Stories of Success from The Center for Accessible Living!
Anna is pictured on her new ramp with the group of volunteers who built it. They are from the Opportunity Church in Murray. Materials were purchased with funds CAL-Murray receives from the local Salvation Army to build ramps in Calloway County. The ramp will enable Anna to continue to live in her home.
For the past year Ricky has been working on his computer and reading skills with CAL-Murray staff. He also enjoys coming in to play games and socialize. Staff love when Ricky comes in the door!
Jamie has been a consumer at CAL-Murray since 1994. She has wanted to relocate from Marshall County for several years. This year we helped her find affordable housing that she moved into in October.
Miricle is now in her second year at Murray State University and is a peer mentor for disability services and a campus ambassador. All after not being sure how she would go to college. She also was just recently approved to receive services through the Personal Care Attendant Services Program (PCAP) and is still working on her cooking skills at the office.
John is a consumer of the services at the Personal Care Attendant Services Program (PCAP) and a CAL-Murray volunteer. Staff recently assisted him in obtaining Michelle P Waiver services this year so he can continue to live independently.
On Sunday, September 8th, Kennedy Jones (15), CAL-Bowling Green consumer and daughter of staff member Lindsay Jones, took part in the Bowling Green Calendar Girl pageant. She participated in formal and casual wear and won Miss Congeniality. She will be featured in the 2020 Bowling Green High School Calendar.
CAL - Bowling Green staff worked with James Jordan to help him obtain affordable housing. He was sleeping on a friend's couch and wanted his own apartment. Staff helped him get replacement copies of his birth certificate and a social security card that he needed to accompany an apartment application and to complete the application for Bowling Green Towers. Staff also helped him complete and submit an application for SNAP benefits. He moved into his apartment in April and this picture of him shows him with the key to his new apartment.
Miosha Johnson has lived in two nursing homes and The Medical Center in the relatively short time CAL Bowling Green staff member Melanie Piazza has known her. She needed affordable, accessible housing in the community. Melanie helped her search for affordable housing, obtain consistent caregiver services, and provided her with a portable ramp while she made plans for a ramp of her own. Peer support played a big role in Miosha's success. She has even started online web design classes in hopes of having a career in web design.
CAL – Bowling Green staff helped Kent Madison triumph over his reluctance to learn how to ride public transportation. After many months of urging on the staff’s part and of explaining how the use of public transportation would increase his independence even more, he agreed to let staff teach him. Melanie Piazza and Kent began with learning how to read the bus schedule, then picked a few places he would travel to in his everyday life and scheduled days and times to meet to ride the GO Bus to those places. He has gotten so comfortable riding the bus that he rides it to the CAL office often and to other places he needs to go.
Maureen Hyatt started as a consumer with CAL – Murray in 2008. She has worked with staff member Carrissa Johnson over the years. She has never let anything stop her and has always had a bright smile for anyone in the office. Giving up has never been in her vocabulary. Her latest goal was to find part-time employment and she recently achieved that by getting a part-time job with the Gentry House, an emergency transitional homeless shelter for families with children in Murray. Her next step with us is to become a peer mentor.
CAL Bowling Green independent living specialist Melanie Piazza recently began helping a CAL consumer Nathan Meredith in his kitchen. He had never cooked and wanted to learn a few different techniques, as well as learn how his stove and oven worked. The gloves on his hands in the pictures are actually welders gloves (donated by Melanie’s husband) because he is concerned about his arms as well as his hands and his traditional oven mitts didn’t work as well for him. When he took the pan out of the oven, he smiled and said, “I’ve never taken anything out of the oven before.” Next week it’s on to how to boil something! Melanie is also working with him to make his kitchen more user friendly until he is able to get an accessible unit.
At the age of 28, Kent Madison was anxious to move out on his own. Disabled when hit by a drunk driver when he was 17, he felt he was ready to live independently. His family wasn’t so sure, so he turned to CAL-Bowling Green staff Melanie Piazza and Lindsay Jones for help. They helped him get a copy of his birth certificate, change his power of attorney, write a living will, complete a housing application, and apply for SNAP and para-transit, among other things. They also helped him arrange more consistent, reliable and qualified personal assistance services. In September, he moved into his very first apartment at Bowling Green Towers. Recently, Kent was having trouble using a conventional key lock, so Melanie and Lindsay arranged for Lowe’s to donate a keypad entry system for $1.00 (it normally sells for $150). Kent is extremely happy to be living independently.
CAL Northern Kentucky staff person Rene Thompson was very involved in Rev Up, the effort to help individuals with disabilities register and vote. She helped shape some of the questions for candidates that Kentucky voters with disabilities could use to make informed decisions, signed up new voters, transported voters with disabilities to the polls, and was able to provide Protection and Advocacy (P&A) and the Secretary of State’s office with feedback about accessibility in voting in the Northern Kentucky area. Rene was on the National Advisory Board for Rev Up and served as the designated Kentucky state contact. Above, Rene is pictured at an event on National Voter Registration Day (September 25th) with Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes (center) and Peggy Thompson of New Perceptions, Inc. (left).
Miricle Clark is 20 years old and has been a consumer with the Murray satellite office since 2015. Satellite Office Manager Carrissa Johnson has met with her regularly at Calloway County High School over the years and worked on different independent living skills. When she started with CAL Murray, Miricle was unsure if she could ever live independently away from home. Having similar disabilities, Carrissa was able to provide the peer support needed to help Miricle achieve her goals of attending Murray State University and living on campus. Through help from the center, Miricle was able to get assistance with attendant care. Staff also set up services through the university’s disability resource center and a college tour. Miricle started at Murray State this fall. And she also got a job on campus! In addition, she has been working with staff to learn to cook and has made several dishes over the last few months independently.