Monday, October 25, 2010

FEB Disability Employment and Awareness Training Conference/ Iowa National Rehabilitation Institute Conference

It was another double header week, on Wednesday we spoke at the FEB Disability Employment and Awareness Training Conference and the next day we flew to Iowa for the Iowa National Rehabilitation Institute Conference. The first engagement was straightforward, just go do my thing and give people a lot to think about. As we pull in the parking lot Dena was amazed to see how they reserved a space for us.

The audience was made of federal workers and Veterans; after I did my speech I was given a challenge coin. I was told that this coin should be with me at all times, because any officer could ask to see it. If I could not produce my coin, I would need to do 50 push-ups. I am of course shooting myself in the toe by putting this out there.

Another attendee so happened to work with Paul Perrooka years ago and I knew Paul from the school bus and other circles. After the gentleman heard my address, he felt bad that he did not give Paul more opportunities in life, or to express himself. My response was now he has a new approach for his current and future clients.

The next day Dena and I wear off to Iowa for the National Rehabilitation Institute Conference. Due to a schedule conflict, we could not arrive until the second day. It really work to our advantage, before we went to the hotel we stopped at Wal—mart. I am sure the students that picked us up from the airport, loved seeing Dena walk to the car with beer. We got to the hotel just in time for lunch and some awards that the association gives out.

When I am asked to give the keynote address, at the last minute I always hope that my topic is portinate to the conference? That is what I liked about speaking on the last day of this conference. It must of really helped, since one attendee already ask me to come back to Iowa to present at a different conference.

I always say, I am more then just going to speak. Dena and I like to be social and that night started with some board games and a Celtic band, they played Danny boy by request. We showed up with our room’s ice bucket full of ice and beer. So groups should not worry when things get a bit wild. You are getting together with friends and piers that you see once a year. I am sure everyone has a kinggimp story, or 6.
When the last speaker and I were done the next morning, everyone was gone by 2. So Dena and I had quiet night to our selves!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Personal Care Providers on Colleges Campus

I have received an email from a public school teacher in MD. They have a student graduating next spring, he gets one on one help in school for academics and personal support the whole day. The student has been to DORS for a vocational evaluation, they suggest he goes to a community college. The student likes that idea and will start next fall. The problem is that while the student is on campus how can obtain personal care providers? I know colleges only have to provide academic support. Should DORS provide this for him, I know they do that in rare situation on the job site. The teacher also contacted DDA, they said services cannot obtain until he is 21. Has anyone been in the same predicament, or have any ideas of resources of funding? Any ideas would be welcome.


It just so happens that last week Dena and I went to a state's Rehabilitation association conference. I took to ask someone about this situation, this is the reply:

They should work with DORS to see if they would be able to provide the supports. If they are a client of DORS and their Individualized Plan for Employment supports education then they should be able to work with them to find the supports. Their counselors should talk through all of this with them. Just tell them they need to ask all the questions and advocate for what they want. The teacher may be able to get a release to talk with the counselor at DORS to talk about the services and supports the individual received while in K-12.

Some ideas from Penn-Mar Human Services

Do you know if he has applied for Medical Assistance? I know they provide a few hours a week of personal care.

LISS could help him on a short term basis for up to 45 days per year…

Has DORS said no to helping him with the hours?

look at this website for resources:

Make sure his Service Coordinator is actively seeking resources, that is what they are there for!

Good Luck and please let us know if there is anything else we can do or help with. If you want to help him apply for LISS funds, they can email the department at

REM stands for Radical Emergency Medical Care for more information contact the Transition DDA Specialist

The STEP Program is a program for someone no longer in the school system and is between 18 and 20,wants to work and is DD eligible through DDA. Their focus is on jobs. It is a small program which leads me to believe it might be relatively new. I think the focus might be for students who fall into a black hole when they leave school at 18 and are not eligible for GTYI funding until 21.

I could not find links for STEP, or GTYI.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feed Up

i will be so glad when the election is over, it just brings out the ugly in everyone. start reform by stoping attack ads, they suck. i want hear how you can improve lives. everyone needs to learn how to accept one another no matter race, religion, sex, sexuality, or disability. this is america the melting pot, "united" we stand.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What a tiresome, but wonderful weekend.......

What a tiresome, but wonderful weekend we had. On Saturday we attended the second annual I Love Me workshop at the League that was sponsored by the Ellene “Brit” Christiansen Memorial Fund. This event helps women build self esteem though art and other workshops on body image. Being one of the only men there I sat in the corner, looking at my beautiful wife as she help. Once again I could not stop thinking what a luck man I am to have Dena as my partner in this crazy life.

Sunday we were in Arlington, VA for the CP Group Conference. this is truly an amazing group of people that come today and talk about every day issues. We were asked to show King Gimp for their movie night. This was the most emotional viewing of King Gimp ever, because every one could relate to my story from the schooling to relationships.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

FINALLY! Telling Gravity Where To Go

All of my life I wanted to do stuff that defies gravity, as jumping off our clubhouse roof, for a couple seconds of freedom. Also life risking sports as hang gliding, or parachuting. I guest it has been a way to give my body a break from the fight of gravity, or the ultimate lack of control that everyone feels when doing these sports.
I finally got to go on a zip line when we were in Tenn. It took us three tries to set it up, but was worth the wait. The first time we went to Wahoo Zip line we were too late for that run. Went back the first thing in the morning and they did not have enough staff. So we set up to go later that day. Have you ever seen the harness that one needs to put on. It is a full body harness, so when you are on the line it holds you like a baby sling. That was the only thing I was worry about, could I lean back wards and turn up side down but I could not.
As we pulled up to the first tower, they said I could not do all the lines because of access to the towers. I am sure other people would be mad since they paid full price. Not me, because the staff has to work twice as hard carrying my ass up and down the towers, Dena and I were driven from tower to tower in a bob cat cart and I still got to go on the best line of the course. Even if I only went on one line, it would have been worth the experience.
It was not scare getting hooked in and I was really relaxed. You would think my body would be super wired, but it was nice and calm. When I was on the line my body just felt like jello, taking the shape of the harness and flowing into the wind. I really did not keep any memories of my body fighting. I was just there enjoying the ride.
The staff was great the hole time, when we got back to the office they all signed a T-shirt for me. That day was to put the human back into everyone’s soul.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This is Why Gimps Get Peeved at society.

I went to work with Dena and at the end of her shift, she had to run a quick arien. I was waiting for her to get back in the lobby, at max she was gone for 20 minutes. The building staff started to get nervous. I started to get closer to the stairs to tell them, Dena would be back. They started to get all freaky that, I was going to fall down the stairs. As soon as I heard this I backed away from the stairs.

You would think they could make the connection since I moved when they expressed their concerns. The doorman said he had to stay with me, as if I needed a baby sitter. I was getting mad so I tried to remove myself from the situation, because this is Dena’s place of work. So I went back up stairs to her friend’s apartment and sat in the hall until Dena returned and the doorman followed me.

I was getting upset; Dena has worked in this building for 5 years. So they knew who I am and I am sure they have heard about me none stop.

Dena still had to unload the car and go up five floors, so that takes time. I am sitting out front waiting for Dena unloading around back. The next thing I see is a police car pull up and sure enough it was about me. They said it was over concern that I was cold, since it was a chilly night. At least this time the police talk to me and saw that I was all right.

This was so ridiculous, when I do need help, people will act like they cannot see me. When it becomes a question of responsibility, or effect their pockets they want me gone.