From the Editor's Desk
By Elaine McHugh
As I write to you today the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Bruins are all on a winning streak. The economy is growing, even if it is only at a snail's pace. People are finding work. Budgets are still tight and it is necessary to be conservative with our spending. A small light is seen at the end of the tunnel.
I know you all have heard the story of the horse whisperer. In this issue we have an article by Lora Brugnaro, she is the horse mother. Read "It's a boy!" and find your passion.
In this issue of the Consumer's Voice we welcome Girard Plante's first in a series of articles entitled "Did You Know". This series of articles is meant to illuminate and expand our understanding of particular topics. Girard's first article is the Fair Housing Act.
Last but not least Peter G. returns to the Consumer's Voice with his article about winning the ATIA video contest. Assistive Technology has enabled Peter to live life to the fullest. Congratulations Peter G., Grand Prize Winner!
Mitchell Zahn Appointed to Plymouth Area Director
Kasper M. Goshgarian
It is with pleasure that I announce the appointment of Mr. Mitchell Zahn to the position of Plymouth Area Director. As you may already know, Mr. Zahn is not a new name in the MRC organization. For the past several months he has served as the Assistant Commissioner of the Community Living Division. In that role he has been heavily involved in the planning for the ABI waiver as well as maintaining continuity of operations in the various programs within the Division. He has been well respected by his peers and those who work in the Community Living Division.
When the Plymouth Office vacancy was announced, Mr. Zahn expressed his desire to return to work that was more direct service rather than administrative in nature. This is consistent with his previous work in California and Oregon. He has always demonstrated outstanding community organization skills with excellent attention to consensus building. These skills will be valuable in assuming the role of Area Director.
Please join me in wishing Mitch the best in his new assignment.
Becoming an Individual Consumer Consultant (ICC)
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission's Consumer Involvement Program makes a special effort to form cooperative relationships with those individuals who are known as consumers or recipients of services.
We are interested in applicants for the ICC program that have skills and experiences valuable to the needs of the MRC. The program is open to both MRC consumers and their immediate family members.
This program is for MRC clients to gain work experience and as such, they are encouraged to apply to gain meaningful employment skills working on projects as an ICC. This is not considered full time work, it is a step on the road to employment.
These projects are usually very short term, one to three days in length, and there is no guarantee there will be consistent work. Every effort is made to accommodate all ICC's with regard to their limitations and abilities.
If you are interested in becoming an ICC please contact Leslie Wish, Program Coordinator for Consumer Involvement, at 617-204-3771 or by e-mail at Leslie.Wish@MRC.State.Ma.us.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Consumer Wins Award for Promoting Assistive Technology
View Peter's video in Windows Media Player file size 52MB
The incredible true life adventure of MassMatch Assistive Technology (AT) Advisory Council member Peter G. and his ATIA video contest victory.
For Peter G., assistive technology offers people with disabilities a game-winning Hail Mary pass; the problem is that more people need the chance to get in that end zone.
In 1988, Peter G. became disabled and had to withdraw from Bates College six weeks before he expected to graduate. For the next eleven years, homebound and in bed, Pete relied on his parents for most of his needs, and experienced profound social isolation. As an avid sports fan, he said "It felt like the game was over."
That was before he learned about assistive technology.
This past October, Pete won the Assistive Technology Industry Association's (ATIA) assistive technology (AT) video YouTube contest. His video, "My Assistive Technology (AT) Success Story," includes a reference to Doug Flutie throwing a Hail Mary pass from the 48 yard line. "This game is over," declares the announcer, before erupting, astonished at Boston College's unexpected win. That moment, Pete explained in a recent phone interview, is a metaphor for his own experience. Learning about AT provided him that same transformative moment. Turns out it wasn't "game over" after all.
"I was looking for meal services, talking on the phone to MRC [the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission], when the man asked me, 'would you like a voice activated computer?' And I said, "Excuse me? Did you say 'voice activated'?!"
Today Pete uses multiple forms of voice activated technology. Pete has many of the limitations of a quadriplegic and the technology helps him be independent on a level that had previously been impossible. A Quartet Technology Environmental Control Unit (ECU) allows him to manage his living environment (hospital bed, lights, television, drapes, computer monitor); the voice recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking, provides him with comprehensive computer access. And computer access has enabled him to create a website for his family's business, write articles on AT for newsletters and magazines, and effectively tear down his social isolation.
