Major Announcement: Introducing the 6 Wheels Certification Program

 PHOTO: 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Logo

PHOTO: 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Logo

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a new program to help organizations and businesses create a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Simply complying with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) often doesn’t mean an environment is inclusive—a barrier-free environment that allows everyone, regardless of ability, to have access to everything. After thinking about how to go beyond consulting, I decided to create a new tool, to go along with the services we already provide, to help solve some of these challenges.  I am thrilled and excited to announce the 6 Wheels Certification Program!

The 6 Wheels Certification Program will ultimately acknowledge that an organization or facility has worked to place inclusion above compliance for people with disabilities. The areas that will be assessed include physical space, staff training and policies, and inclusivity within marketing and online presence (including social media pages, marketing, etc). After an assessment, we’ll work with the organization’s leaders to make changes in the above areas. Once the changes have been implemented, a location will have the opportunity to be certified.

People with disabilities are often forgotten in the marketplace, despite the fact that the disability community and their families have an estimated 220 billion dollars in discretionary spending. 6 Wheels Certification will ensure that people with disabilities aren’t overlooked. When people with disabilities see that a location has been 6 Wheels Certified, they can feel confident in knowing that the business or organization has a long-term, lasting commitment of inclusion to people within the disability community.

I’m proud of the 6 Wheels Certification program and I know it will make a difference for people with disabilities. I look forward to working with people in our community to create spaces that aren’t just compliant but inclusive.

If you would like your business to become 6 Wheels Certified please contact Matthew Shapiro today at matthew.shapiro@6wheelsconsulting.com or 804-317-0818 and ask him about this amazing new program being offered by 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.

 PHOTO: Red words read Get Certified!

PHOTO: Red words read Get Certified!

Educating and Advocating for a Change

It’s been a busy month! I spent a lot of time in April talking to people and promoting a dialogue about how to best work with people with disabilities.

            At the beginning of the month, I went to D.C. and did disability sensitivity training for an organization called New Editions Consulting Inc. The company makes it a priority to hire people with disabilities. With the whole staff in attendance, we talked about ways everyone within the organization can better serve people with disabilities.

 PHOTO: Matthew sitting In front of a screen presenting his disability etiquette training at New Editions Consulting Inc.

PHOTO: Matthew sitting In front of a screen presenting his disability etiquette training at New Editions Consulting Inc.

 

            A former physical therapist and I spoke with occupational and physical therapy students at George Washington University on April 24th. These students will be affecting so many people in the future, so it’s important for them to give people with disabilities the ability to empower themselves. One important tool that physical therapists can use for themselves and their patients is something called the Good Day Plan. It’s a goal-setting plan that highlights a person’s strengths and weaknesses, hobbies, etc., and it outlines what someone needs to do in order to have a good day (one of those things for me would be waking up early to eat a good breakfast). Once everything is outlined, it’s easier to figure out how to achieve a goal.

 PHOTO: The George Washington University Logo

PHOTO: The George Washington University Logo

 

            I also attended the 2018 Virginia Venture Summit. The Summit is for entrepreneurs and lets new businesses connect with the community. There were panel discussions about how to grow your business and Dennis Bickmeir, the President of Richmond Raceway, was the keynote speaker. I was excited to meet a lot of new people and to make new connections!

 PHOTO: Matthew sitting at at his resource table at 2018 Virginia Venture Summit.

PHOTO: Matthew sitting at at his resource table at 2018 Virginia Venture Summit.

 

            I finished the month at a golf tournament talking about Sportable, which is an adaptive sports program, that I’ve been a part of for a long time. Sportable was the beneficiary of the tournament, and it was great to work with an organization that I’ve loved for years.

            It was a great month and I look forward to continuing my work in May. I’ll have some exciting announcements coming up soon, so make sure to stay tuned!

Lobbying for a Change

I started this year with a new adventure: lobbying. Though I had experience working in the Virginia General Assembly before, this was my first time going solo. I began lobbying work for Virginia ASPE (the Association of People Supporting Employment First) at the Virginia General Assembly.

 PHOTO: Matthew's Lobbying badge during his first year lobbying for The Virginia Association of People Supporting Employment Lobbying (VAAPSE)

PHOTO: Matthew's Lobbying badge during his first year lobbying for The Virginia Association of People Supporting Employment Lobbying (VAAPSE)

 

The ASPE’s mission focuses on career advancement for people with disabilities. I worked with ASPE to fight for people with disabilities’ rights, focusing particularly on the right to have equal opportunities in the workforce. It’s incredibly important for people with disabilities to be paid fairly (disabled workers are often paid below the minimum wage) and have equal access to opportunities. People with disabilities have so much to contribute to the world, and we deserve the chance to succeed and excel in our careers.

There were a lot of changes this year: we were working with a new governor, working in a new building, and there were over a dozen new legislators. A large part of our conversations focused around Medicaid, which left less time to focus on the three budget amendments. This means we’re going to continue focusing on our budget amendments next year.

Overall, it was a great experience. I made a lot of new contacts and established relationships with legislators, legislative assistants, and administrators. In the coming months, I’m going to continue to learn some more tactics and tools to help serve ASPE, and we’ll continue the fight for equality for people with disabilities.

 PHOTO: Matthew smiling In a black suit with a green blue and white striped tie.

PHOTO: Matthew smiling In a black suit with a green blue and white striped tie.

The Metropolitan Business League's Social Vision Award

 PHOTO: Metropolitan Business League Logo

PHOTO: Metropolitan Business League Logo

On March 2nd, Governor Ralph Northam awarded me with the Metropolitan Business League’s Social Vision Award at the Metropolitan Business League’s annual awards reception.

The Metropolitan Business League (MBL) is a Richmond nonprofit which creates connections for women-and minority-owned businesses, and helps these businesses thrive. I’ve had great experiences working with MBL in the past, and the work they do is incredibly important. The organization has introduced me to other small business owners and has also helped me grow 6 Wheels Consulting LLC.

The award reception at John Marshall Ballrooms honored other businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals. It was a night to celebrate all the hard work business owners had done to make Richmond a better place. 12 awards were presented to recipients, and it was amazing to see what other businesses and business owners have been working on in the past year.

