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Category: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Don and Tyler


By SD Network, 2019-04-03

dt.jpegMeet Don and Tyler.  For this dynamic father/son duo, it’s all about sports.  Tyler is a multi sport Special Olympian and has competed all around the world.  This talented athlete has run multiple marathons and gearing up for the World Track & Field Championships in Australia!  For dad, Don, volunteering with Special Olympics ultimately led to a career switch, so he could make an impact in the lives of people with disabilities.  He and his wife raised Tyler in a way that always prepared him to be on his own, and he is very proud that Tyler is living independently.  It’s not easy, but he encourages parents to push children and help them grow to be productive members of society!  We’re so fortunate to have Don as a member of the Network! 

What's your story?  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Don is the proud father three adult children—two boys and a girl.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Master’s degree in Biochemistry, but, after volunteering for seven years with the organization, in 2010, he became the Vice President of Sports & Health Programs with Special Olympics Wisconsin.  He made the switch to the non-profit to make an impact in the lives of people with disabilities.  His middle child, Tyler, is a Special Olympian.

Tyler lives independently in a condo with the assistance of a part-time caregiver.  He works in the online ordering department at Woodmans.  He participates in Special Olympics and has competed in over nine sports including track, bowling, alpine skiing, basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and flag football.  He went to the 2014 Special Olympics USA games and won a gold medal on the state flag football team.  As the Special Olympics Wisconsin Health Leader and Global Ambassador, he promotes healthy lifestyle and spreads the positive message of Special Olympics. He has raced in multiple half-marathons (best time 1hr 36min) and one full marathon (3hr 39min). He has competed in world level competitions in track (Ecuador) and half-marathon Portugal) and is currently training for the World Track & Field Championships for athletes with intellectual disabilities in Australia this October. 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Don shares that he has always been a strong proponent of finding ways for individuals to help create and fulfill their life dreams. He explains that he and his wife raised Tyler in a way that they were always preparing him to be able to live on his own, and their school district did a very good helping Tyler learn work skills that transitioned in many years at Panera Bread and now Woodman’s. “Tyler loves being productive and bring home a paycheck. He had been planning on moving out for several years and last October that dream because a reality,” he says.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Don is extremely proud that Tyler is living on his own.  He explains that young adults of any ability dream of moving out from mom/dad’s house and living independently. Young adults with disabilities are no different.

For Tyler, the Paralympic running experience has been pretty exciting. He is able to travel on his own with the USA Team. 

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Don encourages parents not to treat your child different just because they have a disability. He says to push them and help them grow to be productive members of society that will someday not need mom or dad. “That is hard as parents. Especially when you have a child with a disability. Also help prepare them for life without you,” he says. 

What are some of your hobbies?  

In his free time, Don enjoys reading, doing crosswords, hiking, and watching sports.  When Tyler isn’t busy working or training, he enjoys watching sports and hanging out with friends. 

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Ginger Beuk


By SD Network, 2019-03-07

gb.jpgMeet Ginger Beuk.  Beginning at a very early age, this self-advocate learned the value of self-determination and advocacy.  When she’s not busy attending meetings for People First where she fiercely advocates for people with disabilities, she loves watching Wisconsin sports.  We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the Self-Determination Network! 

What's your story?  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Ginger was born with cerebral palsy. Her parents started advocating for her at a young age. She explains that as she grew up, she learned why it was important to advocate for things that would make her life easier and better. She is a very independent woman who lives in her own apartment with staff that comes in a couple days a week to help her with things that are hard for her to do.

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Ginger joined the Self-Determination Network so she could use it as a resource for her local People First group.  She also as a tool in her own life.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Ginger explains that there are a couple things in Wisconsin that are great news to anyone with a physical challenge or intellectual challenge. The first thing is that last year Governor Walker signed a bill to make Supported Decision Making as an option to Guardianship. The second is that Governor Evers has signed Executive order #11 to create a task force to help caregivers in Wisconsin.

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

As Vice President of People First Wisconsin, Ginger knows everyone has the chance to start living a self-determined life. “Even if it is as simple as picking out the clothes that they want to wear that day,” she explains.

What are some of your hobbies?

Ginger is an avid sports fan.  She loves watching Wisconsin sports teams—especially the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and the University of Wisconsin football. She also enjoys doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles and loves coloring in adult coloring books.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Hunter Kelch


By SD Network, 2019-01-31

hunter.jpgMeet Hunter.  When this author isn’t busy blogging on his website, he loves watching sports and going on adventures.  He attended the Self-determination Conference for the first time and loved connecting with others his age.  He believes self-determination is a process and he encourages people to never ever give up.  We’re so fortunate to have Hunter as a member of the Network! 