"Before AT became a part of my life, I merely existed," Pete calmly reports in his video. "Now, thanks to AT, I truly live."
On the phone Pete admits that an important hurdle remains: finishing that Bates College degree. Until recently, Bates College didn't accept online course credits, his best bet for finishing those incompletes. "And until recently I didn't have the technology to follow through anyway."
Pete's technology hurdle was a problem with Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon is powerful software that enables Peter's computer to respond to customized voice commands, providing a hands free operation that is nearly as efficient as conventional computer access. Dragon's principal weakness, however, is its tendency to freeze up. It's a problem that required Peter to reboot multiple times a day, over a hundred times a month, each time requiring help from his parents. "Under those conditions I couldn't really imagine signing up for online college courses or taking online exams," he explains on the phone.
In his video, Pete doesn't get personal. We don't learn much about his disability and he never mentions those unfinished college credits. "I didn't want to distract from the AT," he explained on the phone. "The AT is the point."
Indeed, the unique strength of his video is his demonstration of the innovative and pragmatic way he now gets around Dragon's weakness. Pete and his Easter Seals AT specialist, Eric Oddleifson, solved the problem by installing ViaVoice, back-up voice recognition software. Together they learned that ViaVoice can co-exist with Dragon in sleep mode when Dragon is operable. When Dragon freezes, Pete can wake up ViaVoice and use it, along with a HandiEye hands-free mouse emulator and a Logitech QuickCam, to reboot his computer and get Dragon moving again. "Now," he reports, "I need my parents, maybe, once a month." And, "Yes," he confirms, "I am researching online college courses."
Pete's video won the ATIA's Grand Prize: an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the ATIA 2009 Chicago Conference at the Renaissance Schaumberg Hotel and Conference Center. He also won the Member Physical Access/Mobility Special Interest Group Award: a $400.00 VISA card. Pete was unable to attend the conference, but donated his conference winnings to the Easter Seals AT department.
The rewards for entering ATIA's contest go far beyond the prizes, however. Winning the competition was partially dependent on the number of views Pete could generate to his YouTube video. To help, Easter Seals spread the word, and the provider of his Personal Care Attendant (PCA) sent an announcement on their listserv. Pete also got the word out through his Bates College e-zine, through Facebook to college friends, and through his father's fraternity brother network. "People were amazed by the technology. Many didn't know anything like that existed. I had over 300 hits from my college newsletter, and over 100 hits on the PCA network, all with similar comments. Even people working with people with disabilities didn't know much about AT."
This, for the ATIA, is the whole point. "Since our inception 10 years ago," asserts Executive Director David Dikter in his press release, "the overarching goal of ATIA has been to educate and create awareness about assistive technology and the enhanced benefits and opportunities it brings to people with disabilities."
But for Pete, AT is really much more. It turns "Game Over" to a game-winning Hail Mary Pass. "It's what motivates me to help more people achieve unexpected success."
Check out the winning videos >> View all 12 award-winning videos on the Video Contest Results web page. This provides an excellent overview of the diverse array of products available today: http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3715
- Learn more about MRC >>
- Tips from Pete at the Easterseals-MA website.
- View Pete's video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2KxdCjRlZM
Inner Work Promotes Success with VR Goals
Judith Poole, MA
While you pursue your vocational goals, participating in a vocational rehabilitation plan, you may very well feel uncertain about your future, your ability to successfully reach those goals. Whether coping with a disability or not, most of us are of two minds about many things. Maybe someone once told us we'd never be able to do a particular thing. Maybe we have a past experience of falling short of an intended goal. Perhaps we just feel overwhelmed or discouraged, unable to visualize a different future.
Personally I have experienced multiple adult onset disabilities. For me, it was a remarkable discovery when I came to understand that the trials relating to self-esteem that I refer to above were not restricted to people with disabilities, but are part of the human condition. We question ourselves. We experience a variety of emotions. The path to success does not follow a straight unbroken path.
Since I officially became disabled in the mid-1980's with an adult onset autoimmune condition, I have focused my attention on acquiring a better understanding of the common obstacles we encounter as we try to attain our personal goals. As part of this quest, I have learned how to work with the breath, emotions, limiting beliefs, and vital energy. I have come to understand that the obstacles that appear to be placed in our path by factors outside of our control often mirror inner road blocks. Further, it seems that encountering such obstacles are a part of the psyche's chosen path toward self-discovery and personal growth.
