Sharp! Insightful! Curious! Delightful! These are the different ways to describe the guests appearing on the Delovely Podcast. What are the different ways that you help to keep a focus on the person rather than the system? Drawing on our common conviction of the importance of freely-given relationships in building a connected, inclusive society, we’ll sit down for conversations with people who are trying some new things and, in some cases, some very old things. For the innovators out there, we’ll hear stories of “the perfect try”.

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Our Latest Episodes

Episode 18: Does God Have Enough Hands with David Pitonyak

We explore both the challenges and the opportunities that we face when when past experiences of trauma can impact how someone lives through times of national emergency. David Pitonyak is a writer, speaker and trainer who helps others understand challenging behavior as “messages” where we can learn to listen and provide better support.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 17: Friendship and Connection with Angela Amado

Angela Novak Amado works to support communities to be fully inclusive of all people. She has conducted training about friendships between people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and ordinary community members in more than 30 states, Canada, Australia, Israel, and five European countries.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 16: On The Importance of Cultural Humility with Janet Sauer and Zach Rossetti

Janet and Zach are professors of special education in the Boston area and also co-authors of a recent book called “Affirming Disability – Strength-Based Portraits of Culturally Diverse Families”. Our conversation explores the unique strengths that families of different cultures can bring to the relationship with special educators, the history of their work in bringing these diverse voices into the classroom and their recommendations for how readers can continue their learning journey and develop their own cultural brokerage skills.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 15: Here’s To Your Health – The Upper Valley Community Nursing Project

We talk with the co-directors of an innovative project in rural New Hampshire and Vermont that leverages the capacity and strength of existing social networks to support the most vulnerable in access quality health care. In the context of the public health crisis of 2020 the need for such approaches becomes even more critical.

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Episode 14: Disability, Trauma & Healing with Karyn Harvey

Karyn has worked as a clinician in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 30 years. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland. She joined us to talk about her perspectives and experience on supporting people who are responding to trauma in their lives. “Repeated exposure to abuse, social exclusion and rejection has had a devastating affect on the people we support. Trauma affects the way our brains develop and function and it leaves a lasting impression.”

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 13: On Decision Making with Jonathan Martinis

We discuss the Supported Decision Making framework with Jonathan Martinis. Jonathan is active in many projects nationwide in his role as Co-Project Director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making led by the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.

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Episode 12: On the Air with Lawrence Seiler

Lawrence Seiler talks about the television show that he and his wife Arlene produce called “Abled and On Air”. They created it in association with ORCA Media. We learn about his journey as a journalist, relocating from Brooklyn NY to Montpelier VT and the help that he received along the way from nonprofits and friends.

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Episode 11: Straight to the Point with Monica Hutt

Every year holds new opportunities and challenges for a state system that is dedicated to insuring that all people are included in society and Vermont is no different. What is different is the people who hold leadership positions and their unique combination of passion and dedication to the values and beliefs that make a community-based services tick. Monica Hutt, the person appointed by the Governor to serve as the Commissioner for the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, spent some time with us recently to take a look back at 2019 to admire the accomplishments and then contemplate projects that lay ahead in 2020. You’ll see some similarities to issues in your own state and be impressed with the sharp focus and determination of this insightful leader.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 10: Four Questions with Kirsten Murphy

The DD Act has had a tremendous impact on the course of civil rights in the Unites States. Programs authorized through this legislation conduct important research and test innovative new service delivery models, bring the latest knowledge and resources to those who can put it to the best use, and also investigate cases of abuse and advance advocacy. In this episode we explore DD Councils. Find yours at the NACDD website. We were pleased to spend time with Kirsten Murphy from the Vermont DD Council. She educates us on the latest system changes and how the voice and participation of people with disabilities and their families is supported in those activities. We also talk about the important document Keeping the Promise. The website for the Vermont DD Council is www.ddc.vermont.gov and you can call the Council at 1-800-828-1310

Episode 9: All Rights Considered with Liz Weintraub

We talk with Liz Weintraub, Senior Policy Specialist with the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD) and host of the series “Tuesdays with Liz” where she interviews people involved in policy making and advocacy to educate grassroots leaders about policy issues. She worked with the office of Senator Casey of Pennsylvania on his Aging Committee staff and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. A nationally respected disability leader, Liz lives and works in Maryland.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 8: Getting the Job Done with Jen Cook

We talk with Jen Cook of Workforce Solutions about her success in helping people get jobs or, as she says, “changing communities one workplace at a time”. She uses a number of different Person Centered Thinking skills including One Page Descriptions, Communication Chart and Sorting Important TO with Important FOR to create a balance. Workforce Solutions’ contact information is email: [email protected] or via phone at 603-660-2655

Episode 7: Getting to Work with Nicole LeBlanc

We speak with Nicole LeBlanc about her work with the National Center for the Advancement of Person Center Practices and the state of Maryland. She is also a former SARTAC fellow. She tells us about her toolkit for employment which is available as a document or through an in-person training that she offers. We also learn about current issues with advocates.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episode 6: Regarding Josh Smith

Josh believes that an agency’s values should be reflected in how it treats employees. We consider a different approach to vacation time, recruitment and training. Direct Support Professionals are clearly near the top of his list in respect and caring.

Episode 5: The Education of Bill Ashe

In this conversation we explore thoughts on what have been the major developments in the effort to advance inclusion of people of all abilities that have served to shape the world that we live in today. Bill shares how having a family member with disabilities changed his views and added to his knowledge of what is important. We also consider trends in the system that are both troubling and promising.

Episodes 3 & 4: A Conversation with Peter Leidy

Part I

We caught up recently with Peter Leidy while he was visiting Vermont and connecting with staff from Senior Solutions and Green Mountain Support Services. Peter shared his experiences in the early years of his career and the important lessons that he’s learned about how to provide the best support to others. He has an interest in the power of the direct support role and thinks deeply about ways to help good staff stay.

Part II

We continue our conversation with Peter Leidy and explore what it means to be a “rule breaker” or an artist when in the role of direct support professional.

Go to the episode page and listen!

Episodes 1 & 2: A Conversation with Joe Grabowski

Joe explores the various ways that we can help others with a disability to be present and participate in community, and most importantly, find connection. In this conversation we discover the dilemma when others view human service agencies as protectors.

We continue our conversation with Joe and find out how Upper Valley Services considered ways to support someone through the use of risk profiles and community conversations to foster connection rather than opting for simply staffing for protection purposes.

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