February 25, 2015

Everyone Has "Behaviors"

One of the most enjoyable parts of my professional career has been the opportunity to do training and orientation with new employees.  It is informative for me (to meet the people who work for us and learn more about them and their experiences), and fun to share some information that I think is helpful (and oftentimes things I wish I had been told early in my own career).  Although I have done training on a variety of topics, if I had to give just one single piece of advice to someone new to this profession, I would say to always keep one thought at the forefront of your mind: People with disabilities are capable and intelligent; their emotions, feelings, and thoughts are just as complex and rich as anyone else’s.  I believe having this in mind allows us to give people the benefit of the doubt and to better understand […]
February 10, 2015

A Summer Job

“I have a friend who works at a group home.”  Fifteen years ago when these words were spoken to me, I had no idea how they would change my career and my life.  Searching for a summer job before college, my father suggested I apply at a group home where a friend of his worked as a live-in staff.  I decided it was worth a try and if nothing else would be a good experience for me over the summer.  A month later (and about two weeks into my new job at the group home), I felt like my perspective had changed significantly.  I was planning to obtain my bachelor’s degree in secondary education to teach high school English but suddenly I felt like I had found a new type of work that was equally if not more rewarding.  A few short weeks later the live-in staff resigned unexpectedly and […]