What's your story?  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hunter is 26 years old.  He was born three months premature in Milwaukee, WI.  He has Cerebral Palsy and is considered a quadriplegic.  He uses a wheelchair to get around and has a visual perception deficit.  He has a brother adopted from Vietnam who has a hearing impairment and an intellectual disability.

Currently, Hunter lives in Wausau, WI in his own apartment with his cat, Sully.  He lives independently with the help of a team of caregivers, including his mom.  He uses an emergency alert system for added safety.

Hunter is the owner and author of www.comerollwithme.com.  He has been working hard to become a professional blogger and advocate for individuals with disabilities.  He would like to expand, becoming a public speaker soon. 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Hunter explains that his IRIS consultant, Jennifer, told him about the Self-Determination Conference in Wisconsin Dells this past October.  He went as a vendor, promoting his blog and selling “Super Power” T-shirts.  He wanted to also learn about others with disabilities to make him a better advocate.  

Hunter lives in a building with other individuals with disabilities, but they are all much older than I am.  He says the conference opened the door for him to meet others his age with disabilities.  “It reminded me that I am not alone. I connected with some incredible people,” he explained.  He joined the SD Network to continue connecting with other individuals with disabilities.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Becoming a member of the SD Network is exciting for Hunter!  “I am hoping to meet new people and develop friendships,” he says.

Professionally, Hunter excited to have Virginia and Scott Steuck join the Come Roll With Me team.  They will be helping him with marketing and expanding his reach.  He’s excited for the growth and expansion of his blog and website. 

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Hunter explains that even though it may take a while, continue to look ahead.  Being independent takes self-determination.  However, it is a process.  If you are working toward a goal, you are a success!  Slow and steady wins the race. Obstacles are a part of living with a disability.  Don’t let frustration cloud your view.  Take a step back and figure out a strategy to make things fall into place.  “Most importantly, never EVER give up,” he exclaims!

What are some of your hobbies?  

In his free time, Hunter can be found on his computer or in front of his PS4.  He also loves watching sports, including football, baseball, and wrestling.  In the summer, he can be found at Athletic Field cheering on the Woodchucks. He also loves exploring new places and pushing his comfort zone with new adventures.  Last year, he went water skiing and also rode on the back of a motorcycle!  

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

 

Member Spotlight: Allison Lourash


By SD Network, 2018-12-04

alllison.jpgMeet Allison.  Between writing her dissertation and volunteering on many boards, she works as a Program Manager. She believes self-determination goes beyond self-direction and that it’s important that people understand that you don’t have to do it alone.  We’re so fortunate to have her as a member of the Network.   

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Allison has worked on a number of projects related to self-determination in her career. As an adult with a disability, she really values the importance of the discussing what self-determination looks like, and how to continue to advance it is a principle in services and supports.  She currently is the Program Manager for the Northern Regional Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Center.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Allison is working on her dissertation for a PhD in Human Services.  Her research is focused on social capital and people with disabilities within the context of community development and employment.  Social Capital and Self-Determination are very interlinked.  She created this document for the Self-Determination Conference explaining how they’re link.

She’s also very excited about seeing Support Decision Making becoming a reality.   She explains that she was recently at a meeting where county APS staff outlined what they are doing to implement the law.  “Living in Wausau and working across the Northwoods, I appreciate see a large policy change trickle down to the masses,” she says. 

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Allison believes that self-determination goes beyond self-direction and sometimes within the service system there is a not a framework for what that looks like. “Just as we use the term independence to not mean that you should not be connected with others, self-determination does not mean you have to do it alone,” she explains.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Allison stresses that self-determination, like many aspects of disability, is ever evolving and it is important to assess and re-evaluate the way we frame things. She feels that the current discussion regarding person first and identity first language is a good example of the need for ongoing dialogue.

 What are some of your hobbies?

Allison keeps pretty busy working on her dissertation.  In her spare time, she really enjoys going to Farmers’ Markets—she loves the sense of community they have. She enjoys cooking and baking--especially as it gets colder. She volunteers on a variety of boards and committees and nationally lead the Employment Committee for LPA (the national organization for short stature) as well. 

