From the Editor’s Desk
Elaine McHugh

Welcome to the winter edition of the Consumer’s Voice (CV). By now you have noticed the CV was co-mailed with the Consumer Involvement calendar featuring artwork created by artists with disabilities.

In the past this calendar was the domain of the Artists with Disabilities Task Force (AWDTF) with Consumer Involvement as the support. Recently, the Artists with Disabilities Task Force have been reassessing their task force status. We will keep you updated as to the status of this group.

Given the transitional status of the AWDTF, the Consumer Involvement staff along with the support of Lauren Geraghty, has taken over the development and creation of the calendar for this year and we have had great response to our request for artwork. Are you an artist who would like to be included in next year’s calendar? Please contact Lisa Weber by email at Lisa.Weber@mrc.state.ma.us or phone 617-204-3638.

This issue of the Consumer’s Voice includes an article entitled “Harnessing the power of autism to provide vocational opportunities to people on the autism spectrum.” Brenda and Moshe Weitzberg have a son on the spectrum and this is their story of developing a workplace environment that is suited to the specific needs of those on the spectrum and their unique job skills and abilities.

Boston Self Help Center telephone support group was developed by Linda Hillyer to reach an underserved population. Girard Plante has written an article that gives you all the information and insight needed to determine if this may benefit you.

We are still looking to offer the CV electronically to as many readers as possible, so please email us at consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us if you would like to become a paperless reader of the Consumer’s Voice.

 

Welcome Nina Rosenberg
Debra S. Kamen, Assistant Commissioner, Community Living

Please join me in welcoming Nina Rosenberg to the MRC as the new Money Follows the Person (MFP) Unit Director.

Nina comes to us with over two decades of disability experience. She has an extensive healthcare background that has included working at Medicaid and the Department of Mental Health. Ms. Rosenberg’s professional career has spanned both the public sector and private sectors where her skills have been utilized to enhance and improve services for adults and children with disabilities.

She brings her experience and knowledge to the MRC to assist us in creating a new department focused on transitioning individuals with disabilities and the elderly from nursing homes and hospitals into the community. We are thrilled to have her join our team.

 

Disability Policy Consortium
Bill Allan

The Board of Directors of the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC) is pleased to announce the election of a new President and the appointment of a new Executive Director.

John Chappell has assumed the leadership of the DPC following the resignation of John Pirone as President. Mr. Pirone will continue as a valued Board member while pursuing an E.D. at Northeastern University.
Bruce Menin has been selected to be the new Executive Director. Bruce brings broad experience and a long-standing commitment to human rights to the DPC.

Please welcome John Chappell and Bruce Menin in their new advocacy roles.

 

Products and Technologies that Change People's Lives Expo/Conference
Karen Langley

On Sept. 23rd over 1000 people attended the Products and Technologies that Change People's Lives Expo/Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Attendees explored products and services from nearly 100 exhibitors, from adapted tricycles and robots to voice controlled computer software and accessible vans.

"There were a few products that really got a lot of people talking," reports Karen Langley, EOHHS Director of Assistive Technology and Community Supports Programs. Among them: the VGo robot which roamed the halls talking to people, a wheelchair accessible motorcycle from Ride-Away, and the adorable NAO from Aldebaran (a robot used for teaching).

Karen reports that, in addition to the Expo, over 500 people took advantage of conference workshops. "We had people learning about accessible housing, telecommunications, recreation services, really a great range of offerings

One parent, Randi Sargeant (who is an AT Advisory Committee member) says she was particularly impressed to learn of the variety and number of adapted sport programs available. "It's clear we're really fortunate in Massachusetts."

Winners of the “Change People's Lives design competition” were also announced at the event. The competition invited Massachusetts design students and young professionals to compete for a $5000 prize (donated by the Perkins School for the blind) with a product or tech idea that minimizes limitations and enhances living. First place went to Miriam Zisook of Somerville for the Hug Chair.

"Overall," Karen notes, "it was a really fun event, and got people excited about all the possibilities. And hopefully we've inspired the next generation of innovators to continue making the world more livable for more people."

