In order to help those with disabilities, it often is necessary to help those with disabilities see how they too can function in today's society. My goal here is to inspire those with disabilities to reach farther, set goals and achieve things that they may have thought impossible. Living with disabilities is never an easy thing, but through encouragement, many with disabilities can live a much fuller and much more enjoyable life. I want to offer outreach and speaking services designed to help those who, like me, are challenged by their disability.
Consultation and ADA Compliance Counseling:
Many times in today's fast-paced workforce, people who encounter disabled clients may not understand their clients' needs or the laws
which regulate how to service disabled clients. I hope to assist organizations by providing real-life scenarios, examples of ADA compliance and
non-compliance so that when that organization encounters a disabled client, they are fully prepared to assist their client while being in 100%
compliance with ADA law. It is my belief that such consultations with organizations not only benefit the organization requesting consultation,
but it also serves to make life much easier for the disabled customers that organization will serve throughout its lifetime. Furthermore, such
consulting can lead to sizeable savings by preventing the eventuality of an ADA compliance law suit which can result from not understanding ADA
law and, thereby, not providing their disabled clients with service in a manner compliant with ADA law.
The disabled should not have to fear living, likewise; companies and organizations should not fear serving the disabled. Through these two areas of service, I hope to change and improve this world so that the disabled know they can enjoy a more complete life and that the companies that serve disabled customers are truly prepared to offer the best level of service possible.
"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom." - Bertrand Russell
I was born with Cerebral Palsy and though life can be challenging, it's what you make of it that determines the type of person you
are and life you lead. I chose to enjoy life and help others do the same.
Although my experiences have varied from corrections, to counseling, and now to retail, I have learned from all aspects. In the correctional field you learn patience and practicality while counseling teaches you to look beyond what is on the surface. In retail you learn little lessons along the way - some good, some bad, but all to make you better at what you do, which in turn helps you help others.
One area that I itch to try is the public speaking market. I'd like to work with a public relations firm, to market myself by traveling to different locations to speak to others about the opportunities life offers to those of us 'lucky' to have a disability. Life is what you make of it. Take the cards you're dealt and play your hand to the fullest.
Being a disability advocate and having a service dog has not only enriched my life, it has given me a whole new outlook. I want to share this with others and show that you can 'rise above a disability' and achieve greater things.
Speaking engagements along with media contacts and publishing events will not only spur my own career but it will also show others that getting out and being independent is possible.
A disability is something that a lot of us have no control in getting, however, how we deal with it is completely in our control. If you let a disability beat you, it will.
Strive for excellence. Work for independence and be the best you can be.
On the surface, living with Finn, my service dog, is like living with my other pets, but it stops there.
Finn is a highly trained mobility service dog who knows and responds to 80 different commands. What is a service dog and what can he do? A service dog is an animal trained to help someone with any type of disability: developmental, hearing, or sight-impaired, and even more recently, mental illness or PTSD.
I considered a service dog because I wanted to be more independent in my life and I knew I couldn't do it alone. My service dog, Finn, has allowed me to do things I never thought possible. He can turn lights on and off; open and close doors; pick up dropped items; push buttons on vending machines and elevators; bring a drink from the refrigerator; take clothes from the washer, put them in the dryer, and then move them to a basket; and he can also pull my manual wheelchair.
Atop of performing those tasks, Finn is trained to pace his strides, focus his attention, follow direction and navigate through narrow spaces. Finn is a brilliant partner and over the years we have bonded in ways I never expected. Whether it's walking across the street with me or pulling clothes from the washer, Finn is always there for me.