Social Vision Award is given every year to a business that is working to promote change in society.  It has always been my goal to create environments that are inclusive for people with disabilities, not just compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a person with a disability, I’ve seen what a difference a truly inclusive environment makes for me and for others. I love the work I do, and I was honored to be this year’s recipient of the Social Vision Award. This recognition tells me that I’m making a difference, and I’m excited to keep making the world a more inclusive place.

 PHOTO: Matthew with his parents Eve and Barry at the Metropolitan Business League’s annual awards reception.

PHOTO: Matthew with his parents Eve and Barry at the Metropolitan Business League’s annual awards reception.

 PHOTO: Matthew holding the Metropolitan Business League’s Social Vision Award that he won. 

PHOTO: Matthew holding the Metropolitan Business League’s Social Vision Award that he won. 

Becoming an Author, Showcases, and More

2018 has been a busy year already, and I wanted to update everyone on some highlights so far.

 

I took part in writing the book Infinite Inspirations: Creative and Daring Responses to Life’s Challenges, which was released at the beginning of March. The book is a compilation of stories from 13 different authors. Each author had a chapter to share how they adapted to challenges life threw their way. Overall, it’s both honest, positive read, and I encourage everyone to check it out!  You would like to purchase a copy of Infinite Inspirations you can do so HERE.

 PHOTO: Infinite-Inspirations-Book Cover

PHOTO: Infinite-Inspirations-Book Cover

 

I also presented my first showcases for the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA). The first showcase was in Orlando, Florida, and the second was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and I focused on discussing how colleges can make their students feel valued by focusing on inclusivity. Both showcases were exciting experiences, and I look forward to doing more in the future.

 PHPTO: Matthew presenting on stage at his showcase at APCA Nationals.

PHPTO: Matthew presenting on stage at his showcase at APCA Nationals.

 

As well as advocating on a more local level, I began my lobbying work at the Virginia General Assembly. It was a gratifying experience, and we were able to have some really great discussions. Look forward to more posts to come about that in the future.

 

There are a few projects I’m working on that I look forward to announcing soon, so stay tuned by keeping up with me on social media to find out what I’m doing next.

Looking Back on 2017

 

             Hello again everybody.   It has been quite a long time since I updated on the work that I am doing via this blog.  I want to make a promise to you that I will work harder to make sure that I am regularly updating the blog and sharing about all of my tremendous activities.

             As the beginning of the first quarter of 2018 draws near a close I thought I would take some time to reflect on 2017.   2017 was A most productive and eventful year for 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC. I had lots of adventures and connected with a lot of amazing people. In this post, I will highlight some of my more favorite activities from 2017 beginning with the last time I posted and around particular topics by sharing links and different photos from throughout the year.

 

 First, I will start with media coverage.  Please enjoy these pictures and links from all of the amazing coverage I received throughout 2017.

 

Banking product allows people with disabilities to save money in Virginia Richmond Times-Dispatch Article March 20, 2017

 

http://www.richmond.com/news/local/banking-product-allows-people-with-disabilities-to-save-money-in/article_a8f3c49c-7e44-592f-8878-92ebb7d4038e.html

 

People with disabilities finally get a way to save money USA Today February 4, 2017

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/02/04/people-disabilities-finally-get-way-save-money/97381332/

How ABLEnow Has Already Helped Me (Guest Post by Matthew Shapiro) March 20, 2017

https://www.able-now.com/resources/news/how-ablenow-has-already-helped-me-guest-post-by-matthew-shapiro

 

State savings plan opens for people with disabilities NBC 12 March 29, 2017

http://www.nbc12.com/story/35024000/savings-plan-opens-for-people-with-disabilities

 

http://www.nbc12.com/clip/13210181/state-savings-plan-opens-for-people-with-disabilities

 

https://youtu.be/MKTfe_KqIyU

 

Matthew Shapiro Capable Campaign Story

 

http://www.thenextmoveprogram.com/capable/

 

 

Consultant helps accommodate workers with disabilities-  Virginia Business Magazine May 31, 2017

http://www.virginiabusiness.com/regions/article/consultant-helps-firms-accommodate-workers-with-disabilities

 

ABLE accounts fill the savings gap for the disabled- Kids and Money column June 26, 2017

https://tribunecontentagency.com/article/able-accounts-fill-the-savings-gap-for-the-disabled/

 

National Health Care Debate Leaves Disabled Richmonders and their Caretakers on Edge- Style Weekly July 26, 2017

 

https://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/national-healthcare-debate-leaves-disabled-richmonders-and-their-caretakers-on-edge/Content?oid=4028393

 

 

Additionally, throughout 2017 I was very fortunate to be able to share my story through several public speaking presentations to a variety of audiences.  The highlight of these presentations was when I gave my first large talk on a college campus at the University of Findley in Ohio.   Please take a look at these pictures from that presentation as well as pictures from other presentations from throughout the year.   Be sure to read the caption to get a better feel for where the presentation was and what it was about.

 PHOTO: University of Findley Presentation Photo

PHOTO: University of Findley Presentation Photo

 

  The last area where I had fantastic success in 2017 was with some of my consulting projects.   I was able to assist many great organizations to think of ways to be more inclusive to the disability population.

 

 The biggest projects that I undertook this year is one that will be wrapped up in 2018.   I was contracted to work with an architect firm in Richmond to conduct a disability accessibility assessment of City Hall in Richmond Virginia.   I have completed the preliminary review of most of the floors of City Hall and am readying to begin the next phase of the project.   I am very grateful to the City of Richmond for giving me the opportunity to help make City Hall a welcoming environment for our city residents who live with disabilities.

 

 A second outstanding project that I had the opportunity to work on in 2017 was through a partnership with the Metropolitan Business League.   Together we developed the ABILities Entrepreneurship Series.  This series is designed to support the training needs of individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities.  This 8-week program is for individuals and their support system who have the desire to be business owners and start their own businesses.  The MBL recognizes challenges of all entrepreneurs and has adapted our entrepreneurship training program to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

At the end of the series, a culminating event takes place and each person will introduce their business and receive a certificate of completion.

 

 If you are a person with a disability and would like to register for the next ABILities series please follow the link here to learn more about this great class.