To learn more about the event, go to www.changepeopleslives.org


The Paul Kahn Award for PCA Service

The Patrick-Murray administration honored five individuals from across the Commonwealth for their dedication and service as Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) for elders and people with disabilities at an event at the State House. The Paul Kahn Award for PCA Service acknowledges the vital role of PCAs in assisting with tasks of everyday living for over 20,000 Massachusetts residents. The award ceremony is sponsored by the PCA Quality Home Care Workforce Council and 1199SEIU Health Care Workers East.

"PCAs care for seniors and people with disabilities in their own homes, and their work plays an important role in helping the Commonwealth achieve our commitment to 'Community First,' " said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby.

"Personal Care Attendants serve as vital links to independent, community-based living for seniors and people with disabilities living in the Commonwealth," said Christine Griffin, Assistant Secretary for Disability Policy and Programs in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. "The variety of services they provide are determined and directed by the consumers they serve - making independence the guiding principle as well as the outcome."

PCAs support elders, adults and children with daily activities, including bathing, dressing, meal preparation and other tasks they are not able to do for themselves. PCAs also make it possible for many people with disabilities to go to work by helping them physically prepare for a day in the workplace.

The recipients honored are:

Luci Johnson, Lowell
: Luci was nominated by the father/surrogate of David, a 44-year old diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia. Two years ago, David transitioned from living with his parents to living in his own apartment. Luci visited him on her own time, including during an ice storm, to calm any fears caused by the new environment. The management of David's building has chosen him as "resident of the year."

Johanna Montalvo, Worcester: Johanna has been a PCA for nine years. She met her consumer/employer and helped her for about a year prior to being paid through the PCA program. Johanna said she believes in providing care for those who need it, something she learned in her native Dominican Republic, where a high value is placed on caring for others.

Terri Morris, Middleborough: A former registered nurse, Terri has spent the last 30 years committed to the PCA program. When asked what she likes best about being a PCA, Terri said "I'm helping someone's life be independent." Tom, Terri's consumer/employer, describes her as being prompt, professional, and caring. Terri has taken a leadership role on behalf of PCAs in the Brockton area and has facilitated meetings with other PCAs in the area.

Noah Zizinga, Watertown: Noah was born in Uganda and came to the United States when he was in his mid-30s. For 14 years, Noah worked as a PCA for Jimi, a long-time manager at the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL). As Jimi's PCA, Noah was a positive presence at BCIL, and when Jimi died earlier this year, BCIL hired Noah as a Skills Trainer.

Patricia Peles, Springfield: Both parents of Brian, a 22-year old man with severe disabilities, nominated "Trish" as Patricia is known to them. Trish has provided care to Brian since he was four years old. Trish meets Brian's bus from his day program every afternoon and cares for him until his parents get home from work. According to Brian's father, "We are totally at ease, knowing Brian is in great hands every day."

The Paul Kahn Award for PCA Service is named for Paul Kahn, a long-time advocate for disability rights who was one of the first people in Massachusetts to use Personal Care Attendants in the mid-1970s. Kahn passed away last year.

Two years ago, in an effort to streamline the recruitment and hiring of PCAs, the Patrick-Murray Administration launched an online PCA Referral Directory, a comprehensive listing of Personal Care Assistants ready to provide care in an individual's home. Consumers can find qualified PCAs more easily by searching the website by zip code and other criteria, such as access to a car, hours of availability and experience. PCAs can submit job applications and resumes online or by telephone. Since last year, more than 7,000 people have registered to work as PCAs.

The Patrick-Murray Administration's "Community First" long-term care agenda ensures that elders and people with disabilities have access to community-living supports that address each individual's diverse needs, abilities and backgrounds. PCAs are an integral part of creating and maintaining opportunities for community living.

In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick announced the Commonwealth's first Olmstead Plan, a roadmap and action plan for ensuring the Commonwealth's 1.6 million elders and people with disabilities have access to the full range of home and community-based services, including case management and housing supports.

 

Did You Know
Girard Plante

Recent advances in research are making enormous changes in the lives of people with spinal cord injuries. The emphasis of researchers with integrity, and whose intentions are to never mislead with claims of a cure that may never arrive, is focused on ensuring that paralyzed people know a better quality of life so they can daily live more comfortably.

