk
Elaine McHugh

Americans with disabilities are one of the largest minorities in the United States.  July 26th marked the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and celebrated its twenty second anniversary.  Celebrations were held on the local, state and national level.  I hope you were able to attend a local celebration.  Every day I see how far people with disabilities have come and sadly I am also reminded of how much work still needs to be done.

Heather Watkins shares her thoughts and personal journey about the ADA and the celebrations at City Hall Plaza.

The Annual Consumer Conference was a great success.  We had over 500 people attending.  The food was excellent.  Workshops and speakers outstanding!  The hotel staff where fabulous, very attentive and looking to assist in any way.  I am always amazed at how the three sister agencies, their consumers and staff collectively manage the Conference and get everyone’s needs met.  Our Conference is a super success because of this collective work ethic.  More thoughts on the Conference will be shared in Emeka Nwokeji’s article “From the Directors Desk.”

The Moro Fleming Award was given to Hang Lee.  Hang has written an article sharing his thoughts about receiving the award and what work still needs to be done.

Linea Luck Pearson and Michelle O’Neil are first time Conference attendees.  They have written articles on the conference from their personal experience and perspective.

Girard Plante provides us with his insight on the closing on the Boston Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit.  Also, Girard has written another in his popular series “Did you Know.”  This time he highlights the Paralympian careers of Jessica Long and Lady Tanni Gray-Thompson.

Did you ever think about work and how work is central to our well being?  Larry Espling’s article “From My Perspective” will help you to recognize that even the simplest tasks are considered work and help us to develop other skills.

Donna De Guglielmo sent us her poem “Dignified Person = Disabled Person.”  Donna’s poetry is a touching reminder that we all should be grateful for one another and the lives we live. We are always looking for articles for the Consumer’s Voice and images for the featured artist section.  If you are interested in writing for the Consumer’s Voice or you are an artist with an image to share, please contact me by email at consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us or by phone 617-204-3664.

Also, we are still encouraging our readers to go green and receive the Consumer’s Voice electronically.  If you are interested in going paperless please contact us at the above email address.

 

From the Director’s Desk
Emeka Nwokeji

If you missed any of the latest happenings at the Annual Consumer Conference co-sponsored by MRC, MCB, MCDHH and SILC this is your chance to, in a jiffy, read up on the outstanding events of the Consumer Conference.

June 19, 2012 was the first day of the Annual Consumer Conference.  This consolidated event was launched with passion and determination seeking a heightened level of learning, empowerment, employment and independent living in a community of choice.

The day started with a large influx of HP plated cars and a fleet of wheelchair vans, from all regions of the state, dropping off passengers ready to take on the mega conference.  It seemed as if the brilliant sun and blossoming flowers beckoned all with “Welcome, Welcome!!!”

The talented members of the Conference Planning Team designed and conducted this large scale Conference, over 500  people attended the Conference. This year’s Conference attracted a diverse population who came ready to absorb an enhanced level of motivational and learning environments.
 
There were four simultaneous workshops at any given time.  The two day Conference featured 16 workshops, ranging from; “Successfully Entering the Workforce” to “Driving your Way to Independence.”  Other workshops included: Thinking Like an Employer, SSA Benefits and Employment, Money Follows the Person Project and Legal Planning: Legal Issues on Protecting People with Disabilities.  This is a window shopping summary of the modern approach to the participatory theory of the Annual Consumer Conference.

In addition, the Conference featured three State agency Commissioners, the SILC representative and a visit from Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, Secretary EOHHS.  Also, I want to thank our keynote speaker Mr. Ari Ne’eman, President and Co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network in Washington, D.C.  His speech was very relevant to the Conference theme “Employment, Independence and Technology  “Making it Work!”

The Conference was further complimented by the Dinner Award Ceremonies, and guests from the MRC, MCB, MCDHH and SILC. The presence of students from the Horace Mann School, deaf interpreters, sighted guides and PCA’s all enhanced the conference.  Mr. Hang Lee was the Moro Fleming award winner.

The diversity of Conference participants allowed us to be exposed to new cultural parameters.  The cross disability presence challenged all in various ways in the development and implementation of the plenary sessions, workshops, exhibits and the days’ programming. 

The Consumer Involvement Program staff at the MRC actually primed the Conference in such a manner as to compare the old models of Consumer Involvement in this new way of engagement to determine how the various talents of cross disability work in terms of accommodating the values of all disabilities coming together and jamming in an educational and net- working environment. 