 

http://thembl.memberzone.com/events/details/abilities-entrepreneurship-series-81

 

As you have seen, 2017 was an absolutely incredible year for me and 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.   I cannot thank you enough for your continued support and enthusiasm as I continue to grow this consulting firm.   I’m grateful for the relationships that I made throughout 2017 and know that I will continue to cultivate those relationships for many years to come.   We have a ton of amazing things planned for 2018 and I can’t wait to see what the new year holds for me.   I plan on writing another post announcing some of these new initiatives here in the coming few days.   Please be on the lookout for that second post.  My New Year’s resolution to my readers and my followers is to be more active on all forms of social media and do a better job keeping you in the loop about our activities.   As always please keep an eye on our social media and our website for new updates.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 has in store for me.

 

 PHOTO: Thank You 2017

PHOTO: Thank You 2017

 

 

   

6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Story on VCU Insight

I was very thrilled and excited to be featured on a story recently on the VCU Insight News program. VCU Insight is a news program produced by and featuring VCU Mass Communications students. The story can be found at the YouTube video below. I want to think Ryan Carstons for doing such an amazing story on my business. 

 My story can be found 24 minutes and 47 seconds into the YouTube video.   I really appreciate all of this amazing coverage about 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.   Please stay connected to our social media pages for more updates.   A wide of exciting opportunities will be announced soon.

A Lot Has Happened

Happy 2017 everyone. I’ve been so busy that I have been unable to update everyone on all the amazing things that happened at the end of 2016 and in the beginning of 2017.   This blog post will have some highlights with little snippets from all the activities that I’ve been doing lately.  I have been busy.

 ABLE Ambassador:

 I have entered into a partnership with Virginia 529 and ABLEnow to serve as the ABLE Ambassador.   My role is to help ABLEnow promote the new ABLE savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.   Check out this interview that aired on Channel 6 Good Morning Virginia to learn more about this great new program.   I am thrilled to be working with this amazing team. WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

 

Also as part of this project I was quoted in a recent Associated Press article.  READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Community Conversation on Acceptance at The Valentine:

I was thrilled on January 3 to be able to participate as a panelist for a Community Conversation on Acceptance.   I spoke about how we need to look at people with disabilities differently.   The event was very well attended and a great conversation took place with everyone.   The other panelists discussed the homeless population and the LGBTQ population.   It is always important to learn about and accept differences.   Thank you for allowing me to be a part of a fantastic evening.

 

 PHOTO: Matthew Speaking at the Community Conversation on Acceptance at The Valentine on a diversity panel.

PHOTO: Matthew Speaking at the Community Conversation on Acceptance at The Valentine on a diversity panel.

Media Coverage for 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC:

 Over the first few days in January I was fortunate to have two stories from different media outlets run talking about the work that I do.   The first was in Richmond magazine to promote the event at The Valentine. READ THE ARTICLE HERE

The second story that came out in January was when I was lucky enough to be featured in a Making a Difference cover story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.   This series of stories highlighted people in the Richmond community who are making a difference.  I was honored to be recognized as one of those people.  READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Attended a Public Speaking Mastermind Weekend with David Coleman:

Also in the beginning of January I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to take part in a public speaking mastermind weekend with David Coleman and other aspiring public speakers.   For those of you that don’t know I have been working with David to have him help me develop public speaking programs that I will be able to perform in the college market.   I was thrilled to be able to meet other amazing people and get remarkable feedback about my program.   I also stayed a little bit longer and got some one-on-one attention from David which helped make my program that much stronger.   I am excited to continue to work on this program and to bring my messages to colleges and universities across the United States.

 PHOTO: Matthew at Mastermind Weekend with David Coleman and Lenny Dave

PHOTO: Matthew at Mastermind Weekend with David Coleman and Lenny Dave

 Speaking at Collegiate:

On February 6th, I was asked to speak at Collegiate, a private school in Richmond, Virginia. The ninth graders were having an event where they were learning about different minority groups. They were going to take this information and volunteer in the community with one of these groups.   I was asked to speak about the disability population. I believe the students got something out of my presentation and I hope their volunteer placement was a successful and joyful experience for them.

Vendor at Friendship Circle of Virginia’s Community Inclusion Event:

 I was delighted to be asked to serve as a vendor at Friendship Circle of Virginia’s Community Inclusion Event.   Each year this organization works to hold an event to bring the community together and talk about disability and inclusion.   This year’s event was a great success.   There was tons of great discussion and I met many great people when they stopped by my table.   I hope to be involved in this event again in the future.

 PHOTO: Matthew at his vendor table at Friendship Circle of Virginia's Community Inclusion Event

PHOTO: Matthew at his vendor table at Friendship Circle of Virginia's Community Inclusion Event

Vendor at at REAP Walk and Roll for Kindness Event:

We were thrilled to serve as a vendor at the Richmond Entrepreneurs Assistance Program Walk and Roll for Kindness Event.  This event was done to help raise money to help REAP’s mission of getting people with disabilities jobs.   I was fortunate enough to be able to address the audience about how we needed to stop bullying individuals with disabilities and instead be more accepting of them.   I also had many great conversations with people who came up to my table.

 

VCU Alumni Article:

Before the new year began I was a featured alumnus in a VCU alumni spotlight article.   The article highlighted my journey through VCU as well as the work I am now doing with 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.   This was an exciting recognition for me and I am ecstatic to be honored by such a great university.   READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Appointed to the VaAPSE Board:

I have been appointed to the Virginia chapter of the Association of People Supporting Employment First as the newest board member.   I am ready to get to work to help make sure that people with disabilities are getting valuable employment opportunities that are meaningful and that pay good money. I might also be helping with some lobbying work for this organization in the future.  I am ready to get to work.

 As you can see I have been very busy since the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.   I am grateful for all the opportunities that I had and will continue to have.   I can’t wait to share with you all the other additional fantastic activities and work that I am currently in the process of finalizing.   Stay tuned, some very exciting things are coming.   As always, please stay connected to our social media pages to get the latest breaking news on our activities. I always appreciate your support and I am looking forward to a bright future and 2017 as a whole.

Announcing Partnership between Shepherd Care and 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC

6 Wheels Consulting, LLC is excited to announce a brand-new partnership with Shepherd Care Read the press release about the new alliance below to learn what both organizations hope to accomplish with this new agreement.  Also, to learn more about Shepherd Care, visit their website HERE. 