The result of such a situation is the present and the future brighter than their past.

Take eLEGS, for example, and you’ll see people who lost use of their legs from a life-altering spinal cord injury standing and walking throughout the day as they leave their wheelchairs behind for the first time in years.

Such a scenario occurred this past July, as Amanda Boxtel of Basalt, CO, strapped an “exoskeleton” onto her body, stood up and walked. After a skiing accident resulted in paraplegia 19 years ago, Craig Hospital became Amanda’s choice for rehabilitation.

Enthusiasm on the sunny summer day spilled across the attendees at Craig, the world renown SCI rehabilitation facility that treats and cares exclusively for people with spinal cord injuries and severe head trauma.

After five years of development, Berkeley Bionics introduced eLEGS in October 2010. eLEGS will be available to people with incomplete SCI to their lower extremities in 2012. Berkeley chose Craig to be one of 10 of the best SCI rehabilitation centers to conduct eLEGS studies and “one of the first eLEGS Centers in the world.”

Candy Tefertiller, PT, and Craig’s Director of Physical Therapy, explains that eLEGS will transform a paraplegic’s life. “There has been a surge of locomotive training for incomplete spinal cord injuries over the last 10 years … a significant number of people with incomplete injuries still have to use their wheelchair at least part of the time. This particular technology could potentially allow them to walk in the community without using a wheelchair.”

To learn more about eLEGS and other SCI developments, go to www.craighospital.com
Source of above information: Movin’ On, Fall 2011.

 

Harnessing the Power of Autism to Provide Vocational Opportunities to People with ASD in Software Testing: The Aspiritech Story
Brenda and Moshe Weitzberg, PhD

This article previously appeared in Autism News, printed with permission from Brenda Weitzberg.

Our son’s graduation, in 2003 from a four-year university, was a day of great joy and pride for the entire family. But, it also left us with the sinking feeling of: “What’s next?”

Our son had many areas of strength. He had taught himself to read at age three and had an extensive vocabulary but also complex challenges, especially in the social and executive functioning arenas. These impacted his ability to be organized and planful, manage his time and priorities, and self-monitor. As a result, we were serving as his executive secretary, helping him stay focused and organized!

Raising him had been a challenge. From age three to eight, we received multiple diagnoses including insufficient parental limits and Sensory Integration Disorder. At age eight he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS and only at age 14 (in 1993) did we first hear the term, “Asperger’s syndrome.” There was absolutely no technology and very few resources at that time that could help him or us.

The end of formal schooling meant a drastic drop in services along with changes to daily routine and social opportunities. Much of his time was spent in front of the computer or TV. He also seemed to have a growing self-awareness of being different. As a child, we rarely knew how he felt, even when he had been bullied or when depressed or anxious. As an adult, the very same issues were exacerbated by his growing social isolation.

Finding a job for our son became a challenge. It also became evident that the rehabilitation system was not familiar with high functioning autism. Most of the jobs they found him were in retail, bagging groceries and collecting carts; jobs not well suited to his social and motor skills. Understandably, fast-paced, high-volume retail stores valued employees that could easily move from task to task and multi-tasking was certainly not our son’s forte! The high rate of manager turnover meant that, even if the first few supervisors were understanding and had been prepared by the job coach, their successors were not.

The current system provides job coaching for 90 days without long-term follow up. Though our son typically required less time to learn a new job, he would have benefited from some ongoing support when misunderstandings or challenges in the workplace arose. For example, he excelled at cashiering only to be fired after two and a half years (by a new manager) because he lost track of time during mandatory breaks. Had the vocational counselor still been involved, this problem could have easily been resolved using a timer, watch or other cue.

Despite being “higher functioning,” our son fell through the cracks as his impaired social, organizational and motor skills made him unfit for manual labor and his social demeanor made it impossible to get an opportunity at jobs more suitable to his intellectual abilities. We finally realized that we are setting our son up for a lifetime of continuous vocational failures and disappointments.

Something had to be done!

In 2008, we founded Aspiritech, a nonprofit with a mission to provide a path for high functioning adults on the autism spectrum to realize their potential through gainful employment.