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Andrea Gehling


By SD Network, 2018-11-06

andrea.jpgMeet Andrea.  When she’s not busy running 5Ks or leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, she enjoys helping people figure out and achieve dreams as a Support Broker.  She believes that self-determination takes learning and wants people to understand that it takes time to get right.  She’s excited to soon become a Certified Trainer in Person Centered Thinking. We are so fortunate to have her as a member of the Network!

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Andrea been a Support Broker at Avenues to Community (http://avenuestocommunity.com/) for six years. She has previous experience working with a residential agency and an adult day center for individuals with dementia. I am also a caregiver of a parent with dementia.

As a Support Broker, she has the opportunity to meet people and help them figure out and achieve different dreams. She explains that this includes using her skill as a PATH facilitator or using tools developed by The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (http://tlcpcp.com) to help figure out different goals. This helps focus on the balance of what is important to (makes he/she happy) and what is important for (health and safety) that each person needs. When individuals have that balance, they are able to make informed choices and self-direct their own lives. She tries to help each person she supports figure out that balance as a Support Broker.   She enjoys working with people as they grow and have different experiences.

Andrea joined the Self Determination Network after learning more about person centered thinking and planning from Cindy Kernan. She wanted to find a group of people that she could continue to learn from. She also felt that it was important to learn about what is happening throughout Wisconsin. “The SD Network allows me to see and hear about the good work others are doing,” she says.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Andrea is excited that she will soon become a Certified Trainer in Person Centered Thinking through The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices. She was also energized by the recent Self-Determination Conference. “There are a lot of people committed to self-determination and full citizenship for all. It was great to hear what others are doing and how I can be a part of the process,” she explains.

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

The tip Andrea would share is that self-determination takes learning. She explains that no one ever gets it right the first time and maybe not the second--we learn from our experiences and apply to what comes next. It is also okay to change goals as people learn and grow. Sometimes we learn what we thought we wanted isn't really what we want.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Andrea shares that community and relationships are important components to self-direction. They take time to develop and involve use being present. She encourages people to make sure to take time to nurture those unpaid relationships in those that they support.

What are some of your hobbies?

Andrea enjoys crocheting and spending time with my family. Recently, she started running 5Ks and she’s trying to do at least one per month. She also enjoys being her daughter's Girl Scout leader.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Jeff Broadwell


By SD Network, 2018-10-01

jeff.jpgMeet Jeff.  This classic rock loving man always tries to keep a positive attitude regardless of what life throws at him.  He loves having choice of what he wants in life and he enjoys connecting with others who have the same outlook.  We’re so lucky to have as a member of the Network! 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Jeff has cerebral palsy and uses a motorized scooter to get around; he also speech impediment, but that doesn’t stop him from leading a great life.  He joined the Network because he wanted to help people and be there for them.

 Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Jeff really likes the fact that he can choose what he wants for his care.  He has been an IRIS participant for about eight years; being able to have choice means a lot to him.

 What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

 Jeff wants to encourages people to always keep a positive attitude no matter what life throws at them.  He explains that it makes him feel really good when people ask him for help, and because he keeps a positive attitude, people connect with him.  He says, “it’s a great feeling.”

 What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Jeff loves being a member of the Network.  He likes that people are friendly and they are there for you.  He also explains that the Network has good resources.  “You guys do excellent work,” he says.

 What are some of your hobbies?

Jeff enjoys meeting new people and being outside when it is nice.  He also loves listening to music—especially classic rock from the 70s and 80s.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Dave Baker


By SD Network, 2018-08-31

dave.jpgMeet Dave.  As a Behavioral Consultant, he helps to develop an understanding of what people are trying to communicate or achieve through behavior.  He’s pleased that Wisconsin MCOs are starting that “challenging behavior” doesn’t always solely fall on the person, so solutions addressing things such as living and work environments and family dynamics.  He believes that interdependence should be the goal of a self-determined life.  We’re so fortunate to have Dave as a member of the Network! 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Dave is president of Meaningful Living LLC (www.meaningfullivingwi.com).  As a Behavioral Consultant, he works with both the service system and individual being supported by it.  His goal is to help support teams develop an understanding of what an individual may be trying to communicate/achieve through their behavior.  He explains that typically individuals get referred to me when all other options have failed and an individual is at risk of losing their job, house or freedom.  He works with individuals to help them advocate for themselves and get what they want without all the punitive consequences they may not enjoy.  “In other words, if their behavior helps them meet a need, I help create supportive environments that encourage them to explore alternative methods of getting their needs met.  In fact, I don't insist individuals change their behavior. I help them understand the connection between the decisions available to them, potential outcomes, and accountability,” he says.  Dave joined the SD Network because it consists of people providing services as well as individuals receiving them. He strongly believes those who receive services should have a voice in how services are provided and a place where they can speak to those of us who provide them.  “I wanted to be a part of that,” he explains.  