The traditional Conference has been elevated from a grass roots event and is being graduated to a more professional level. Next year’s Conference planning has already begun.  Stay tuned for more information.

MassMATCH Wheelchair Clinic

MassMATCH is helping sponsor a new wheelchair clinic in Amherst and it's off to a great start! The clinic is a collaboration between the Mass. Rehabilitation Commission, the Stavros Center for Independent Living (SCIL), and the Dept. of Developmental Services (DDS). Once every three months Stavros provides the space for specialists from DDS to problem-solve serious seating and positioning issues for individuals who have had trouble accessing this level of expertise. To make evaluations and repairs possible, MassMATCH has purchased tools for the site including a high-tech pressure mapping system.  An example of a pressure map: the xsensor x3 seat pad. 

Why is this clinic so valuable? For years there has been a gap in these services for individuals who do not fall within DDS eligibility. The clinic begins to address this gap by leveraging the decade’s worth of knowledge, skills, and vendor relationships held by DDS assistive technology staff for the benefit of more people. Stavros is providing the referrals.

"We're seeing people who have had long-term issues with seating and positioning, issues that could not be solved through commercial pieces," explains Tom Mercier, deputy director of AT Services at DDS, "also people who are having difficulty with a longstanding repair problem."

Mercier is an occupational therapist and ATP (assistive technology professional) who, before working at DDS, gained experience working with a wheelchair vendor and a manufacturer. As a result, he knows the whole system and many individuals working in the industry. Accompanying him on clinic days are Laury Moore and Cathy McMahon, AT designers from DDS's Munson AT Center. "They've been incredibly helpful and useful," Mercier emphasizes. "We can look at a situation together, and they are able to evaluate what's going on and do the repairs right on the spot or design and fabricate something [for follow up] later." They also know the vendors in western Mass., and the ins and outs of acquiring durable medical equipment.  "We know what's commercially available; we know what can be fabricated; we can look at a situation from all points of view."

Mercier emphasizes that it's the little things that really impact a person in a wheelchair. One clinic attendee came in because she was using her footrest to open doors and it was wearing out the upholstery. The team was able to fabricate a hard plastic bumper to protect both her foot and the chair. Another client felt her power chair wasn't as responsive to turning as it should be. The team found there was too much weight on her front casters, wearing them out and keeping them from spinning well. They are contacting the vendor to rebalance the seating system.

Pressure mapping, too, highlights the little things that make a critical difference for individuals who use mobility systems. This evaluation technique uses a high-tech mat that is placed between the individual and the seat's surface. Connected to a computer, the mat reveals pressure zones, areas where the individual is most at risk of developing sores or another problem. Mats like these are powerful tools for professionals like McMahon and Moore, who know how to make adjustments or fabricate what is needed to prevent secondary health issues. One clinic participant came in complaining of hip pain and back discomfort in her new manual wheelchair. The mat evaluation showed that removing 1" of support from under her right side could help in addition to adjusting the modular back for increased support.

Stavros sets up the room and the equipment each clinic day so everything is ready to go when staff and clients arrive. The SCIL is also home to the DME Reuse program, a long-term loan program of donated durable medical equipment like power chairs and scooters. Co-locating the clinic with the reuse program has recently proven to have its advantages. In June, a power chair user attended the clinic with a chair that was technically appropriate for him--if he wanted to stay indoors most of the time and travel smooth level surfaces. He left, however, in a more powerful chair from the reuse program inventory, one that empowered him to get outside and into the community. The swap was made possible when Tom Filiault, the Stavros DME reuse program coordinator, stuck his head in the clinic room door to see how things were going. Before long he was problem-solving with the team to make this man's mobility dreams come true.

Call Stavros at 413-256-0473 ex.233 to learn more and arrange for transportation.

 

HUD Makes $85 Million Available to Fund Housing for People with Disabilities with Very Low Incomes

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the availability of $85 million for state housing agencies to provide affordable supportive housing for extremely low-income people with disabilities. Read more about this HUD information.
This is the first time in the history of HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities Program that funding will be offered to state housing agencies that meet new eligibility criteria, including having a partnership with a state Medicaid agency to provide support and services.
Visit Disability.gov for more housing resources, including information about where to find affordable housing and how to make your home accessible.