I invite you to explore these inner realms as you work to attain your own vocational goals. There are many resources available to support you in this quest.
For more information please contact : Judith Poole, MA, 617-923-8856 Judith@HealingPoole.com.
You Can! Motivate Yourself and Prevent Depression
Reprinted with permission from Minuteman Senior Services, Burlington, MA. http://www.minutemansenior.org
Sadness is normal - depression is not! Many people experience a "let down" after the holidays - the lights of the holidays have dimmed, visitors and families are busy with other activities, and the short winter days all contribute. It is hard to get motivated during these times, but important so that sadness does not lead to depression.
How can you become motivated again? Good question! Here are some suggestions:
Make a list of all the things you have to be thankful for. Keep it in plain sight and add to it as you think of new things - a warm home and food to mention a couple of things.
Focus on what you really enjoy doing, A hobby you've always wanted to devote more time to, or maybe something new you'd like to learn or try. What's stopping you? Think about giving it priority to start doing what you love doing.
Try to prepare for major changes in life, such as retirement or moving from your home of many years.
Make a list of things you'd like to improve on and how you're going to do it.
Review all the successes you've enjoyed in every area of your life - totally forget any negatives, just positive successes here!
Continue or start an exercise program - force yourself to do it, it'll make you feel much more positive.
Keep up with friends and contact a positive friend to have a chat.
Read inspiring books that will help heal your mind and improve your attitude.
If the above suggestions don't help and you no longer enjoy activities that you usually like, you may have a more serious problem. Being "down in the dumps" over a period of time is not a normal part of getting older, but it is a common problem and medical help may be needed. For most people, depression will get better with treatment. Ask for help!
New Federal Grant to Expand Outreach to Veterans, Latinos, African Americans and Women with TBI
The Statewide Head Injury Program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) has received a $1 million grant on April 1, 2009 to strengthen services for individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The four-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, builds on a previous grant that ended on 3/31/09. Our first goal is to improve systems of care to better serve veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who sustained a TBI and their families.
A major finding from the last initiative is that Latinos, African Americans, and women with TBI are also greatly underserved, therefore, a second goal under the new grant is that culturally specific outreach has been developed for these populations.
A third goal is focused on the creation of a New England-wide collaborative to share information, best practices, services and supports about assisting veterans with TBI and their families across state lines within the region.
For additional information please contact the Project Director, Debra Kamen, at 617-204-3852.
It's a Boy!
Some may recall my last contribution to this newsletter when I shared my personal experience of lassoing a dream. During the spring of 2009, I had adopted a gorgeous, black, adult quarter/draft mix horse, Bart. Well the story continues.
Having satisfied the dream of having a horse, I worked with him even harder than before. For a year, we shared so much, showing together, even getting sick together! Horses, I discovered, have many of the same ailments we have. I took many more lessons to work on my balance in the saddle and to help Bart exercise his legs, which tend to hurt if he does not use them enough. My grip grew stronger. I became more confident and switched to riding with an English saddle.
Bart continues to work hard to adjust his style to mine, however, he is approaching retirement age, so sometimes, learning new things is not a top priority for him!
Thus, I asked the owner of the barn, how it would be to have a foal that would grow up knowing my particular needs. No sooner had I voiced my wish, she found the perfect baby. Lollipop Lane, born May 17, 2009 in South Dakota, arrived March 9, 2010 at our stable. He is a blue roan quarter horse. His baby fur was black, but now he is turning silver!
As a baby, he loves to play with other babies, take long naps in the spring sunshine and munch on as much hay as possible, growing bigger every week. I spend as much time as I can with Lollipop so we can bond. I groom him, since he gets awfully dirty from his favorite activities, napping and rolling around in mud. I take him for walks, so he learns to respect me and not fear my walker. Horses are flight animals so from infancy their instinct is to run from anything new. When Lollipop becomes nervous, my job is to soothe him and show him what is safe. Being a "Mom" has meant becoming very aware of my surroundings so I can prepare Lollipop for things that may appear frightening. Simply loving him is the best part of being Lollipop's mom.
I would like to share with you why having horses has reshaped my life. Perhaps you will discover what it is in your life that can create similar results. The why is discovering the passion! With passion comes energy and self-empowerment. Every moment I share with horses is a battle between the passion and the struggle. For me, because the passion is so strong I have been given the courage to embrace the struggle. As a result I have become a leader of myself as well as others. As Ambrose Redmoon wrote, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."