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination? 

From Dave’s perspective, the most exciting thing happening is Wisconsin, in terms of Self-Determination, is MCO's are beginning to recognize responsibility for "challenging behavior" doesn't always fall on the individual, and therefore, ever so slowly, the landscape is shifting from interventions focused primarily on pharmaceutical solutions, to solutions that also include addressing one’s living situation, work environment, and even family dynamics. “The idea behind this is that changes that occur as a result of a more knowledgeable and understanding staff/team, and a more empowered individual, will be more meaningful and longer lasting for all involved,” he states.  He explains that medications alone may aid in reducing challenging behavior, or gaining compliance from the perspective of the service provider, but it may also threaten the voice and wellbeing of the person being supported.

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

Dave suggests that people expect these things from himself/herself as well as those supporting him/her:

-Be yourself.

-Have the courage to be imperfect.

-Accept responsibility for the choices you make.

-Learn from mistakes and use those lessons to grow as a person.

-Value what you do.

 -Be creative - there is usually more than one way to get from point A to point B.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

In Dave’s field, their focus has always been on helping individuals achieve independence. He explains that unfortunately, one can be fully independent and still feel isolated and alone.  That’s why Meaningful Living's motto is, "Providing a foundation for interdependent pro-social community living."  He believes that interdependence, a mutual reliance between an individual and his or her community, should be the goal of a fully self-determined life.  The people he supports have a lot to offer their communities…as providers, they need to do more than implement, “support services.”  He believes they need to do a better job of helping our communities understand, appreciate, and value those they are supporting.  Then, ideally, many of the “services” will no longer be necessary. 

What are some of your hobbies?

Dave enjoys playing and coaching soccer, drawing, doing outdoor activities with his family and taking their dog for walks.

 

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Lisa Schneider


By SD Network, 2018-08-01

lisa.jpgMeet Lisa.  This dedicated mother full-heartedly believes in self-determination.  She has seen it do amazing things for her daughter.  She encourages people to be patient in understanding communication cues while discussing self-direction.  She also believes in the power of collaboration.  We’re so fortunate to have Lisa as a member of the Network.   

 How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Lisa is involved with Self Determination because she believes people have a right to direct their own lives.  She explains that the thought of her adult daughter, Kelsey, living in a situation where she had no power to choose how she lives her life was simply not an option.  Through their involvement in, and utilization of, self-directed long-term support programs, Kelsey has crafted a life of community integration, natural relationships and supports.  She points out that being non-verbal does NOT limit her negotiating skills and this is what Lisa absolutely loves about her.  “It is because of Kelsey that I want self-determination for everyone – I only wish I had as much self-determination for myself,” she says.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Lisa thinks the perspective and self-determination of the family caregiver all too often gets lost or pushed to the way-side.  She explains that one of the definitions of Self-Determination in the dictionary is “[self-de·ter·mi·na·tion] noun - the process by which a person controls their own life.”  Through her involvement with Respite Care Association of Wisconsin and subsequent collaborations, she hopes to create greater awareness of the need for family caregivers to also achieve self-direction.   

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined? 

A tip Lisa would like to share is to be patient and intentional in understanding communication cues in regards to living a self-directed life-- especially for those who have difficulty communicating verbally.  She explains that daughter communicates with her eyes, her behaviors, her interactions, her voice inflection – she knows with parents and guardians this comes more naturally – but to some others, this is the key to opening up many worlds for individuals with disabilities. It’s about going into it understanding it’s not always going to be an easy path (at least not in her household).

 What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Lisa believes in the power of collaboration.  She explains that great things happen when shared or related visions are addressed from multiple perspectives.  She shares this quote with us: "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." – Charles Darwin

 What are some of your hobbies?

“Good question.  Who has time for hobbies,” Lisa jokes.  This is a growth area for me, but she did recently start listening to audio-books, both fiction and non-fiction, as it is a form of respite to her from the world and herself.  “Ask me again a year from now,” she says.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Terry Lynch


By SD Network, 2018-07-10

terry.jpgMeet InControl Wisconsin board member, Terry Lynch.  Having worked in the disability field for many years, he has had a vital role in supporting independent living and self-determination.  The extensive list of advocacy boards he has served on is a testament to his dedication to the disability community.  When he’s not busy doing advocacy work, you’ll find him at a local coffee shop conversing with others.  We’re so lucky to have him as a part of InControl Wisconsin.

