[nfbmi-talk] mcb insight jan 2011

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Jan 24 09:43:18 CST 2011


MCB Insight
Michigan Commission for the Blind, January 2011

 

 

In This Issue:  (Click on title to go to the complete article.)

 

We Restore Hope

By Pat Cannon, MCB State Director

 

Annual Honor Roll Awards Recognize Achievements

By Susan Turney, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Lansing

 

MCBTC Has Found a Temporary New Home

By Sherri Heibeck, MCBTC Director, Kalamazoo

 

Diversity Training: Race and Culture in Rehabilitation

By Bob Robertson, Manager of Organizational Development, Lansing

 

MCB Safety Matters: Don’t Get the Goo!  Stay Away from the Flu!

By Patrick Duthie, West Region B E P Promotional Agent, Grand Rapids

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer

By Carrie Martin, Administrative Assistant, Lansing

 

Deaf-Blind Entertainer Coming to Lansing

By Christine Movalson, MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 

Thriller about Newly Blind Woman to be Performed with Audio Description

By Christine Movalson MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 

Letters and Appreciation

 

Staff News

 

Retirements

 

Staff Profile:  Danielle Smith

By Christine Movalson, MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 

 

We Restore Hope
By Pat Cannon, MCB State Director

 

For more than 30 years, we at the Michigan Commission for the Blind have been working to improve the lives of blind persons in our state.  Our mission is to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve employment and independence.  We’ve been doing so consistently since 1978 by providing an array of quality rehabilitation services that give persons who are blind equal access to the Great American Dream.

 

Critical factors contributing to the success of our blind consumers are restoring hope in their future and building confidence in each person’s ability to achieve excellence. When an individual facing sight loss comes to the Commission, they often have very low expectations of what they think they can do, too often believing that there’s little or nothing they’ll be able to do with diminishing vision or no vision.

 

Through the counseling services of the Commission, these individuals learn that they actually can do just about anything they want to do, once they acquire what we call “the skills of blindness,” such as learning new communications skills, adaptive computer skills, traveling with a white cane and other alternative techniques enabling them to function effectively and independently.

 

Many of our blind clients, with these new skills and heightened expectations, are now in careers previously thought to be out of reach for us, such as physicians, accountants, attorneys, artists, mechanics, teachers, tour guides, bakers, ranchers, financial planners, florists, farmers and cabinet makers.  They’ve been rock climbing, cross country skiing, down-hill skiing, water skiing, white-water rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning and horseback riding.  

 

They’ve done all of these things and much more!

 

 

Annual Honor Roll Awards Recognize Achievments
By Susan Turney, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Lansing

 

The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) presented its annual Achievement Honor Roll Awards in Lansing at the MCB Commission Board Meeting on Friday, December 10.  The Honor Roll Awards are presented annually to MCB clients who are exemplary in achieving their goals for employment and/or independent living after vision loss, community partners recognized for their collaboration with MCB in increasing opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve independence and/or employment, and employers who have shown leadership in hiring people who are blind or visually impaired based on their abilities. These are the 2010 MCB Achievement Honor Roll Award recipients:  

 



Photo: Ruthann Bryer

Ruthann Bryer (67) of Oshtemo (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Teacher Shig Toda) was referred to MCB by her son.  At first she was hesitant to come to terms with her vision loss and begin learning skills of blindness, but once she made up her mind, there was no stopping her!  She learned to find her way using a white cane, organize her medications, sew, label her clothes, and organize coins and paper money.  She attended a week-long MCB Mini Adjustment Program in Monroe, and said, “I thought it was great!  It was wonderfully organized and people were so helpful and kind.  I met people I hope to stay in contact with.  It was so nice to be with other people who are struggling with this challenge.  I learned about dots to put on appliances to be able to still cook—a myriad of small things.  I feel much more confident.”  She’s currently taking an art class with a friend in Swedish weaving, and she’s looking forward to going to the residential MCB Training Center for additional instruction in Braille, adaptive computer skills, and mobility training.  