Whether your passion is fed by a hobby, job, adventure, advocacy, or a goal, if you hold on to it, fuel the passion behind it. The benefits will exceed your expectations! Find something to love passionately and I trust you will learn more about yourself and your abilities than anything else.
I would love to hear from you about your interest in horses, fueling your passion or questions on becoming leaders. Since I believe horses have much to teach and share I will bring your question to Bart and Lollypop for input. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gathering a Herd "Certain things catch your eye. But pursue only those that capture your heart." An old Indian saying.
All People Accessible Business Project (APAB)
Shawn McDuff, the Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc.
The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, Inc. (ILCNSCA) is introducing a new project to improve community accessibility entitled the All People Accessible Business Project (APAB).
ILCNSCA is seeking interested volunteers to schedule and complete APAB surveys. Volunteers should have excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills. Volunteers need to be fluent in written and spoken English. Computer skills a must, specifically e-mail and Internet use, a commitment to work with the ILCNSCA Team and have their own transportation.
Volunteers will receive training on State and Federal accessibility regulations and how to conduct an accessibility survey of local businesses.
Volunteers will be responsible for the following tasks:
Contact the local businesses in the community to schedule APAB surveys.
Coordinate and complete APAB surveys with assigned businesses.
Assist with Community Education outreach to businesses.
Small stipends will be provided to volunteers for completed surveys. If you are interested in becoming an approved APAB volunteer, please contact Kathy O'Brien at 978-741-0077 ext 110 or email email@example.com or Shawn McDuff at 978-741-0077 ext 140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILCNSCA is partially funded by the City of Salem Department of Planning & Community Development and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. ILCNSCA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, familial status, sexual orientation or disability. ILCNSCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Para mas informacion 978-741-0077 V, 978-745-1735 TTY.
Statewide Independent Living Public Hearing: Overview
Girard A. Plante
The Morse Institute Library in Natick was a bevy of activity on March 18 as it hosted the Statewide Independent Living Council's (SILC) final public hearing that began in January in Marlborough. The hearings are the SILC's opportunity to listen to consumers and directors of the Commonwealth's 11 Independent Living Centers (ILC) as they prepare to establish the guiding document, State Plan for Independent Living, that takes effect October 1.
Forty people provided testimony covering wide-ranging issues of ceaseless concern to many consumers. For example, one consumer spoke of a $15.00 to $20.00 pay hike to Personal Care Attendants so they won't be pressed to hold two jobs or leave consumers for better paying jobs elsewhere. Other items of top concern for consumers were keeping ILCs open, returning consumers to the community from nursing homes, advocating for equitable premiums to CommonHealth so consumers could continue working, the need for more Section 8 housing vouchers and State housing subsidies, and public transportation in rural regions of the state.
Testimony by ILC executive directors Bill Henning (BCIL), Paul Spooner (MWCIL), and Coreen Brinckerhoff (CORD), espoused the urgency to review the most prudent use of ever-decreasing funding for ILCs to remain effective in meeting needs of consumers. The directors and SILC agree there is a demand to aggressively assist people historically unserved and underserved in various communities of the Commonwealth.
In addition, possible consolidation of ILCs has long been discussed but lacks action. Liberating consumers languishing in nursing homes, while successful, must be foremost in uniting the First Choice Initiative into the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). MRC Commissioner Charles Carr's written testimony included supportive overtures of the SPIL, and laid out certain goals and various priorities to obtain the best results for consumers.
To read the testimonials and learn specifics of the SPIL, visit www.masilc.org
Independent Living Education Day
Girard A. Plante
The eagerly anticipated annual Education Day mixed with spectacular spring weather made for a successful State House gathering for consumers, their families and PCAs, as well as advocates and service providers. They gathered on April 22 to educate legislators on the priorities for all 11 State-funded Independent Living Centers.
Approximately 200 people gathered together to meet, greet and lay out essential public policy goals still to be met. The event attracted attendees from Cape Cod, Worcester, the North Shore, other regions of the Commonwealth and the Greater Boston area. Education Day is designed to bring citizens with disabilities face-to-face with their respective legislators to discuss maintaining funding to provide community-based supports and services, accessibility to public venues, civil rights issues and essential programs to assist individuals to return to their communities from nursing homes.
Few legislators were available because of school vacation week and work on the state budget prevented the usual ease of visiting legislators in their offices. One of the co-sponsors of Education Day is the Disability Policy Consortium. Its Executive Director, Bill Allan, was not deterred by the lack of legislators. "While we would love to meet with our state reps and senators, it's still a good week to meet with their staff."
