Saturday, September 26, 2009

Diana and Kathy - Heros in the Disability Movement

Looking for inspiration after a rather challenging week, I decided to follow up on a lead I had received at a telecommuting conference this week. A Google representative and I chatted about the work we do and discovered that we both write policy for our organizations. He shared a tip that he found useful and encouraged me to try it. I learned that it was a great tool for finding stories on topics of interest via the Internet.

I googled Google Reader as he suggested, located the site, and typed in Abilities with Disabilities, knowing that I am always inspired by stories that highlight innate talents/abilities that help us overcome our challenges/disabilities.

Almost instantly, a wonderful link emerged that led me to the Justice for All (JFA)Blog and the remarkable story of Diana and Kathy. Diana and Kathy have been friends for 42years and living interdependently for most of those years. They met in a sheltered workshop in 1970 and they teamed up to stay out of institutional settings. Kathy who died unexpectedly just last week had severe cerebral palsy and her caretaker of 38 years, Diana, has Down Syndrome. Together, they capitalized on their individual strengths, overcame major obstacles, served one another with love and compassion, and lived fully. They not only stayed out of institutions, but became wonderful advocates and role models for those living with challenges.

Their story warms the heart and spirit and inspires us to live courageously. Read more about them and be inspired to follow the lead of these two courageous souls at this link:

The press release about Diana and Kathy and their upcoming movie is found here:

You can view a short clip of their movie which will be shown on PBS in October by clicking on this link,

Let me know how you will step out to make a difference this week. How will you reach out to serve another? What strength do you have and how will you use it?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Eat That Frog! Energize That Fast!

So the school year has begun! If you are like me, you are constantly encouraging your children to get organized and to get in gear! You want them to tackle that school work that is beginning to pour in.

At the same time, you are also feeling a bit overwhelmed and also yearn to get organized, to clear the clutter that has accumulated over the summer and to simplify your life. You and I want to focus on our priorities and to get more done in less time. I am always looking for tools to rejuvenate my drive and fuel my spirit and I am happy to share what I find.

I recently came across a short movie, that got me energized and I believe you will find it helpful, too. It is about a remarkable little book entitled Eat That Frog! and is by Brian Tracy. The book and movie is loaded with unconventional wisdom and tips to stop procrastinating. Enjoy watching and then come back to the blog. I want to share one more tip that has helped me to get in motion!

Eat That Frog!

According to Brian Tracy, author of the book above, only about 3 percent of adults have clear, written goals. He reports that these people accomplish five or ten times as much as people of equal or better education and ability who have never taken the time to write out exactly what they want.

I encourage you therefore to write out your goals and get very clear on what you want to accomplish and then EAT THAT FROG!

What will you do today to get organized, focused and energized?

Secret of Success - Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Thomas Henry Huxley said, "Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not." He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work."

I added the special emphasis to whether you feel like it or not. It is easy to say these words and harder to implement them. Self discipline is the secret key to success according to Mr. Huxley. He does not mention tapping into your passion or purpose, and yet these elements are key components to success and are foundational. Without passion or purpose, these words are often ignored while we become heavier and heavier and ladened with guilt.

When we combine our passion and purpose and implement these words, we take action, stand out and move forward! People notice, we form habits, and it becomes easier to succeed beyond our initial yearnings. When we are doing what we are "meant to do," and step out of our comfort zone, our actions take on a life of their own and often stepping out can turn out to be exhilarating and very rewarding.

Let me know what you will do today, to step out of your comfort zone, to move forward in pursuit of your passion and purpose, whether you feel like doing it or not, to further your dreams?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

T/TAC - A Great Resource for Parents, Educators and Those They Serve!

The Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) website: is a great resource with endless possibilities for parents and educators and for those they serve.

This is a resource for those in VA and provides great information to all, no matter where you live. I was especially impressed with the resources and online training. At this site, you will also find info on Assistive Technology, SOLs, and Upcoming Events. This resource is funded by the Virginia Department of Education.

T/TAC Online provides resources and linkages to help parents, educators and youth with disabilities. T/TAC offices are linked to universities around the commonwealth of Virginia.

To see the Parent/Family category:
1) Go to the website:
2) Click on your region off of the map.
3) Click on one of the tabs labeled: Resources, Events or Online Training.
4) Once on selected page or section, scroll down to "Parents/Family." (left side of page) -- Click on the word, Parents/Family for more information.

I encourage you to take a look and let me know what is most valuable to you and your special ones.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nine Online - Resources for Career Exploration and Discovery

Are You Looking to Make a Major Transition?

Are You Interested in Focusing Your Efforts on a Meaningful Career?