 

Moro Fleming Award
Hang Lee

As this year’s Moro Fleming Award Winner, I would like to thank everyone who made this event so wonderful.  I especially would like to thank Mr. Robert Sneirson and Ms. Roz Rubin, the Executive Director of the Greater Waltham ARC, who nominated me as this year’s winner. 

As I witness the events that transpire, the fight for our rights in America will never cease.  There are friends who spiraled down a deep hole they cannot dig themselves out without the assistance of others. People who have been job-hunting for years, and are not able to find a career they have a strong interest in.  Finally, there are many people with disabilities who believe they are not employable because being on various government programs does not allow them to work.

As advocates, we need to provide our consumers with accurate information, the costs and benefits and then let them chose. For example, we know that getting a Bachelor’s Degree (BA/BS) is far better than getting an Associate’s Degree (AD).  Education is the key toward getting out of poverty.  Thus, by providing more accurate information, consumers and their families will have the tools to pull themselves out of poverty. 

We still have a long, hard fight ahead of us.  The Olmstead Decision has still not been fully implemented, unemployment remains high among our peers, and outright discrimination toward the disability community still exists.  At least some major gains are being made, like the Supreme Court’s decision that upheld Obama Care. It is a major victory for folks with pre-existing conditions because Obama Care will make it illegal to deny insurance coverage for this population.

The fight for our rights needs to continue. The advocates and consumers are the only checks and balances we have against the current wave of politicians who are stripping them away. In the words of the rock group, Triumph:  “Fight the good fight every moment, every minute, every day!”

 

Annual Consumer Conference
Linea Luck Pearson aka “Dana’s Mom”

When I signed up to attend the annual MRC/MCB/MCDHH Consumer Conference, I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  It was my first time attending the Conference.  The title “BEYOND INDEPENDENCE” sparked my interest.

The topic of independence has been of great importance to me ever since my oldest son suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury three years ago.  Due to my son’s injury, he is unable to read, write or speak, and it is often assumed he is unable to become independent.  The Consumer Conference gave me hope and a belief that independence is possible.

As I attempted to share in a couple of paragraphs the importance of this Conference, I realize it is impossible to do so.  From the moment the Conference began there was an air of excitement.  With the very first introduction, the message was clear; every individual despite their differences in abilities has the right to make choices without restrictions.  From the keynote speeches to the breakout sessions the information was both interesting and thought-provoking.  Being surrounded by others who understood the challenges we were facing was wonderful.  It was comforting to know we were not alone in this struggle.
Throughout the Conference, both participants and presenters were engaging and informative.  Also very helpful to me was the use of the slides during the keynote speeches.  Hearing and seeing the words made comprehension much easier and more succinct.  As I took every advantage to network with others, it was nice to know that my son took full advantage of the relaxation room.  The quiet space available to rest and decompress was an added benefit.  A vast range of people presented and a great number of topics were covered.  There were also many vendors and wonderful resources shared. 

One breakout session I particularly enjoyed was on estate planning; it is one of the more emotionally charged and confusing aspects of long term care for my family.  I really believe the information provided at this session will enable me and my family to broach this difficult subject with the wisdom and seriousness it deserves.
 
Although I’ll never forget my first Conference, I’m eagerly awaiting next year's.  I would highly recommend that everyone take advantage of the opportunity to attend.  I can’t wait until next year’s Conference. Thank you to the many agencies and individuals who understand the importance of fostering independence in the lives of people with disabilities.

In closing, I think that Fred Allen says it best “A conference is a gathering of people who alone can do nothing, but together decide that doing nothing cannot be done.”  I truly believe nothing is impossible when people work together to achieve their goals.

 

Feedback from the MRC, MCB, MCDHH & SILC Conference 2012 
Michelle O’Neill

As a first time participant at the 2012 annual conference sponsored by MRC, MCB, MCDHH and SILC from the first day until the end I was nothing short of amazed by the amount of information gathered from each workshop, but also just how dedicated, caring and helpful all the individuals were who put it all together.

To be quite honest, I had been hesitant to attend any big events that would potentially benefit me.  However, my new vocational rehabilitation counselor mentioned an upcoming conference that she thought would be a good opportunity for me.  I thought about it and decided to take the initiative to go, get myself out there and I haven’t regretted it.

I would like to mention a few points or suggestions that maybe helpful to consider for future Conferences.
One of the most striking images I have of this Conference is the number of people who attended with many and varied disabilities.  Each person came to the Conference with needs specific to them and somehow they were all equally served and managed to be respectful of the needs of others as well.