 

 

SHEPHERD CARE PARTNERS WITH 6 WHEELS CONSULTING TO PROVIDE SENSITIVITY, DISABILITY, AND RESPECT SEMINARS 

 

Shepherd Care, a non-profit organization established by Eric Kieselbach in 2009 to care, encourage, inspire, edify, counsel and support people in the community, has established a partnership with 6 Wheels Consulting, a company that strives to educate and strengthen the public’s understanding of the culture of disability.

 

Founded by Matthew Shapiro, 6 Wheels Consulting’s mission is to educate people about disability culture as well as raise awareness about the issues that affect the people with disabilities population. Shapiro has been actively involved in numerous disability and youth related boards, organizations, and programs – tirelessly sharing his knowledge and experience through a variety of public speaking engagements across the country. He has also worked with the Virginia Advocates United Leading Together (VAULT), the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, the Virginia Department of Education, just to name a few. 

 

“6 Wheels Consulting, LLC is delighted to announce this exciting new collaboration with Shepherd Care.  Eric's mission to care for people where they live and work is the heart of community.  This new partnership will allow 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC and Shepherd Care to provide training and other services to businesses, churches, Fire, Law, and EMS Departments to expand their disability awareness and improve interactions, and foster respect and understanding of the diverse perspectives of others. We are excited to see what the future holds for both organizations, thanks to this partnership," Shapiro said.

 

Be sure to be up to date in this latest partnership with 6 Wheels Consulting! For more information visit HERE

 

Keep up to date with Shepherd Care! Follow Eric on:

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShepherdCareCommunity/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTzdWOCiLTO5JTCZP1nK-8A

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-kieselbach-13804623

 

Keep up to date with 6 Wheels Consulting! Follow Matt on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/6WheelsConsultingLLC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/6WConsulting

Instagram: https://instagram.com/6wheelsconsultingllc/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4WSA3Q0lDny_d4cYnKzxYw/feed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/117935567925954912348/about?hl=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/6-wheels-consulting-llc

 

 PHOTO: Logos of 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC and Shepherd Care

PHOTO: Logos of 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC and Shepherd Care

Announcing Partnership with The Richmond Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (REAP)

6 Wheels Consulting, LLC is excited to announce a brand-new partnership with The Richmond Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (REAP).  Read the press release about the new alliance below to learn what both organizations hope to accomplish with this new agreement.  Also, to learn more about REAP, visit their website at www.reapva.org.

 

REAP PARTNERS WITH 6 WHEELS CONSULTING TO BOLSTER AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

 

The Richmond Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (REAP), a non-profit organization dedicated to provide comprehensive job training and skills development for people with disabilities (PwD), reinforces its awareness campaign by partnering with 6 Wheels Consulting, a company that strives to educate and strengthen the public’s understanding of the culture of disability.

 

Founded by Matthew Shapiro, 6 Wheels Consulting’s mission is to educate people about disability culture as well as raise awareness about the issues that affect the PwD population. Shapiro has been actively involved in numerous disability and youth related boards, organizations, and programs – tirelessly sharing his knowledge and experience through a variety of public speaking engagements across the country. He has also worked with the Virginia Advocates United Leading Together (VAULT), the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, the Virginia Department of Education, to name a few. 

 

“6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Is delighted to announce this exciting new collaboration with REAP.  REAP's work to help people with disabilities become entrepreneurs and develop job skills is something that is greatly appreciated by everyone in the disability community.  This new partnership will allow 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC and REAP to provide training and other services to businesses to expand their disability awareness.  We are excited to see what the future holds for both organizations, thanks to this partnership," Shapiro said.

 

Be sure to be up to date in this latest partnership with 6 Wheels Consulting! For more information, visit www.reapva.org.

 

Are you on social media?

Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/REAPRVA/

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reaprva

Subscribe to our blog: https://reapva.wordpress.com/

 

Keep up to date with 6 Wheels Consulting! Follow Matt on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/6WheelsConsultingLLC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/6WConsulting

Instagram: https://instagram.com/6wheelsconsultingllc/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4WSA3Q0lDny_d4cYnKzxYw/feed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/117935567925954912348/about?hl=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/6-wheels-consulting-llc

 

READ MORE HERE

 PHOTO: REAP Logo on top of the 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Logo in a photo.

PHOTO: REAP Logo on top of the 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC Logo in a photo.

Recent Activities

I have continued to remain busy with activities since the last time I posted a blog.  I want to get you caught up on those activities.

 

First, I will take you back to July where I was asked by Goodwill of Central Virginia to conduct an assessment on a building that they are renovating in Hampton.  I evaluated blueprints and offered suggestions of how they could make their new facility more common sense inclusive to individuals with disabilities who may either use their services or work there.  All of the staff was receptive to my ideas, and it was a great project to take part in. 

 

 

For me, the most unique part of this project was to evaluate the facility based on just blueprints and not an actual structure.  This required me to understand blueprints and what the drawings meant.  When the structure is done being renovated, I hope to go in and do a physical assessment of the space to see if they are implementing some of my suggestions.  I believe this is the beginning of a great relationship with Goodwill of Central Virginia.

 

 PHOTO: Goodwill Blue Smile Logo

PHOTO: Goodwill Blue Smile Logo

 

 

Second, I was honored to appear on Debra Ruh's podcast "Human Potential at Work." in early September.  Debra's website describes the podcast by saying. "How do we bring out the potential in all people, including those with disabilities? Get ready to be inspired, hear success stories and learn tips and principles for bringing out the best in the people in your organization."  On my episode, we discussed my journey to trying to find employment, failing, and ultimately starting my own consulting business.  I encourage you to listen to the episode at the link below.  It was a great joy to appear on Debra's show, and I hope you enjoy our conversation. You can listen to it here.

It is also below. 

 

 PHOTO: Human Potential at Work promo poster featuring Matthew Shapiro.

PHOTO: Human Potential at Work promo poster featuring Matthew Shapiro.

 

As always please stay connected to us via our social media pages and stay tuned for more great updates from 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.

Selected as One of Style Weekly’s 40 Under 40

I am honored and humbled to announce that I have been recognized as the youngest recipient in this year's class of Style Weekly's 40 Under 40.  Style Weekly is a weekly newspaper that is described by its website as "Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion."  Each year Style Weekly selects 40 people under the age of 40 who "rally for change, serve others and bring the Richmond community together."