We’re thrilled with the results we’ve achieved so far and with how much our employees have accomplished. We’ve seen firsthand how the right environment and support and most importantly THE RIGHT TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT can transform the work experience for people on the autism spectrum.

Aspiritech harnesses the strengths of autism such as focus, attention to detail and strong technical skills to provide training and then employment in software testing (quality assurance or QA). Aspiritech provides its clients with reliable, secure, effective testing and communications. Through our operating procedures, we ensure the quality and consistency of our work and give employees the structure and direction they need to do their best.

Testimonials from our satisfied clients attest to the quality we deliver. For example, David Fisher, CEO of optionsXpress said, “Aspiritech allows us to scale our QA and QC resources up and down and do it efficiently.” Sara Winter at Squag writes: “It’s easy to recommend. Aspiritech was on time and on budget providing excellent service”.

In addition to the first-rate, quality QA services they are providing, we’ve found that our testers thrive in Aspiritech’s environment. When we have regular, consistent work we see a huge impact on the testers’ mood, sense of pride and confidence. Our own son has demonstrated an increase in initiative and self-awareness. Other parents are reporting renewed pride and self-confidence too!

And the surprises don’t stop there! When they detect a “bug” (a suspected software error) or a process that can be improved, they are told to double-check it with someone else. At first, each worked in separate corners of our office and they all checked their errors with the manager who had trained them. Guess what? Within a very short time, almost all began to work together around the main conference table and to double-check their bugs with one another!

We are seeing teamwork and cooperation amongst our staff, all of whom have a form of autism. In recognition of their leadership and technical skills, two testers have just been promoted to project leads and given raises!

At Aspiritech, our testers appreciate each other and are comfortable with themselves because we value them and acknowledge their incredible abilities and their work. We also understand and accept their individual “quirks.” Incidents that are unacceptable in other places (and are not customer-related) are often ignored and our autism specialist, graciously funded by grants from Autism Speaks and Healthcare Foundation of Highland Park, handles them later.

Our continuing challenge is securing enough contractual work to provide a consistent, predictable work schedule for our testers. And although software testing is a great match with the strengths of autism, we are exploring other types of work where their extreme focus and attention-to-detail will be an advantage.

Today, most experts agree that at least 85-90% of adults with autism are either unemployed or severely under employed. Of those who work, many are overqualified stuck working in low-paying jobs that are not a good fit with their skills and abilities. In sharp contrast, Aspiritech’s work is intellectually challenging. In addition to a pay check, it provides socialization, self-fulfillment, self-esteem and structure to our testers’ lives.

It boils down to finding the right fit in the employment world. We must stop trying to pigeonhole people with autism into available jobs and begin to look at what jobs (like software testing) align with autism’s strengths. If we can transform how we view employment for adults with high functioning autism, just think how much of the lost productivity and other incremental costs an estimated $3.2 million per person we could reduce, redirect or avoid.

As a society, we can do better. And we must do better before the tidal wave of 500,000 children with autism reach adulthood in the next decade or so! We cannot afford to waste the talents of capable individuals and see them fall through the cracks as our son once did!

For more information about how Aspiritech can meet your company’s quality assurance/software testing needs, please contact Moshe Weitzberg, PhD, at moshe@aspiritech.org or check us out at www.aspiritech.org.

 

Job Coaches and Supported Employment
Larry Espling, Research Analyst, MRC

People who assist individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment, using supported employment services, have been referred to by a number of different titles, employment specialist, employment consultant, personal representative, job developer, job-site trainer, and job coach, to name a few.

One brief definition of Supported Employment is “real work for real pay.” Not only does the job coach provide services and the opportunity for an individual to become successfully employed, but they also provide a service to businesses in finding and obtaining valuable employees. As such, a job coach has two customers. These two roles require unique and different skills. A job coach must have the ability to represent the job seeker as a valuable asset to businesses, while also being able to identify and facilitate the necessary supports for the individual to become a successful employee.

Job coaches must understand the business community and how individuals with disabilities add value to the workplace. First, the Job Coach researches the different types of businesses in their area. After finding out as much as they can about the businesses, the job coach requests an appointment with a representative or owner of a company to ascertain what needs and types of jobs are available. The employer tells the Job Coach what jobs they have, what work skills are needed and availability.