I hope this spirit of inclusion, for all members of the disability community, will continue and not become fragmented with one group or another attempting to take over the Conference.

Secondly, I would like to see more social events at night.  My understanding is there are many people who stay overnight; karaoke, a dance or an activity to raise money for disability services would be enjoyable. 

Lastly, the ability to connect more with others and just have fun, I think night time events would attract a younger audience to the Conference and hopefully a new outlook and voice for a younger generation of people who are disabled.

Overall I really enjoyed myself and had tons of fun. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to attend the Conference and would love to be able to go back next year. I met a lot of great people who were very friendly and professional, who were not only dedicated to their jobs but had compassion for people with disabilities.

I feel very proud because I was able to accomplish a couple of goals. I learned a lot about how to develop a good resume and helpful tools on how to land a job, as well as how to be cautious about your disability benefits when you do start working. 

Also I felt less hesitant and more comfortable speaking and more open socially with people.  In that respect the Conference has helped me to be more outgoing and my skills are improving. I worked on myself at this Conference and it was a success.

 

ADA Day, 22 years and Beyond!
Heather Watkins

On a recent trip to Boston City Hall, I had the pleasure of attending the 22nd anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This key piece of legislation ensures the civil rights of people with disabilities and was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.

Some of the advocates and one of my friends and fellow commission members from the Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities were actually at the signing of the ADA that day on the White House lawn. How exciting it must have been to bear witness on such a historic day!

As I reveled in the day’s festivities accompanied by my teen daughter, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude and pride. I met and networked with new and familiar advocates and attendees with cross disabilities. The diversity and range of the disability community was showcased for all to see as we noshed on hot dogs and pizza and donned our ADA day t-shirts. The weather stayed fair and the air was permeated with an eclectic mix of music.

The speaking program included thoughts from the Disability Commissioner, Kristin McCosh, Mayor Menino, Carl Richardson (Chair, Boston Commission for Persons w/ Disabilities), Ken Meyer (Disability Commission) and Architectural Access Board’s executive director, Tom Hopkins. John Kelly was acknowledged for his steadfast advocacy and activism as out-going Chair of the BCPWD with the Mayor proclaiming it “John Kelly Day” much to John’s surprise and the delight of the audience!

We all reflected on the gains since the ADA’s passing and agreed there was still much work that will surely continue in the years to come.

Pondering my own life journey, I thought back to a time when I felt less comfortable in my skin and annoyed at points of inaccessibility.  There were many years I felt sidelined and thought of disability not as a detail but rather my whole story. It wasn’t until I realized that limited thinking, lack of self-awareness and the irritation was the cue to move forward from my self-imposed prison.

Freedom is believing in my ability to make empowered choices and banding with like-minded others in collaborative effort to make beneficial change. The shift in perspective was the catalyst for my advocacy and made the difference from feeling marginalized to taking a leadership role in my life. It didn’t happen overnight without dedicated energy and a commitment to progress and neither did the ADA, oh how far we’ve come! 

 

From my Perspective
Larry Espling

Ever since I was a child, growing up in Maine, work has been a very important part of my life.  Even though I was born with Cerebral Palsy, a motor disorder, work has made me who I am today. Working has helped me physiologically, psychologically, in self-esteem, and to reach my career goals. To me, just plain work improved the coordination in my hands and in my walking. But even before I learned to walk on my own without holding on to someone or something, my hands were getting more coordinated by doing chores around my house and my dad’s general store.  I could feel more coordinated in my body the more work I did.

Besides improving my body coordination, real work has given me a good attitude toward life, good self-esteem and encouragement to try new challenges all through life. I knew I could do new tasks, like mowing the yard with a power mower, when my dad said I would never be able to mow the lawn, but I kept on pestering him until one day he let me mow and I proved to him that I could do it. When I accomplished one task, it motivated me to try more difficult tasks; like waiting on customers or picking potatoes in the fall.

I wonder how I would feel or what I would be doing now if my parents didn’t allow me to learn new tasks and explore my environment on my own when I was a young child. I think I would have low self-esteem if my parents and other people had done everything for me and not let me learn on my own.

Working started for me when my parents gave me tasks to do at home and in my father’s general store. I dusted the shelves and put can goods on them, swept the floor, and when I was older, waited on customers, pumped gas, threw in wood, mowed the yard and shoveled snow in the winter. These jobs helped my coordination and made me feel good that I was contributing to my family.