 

To celebrate my selection to this amazing group, I would love to share my profile that is appearing in the issue.  Please read the profile below and enjoy:

 

Don’t call Matthew Shapiro an inspiration.

 

“While what people with disabilities do is incredible,” he says, “we’re not here to make people feel good about themselves.”

 

Shapiro, who lives with cerebral palsy, doesn’t want your pedestal — he wants your business. And his talents for getting people to see things differently are evident.

 

“People with disabilities are the biggest minority group that no one talks about, and they have $220 billion in discretionary spending [nationwide],” he says. “My goal is to work with people who have no connection to disability whatsoever, help them understand that this is a huge population of people that society rarely taps into.”

 

For years, he volunteered and advocated for people with disabilities at J.R. Tucker High School and Virginia Commonwealth University. After graduation, he channeled his expertise about all manner of disabilities into his own business: 6 Wheels Consulting. The name references his wheelchair, including its two hidden wheels.

 

Shapiro consults with businesses, nonprofits and local government on accessibility and sensitivity toward those in wheelchairs, with hearing and vision impairments and such developmental disabilities as autism.

 

“In most cases all they’re thinking about is [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliance,” he says. “That’s great, but I come in and say here’s how we can do more to be more inclusive.”

 

Such clients as the Henrico County library system and Central Virginia Goodwill have come to him for assessments. “Moving furniture around to open up space, angling the tables in study rooms, training with staff members, thinking about safety and emergency preparedness situations,” Shapiro says of his recommendations.

 

Those changes end up helping groups like the elderly and families with strollers, as well. “So it ends up ultimately becoming a universal design approach,” he says.

 

He’s also a self-described political nerd and serves on numerous state-level boards for disability awareness and education. And he’s fielding requests for public speaking engagements across the country, which means a lot of travel.

 

“Hotel rooms are routinely bad culprits of just doing the bare minimum of what’s required with ADA,” he says. He describes common problems he’s had with beds and bathrooms in supposedly accessible rooms.

 

“But people don’t think this way unless they’re affected by it,” Shapiro says. “The biggest challenge I have is getting people to understand they need my services.”

 

 PHOTO: Picture of Matthew in his wheelchair on his ramp and in his 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC shirt.

PHOTO: Picture of Matthew in his wheelchair on his ramp and in his 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC shirt.

 

I want to thank Style Weekly for giving me this honor along with everyone who helped make this accomplishment possible.  Thank you for always supporting me in whatever I set out to do.  If you would like to read more about the other 40 Under 40 recipients, check out this link HERE.   

I also encourage you to check out Style Weekly for their other great stories.  You can find them HERE at this link.

 PHOTO: Style Weekly Logo

PHOTO: Style Weekly Logo

As always be on the lookout for more updates from 6 Wheels Consulting, by staying connected to our social media pages.  Thank you for reading and your incredible support.

Tons of Amazing Things Are Happening. Let’s Talk about the College Transition

I hope everyone had a remarkable Fourth of July holiday.   It’s been a few months since I updated you all on the happenings with 6 Wheels.  With this thought in mind I figured I would post several new blogs over the coming days that will fill you in on what we’ve been up to since my last post.   Keep an eye out for these new updates because so many amazing things are happening.

In this first post I want to take you back to May 21st when I had the privilege to present on college transitioning at the second annual transition summit put on by Jack Trammell.   I was able to speak to several families and students about the main differences that college brings compared to high school for students with disabilities.   We were able to have some great discussions to help prepare the students on what to expect in college. Some of the areas I covered included: How classes are different, how you spend your free time differently, the amount of study and prep time required per class for you to be successful in college, and about accommodations in college along with other topics.

 I love being able to give back and share my knowledge with other families.   It is the whole reason I started 6 Wheels Consulting in the first place.   It is my hope that the families took something away from our presentations during this event.   I was super excited to be a part of it.

 Stay connected to our social media pages and our website as we will be sharing more posts shortly.   I can’t wait to share all of the incredible news with you.   Stay tuned.

 PHOTO: Matthew Presenting at a Richmond Transition Conference

PHOTO: Matthew Presenting at a Richmond Transition Conference

Major Announcement

Everyone at 6 Wheels Consulting is excited to share a major announcement with you.   We are thrilled to announce that I have signed a talent contract with one of the best national talent agencies in the country.   We are elated to be joining the Metropolis Management and Coleman Speaks Talent Agencies.   This agreement will allow me to travel the country as a public speaker in the college market.   I will get the chance to share my messages with college students during orientations and other related events. I may also be able to provide the school with a common sense disability assessment of their campus.  This opportunity is tremendous for us as an organization and for me personally.   One of my goals when I started this organization was to develop and become a nationally known public speaker.   The agreement with Metropolis Management and Coleman Speaks will allow that vision to become a reality. 

 

Another part of my agreement is that I now have an agency that will help with bookings and other activities. This is a huge relief for me as this has been one of the greatest challenges that I’ve been dealing with so far in the short life of the company. I will be a member of the Coleman Speaks roster.   For the last several months I have been working closely with their speaking coach, David Coleman.   David is a multi award-winning talent who is helping me take my speaking game to the next level.   I am currently working on developing my show to bring to colleges across the country.  I am beyond excited about this opportunity to get to travel the country to educate students about people with disabilities and their capabilities.   If you would like to learn more about Metropolis Management, CLICK HERE.  If you would like to learn more about Coleman Speaks, CLICK HERE.

 I am humbled by the opportunity to join the talent rosters that include such remarkable talents being represented by both of these organizations.   I truly have come a remarkably long way.   As soon as I finalize my show and start regularly booking events I will be sure to update you all on my travels.   I want to thank everyone at Metropolis Management and Coleman Speaks for their belief in me as an artist.   I am so thankful for this opportunity.   If you or your college is interested in booking me, or learning about pricing please reach out to Metropolis Management.   Thanks again to everyone for their support.  

Please keep tabs on our social media pages for more amazing updates.   More announcements will be coming soon.   Stay tuned.

 PHOTO: Metropolis Management Logo

PHOTO: Metropolis Management Logo

 PHOTO: Coleman Speaks Logo

PHOTO: Coleman Speaks Logo

Selected: 2016/2017 Leadership Metro Richmond Quest Program and GOT Transition Advisory Board

The good news just keeps rolling in for us.  Do you see what I did there? J I have been selected for two more major opportunities.   First, I will be a member of the 2016-2017 Leadership Metro Richmond class.   Additionally, I have been appointed to the GOT Transition Advisory Board.

