Tag: adult education for people with disabilities

Emergency Preparedness Training Makes Great Impact On Individuals With Disabilities

Nate, Mary and Brian sharing their " to go" bags at Minute Man ArcThis week’s blog entry includes comments from Mary Blauvelt, who attended an emergency preparedness training given by self-advocate Nate Trull in 2010. Read on for more of her thoughts.

As a Board Member for Minuteman ARC based in Concord, Massachusetts, and co-president of its internal group SAFE (Self-Advocacy For Everyone), Mary Blauvelt understands the challenges that individuals with disabilities can face. One of the biggest involves being prepared in case of an emergency. Emergencies can take any form at any time, and knowing what to do may save someone’s life. To that end, the ARC invited self-advocate Nate Trull to present a workshop in May, 2010, and a follow-up in October 2010.

Why we need to be prepared

“I hadn’t really thought about emergencies before, except when the weathermen would say a watch or warning was coming”, Blauvelt said. “But Nate’s training really taught me about why it was important for people with disabilities to be prepared. What if someone uses a wheelchair and can’t leave independently? What if someone cannot hear the news reports telling them to leave? There need to be plans, so that people with disabilities can help themselves.”

A “go bag” for everyone

GO Bags
Blauvelt especially liked Trull’s recommendation of a “go bag”; that is, an easily portable bag of items that you can just “grab and go” when an emergency hits.

“That was really fun and I learned a lot. We all made our own go bags during the training, and Nate helped us realize what should go in them. We put in things like a portable radio, non-perishable food and water, a list of any medicines we take, a phone with a cord, manual flashlights and batteries.”

Being prepared is helpful for all

Trull’s training covered other topics as well, like developing an emergency plan, and making a list of people who could help out in an emergency. Trull’s interest in emergencies and assisting others dates back to his time as a “Life Scout” in the Boy Scouts organization.

“Doing these emergency preparedness trainings really means a lot. I truly enjoy helping people, advocate for themselves, and increasing their knowledge when I’m done,” he said.

Blauvelt agreed, especially in her case. “I feel much better prepared for emergencies now. Nate’s presentation was very helpful, and I hope information like his will help many more people.”

Training Resources for Adults with Disabilities

Teacher with Adult LearnersThere are many trainings for people with disabilities both in state and around the country. The following include those recommended through discussions with self advocacy groups around the state.

Trainings in Massachusetts

Self Advocacy Leadership Series / Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council
Contact Sandy Houghton at 617-770-7676

Offers a ten week self-advocacy leadership program that provides education, training and support to people with developmental disabilities.

Assistive Technology Workshops / Easter Seals
Contact Jeff McAuslin at 774-641-6340,

Easter Seals assistive technology staff share their expertise through informative workshops, course offerings, iPad and product spotlights.

Healthy Sexuality / Relationship Training / DDS Central/West Region
Contact Pat Carney at 413-5083,

Offers sexuality training for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in agencies, school systems and on an individual basis.

Mass Advocates Standing Strong (MASS)
To schedule a training session contact: 617-624-7549, mass.office.info@gmail.com

Offerings include “How to start a self advocacy group”; “Awareness and Action”, an abuse awareness and action program; and “Explore, Prepare, Act”, an employment training.

Training Resources in other states include curriculum, higher education, webinars and conferences.

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, SABE
P.O. Box 30142
Kansas City, MO 64112

SABE is the self advocacy organization for the United States and their website includes resources for conferences, webinars and publications.

UNH Institute on Disability 
10 West Edge Drive
Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
phone: 603-862-4320

This comprehensive website offers extensive resources, curriculum, workshops and webinars.

The Pennsylvania Training Partnership for People with Disabilities and their Families
1755 N 13th Street
Student Center
Room 411S
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Contact Carol Csaniz at 1-866-865-6170 or TTY: 1-215-204-1356

The Partnership provides state-wide training, technical assistance, mentoring and leadership development by and for people with disabilities.

Self Advocate Shares Experience as a Successful Trainer

Nora McShane, Guest Blogger

This week we introduce Nora McShane who is returning as a guest blogger to share her experience as a trainer. Nora has lived independently for the last six years and became involved with her self advocacy group  several years ago. She is currently the president of  the S.A.F.E. group at Minute Man Arc in Concord  and a member of their Board of Directors.

Becoming a trainer

Recently, I was asked by my mentor, Sue Crossley, to present a training about proper nutrition at an advocacy meeting in Worcester.  At first I felt a little anxious but I was also excited at the opportunity.

I was encouraged to give my own presentation entitled “Making Healthier Food Choices” as well as a separate training using an iPad. Sue came to my apartment and gave me training on how to use the iPad. The training made me feel more confident because I had learned a new skill.

Building confidence

When I got to the Worcester meeting I felt really excited. I was so honored to be able to teach my peers about nutrition and living a healthier lifestyle. There were around a dozen people from H.M.E.A. who were willing to hear me speak and be their trainer. Everyone watched and listened while I presented my own food plate demonstration. Everyone seemed eager to learn and ask questions.

After the training I felt very positive about my performance and I felt like I had accomplished a goal. I made positive strides toward being a more confident public speaker.

I’m glad I was asked to participate; it’s good to feel like I’ve been helpful. It feels good to share my knowledge with others.

Join us next week to hear about additional trainings being offered throughout the state by and for people with disabilities.