 



Photo: Bill Jones

Bill Jones (60) of Bellaire (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Counselor Julie Clark) has owned and operated Jones Pest Control for 20 years.  After losing his vision, he came to MCB with the goal of continuing to run his business.  He received training from MCB including skills of blindness such as how to find his way using a cane and how to label clothing, and he learned how to use adaptive technology like talking computer software to run his business without vision.  During challenging economic times, he has overcome a number of hardships while maintaining his good reputation in the community.  Due to his business skill and networking, his business is doing well, and he looks forward to hiring two employees this summer.  He says of MCB, “I have never found a group this fine in my life.  They’re compassionate, knowledgeable, and there when you need them.  I feel privileged to deal with MCB, and also the Lions.”  About his secret for success, he says, “You just have to have a positive attitude and keep at it, and have goals.  You have to believe in yourself.”

 



Photo: Priscilla Miley

Priscilla Miley (43) of Detroit (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Counselor Euan Singleton) previously worked as a nurse.  After her vision loss in 2001, she contacted MCB and spent six months at the residential MCB Training Center in Kalamazoo learning new ways of doing things without vision.  She said, “I was nervous at first, but after the first week I fell in love with it.”  While at the center, she also became interested in her instructors’ profession of rehabilitation teaching, and she decided that this was what she wanted to do.  With some help from MCB, she enrolled in the distance learning training program at Western Michigan University.  She received excellent grades and did internships at both Visually Handicapped Services and the Veterans Administration in Augusta, Georgia.  After graduation, she worked as a contract teacher with MCB’s Detroit office.  In January 2010 she accepted a teaching position with Visually Handicapped Services.  Speaking about MCB, she says, “They’re there to help you learn to do things on your own, and they’re willing to help you to be independent.  MCB gives you back your independence.”

 



Photo: Frances Rea

Frances Rea (92) of Dearborn (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Teacher Betty Rush) became a client of MCB in 2008.  She attended a week-long MCB Mini Adjustment Seminar in Detroit to learn how to do things in new ways without using vision.  “I was very impressed and learned a lot,” she said.  Using her new skills and the low-vision equipment that she purchased and some that she received from MCB, she maintains her own home, walks every day using her cane, and works in her garden during the summer.  She writes her own checks and pays all her bills herself.  She said, “I think MCB’s services are very helpful and encouraging.  When you lose your vision, you lose confidence in yourself and slack off.  You say ‘why did this happen to me?’  I really felt that Betty Rush helped me a lot in my attitude.  I’m doing the same things now that I was doing when I had good vision—the only thing is that it takes longer and I have to study it longer.  I do everything that I used to do.”

 



Photo: Steve Scott

Steve Scott (40) of Portage (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Counselor Lisa Kisiel) has been building engines since he was 10 years old.  He became totally blind at the age of 17, but that didn’t stop him from working on engines.  In 2008, he and his wife Rhonda started a lawn mower repair business out of their garage.  With the goal of expanding into a new location, Steve approached the Michigan Commission for the Blind.  Steve explained his goal, and MCB provided the services of a small business consultant, some inventory and tools, and adaptive technology including talking computer software and software to scan print and convert it to audio.  In March 2010, Scott became the owner and operator of his business, Something for All Seasons, a new small engine lawn and outdoor equipment sales and repair store near Kalamazoo.  His business is doing well, and this summer he plans to hire two employees.  Scott said, “I really want to thank Lisa (Kisiel) of MCB.”  Rhonda added, “Without the commission’s help, it would have been more of a struggle.  We were able to be even more successful with their help.”