According to their website the Quest program is “LMR's flagship program in its 36th year, connects diverse leaders, increases their knowledge and perspectives on regional issues, and inspires servant leadership, inclusion and collaboration. Quest will take your leadership to the next level. The program runs September through June.”  Being a member of the Quest program will open my eyes to all of the possibilities that Richmond has to offer.   We will be going on a variety of trips throughout the 10-month program that will show us all of the corners of the region.   I am also looking forward to the opportunity to network and connect, with not only my classmates, but also all of the speakers and community leaders we will meet along the way.   I am extremely excited for the opportunities and doors that the Quest program will open for 6 Wheels Consulting. I can’t wait for the program to begin in September.

 Being a member of the GOT Transition Advisory Board will allow me to break into the healthcare space with 6 Wheels Consulting. On this board I will be serving in two capacities the first being as a member of Kids as Self Advocates or KASA and the second as 6 Wheels Consulting.   This appointment will be a paid position and will allow me to interact with young people with and without disabilities regarding their transition from youth healthcare to adult healthcare.  To give you some more information I thought I would include the press release below announcing the formation of the group.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                Media Contact
          Dan Beck (202.223.1500, dbeck@thenationalalliance.org)
 

      GOT TRANSITION FORMS NATIONAL YOUNG ADULT TRANSITION ADVISORY GROUP

 

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2016) –   Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement is pleased to announce the formation of a new National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group. Twelve young adults with and without disabilities between the ages of 18-25 have been chosen to advise Got Transition on young adult perspectives on the important transition from pediatric to adult health care services. Members of the Advisory Group are diverse in their ages, geographic locations, and ethnic backgrounds. They represent a unique group of national and state organizations, including Able South Carolina’s Center for Independent Living, Bacchus/Furman University, California Department of Social Services, Foster Club, Kids as Self Advocates, Special Olympics International, The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy, Young Invincibles, and Youth Move National.

 

As part of the National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group, these twelve members will ensure that young adult perspectives are included in Got Transition’s plans moving forward. They will provide a critical voice in reviewing tools designed to educate and inform young adults on the importance of health care transition. The Advisory Group members will guide Got Transition’s social media and other communication platforms to relay important health care transition-related messages and resources to youth and young adults nationwide, and will help strengthen Got Transition’s partnerships with their organizational affiliates.

 

Got Transition is dedicated to expanding the availability of high quality health care transition services in pediatric and adult health care practices and health plans. It is committed to involving young adults in designing transition strategies and producing materials and messages. Through quarterly conference calls, virtual trainings, and leadership development, Got Transition’s new National Young Adult Transition Advisory Group will play a critical role in ensuring that the voices of young adult consumers are heard in the development of health care transition resources and processes. Through the Advisory Group’s contributions, Got Transition will be able to better support the positive health outcomes of young adults as they transition to adulthood.

 

 

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Got Transition/Center for Health Care Transition Improvement is a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health. Our aim is to improve transition from pediatric to adult health care through the use of new and innovative strategies for health professionals and youth and families. For more information, go to www.GotTransition.org and follow Got Transition on Facebook and Twitter. 

 

 

These two amazing opportunities will allow me to continue to get the word out about 6 Wheels Consulting.   I look forward to getting started and making the biggest impact with both new opportunities.  If you would like to learn more about both of my new activities, please visit their websites at HERE and HERE respectively.

             Thank you and we look forward to sharing with you more about these opportunities as they get underway. all over our social media pages.  Stay tuned.

 PHOTO: Leadership Metro Richmond Logo

PHOTO: Leadership Metro Richmond Logo

 PHOTO: GOT Transition Logo

PHOTO: GOT Transition Logo

I was Featured on the Local News

We recently got to experience a few seconds of fame.  In another fantastic opportunity to gain exposure for 6 Wheels Consulting, we were contacted by a local NBC 12 news reporter Allison Norlian to appear in one of her reports. Allison wanted to do a story on the state of the sidewalks in downtown Richmond, Virginia and how they affect wheelchair users. 

So I put on my best TV ready outfit and met her at VCU. For those of you that are unaware,  the sidewalks in downtown Richmond, Virginia are quite hazardous to anyone, but even more so to people with disabilities.   Some sidewalks may have cobblestones or concrete missing or cobblestones or concrete that is being pushed up from tree branches.   I have, on many occasions, almost fallen out of my chair due to unexpected dips in the sidewalks.  

Allison did a remarkable job capturing some of the problem areas in downtown Richmond.   Often times it becomes a situation of whose responsibility it is to fix the sidewalks, either the city of Richmond or VCU.  I say let’s stop pointing the finger and get something done to make downtown safer for everyone.  

To be fair there have been several improvements made in regards to curb cuts and main sidewalks being renovated.  However, most secondary sidewalks are still being greatly ignored.   Anyone should have the right to freely move about the city in which they live without the fear of possible injury. We must do better. 

 I want to thank Allison for her willingness to shed light on this important issue and I hope we get to work together again in the future.   For those of you who may not have seen the story I am including it in this post below.   Hopefully my words in this piece can help bring some change to the city.   I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed being a part of it.   Remember, to stay connected for more updates that will be coming shortly.

Working with the I’m Determined Parent Summit

For several summers I have had the privilege of participating in I’m Determined Youth Summit at JMU.   This has become one of the highlights of my year.  This year, however, I got to experience a new unique twist on the summit by working with the parents. For me, working with parents is always a tremendous thrill. Why? Because I can be an example for both the parents and their children.   Specifically, parents with children who have special needs often wonder if their child can live independently, attend college or achieve a dream they may have.   For some parents the fear of the unknown diminishes their ability to see their child’s full potential.   While working with parents I try to help them realize that dreams can be accomplished through accommodations and supports. This year I was able to reach parents in ways that I have not been able to do before at previous summits.   How did I do this?

 

             First, I was able to serve as a vendor at the resource fair. This was an opportunity for me to explain, not only to the parents, but also to my fellow vendors what we do at 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.   This was also a great way for me to initially meet the students and their parents and start to make some connections with them.