The Job Coach will spend time in a company to get to know their culture and needs before the consumer starts working there. The job coach must be able to communicate in business language rather than rehab language and have people skills. The job coach needs to learn the job before the consumer starts and break down the job into steps (job analysis/task analysis) to assist the consumer.

The Job Coach can inform the consumer about the Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) they work for, and what employment services they offer to assure they can present and maintain a reliable employee. The Job Coach explains to the employer what supports a job coach can give the employer, such as shadowing the consumer to ensure the job is being done correctly. The Job Coach could recommend assistive technology to enable the consumer to perform their job and meet the requirements to the satisfaction of the employer.

Job Coaches must be able to assist the job seekers in identifying personal interests, goals, skills, and what types of jobs the consumers might like to consider and match their skills leading to a job in their community.

To know the consumer better, the Job Coach goes with the consumer to places in the community. This allows the Job Coach to asses if the consumer has good social, monetary and reading skills.

Also, the Job Coach may ask the consumer what interests, hobbies, or goals he has. The Job Coach might suggest they set up a meeting with the consumer’s parents, friends, teachers, and present/former employers, to discuss the individual’s skills, talents and what needs to be done to achieve their future goals.

To determine the capabilities of the consumer, the Job Coach will perform a situational assessment. By placing and training the Job Coach can identify workplace supports the individual may need to assist them in becoming employed. This means the individual is learning to do a real job in a company instead of getting ready for a job someday.

The Job Coach may find it necessary to negotiate with the employer identifying customized jobs for individuals with disabilities. For example, a business could have a position that requires one particular task that is needed to complete the job. The Job Coach and the employer could negotiate to customize a job position for the consumer, using the individual’s skills and talents, to do the work. It is important to note that this is real work for real pay.

The Job Coach is able to identify a wide variety of workplace supports. Supports must be customized to the individual. For example, a Job Coach may be working with a consumer with Cerebral Palsy, who has difficulty with eye hand coordination and spasticity issues. The consumer is looking for a position that requires using a keyboard; they may only need a key guard as a reasonable accommodation to perform the job duties. The Job Coach can tell the employer about the key guard and other low to no cost assistive technology devices and how to obtain them.

Job Coaches use different data collection techniques to document effectiveness of workplace supports. Decisions about the effectiveness of the work supports and the employee’s progress should be based on sound data collection, interpretation of the data presented and feedback from the consumer.

Job Coaches provide proactive follow-along services, when needed. The nature and amount of long-term support varies from person to person. Job Coaches must become skilled at observation, collecting data, and asking the “right questions” to predict and identify support needs and provide or facilitate the service. Maintaining ongoing and regular contact with the worker and employer is vital to job retention. This feature of supported employment encourages businesses to hire workers with disabilities and use supported services.

A recent survey identified some of the major barriers to being hired: transportation, loss of public benefits, inability to access long-term supports and family issues. Consumers become isolated either because of poor social skills or the ignorance of other employees. At times it is difficult for the consumer to understand the “Company Culture” which can lead to further isolation in the workplace.

In closing, the consumer’s skills need to be carefully assessed to better support job matches. Consumers should consider the need to be flexible in identifying their career goals. The Job Coach needs to be aware of a consumer’s skills, abilities, limitations and service needs. The focus of supports should always be toward building independence.

Resources:
Supporting Individuals with Significant Disabilities: The Roles of a Job Coach
http://www.crp-rcep.org/resources/printView.cfm/630

Boston Self Help Telephone Support Group
Girard Plante

For over three decades, Boston Self Help Center has provided people with disabilities relief from the whirlwind of their struggles. Yet, unlike numerous non-profit human service organizations that have come and gone since the 1970s, the Boston-based agency has weathered the evolution of change by trailblazing its own unique path.

One of Boston Self Help Center’s newest and most innovative tools is a telephone support group that has potential to reach people with all manner of disabilities across America. “A lot of people are dealing with illness. So this is another benefit in having other people from across the country sign on,” explains Linda Hillyer, longtime peer support group leader.