 



Photo: Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith (46), formerly of Owosso, (nominated by MCB DeafBlind Specialist Cindy Caldwell) contacted the Commission’s DeafBlind Unit in 2000 after experiencing increasing problems at home and at work due to his hearing loss and vision loss.  Eventually, he was laid off from his job doing CAD design work in the automotive industry.  He attended the MCB residential Training Center in Kalamazoo and, with MCB assistance including a computer and new hearing aids, pursued vocational training.  With the encouragement of Cindy Caldwell, his MCB counselor, in 2009 he applied for and was accepted into the Lions World Services IRS training program.  He did very well, and he and his wife moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began work with the IRS in January 2010 as a tax examiner. He said, “I will never be able to express my gratitude for how much Cindy and the Michigan Commission for the Blind have done for me.  For nine years Cindy and MCB have been there, through the thick and thin of my life.  The only word I could use is ‘Patience.’  MCB has supported me every step of the way, including a couple of detours, to finally have a full time job.”

 

Employer

 



Photo: Jon Looman

Jon Looman (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Counselor Joann Woodward) is CEO of Shore to Shore Community Federal Credit Union, which has 15 locations in the southeast Michigan area.  MCB client Dawn Millisor applied for a job with the credit union and interviewed for the position of loan officer.  It was only after her interview that she informed Looman that she was legally blind.  His response was that the accommodations she needed were a “mere adjustment” that could easily be addressed.  After Millisor’s MCB counselor and a specialist in low-vision equipment met with Looman at the worksite, they determined that a hand-held, transportable closed-circuit TV magnifier was the best accommodation, and Looman immediately offered to cover half the cost.  Millisor proved to be an excellent employee, and it wasn’t long before Looman offered her the position of branch manager and loan officer at the new Grosse Ile branch.  She’s pleased to work in such a positive atmosphere where employees are appreciated for their abilities.  For his part, Looman says, “I don’t even think of her as being impaired or handicapped in any way.  I focus on her strengths and what she brings to the organization.”

 

Community Partners

 



Photo: Dr. Bernard Miller

Dr. Bernard Miller (63) of Detroit (nominated by MCB East Region Manager Gwen McNeal) is Director of Clinical Affairs at the Optometric Institute and Clinic of Detroit.  He has devoted his life and practice to serving those who cannot afford quality eye care, and he has worked in partnership with the Michigan Commission for the Blind for the benefit of MCB clients for many years. When the Detroit MCB office needed a doctor to do low vision screenings on a Saturday on very short notice, he was there and did 15. When MCB needed help funding summer youth employment opportunities, he generated the paychecks.  MCB staff have often visited his office unannounced to ask questions about eye reports, and he is always happy to assist.  He has assisted MCB clients by providing advanced medical care when they didn’t have the resources to pay and the treatment was out of the scope of MCB rehabilitation services. Through his clinic, he serves patients based on ability to pay.  Referring to the people he serves, Miller said, “I'm honored to accept this award on their behalf." 

 



Photo: Jane Robertson

Jane Robertson (65) of Brimley (nominated by MCB Rehabilitation Teacher Ed Haines) contacted MCB two years ago on behalf of a longtime friend who was experiencing both hearing and vision loss.  Although MCB was able to provide some basic services to her friend, she died after a severe illness.  Later, MCB received another call from Robertson.  She said that she had been moved by the experience of her friend and wanted to help others with vision impairments in the eastern Upper Peninsula.  Working with MCB, she purchased several closed-circuit television magnifiers to loan to individuals who could benefit from such a device, but could not afford to purchase one.  To this date, Robertson has purchased five CCTVs at a personal cost to her of over $13,000.  This generous contribution has resulted in five individuals being able to read their mail, write letters, read books, read the newspaper, manage their finances independently, manage their medications, and accomplish so many other critical tasks.  Accepting the award, she complimented Ed Haines, saying, “Ed is the best person to be doing this work in the U.P.”

 

 

MCBTC Has Found a Temporary New Home
By Sherri Heibeck, MCBTC Director, Kalamazoo

 

I am excited and relieved to inform you that the contract for the MCB Training Center's temporary location has been signed.  The new home for MCBTC staff and students for the next 12 months is the Clarion Hotel located at 3600 Cork Street, Kalamazoo.  Staff arrived at the hotel Monday December 20 to set up classrooms and offices. 