As I got older, I did more on my own and got a job in a group home when I went to college in the 1970’s. Work teaches you responsibility.

Even though you have a disability, you must think what kind of job you would enjoy doing. Does this type of employment require you to go to trade school or college? Find out all the information you can about the job/career you want to pursue. For example, if you are interested in pursuing employment as a data entry specialist and your hands are uncoordinated due to your disability, find out what tasks data entry specialists are required to do and then find out what different types of keyboards there are for people who have poor coordination.

Also, if you are in high school, ask if there is a school to work program for students with disabilities. Find out if the program has a Job Shadowing day/week where students can visit different job sites and observe what data specialists do every day.  Does the data entry specialist use a special keyboard or speech recognition program to enter data into the computer? 

Another way to get help in your career is to call the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to apply for services.  You can receive more information by calling the main number at MRC in Boston. (617-204-3600).

Experienced Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors working with people with severe disabilities should/must get to know the individual and find out where they are coming from. Counselors shouldn’t assume or judge them by the way they might talk, walk, or are using wheelchairs. 

Listen to them, how they grew up, where they went to school, and what are their dreams and goals. Ask what work experiences they had in the past and if those experiences could help them in their career choice now? Find out if they enjoy working with people, or things.  If they have unrealistic goals don’t be quick to tell them that their goal is unrealistic, find out why they chose that goal. Tell them about accommodations and assistive technology for employment. Ask them what work means to them in psychological terms. Clients are responsible to tell their counselor about their strengths and weaknesses so a plan for their career goals/interests can be pursued by taking vocational or psychological tests. 

 

Did You Know
Girard Plante

In 1972, the sports landscape for girls and women changed forevermore as President Richard M. Nixon signed Title IX into law. The federal edict took an act by the United States Congress. The original intention of Title IX focused on academics, but athletics became the thrust for females to equally participate in sports just as boys did.

It is fitting that women and girls across America, and the world over, should celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX as the 2012 Summer Olympics begin in London on July 27, 2012. So, we look to two incredibly gifted women Paralympians who’ve both won gold medals aplenty and both hold national and world records in their respective sports.

Though she grew up in Baltimore, Jessica Long was adopted at 13 months old from an orphanage in Siberia. Born with fibular hemimelia, Jessica had her legs below her knees amputated at 18 months so she could begin walking with prosthetic legs. Jessica’s first international swim competition came at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, where she won three gold medals in the butterfly. At 12, she was the youngest athlete to earn a spot on the USA Paralympic Team. Since then, she’s captured many victories at international and national swim competitions. Jessica holds the world record in the butterfly.

The double amputee swimming sensation can be seen wearing the 2012 Olympics uniform by Ralph Lauren in the catalog that features clothes exclusively for Team USA. To see Jessica modeling Olympics apparel, go to www.macys.com/ralphlaurenteamusa

Nowadays, the 20-year-old lives in Colorado Springs, where she trains at the Olympic Training Center. “Who would ever have imagined that a girl with a ‘disability’ from an orphanage in Siberia would be where I am today? I’m living proof that you can accomplish your dreams, no matter how great or small,” Jessica cheerily exclaims. Learn lots more about Jessica on her website: http://jessicalong.com

The Paralympian with the all-time most medals is Britain’s Lady Tanni Grey-Thompson. Her Paralympic career started in the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984.  The wheelchair racer was born with spina bifida.

Tanni specializes in wheelchair racing, but she played wheelchair basketball early in her international career, which started at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. Tanni won the bronze medal in the 400m. She accumulated 16 Paralympic medals before retiring from her racing career in 2007.  Of those medal-winning competitions, Tanni grabbed 11 gold medals, and holds 30 world records. She’s also won the London Marathon six times!

In March 2010, Tanni was bestowed the title Baroness Grey-Thompson by the House of Lords. She is Chairwoman of the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation Commission on the Future of Women’s Sports. In May, she warned that the future of Paralympics in Britain is in jeopardy if state benefits are cut simply because athletes get money from sponsors. “I know someone who is on the edge of qualification who has had her DLA (disability living allowance) removed. It impacts on her ability to get involved in society, not just sport.” Tanni is married and has a daughter. To learn more about Tanni, go to: www.tanni.co.uk/

 

The Closing of theSpinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Boston Medical Center
Girard Plante

A 60-year-old friend to thousands of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) left Boston without even a whimper on that warm, sunny Sunday of July 1, 2012.