 

             Next, I was tabbed as an expert (I know I felt really special) on self-determination, youth transition, and entrepreneurship.   The experts were asked to sit at tables and address questions from parents relating to their topics. I was able to have parents come join me and ask questions about to how they could help their son or daughter.   I love these one-on-one interactions because I can really help parents understand that they don’t have to have that fear that I previously mentioned. These are the interactions that truly make me enjoy my work.   If I can help one parent feel more comfortable and not worry so much, I have done my job.

 

             In addition, my mom and I had the privilege of serving on a youth/parent panel where we discussed and gave tips about how to refuel in your advocacy journey.   One of the things that I find most important about refueling, and this could be for both parents and students, is that you must allow time for yourself to do things that you enjoy. For me that could be something as simple as getting caught up on the latest TV shows or hanging out with friends. These types of activities help you maintain a level of centeredness. 

 

 I think for parents with young people with special needs one of the other most important things they can do, even though it can be tremendously difficult, is to learn to give your son or daughter freedom to make their own decisions and to trust of those decisions.   I am so grateful for my parents’ willingness to let me be free and experience different things. For example, they allow my friends to drive our van so that I can spend time with my friends outside of the house.   These choices have allowed me to grow and become independent both physically and in my decision-making. I hope my mom and I conveyed that message during our time on the panel.

 

             I learned a lot from the different perspective of working with parents at this year’s summit.   Mainly, the parents know how to get down when there is alcohol and dancing involved.   Seriously though, I was grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with the parents and I hope they took as much out of it from me as I did from them.

 

            I want to thank Dana Yarbrough from the VCU Center for Family Involvement for allowing me to be a part of the parent’s summit and I hope I get the chance to return again in the future.

 

             As always stay connected to us on social media and be on the lookout for new and exciting updates from 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.

 PHOTO: Matthew sitting behind his 6 Wheels Consulting table At the resource fair at the I'm Determined Summit at JMU.

PHOTO: Matthew sitting behind his 6 Wheels Consulting table At the resource fair at the I'm Determined Summit at JMU.

Back to the No Barriers Summit

Recently, I got to experience one of the highlights of my year as I returned to the No Barriers Summit.   This year’s summit took place in Copper Mountain, Colorado from July 23 through the 25.   As our time to leave was approaching I couldn’t help but reflect on the life-changing experience that occurred for me at this event last year.  It truly reshaped how I feel about getting out of my comfort zone and I was pushing to build off of that experience this go around.   I did just that.

             Joining me once again on this amazing journey was my mom and my three friends Kari, Keri, and Timmy.   Tagging along with us this year was my dad.   I was so excited to have him there to experience all of the incredible things that the summit provides the participants.   He got to see me do some remarkable activities.

             On the first day of the summit I participated in a session around neuro movement.   Neuro Movement is the practice of retraining your brain on how your body works through small social movements.   The sessions made me feel so good and taught me about dealing with pain.   I enjoyed this session so much that I went back several times during my downtime throughout the week and had more one-on-one sessions done.   I definitely plan on trying to continue this treatment.  

While at the summit I also had the chance to try archery again.   This is an activity that I’ve picked up recently here at home but I wanted to continue to try and develop my skills with this activity.   We were out there for quite a long time as we shot for three hours.   I can’t shoot an arrow the typical way, so I have to use my mouth to help drawback and fire it.   I started off the day pretty awesome by hitting several of my first few targets.   As the day progressed I started dealing with fatigue and was not as accurate with my shots.   Even though I was getting slightly frustrated I kept trying to improve.   I would hit some targets here and there, but overall I just enjoyed the experience.  

As the session was coming to a close they allowed each of us fire a crossbow.   The power behind this bow was absolutely incredible.   It felt so exhilarating to fire that weapon.   One of the nice features of the bow was that it had a laser site that made it easy for aiming.  I was able to pop a balloon that was placed on the target with my second shot.  I felt like Rambo.   During this whole event my dad was grinning ear to ear seeing what I was accomplishing with a bow and arrow.   It was great to have him see me doing that.

 Later that day Timmy and I ventured over to the aquatic center to participate in a scuba seminar.   I have never been scuba diving before. This was probably the most fun thing I did at the summit this year.  Every year when I go to No Barriers I always try to do at least one thing that will completely take me out of my comfort zone.   This year, that event was scuba.  

 Staff helped me transfer from my wheelchair into the pool, which was heated by the way, to get started.   They actually put the equipment on you in the water to make it a little bit easier.   The biggest challenge I quickly learned about was learning how to breathe with the regulator.   Your instinct is to panic under water, but you are supposed to take huge deep breaths and trust that the regulator will breathe for you.  It felt surreal to be able to explore under the water with such freedom.   Timmy would flash me a thumbs up underwater and I can tell that he, too, was enjoying the experience.   I’m glad he and I were able to share this adventure together.   I would love to continue trying to learn how to become better at scuba. I felt so empowered taking part in that activity.

On the last day of the summit I took part in a wheelchair self-defense class.   I wanted to do this to learn a few ways to defend myself if I ever got into a sticky situation.   A lot of what we learned revolved around hand-to-hand combat techniques that could be used in case you felt threatened by someone.  Your first tactic is to try and de-escalate the situation by telling the individual that you don’t need any help or want trouble.   If that doesn’t work, then you try to gain the upper hand by getting them in a position where they are less likely to hurt you.   My class had two people in wheelchairs as well as someone who has a visual impairment.   It was great seeing how you can use momentum in your environment to protect yourself.   I hope to continue doing some self-defense training in the future.

 One of the best parts of the summit, to me, is the people.   This could range from the speakers to the other participants to the family members that come along for the ride.    I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Kyle Maynard, who is somebody who lives with no limbs.   He is a remarkable person who has climbed some of the tallest mountains and taken part in an MMA style flight.   We have stayed connected after the summer and I know that he is someone that I will lean on for advice regarding my consulting work or life’s struggles. 

 I’m also reminded of some of the other participant’s like Cole who has joints that don’t bend, like a normal elbow or knee.   In spite of this, he was able to go on a group hike, and with the assistance of an off-road wheelchair, climbed to the top of a mountain in Colorado.   The support that Cole, I and all of the other participants of the summit receive while there is truly what makes this program so special. You are a part of an environment that is so supportive and encourages everyone get out of their comfort zone.   With the thought of always trying to do something a little bit bigger out of my comfort zone every year and seeing a video of Cole’s adventure on the mountain, I have challenged myself next year to climb up a mountain using an off-road wheelchair.  

