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WCI Newsletter: April 29th, 2016

Message From The President & CEO

Yesterday several of us were at the ADDP Conference where we heard an inspiring speaker, Lee Woodruff, who went through a great dnancy headshoteal with her husband, Bob Woodruff, the ABC Newscaster, who had a significant brain injury reporting on the war in IRAQ. A bomb blew off part of his brain. He returned in a coma and woke up about 6 weeks later, not himself.

Can you imagine this happening to you, having your life turned upside down? She went on to discuss how the doctors didn’t know if he’d recover, but she had hope.
He lost his speech and couldn’t communicate. He had to relearn words that were so easy prior to his injury. This process took about 10 months. Bob is now back at work at ABC.

woodwardHis employer gave him the time he needed and brought him back part time until his full recovery.

She went on to say that she appreciates all the care and thoughtfulness that his doctors, nurses, home health aides and speech therapists gave not only to him, but her as well. She was mostly the full time caregiver.

She could not express enough her appreciation for everyone that supported not only Bob, but herself & her family. She didn’t expect it, but needed it so much.

She let everyone in the room know that they not only have to do their own job, but also act as psychiatrists & social workers for not only the patient, but the entire family.

At WCI, this cries out how much we support not only the individual being served, but also their family or guardian. Our work entails making all of our family members feel welcome, appreciate what they do & ensure there is a bond between them and the individual. I know our family members appreciate everything that you do for them and their loved one. Know that you are appreciated!

Thank you for all that you do!


Frank Rich: WCI’s New Training Coordinator!

WCI is very excited to announce that Frank Rich has been selected as the new Training Coordinator.frank

Frank first joined WCI in March 2000. Over the years, Frank has held a number of different positions at WCI, including time spent working in Deaf Employment/Day Supports and most recently working as an Assistant Clinical Director. As an Assistant Clinical Director, Frank had responsibility for training several of our CORE Trainings, such as Basic Human Rights, HCSIS, DPPC and Prevent/now Safety Care for several years. Frank is ASL fluent and has a passion for training. As the new Training Coordinator, Frank will begin reviewing and updating WCI’s CORE trainings as well as developing additional trainings for our Supervisors/Managers. Please join us in congratulating Frank!

April Is National Poetry Month! – By Julie Morse

lowellT.S. Eliot said, famously, that April is the cruelest month. However, we like to think happier thoughts of nature trying to give birth to spring and want to let people know that April is also National Poetry Month! While on the surface this may seem to have little to do with people with disabilities, the connections may surprise you. Many poets, including some very famous ones, lived with disabilities.

What I want to bring to your attention today, however, is contemporary work by disabled poets that is part of a movement going on called Disability Lit. The idea of Disability Lit is to allow the voices of the disabled to be expressed in poetry and prose. It is even something that can be taught in schools! In this article by Michael Northern titled “Ten Poems to Kickstart Your Disability Lit Class,” he has included ten accessible, contemporary poems by people and/or about people with disabilities designed to get a Disability Lit class off to a good start. It is also a way, however, for people to introduce themselves to the idea of Disability Lit. In fact, there more than just poems on the site, and certainly much more beyond this one article. Issues of this e-publication have been generated since 2007 and include poetry and many types of prose, so feel free to explore!

WCI Office Space Expansion & Renovations

Duffy Properties has just completed Week 2 of the renovations to the Beaver Street front office space, Industrial-Construction-Signs-43488BBHPLYALU-baentryway & our Human Resources Offices. We expect these offices and the main entrance to be completed in another 2 weeks, around 5/13th. The week of 5/16th Amaka Nwafor, Office Manager & the Human Resources Department should be moved into their new spaces. Therefore, the Main Entrance will then be back in use that week.

We appreciate your patience with entering by the alternate side door of the building.

Once the construction is completed, a locking mechanism & buzzer system will be installed at the front entryway along with a sliding glass window for our Receptionist to greet visitors. We do not have a definite date on when this work will be finished. We will keep you posted. We are all looking forward to the completion of this work!

Therapy Dog Days at Rumford!
BumiOn April 21st and 22nd, WCI’s Rumford Avenue Life Skills Day Habilitation program was visited by Bumi, an Emotional Support canine. Bumi, a border collie/corgi mix, was adopted in 2013 by Erich Shafer, WCI’s Social Media Coordinator. He has been training since his rescue to become a Therapy dog, and has done events at Lesley University and Boston University in the last two years, and will hopefully be able to perform hospital visits soon.

Research into the use of dogs in therapy in North America in 2003 ended with recommendations to formally incorporate animal assisted therapy into the health-care system. Believed benefits of inclusion of therapy dogs into wellness programs includes lowered blood pressure, lowered depression, and lowered anxiety during the sessions.

The Individuals in Deaf Supports responded well to Bumi, giving him treats and rubbing his belly. The group from Employment/Day Supports enjoyed watching him chase his tail on command and leap back and forth from the floor to the windowsill. Bumi is looking forward to his next visit to WCI!


Group Homes Struggle To Remain Staffed

4 Your Community: Arc Of Massachusetts

New training video aims to educate first responders on Autism

Beautiful minds, wasted

TV Show Honored For Highlighting Down Syndrome

Project Aims To Collect DNA From 50,000 With Autism

UW team wins Student Prize for gloves that translate sign language

Disability Advocates See Opportunity In Self-Driving Cars

Superstore Introduces ‘Quiet Hour’ for Customers on the Autism Spectrum

Getting Emotions ‘Switched On’ After Decades Of Asperger’s

Autism Speaks House to Home Prize

Delta opens calming room for flyers with autism in Atlanta airport

Four Ways Google Is Building a More Accessible World for the Visually Impaired

Steven Tyler Runs Into Devastated Fan In Drugstore, Decides To Do Something Unbelievably Kind.

Also remember to check out the all new and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!

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