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Unit/7 West at Boston Medical Center (BMC) closed that bright morning. Business as usual prevailed despite the anxiety, and confusion, of patients, people living with spinal cord injury that rehabbed at BMC, and the 31 staff who provided superb care and treatment to people facing a life-altering event fraught with fear and confronting uncertain future.

It is the dawning of a new era called lean and mean in the delivery of specialized health care services at certain medical facilities across America. That blatant disregard of myriad medical needs by administrators is seen in the shuttering of successful in-patient units they say will be better able to serve patients.

BMC’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ravin Davidoff spoke these words in the Feb. 27 edition of The Boston Globe: “The decision was not motivated by immediate financial concerns;” he said, noting that the program does not lose money.

Chief Executive Officer Kate Walsh refused to meet with people living with spinal cord injury! She never responded to my April 12 three-page memorandum expressing grave concerns that shall surely ensue as she allows the six-decade-old SCI Rehab Unit//7 West to close.

Moreover, I offered to plan an SCI Summit so numerous folks residing in the South End neighborhood of BMC could get answers about where they’ll go to continue receiving the best treatment and care for their complex disabilities.

CEO Walsh turned down an invitation to meet with a prominent Massachusetts disability rights leader with a spinal cord injury who rehabbed at BMC 27 years ago to discuss the decision to close the SCI Rehab Unit.

The April meeting of the BMC Spinal Cord Injury Advisory Board, which I’ve gladly served on as a member the past six years, included four administrators of BMC. When asked questions by several members of the Advisory Board as to why they’re okay with shuttering the venerable hospital’s SCI Rehab Unit, they failed to satisfactorily explain the reasoning behind such an end to an enormously popular and nationally-recognized facility that successfully treated thousands of people with spinal cord injury.

On May 30, the Department of Public Health held a public hearing at Boston Medical Center. Upon arriving, I saw four staff who worked on the SCI Rehab Unit/7 West. They told me they heard about the public hearing earlier the same day! I knew for three weeks. They testified passionately about their vocations as their emotions flowed freely.

Each of them, along with two other staffers, explained they were “shut out” of any dialogue whenever they inquired about their jobs and what exactly would happen to the patients.

After ruling in mid-June that BMC administrators must detail a plan to provide access to care for the nearly 500 people with spinal cord injury whom they previously serviced, the DPH awaits their response.

The SCI in-patients were transferred to Spaulding Rehab and Braintree Rehab facilities. Outpatient Clinics are to remain.  The residency program that trained a new generation of prospective doctors specializing in Spinal Cord Injury was placed at other Schools of Medicine.

 

 

Dignified Person = Disabled Person
Donna De Guglielmo

GOD’S precious life
At any age
A life worth living
A life worth knowing
Anyone who knows one is lucky
Has been graced with a present/presence from God
Has a gracious heart
A life worth cherishing
A life worth healing
Is a true humble hero

 


Featured Artist

In the summer of 2011, Brian Achille went to see the Chihuly show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. After seeing the show, he wandered over to a rose garden nearby and began taking photos.

For the first time in about a decade he had a sense of creating art, and has been in the process of exploring photography since, taking close to 9000 shots between July 2011 and July 2012, becoming more aware and more focused in his intentions. His most recent work has involved a series of composite images of trees printed on aluminum.

Artist Quote:“Well, I didn't take the road less travelled; I wandered off into the woods.”
 

Go green, Save a Tree

Have the Consumer’s Voice sent by e-mail. If you are interested please e-mail your request to: consumerinvolvement@mrc.state.ma.us

 

A publication of the MRC State Rehabilitation Council
Nicholas G. Kaltsas, Esq. Chairperson
Charles Carr, Commissioner, MRC

Elaine McHugh, Editor

Contributing Writers
Donna DeGuglielmo
Larry Espling
Hang Lee
Michelle O’Neil
Linea Luck Pearson
Girard Plante
Heather Watkins

 

MRC Staff Editors

Emeka Nwokeji, Director, Consumer Involvement
Sheila Wojdakowski, HR/Customer Relations
Leslie Wish, ICC Program Coordinator
Lisa Weber, CI Program Coordinator

This newsletter is an independent publication sponsored by the MRC State Rehabilitation Council.  The opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the policy and practices of the MRC.  They are solely the opinions of consumers of MRC programs and services.