Are You Looking to Shift Gears and to Try Something New?

If so, these websites can help you to not only explore thousands of possibilities, but will help you find what makes your heart sing. Happy exploring!


This is a great source of occupational information. It contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptions. It allows you to explore and learn about hundreds of occupations. It also contains Career Exploration Tools for individuals looking to find or change careers.


How well do you think you know yourself? Take the quiz at this website and in a few minutes you’ll know the answer. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover something you didn’t know about yourself. Bottom line: You can use the information from Who I Am to help you choose a career.


This site provides many fun exercises to tap into the kinds of activities you enjoy.


The aim of this free site is to assist you in making better career decisions. Do you know what you're looking for? There are several instruments that can provide insight. Two are featured below:

The CDDQ's goal is to locate the focuses of your career decision-making difficulties, and to recommend ways to overcome them.

The purpose of PC questionnaire is to explore the extent to which your career-related preferences are crystallized and will help you in becoming aware of what you're looking for in your future career.


Career Path offers scientifically proven and reliable career tests to help you find your unique career path. Each test is designed by psychologists and utilized by professional counselors and career educators across the world. The variety of career tests offered provide you with a customized tool, depending on where you are on your career path, and what area of your career you are looking to learn more about.


You can expect to experience real career satisfaction when your work allows you to use your best strengths and natural talents. Such work is energizing and enjoyable! Begin by identifying your natural talents and find great jobs that match them at this website.


Practice interviewing for a variety of jobs. Your webcam can help you on this website to gain interviewing confidence.


On this site, you can locate employers. You can use the Employer Locator to find contact information about a specific employer or list of employers. It will be necessary to contact each employer to see if they have job openings available.

9. is a great resource for finding volunteer opportunities in your community. Use this site to explore your interests and to connect with like-minded individuals. According to the website, "America’s foundation will be built one community at a time – and it starts with you."

Please dig into those websites of interest to you and share your discoveries with me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Everything I Am, I Owe to My Mother and her Faith in Both of Us!

As a child, I was shy; I doubted my abilities, and in many ways I was an introvert. I hated leaving my mother's side. The first day of school always presented a host of wails and worries from me. I remember crying out in horror in kindergarten, and also in 1st and in 2nd grade as she left me in the care of a new teacher and classmates. My mother worked with me relentlessly, encouraged me to identify my strengths, and to find a friend. She applauded when I took a small step forward, and encouraged me to take another step forward, and yet another. She finally pushed me into the pool of life. Once, I was left to sink or swim, I decided to swim.

When God blessed me with a child with special needs, I decided to stand up, share and soar for both of us, following the example of my mother. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take action myself. I heard long ago, most likely at my mother's knee, a bit of wisdom, that seems especially relevant. "Never expect anyone to do anything, that you would not be willing to do, yourself." Thus, if I wanted my son to speak up with confidence and respect for human dignity, I had to be willing to speak up myself with both confidence and respect for human dignity. In short, I was called upon to serve as a role model, before I pushed.

As my youngest approaches 18, and is transitioning to the age of majority, I am beginning to push. We all need encouragement and some, like me, need the extra push to soar. As I watched the movie, I looked into the eye of the eagle, and saw my mother. There must of been days when she doubted herself and me, but in the end, she decided that we were both able and worthy. She tapped into her faith in both of us, put God in the driver's seat and pushed. As a result, we both soared.

Enjoy the movie and let me hear from you! What do your children need from you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quotes to Keep Us on Our Path!


What practices do you use to pull yourself up when you face a disapointment?

Who do you turn to?

What skill do you use to bounce back?

When I am disappointed, my first choice for renewal, is always some time spent alone. I have always enjoyed solitude, and find a good book and a journal a wonderful way to collect my thoughts, learn the lesson, and identify next steps.

In the last several years, I have stored meaningful quotes and kept them close at hand and find that they help me to get my bearings when I have been knocked off kilter. Recently, I typed many of my favorite quotations up, cut them into strips, folded each up individually and placed them in a candy jar.

Now, when I am feeling down and out, feeling tired and worn out, I often reach for my "candy jar and a quote." It's almost like a fortune cookie as you never know what will come out next. I am constantly delighted with my "pick." As I savor the candy, I contemplate the quotation and try to figure out how I might apply it to the challenge I am facing. Often wonderful insights emerge.

I recently enjoyed the movie above and the quotations within. In a matter of minutes, I was energized.

Please enjoy the short movie above and let me know what quotations you like the best. Which one has special meaning for you today? When life throws you a curve, what practice will re-energize you?