Tables lined the Great Hall as each of the 11 ILCs presented fact sheets and other handouts on the array of services they provide. Alyson Kirwin, Systems Advocate at the Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD), coordinated the ILC's trek from Hyannis, and explained the importance of educating legislators. "It is crucial to bring awareness to the core services consumers rely on daily to fully participate in their communities." CORD represents Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.
Guest speakers included Sen. Tom Kennedy, MRC Commissioner Charles Carr, Massachusetts Office on Disability Executive Director Myra Burloff, Assistant Secretary for Disability and Community Services, Dr. Jean McGuire, and Paul Spooner, Executive Director of the MetroWest Independent Living Center in Framingham.
Primary sponsors of the IL Education Day were the Disability Policy Consortium, the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), SILC Public Education Committee, and the Commonwealth's 11 Independent Living Centers. The person responsible for organizing Education Day was Steve Higgins, Chief Coordinator at the SILC.
Kirwin summed up the consensus of the other ILCs towards the impending State budget. "Our legislators must know how the cuts made to services in the State budget adversely affect the consumers we serve."
Did You Know...
Girard A. Plante
April is the month we honor the Fair Housing Act? And did you further wonder what significance the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. means to the federal decree signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in April 1968?
For those Americans coming of age in the late 1950s, the Civil Rights movement was garnering strength, daily newspaper headlines screamed the racial injustices occurring around the nation, particularly inner-city blight and poverty plaguing many cities. The time was rife with anti-government protests and riots across America. Protracted states rights battles leading all the way to the United States Supreme Court, ultimately brought rightful end to segregation of public schools and colleges that swept Southern states.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. intimated that "the searing heat of racial oppression" kept black citizens from attaining equal housing opportunities and long denied real estate opportunities in largely white neighborhoods.
Anti-discrimination laws in rental housing earnestly began in 1956 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle's Civic Unity Committee started the Greater Seattle Housing Council, whose primary goal was to achieve unity with the city's real estate business. Though numerous actions by city government created gains in eradicating discrimination to rent or sell housing or property, the process met repeated setbacks as amendments to newly enacted laws to rental and real estate markets lasted through 1968.
That year the long and bloody battle for equality for blacks in education, jobs and housing culminated in bittersweet victory. President Johnson pressured Congress to pass the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968). And on April 11, 1968, President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968 one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Other landmark legislation that bolstered the Fair Housing Act, which originally covered race, color, religion and national origin followed. In 1974, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, and political ideology were legalized. In 1979, parental status became law; in 1988, disability and creed; and in 1999 gender identity. To learn more about how the Fair Housing Act became federal policy, go to www.hud.gov.
Department of Labor Listening Tour
Wednesday, March 3, 2010, the Department of Labor Listening Tour made a stop at the Sheraton Boston hotel. Employment NOW Coalition Co-Chairs Phil Zukas and Bill Henning welcomed the participants and gave an overview of the Governor's Model Employer Initiative. The initiative includes a self-identification campaign, a pool of money for reasonable accommodations and paid internships for youth with disabilities referred through the Vocational Rehabilitation system.
The purpose of the listening session was to provide a forum to collect information and comments from stakeholders about best practices and key issues to be addressed by Federal systems regarding the employability, employment, retention and promotion of people with disabilities.
Noting that "the employment figures for people with disabilities are way too low," Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez invited representatives from other Federal agencies to participate on the listening panel. Assistant Secretary Martinez said, "I am pleased to announce that the Department of Labor (DOL) is working with other Federal agencies to change this picture as we strive for good jobs for everyone, including those of us with disabilities."
Assistant Secretary Martinez invited stakeholders to provide input in three key areas: (1) More effective ways to increase employment of women, veterans and minorities with disabilities; (2) Identification of Federal and state systems effectively collaborating to achieve successful employment outcomes for people with disabilities; and (3) Identification of three top issues on which the Federal government should focus to support an increase in labor force participation of people with disabilities.
Sharing my thoughts with our counterparts from Washington D.C. was the best part of the day. I was inspired by the conviction, and passion of testimony presented to the panel; especially by consumers who gave their personal stories in addition to professional recommendations.
At the end of the session, I asked Ms. Martinez if she was familiar with the concept of micro-financing of small business (as a strategy directed toward people with a disability). Not only was she aware, but discussed the subject in depth, then promised to send more information when she returned to Washington.