 

The hotel has the capacity to accommodate classroom, office, and living spaces as well as activity needs.  In addition, it has a commercial kitchen that will allow our staff to provide student meals to meet the requirements of any special dietary needs.  

 

Most classes will be the same format as the classes previously held at MCBTC.  The Industrial Arts and Adaptive Kitchen skills will be modified to provide relative and innovative training while located within the hotel.  However, space is being procured and/or adapted for those two classes to replicate the classes/skills provided at MCBTC prior to this move.  In addition, MCBTC will be looking to add a finance class once the details have been completed and the curriculum has been finalized.  

 

Classes began January 10, 2011, for returning students who had not completed classes when the Training Center closed at the end of November.  New students will be added each week until we reach our capacity.  The capacity at the hotel will be 26 students.  All rooms will be double occupancy while at the hotel.  Therese Andrews will be contacting counselors and students to schedule the return and startup of all students at the hotel.

 

Our main phone number, (269) 337-3848 will remain active as well as all of our individual phone numbers.  Until the phones have been activated at the hotel, please leave a message as staff will be checking their voice mail.  It is expected that once the phone system at the hotel is completed we will have one main number to call and staff answering the main number will route calls to the appropriate staff.  We currently have several computers that staff can use to access email so they will be checking those messages as well.   

 

I will provide further details and updates as soon as I can.  In the meantime, if you have any questions please call or send emails.   Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout these hectic days.

 

 

Diversity Training: Race and Culture in Rehabilitation
By Bob Robertson, Manager of Organizational Development, Lansing

 

An in-service training session called “Race and Culture in Rehabilitation Services” was presented to approximately 30 MCB employees and members of the MCB Diversity Team on December 13, 2010, at the General Office Building at the State Secondary Complex.  The presenter was Dr. John Lee, a licensed psychologist and Coordinator of the Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance (MECCA) at the Michigan State University Counseling Center. John has experience as a presenter, consultant, and speaker at over 200 companies, public agencies, and colleges throughout the United States. 

 

The purpose of Dr. Lee’s presentation was to make the distinction between culture and race so that staff can better understand the challenges of providing rehabilitation services in a multicultural but racialized society. The differences between “cultural competency” and “racial responsiveness” were presented using narratives, lecture, and experiential conversations and group exercises. 

 

The feedback from those attending was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, one participant, J.J. Jackson, a former Commissioner and current member of the Diversity Team, used to work for Amoco Oil in Chicago managing their diversity program and he said it was the best program he’d ever participated in on this topic. Many other attendees made similar comments following the program. By his own admission, Dr. Lee was not experienced in making presentations before an audience with several blind participants. Nevertheless, he did a very good job of making sure all attendees received the same information.

 

During lunch Dr. Lee was able to go around and visit with everyone individually.  The relaxed atmosphere and personal attention made for a more intimate experience. Lunch was provided by the B E P operator at the Operations Center at the Secondary Complex. We were served a variety of fresh sandwiches and fruit, as well as homemade brownies.  Everything was very good!

 

The only negative was that a strong winter storm caused about half of the scheduled participants to be unable to attend the program. Dr. Lee has agreed to do a repeat program for those who were unable to make it. This will be scheduled sometime in the spring and more information will be sent out as it becomes available. 

 

 

MCB Safety Matters: Don’t get the Goo!  Stay away from the Flu!
By Patrick Duthie, West Region B E P Promotional Agent, Grand Rapids 

 

What are you doing to prevent the influenza this season for yourself and others?  Well here are some simple tips to make sure everyone is doing the right thing and on the right track to make it through the 2011 flu season.  

 

Are You Sick?

Getting sick and not feeling well are not fun at all.  Actually who likes being sick?   I certainly don’t.  Stay home and stay in bed and never go in to work if you have the bug.  Be polite and don’t get others sick, it’s just simple common courtesy.  Besides, why would you not want to be productive and possibly risk others around you the same pain you’re going though?  It’s counter-productive; it is fact that an ill employee is not a productive one. Besides, you have to take care of yourself to get better so you may enjoy time with your co-workers without them getting mad at you.  Mr. Robertson, if you ever get me sick at work, I will never talk with you again!  With all joking aside, this is very important to stay home when you are ill because, let’s face it, this BUG can spread like a California forest fire and all MCB staff could possibly get sick which would make us all sad, as we would not be able to work with each other for a while.  So please stay home when you are sick.