While in-person support groups allow many people to flourish at numerous human service nonprofits and agencies, Boston Self Help Center is changing to reach an underserved population. “Initially, our thoughts were to hold phone support groups because of people’s inability to get out,” says Linda.

The creation of the phone support group arose out of necessity. “I developed multiple chemical sensitivity 12 years ago, which cut short my ability to co-lead and facilitate support groups in person,” adds Hillyer. “That realization proved devastating because I love doing this work.”

Co-leader Cindy Higgins, who’s worked for Boston Self Help Center since 1988, has performed numerous tasks for the organization. Currently, she is a consultant and co-facilitates the phone support group. “I feel very connected because I’ve been involved for years.”
Boston Self Help Center originated in Brookline and was incorporated in 1977. Currently, its headquarters is in the Mission Hill area of Boston, also known as Roxbury Crossing. The group’s hallmark is bringing people together to advocate for a common cause. And the telephone support group perpetuates that effort, adds Linda.

“Membership is not automatic.” Prospective participants meet with Cindy and Linda to discuss the possibility of joining the group. “Who joins is a mutual decision between peer counselor and consumer.” Both Linda and Cindy co-facilitate the phone support groups.

People are recruited from lists at Independent Living Centers, associates and friends, a friend who has a blog across the world. Basically it’s networking. Agencies inform their clients and then they decide whether to participate. “No privacy is breeched,” says Linda.

The support group meets for one and a half hours at a time. And as people talk they recognize it’s important to talk with somebody with a disability. Linda explains: “The comfort level for each person is different. Members choose the topics they want to talk about. The important aspect is people making contact and then staying connected, talking on their own terms. The possibilities are endless.”

For example, two people may have different disabilities but share common ground if they have housing issues. That way they both can help each other and remain in contact. Overall, the phone support group has witnessed enormous success. The cost of the telephone calls are incurred by members whether or not they have unlimited long distance. The support group utilizes a conference number to call into.

Until recently, the telephone support group meetings have been held biweekly. At this time, Linda and Cindy are actively recruiting new members so the support groups can resume soon. Boston Self Help Center’s website is being reconstructed.

Despite these difficult days, Cindy harbors hope that Boston Self Help Center will prevail as it has the past 34 years. “Because of the economy we’re doing less. However, we have very dedicated members. The Center came back because of a lot of committed people. We’re trying to persevere in finding new ways because we believe in our mission.”

People interested in learning more about the telephone support group or want to join can call 617-277-0080. Messages left at that phone number are checked daily.

Be Positive and Enjoy Life
Marsha Decker-Rice

Have you accepted your life? Do you wonder about your reason in life? What emotions do you feel?

I can’t imagine not being happy. As a woman with a disability, I have determined a few ways to be happy and achieve the further goal of acceptance.

I have always had a love of reading, art, music and writing. I use these interests as my coping mechanism.

When I experience pain and/or painful feelings rush into my life, I have a group of friends who I call upon. This helps me to remember that love, care and a focus on productive ways of coping will be my best support.

We have a life and what we do with it is so important.

Don’t ever give up. Being a person with a disability is something I use to be more capable and supportive to others. Fight every negative feeling. Focus on the good in life and share it.

I have learned to be positive and I enjoy my life. Banish negativity and be happy!

 

Becoming an Individual Consumer Consultant (ICC)
Leslie Wish

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: Leslie.Wish@MRC.state.ma.us.


Go Green and Save a Tree
Have the Consumer’s Voice sent by e-mail. If you are interested please e-mail your request to:
consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us
Please include your name and address with your request.

 

Russ McNaught
Artist Biography

Born and educated in Cambridge, Mass. Russ McNaught, as a teenager, worked at both MIT and Harvard University. He attended college in Tennessee for two years, and then joined the US Navy, specializing in computers, software and hardware needed for Air Traffic Control systems. After the Navy, Russ worked at Honeywell for 5 years in research. He worked at Raytheon for two years, installing Air Traffic Control systems around the country.

Russ developed schizophrenia. He has been in treatment at the VA for 30 years. He got involved with the MRC, who sponsored him to work at Gateway Arts for 10 years. He is currently working on producing a set of tarot cards.

 

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 consumer.involvement@mrc.state.ma.us

 


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.