Joseph Panciotti is an advocate and an active Individual Consumer Consultant (ICC) with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).
Public Hearings Notice for The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) Vocational Rehabilitation and Statewide Supported Employment Programs
Three public hearings will be conducted, June 8-Springfield Ma., June 9-Somerville Ma. and June 11, 2010-Taunton Ma. prior to the submittal of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission State Plan to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). MRC must submit a plan annually in order to receive federal funding for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Statewide Supported Employment Services Programs. Click here for complete location and time information.
The MRC welcomes any comments and suggestions concerning its goals, accomplishments and services to:
- Improve the provision of vocational rehabilitation services
- Increase the number of individuals with disabilities who get and keep jobs
- Work more effectively with the Career Centers
- Expand the scope and quality of Supported Employment
Individuals who are unable to attend may submit written comments or give oral telephone testimony by writing or by calling the telephone numbers noted below:
MRC Policy and Planning Department
27 Wormwood St., Suite 600
Boston, MA 02210-1616
(617) 204-3708 or 1-800-245-6543 (Voice/TDD)
Copies of the draft State Plan will be available at the hearings. For additional copies, individuals can call or write to Teresa Walsh at the above number and address. Emails can be sent to Teresa.Walsh@MRC.state.ma.us.
All comments and suggestions must be received by June 18, 2010.
SRC Artists With Disabilities Task Force Calendar
2011 Entry Application
(Deadline for General Information applications is July 1, 2010)
General Information (NOTE: We need this information to contact you in case your artwork is chosen. We will not publish any of your personal information without your consent.)
City:__________________________________(must be from MA) Zip:_______________
Please sign and date to agree to follow the Guidelines and the Note:
Required Calendar Information Guidelines
Artwork: Please submit images in "Landscape" orientation meaning wider than high. Digital images should be submitted if possible (either through email or saved to a CD and mailed). If this is not possible please contact us to make alternative arrangements.
Artwork Title: (25 Character limit INCLUDING spaces and punctuation) Placement will be directly below image.
Artist Statement: (195 Character limit INCLUDING spaces and punctuation) Placement will be below dates
Ex: I aim to get rid of the question "Y" in "Rocky," challenging all to join in Folding Progressively, enabling the Artist In Progress to have a Rock (mine being origami) to be an established artist.
Biography: (240 Characters INCLUDING spaces and punctuation) Placement will be on Bios about Creators page.
Ex: Lisa Corfman, born in Boston, MA holds a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts and is certified as a Home Health Aide. Volunteering as Chair of Artists With Disabilities Task Force, Lisa holds several jobs including her company Rocky Arts.
Self-Portrait: Placement will be to the left of month name. Please include if possible a black and white photo portrait. If you do not want to have your photograph displayed in the calendar you may take some other kind of artistic black and white photograph such as a close up of your hands.
Contact Information: (2 lines no more than 22 characters each) Placement will be to the right of month name. You can include address, email, phone number, fax number, website or we could use MRC info instead if you opt to leave your personal information off.
Please Note: We will do our best to remain true to the original artwork. However, some changes (such as slight color changes from the original artwork to the final print, or edges being cropped) may occur. Submission of your artwork to this project demonstrates that you understand and accept these terms.
All correspondence and submissions should be sent to:
Attn: Lisa Weber
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
27 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 204-3638 (TTY/V)
Heather Craig was born in 1976 in bucolic upstate New York. She was selected to attend the New York State Summer School of the Arts, and received a degree in Fine Art from Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute.
Floral still life is her primary focus, because her subjects serve as an excellent vehicle to play with bold colors and movement. Her painterly realism is magnified by the large scale of her paintings.
She has lived in many wonderful locations in the United States and Europe, her current home is an old and charming farmhouse on the outskirts of Boston. There is an ever revolving display of fresh flowers in her home for inspiration.
Heather is in the process of recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury sustained on Easter 2009. She views painting as both a relentless need to create and a therapeutic process.
Elaine McHugh Editor
MRC Staff Editors
Kasper Goshgarian, Deputy Commissioner
Emeka Nwokeji, Director, Consumer Involvement
Joan Phillips, Assistant Commissioner
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.
For further information contact Emeka Nwokeji, Director of the Consumer Involvement Program, at 617-204-3665.
To receive the newsletter electronically, send an e-mail to
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.