 

Washing Your Hands

Wash your hands every moment you get, especially before eating, after eating, after using the rest room and after touching your face or hair.   Hand sanitizers are good and all, but nothing works better than the old-fashioned water and soap.  The proper hand washing procedures are as follows:  Turn on the water.  Rinse those hands, water should be has hot as you can comfortably stand it.  Now do not burn yourself because that is not fun either.  Soap up your hands and scrub for 20 seconds or sing your favorite song out loud or to yourself.  You better count too because no one else will do it for you.  After the 20 seconds or your Grammy Award Winning song is over with, rinse your hands very well.  Do your best not to turn off the faucet with your bare hands, so dry your hands first after washing, and use a barrier such as the paper towel that you just used to turn off the water faucet.  If there is not paper towel near the sink and you’re using an electronic hand dryer, use the back of your hand or use your elbow to turn off the faucet.   If you are in an enclosed room washing your hands such as a bathroom, it is a good idea to also have a barrier when opening the door.  As I stated above, hand sanitizers are good when you are on the run but never use them as your primary source for hand washing.  Never replace proper hand washing with a hand sanitizer.  

 

Don’t Touch

Stop! Don’t touch your face. As much as we want to wash our hands throughout the day and the eye of yours is itching; let’s face it, how many door knobs, elevator buttons and other miscellaneous items do we touch during the day?   Keep your hands away from your face as this is one of the top ways influenza is spread.  People who do touch their faces would be at a higher risk for getting the BUG.  But it is also important to understand that we are just not talking about flu germs here.  There are plenty more out there like E-Coli, Staphylococcus and many more.  Not trying to scare any of you, just doing my best to help all of you stay healthy.  

 

Cover Your Face

Cover your face when you sneeze or cough.  This will help prevent germs from spreading.  You should do your best to cough or sneeze into a tissue and not your bare hands.  If you do not have a tissue and you have to cover up that cough and sneeze, please do it in the crook of your elbow.  If you sneeze or cough into your hands, please do wash them immediately.  

 

Healthy Habits:

The best influenza preventative tactics include a healthy diet, good sleep at night, exercise and reducing stress.  You want to eat plenty of vegetables, as they are filled with vitamins and antioxidants, especially the red, yellow and dark green vegetables.  Do your best to get your needed adult sleep which is about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.  Teenagers and small children need more: 9 hours for those teens and about 10 to 12 hours for your growing children.  Exercise on a regular basis too.  Exercise helps your immune system and having a 30-minute routine of walking each day will help tremendously.  Also reduce your stress and know when to relax as too much stress impairs the immune system and exercise is a wonderful way to reduce stress. 

 

Are these tips a sure way to avoid the flu?  No, I am not saying that at all.  People will get sick as unfortunate as that may sound.  And if you are doing all of these things stated above you’re creating and living a healthy lifestyle in which you will get sick less often.  I wish that this article does its best to help all of you prevent the goo and stay away from the flu!  All my best on a Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you!

 

Sources:

WEBMD “Prevent Flu” www.webmd.com

 

 

Spreading Holiday Cheer
By Carrie Martin, Administrative Assistant, Lansing

 

Staff members from the Central Office and Lansing Regional Office collaborated to bring holiday cheer to a local family in need.  The family consisted of a grandfather and two boys (ages three and nine) with special needs.  They lost their grandmother last January to an aneurism and the family is still trying to adjust to the loss.  The gifts collected were numerous and generous.  The family received a microwave, pots and pans, gift cards, sleds, coloring books, tons of toys (including a playstation and games), pillows, blankets, boots, hats, coats, food items and more.  It was quite a sight to behold as we loaded everything up on the cart.  Staff also donated wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etc., so the presentation was cheery and joyful as well!  The family was extremely grateful for the generosity shown by the staff members of MCB. We wish the family the best of luck and can hardly wait to adopt another family next year!