I am truly trying to live the No Barriers motto of “what’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way” I would strongly encourage anyone who lives with the disability or who wants to get more out of their life, to consider attending the No Barriers Summit.   I promise you, it will change your life as much as it has mine.   If you would like to learn more information about No Barriers visit their website HERE

 Remember please stay connected to all of our social media pages to learn about the latest and greatest updates on what we’re doing with 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC.   So many amazing things are happening.  Stay Tuned. 

 PHOTO: Matthew Going scuba diving.

PHOTO: Matthew Going scuba diving.

 PHOTO: Matthew shooting archery with his mouth.

PHOTO: Matthew shooting archery with his mouth.

Talking Professional Development at the 2016 Virginia Youth Leadership Forum

On July 27 I was able to go back to my roots as a disability advocate, but this time with a little bit of a different perspective.   I journeyed to Virginia State University to present to the 2016 class of the Virginia Youth Leadership Forum (YLF).   It was nostalgic as I entered the room to do my presentation.   I was thinking back to when I was a delegate at YLF back in 2007 and reflecting how far I’ve come as an individual and as a business owner.  I was so excited to give back, even a little bit, to this year’s crop of delegates.

 

             For this presentation I had the privilege of presenting alongside my good friend Alexis Nichols.   I met Alexis in 2013 when she participated in YLF as a delegate.   She has gone on to do some tremendous advocacy work around service animals and other areas in Virginia.   We were asked to do a presentation on all aspects of professional development for the delegates.  We spent many weeks leading up to the presentation refining and cementing our message so we could have maximum impact so the students could be better prepared to handle professional situations in the future.

 

             The topics we addressed in our presentation included subjects from what is supposed to go on a resume, how to find job applications and fill them out, to how to dress in an interview and strategies for all different forms of communication including, email, written, proper phone and voicemail etiquette, and how to communicate effectively on social media.  

 

We also touched on the importance of personal branding.   We told the students that it is vital to make sure that you have both business cards and an appropriate sounding email address, because you never know when you might come across someone to network with.   We also shared the importance of always dressing as if somebody’s watching because you never know if a first impression could lead to a positive or negative outcome for you.

 

 There was phenomenal discussion from both staff and delegates which made the presentation that much more rewarding.   I always love for my work to feel like collaboration rather than a solo act.   The presentation was very well received.   I was so grateful to have the students hopefully take away something that will help them in their professional careers.

 

 It is such a special feeling for me to be able to be part of this experience.   My YLF experience shaped my life and gave me a purpose.   For me to be able to hopefully give that feeling back to someone else has truly made everything come full circle.

 

 In addition to connecting with the delegates it was also great to reconnect with some of the staff members that I hadn’t seen for quite some time.  I follow what most of them are doing and they continue to do remarkable things. I view each of them as a partner in this fight towards complete disability inclusion.   Continue to strive to do amazing things and I will follow along on your journey with pride.   It was so great to reconnect with you.

 I had a phenomenal time providing this presentation and I hope that it is something that I will get to do again for future classes of the Virginia Youth Leadership Forum.   Thank you for the privilege of being a part of this remarkable experience.

 

 To the class of 2016 I challenge you to take what you learned over those four days and implement the skills back into your schools or your communities.   Continue to advocate and push for better outcomes for yourselves and others.   I cannot imagine what the future now holds for you, but I certainly look forward to all the amazing things ahead for you.   I will be watching.   Congratulations and good luck!

 

             If you’d like to learn more about the Youth Leadership Forum please visit the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities website HERE.  It is a life-changing program.

 

 Thank you for reading and please stay connected to us on our 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC   social media pages for more exciting updates.

 PHOTO: Matthew Presenting On professional development at this years Virginia Youth Leadership Forum

PHOTO: Matthew Presenting On professional development at this years Virginia Youth Leadership Forum

My Sensitivity Training for New Editions Consulting Inc.

On Thursday July 28 I made an early morning voyage to one of my most favorite places;  Washington DC.   What brought me there this time, you ask? Well, I had the opportunity, for the second time, to present my Disability Sensitivity Training to staff members of New Editions Consulting Inc.

 

            According to their website New Editions Consulting Inc. is “committed to enriching the lives of all people by providing premier program support services in the areas of health, disability, education and human services to government, non-profit organizations and commercial customers.”

 

 Last year, I was matched with Sheila Newman, New Editions’ President in a mentoring program.   Since then she has been a tremendous supporter in helping me establish 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC through connections and her resources.  She was the first person to give me an opportunity, which in turn led to my first paycheck, after 6 Wheels was born.   For that I am always grateful to her.

 

             This time she had me back to provide her new employees with my training to help them understand the disability community a little better.   My training covers, person first language, disability etiquette strategies, and suggestions on how to interact with individuals with all different types of disabilities.

 

              There were many great discussions and stories shared by me as well as the staff members who also had different disabilities.   These stories are always so rich and add such a unique perspective to this training. I thank everyone for their willingness to share their stories.

 

            This training is such an important tool to help us as a whole community to start to

break down some of the barriers and stigmas that surround disability and I am grateful to have a small part in that.

 

             I was happy that the training was well received and helped the staff feel more comfortable about disability.   I hope it is something that I can go back and do it again.   I want to thank all of the staff members for their attention and participation in the training.   I also want to, again, thank Sheila Newman for allowing me the opportunity to help her staff with some professional development.

 

If you would like to learn more about New Editions Consulting Inc. and the work they are doing to help individuals with disabilities and programs that help individuals with disabilities I encourage you to please visit their website HERE.  They are doing some truly amazing work.   Thank you for letting me hang out with you guys for a few hours.

 

             As always stay connected to 6 Wheels Consulting, LLC through all of our platforms to get the latest updates on what’s happening with me.   Some amazing opportunities are coming down the tracks.   Stay tuned!

 PHOTO: Matthew presenting his disability sensitivity training to New Editions Consulting Inc. staff

PHOTO: Matthew presenting his disability sensitivity training to New Editions Consulting Inc. staff