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Terry has been promoting the independent living cause since 1977, when he served as Assistant to the Director of the White House Conference on Individuals with Disabilities. He then managed a federal government disability rights program and had a key role in the establishment of the National Disability Rights Network. Terry returned to Wisconsin in 1985 to begin his consulting and speaking business.  His writing and his work in the self-determination movement are founded on this illuminating personal experience, as well as his work with other families. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle appointed Terry to the state’s Board on Aging and Long-term Care in 2006 and to its Quality Home Care Authority Board in 2009. Terry is a Board member of a national advocacy organization dedicated to elevating the status and wages of direct care workers and is engaged in shaping policy advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.  He assists Connections with issues related to effective support  for older adults participating in IRIS. He also is a founding member of InControl Wisconsin.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Terry shared that InControl Wisconsin recently held its fifth well-regarded conference on self-determination and aging. He explained that the conference was enriched by Simon Duffy, the founder of In Control in the United Kingdom, who traveled to Wisconsin to spend several days with a number of organizations, concluding with an inspirational keynote presentation at the conference-- and highlighting the pioneering aspect of Wisconsin's contribution to the advancement of empowered aging.   

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

A tip Terry would like to share is that "Dementia"-- a prominent medical issue among older adults-- is not a diagnosis.  He explains that it refers to symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion.  “Alzheimer's, of course, is a frequent cause, but dementia can be caused by other, treatable, medical problems, such as alcohol abuse, depression, vitamin deficiency and adverse reactions to medications,” he says. 

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

Terry’s definition of self-determination is based on his experiences with his mother.  He defines self-determination as, "the most control possible over the best possible life."  He explains that this was their realistic "dream" and he believes it is what we all should be striving for in our support for people of all ages in Wisconsin's long-term care programs.   

What are some of your hobbies?

Terry loves spending time in the greatest meeting place he has known: a popular Racine coffee shop which attracts people of all ages. He shares that it is a remarkable source of community support for older adults (such as himself he jokes) and others with difficulty living life without some additional assistance.  “And its coffee and pastry are superb,” he adds.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

Member Spotlight: Jane Jushka


By SD Network, 2018-06-01

Resized952018050795075843959524.jpgMeet Jane. This past Diehard Advocate award recipient is dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment.  When she’s not busy working or serving as an adviser for People First, she has a plethora of hobbies.  She believes that everyone should have the right to vote.  She also encourages people to ask for help because we can all learn from one another.  We are so fortunate to have Jane as a member of the Self-Determination Network. 

How are you involved with self-determination? Why did you join the SD Network?

Jane got involved in self-determination through her  place of employment which is Portal, Inc. in Grafton. She started four years ago as a Prevocational Mentor and worked with getting people out in the community and beginning to experience jobs. Currently, she work as a Job Consultant and Job Coach with Portal.  I also work with WIOA students two days a week teaching them self-determination and living skills.

Jane also helped restart the People First Chapter in Ozaukee County and became and advisor.  It was then that she heard of the Self-Determination Network and decided to join to make community connections and have a source to help her. She has attended the Self-Determination Conference the past four years and in 2015, she was awarded the Diehard Advocate award.   “It was pretty exciting,” she says.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you (or in Wisconsin) in terms self-determination?

Jane is excited to see is all of the jobs available today in our community that are being filled by people with disabilities.

What tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to be more self-determined?

A tip Jane would like to share is that if you do not vote or do not know how, ask for help.  She encourages people to register to vote and head to the polls on voting day.  She says, “your voice matters.”  She explained that they had a member of their People First Chapter get back her right to vote which was really exciting.

What message would you like to share with the members of the SD Network?

“Many hands make light work,” Jane says. She explains that we don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.  She encourages people to ask for help--more times than not someone wants to help and can.

What are some of your hobbies?

Jane is a lady with many hobbies.  In addition to sewing, quilting,  and painting, she loves to wall paper. She also is an avid reader—she reads a book (mostly fiction, biographies, or cookbooks) every 10-14 days.  She also loves to people watch.

***We love hearing the views and opinions of Network members. We need to mention that the views and opinions expressed on this site are those of the person who is sharing them. They do not necessarily reflect InControl Wisconsin or any of our supporters and funders.

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