 

 

Deaf-Blind Entertainer Coming to Lansing
By Christine Movalson, MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 

If you are looking for some entertainment or need to cure the winter blues, find your way to Lansing this month!  On Saturday, January 29, witness the unique comedy story telling of The Unstoppable Rene  Pellerin.  His Deaf-Blind comedy show is being held as a fundraiser for The American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) Symposium in June.  The show will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium at Lansing Community College.  Admission is $15.  For further details of this event, contact Jill Gaus at jagaus at sbcglobal.net. 

 

 

Thriller about Newly Blind Woman to be Performed with Audio Description
By Christine Movalson MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 

There is no need to stay outside in the cold if you want to feel chills!  Stagecrafters’ theatrical thriller, Wait Until Dark will do the trick. The show runs January 14th through 30th at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette in downtown Royal Oak. The Thursday performances, January 20th and 27th, will be audio described for the visually impaired. The Baldwin’s Main Stage auditorium is equipped with an infrared system that will allow those with visual impairments to use special headsets to hear the audio description. The headsets will work anywhere within the auditorium so specific seating is not necessary. Visually-impaired patrons are asked to reserve the headsets at the time of ordering their tickets. 

 

In addition to the audio description on the Thursday performances, a special audience interactive talkback is planned. Guest speaker MCB B E P Promotional agent Joe Pelle will share his experience of losing his sight at age 30, and how it has impacted his life and heightened his other senses. 

 

Advance tickets for performances are $16 and $18. Stagecrafters is offering a special of 4 tickets for $50 for the Thursday night performances.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.stagecrafters.org or by phone at 248-541-6430.

 

 

Letters and Appreciation
 

MCB client expressed her gratitude via telephone…

 

…“I have never in my life met a nicer more dedicated group of people as the staff at the training center in Kalamazoo.  They are funny and kind, and Marge Spencer is one of the funniest people I have had the pleasure to meet.  Faith was my counselor and she was a pleasure to work with, too.”

 

She went on to say …

 

…“I just spoke with Lee at the Texas Center (for the Physically Impaired where we get the refurbished computers) who said she had never been to the Kalamazoo center, but she has heard from others’ comments that the center in Kalamazoo is one of the nicest training centers in the entire country.”   

 

 

Staff News
 

December welcomed Kirsten Durling to the MCB staff.  Kirsten is a new rehabilitation counselor in Flint, where she completed her internship. She recently received her master’s degree in rehab counseling from Michigan State University. She will be covering the caseload that was vacated some time ago by Ray Kirkland.  You can reach Kirsten at 517-540-7590 or by email at DurlingK2 at michigan.gov. 

 

 

John Sanders is the new MCB client intern in the Central Office in Lansing.  He is working as an administrative assistant for the Business Enterprise Program.  John plans to attend Lansing Community College to pursue either radio telecommunications or computer tech support (he’s still deciding).  He loves to listen to music and cross country ski.  He most likes to spend his time socializing.  You can reach John at 517-974-2069 or jmsanders at sbcglobal.net. 

 

 

Patricia Angerman is MCB’s newest family member.  As many of you know Pat has been working in the Grand Rapids office for more than three years as a Saginaw Valley RC employee.  She is now on board as a state employee in the Kalamazoo Regional office filling the position left vacant by Lisa Kisiel’s recent promotion.  

 

 

Retirements
 

The following MCB employees retired with the year’s end.  Congratulations and good luck.  You will surely be missed.

 

Nancy Lapekas – Rehab teacher – Grand Rapids

Lori Curtis – Secretary - Detroit

Sally Postal – Receptionist – Lansing Central

Sue Anderson – Secretary - Escanaba

Judy Terwilliger – Secretary - Gaylord

John McEntee – Maintenance mechanic- B E P

Bernie Kramer – Regional manager – Grand Rapids

Claudette Peatross – Assistant payments worker - Detroit

Aliyamma Lukose – Secretary - Detroit

Dave Greenwald – Rehab teacher - MCBTC

Bob Savage – Orientation and mobility instructor - MCBTC

Betty Lujan-Roberts – Orientation and mobility instructor - MCBTC

Barb Wile – Rehab teacher - MCBTC

Roz Byers-Lang – Rehab teacher - Saginaw

Wendy Flournoy – Collections librarian -  Braille and Talking Book Library

 

 

Staff Profile:  Danielle Smith
By Christine Movalson, MCB Insight Editor, Lansing

 



Photo:  Danielle Smith with her daughter

 

Danielle Smith is a Rehabilitation Counselor in the Flint office.  She has been with MCB for nine years.  Danielle actually started as an administrative assistant in the Flint office and then in the Lansing office while she was attending Michigan State University.  Upon completing her degree in counseling, she returned to Flint for a counselor position.

 

A typical day for Danielle is spent talking to and working with consumers to set goals and informing clients what services are available to them.  She also spends a great deal of time networking within the community, working to place consumers in jobs.  Danielle shares that her favorite part of being a counselor is, “the economically diverse population I get to work with.  I really enjoy getting to know such a broad range of people.”

 

The most difficult part of her job, Danielle explains, “There is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  I have my own goals, as well as helping consumers with theirs, and something always comes up."  Managing her time and prioritizing are just a couple of skills Danielle has gotten quite good at, though they are the least favorite aspect of her day.

 

Being a new Mom doesn’t leave Danielle much spare time, but she uses the little bit she has to catch up on sleep and work on her scrapbooks.  One of her favorite pastimes is traveling, Danielle adds, “especially destinations with water.”  Her last trip was to Las Vegas over July 4th and she hopes to find more time to travel in the future.  She has a new tradition now with her daughter (2).  Danielle explains, “we have gone to Disney World and the United Kingdom the last two years for spring break and I plan to take her every year.  This year should be great because she’s getting old enough to really enjoy it!”

 

Danielle continues, “It’s no secret I love to shop, but most people probably don’t know that I love to decorate and change things around in my house.”

 

Danielle describes herself as a person who wears a lot of hats.  She explains, “I am very often a ‘fill-in’ person.  I am okay with that though, because I love to be involved in what’s going on around me.”

 

If you wish to discuss interior design or scrapbooking, or need help planning the perfect Disney vacation, contact Danielle at smithd11 at michigan.gov or 810-760-2036.

 

 

MCB Insight is a bimonthly e-mail newsletter published by the Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) and distributed to MCB staff during the first week of odd-numbered months.  If you have articles or ideas for MCB Insight, please send them to Christine Movalson at movalsonc at michigan.gov anytime.  Your suggestions and comments are welcome.  This publication is available in alternative formats upon request to persons with disabilities.

 

Contributors and others assisting with this issue: Cindy Caldwell, Pat Cannon, Patrick Duthie, Jill Gaus, Sherri Heibeck, Lisa Kisiel, Carrie Martin, Roberta McCall, Joe Pelle, Bob Robertson, John Sanders, Danielle Smith, Susan Turney, and Debbie Wilson.

 

Editor:  Christine Movalson, Communications & Outreach Intern, Michigan Commission for the Blind, DELEG.

 

Associate Editor:  Susan Turney, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Michigan Commission for the Blind, DELEG.

 

Associate Editor:  Bob Robertson, Manager of Organizational Development, Michigan Commission for the Blind, DELEG.

 

The Michigan Commission for the Blind, a part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, is an equal opportunity employer/program.  

 

 

Michigan Commission for the Blind

Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth

201 N. Washington Square, 2nd floor

P.O. Box 30652

Lansing, MI 48909

Voice (toll-free) 1-800-292-4200

TTY (toll-free) 1-888-864-1212

www.michigan.gov/mcb

 

 

 

 
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