What a Crazy Few Weeks it has Been

6 Wheels Consulting has been on a bit of a whirlwind adventure over the last several weeks.  All of the meetings, trips, and presentations have helped to spread the word about common sense solutions to disability related issues, thus helping to spread the word about the mission of 6 Wheels Consulting.  This latest journey saw us hit two new states; Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon,  for two events and stay close to home in Virginia for two others.   Sit back and enjoy reading about what we have done to keep ourselves busy over the last few weeks.

            The first two events took place in Richmond Virginia.  The first presentation took place on October 20 when we had the privilege of presenting the findings of our recent common sense accessibility assessment at four of the public library facilities in Henrico County to the managers of all of the county libraries. This presentation allowed them to get a better understanding of how to make their facilities more accessible without breaking the bank while doing so. The conversation definitely seemed to hit home because, several weeks later, I saw most of the library staff at the grand opening of the new Libbie Mill library in our county.   During this event many of the librarians that I had spoken to came up to me and said that they have implemented some of the suggestions I made during my presentation. They even asked if there were any recommendations that I would make for the new facility. Having the librarians respect my opinion and my suggestions encourages me to continue to fight for the mission of 6 Wheels Consulting.

 

 PHOTO: Matthew presents the findings of his assessment to all county library stuff.

PHOTO: Matthew presents the findings of his assessment to all county library stuff.

 PHOTO: Matthew presents along with staff from Sportable about his experience as an athlete in the importance of being on a team.  This presentation was part of Suntrust's ADA 25 Celebration.

PHOTO: Matthew presents along with staff from Sportable about his experience as an athlete in the importance of being on a team.  This presentation was part of Suntrust's ADA 25 Celebration.

            Our next event took place on the following day; October 21, when we joined a Richmond area nonprofit called Sportable at Suntrust Bank headquarters in Richmond to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the event we networked at a fair with other disability and diversity related organizations in the Richmond area.  Following the fair I participated in a presentation where I talked about my experience as a Sportable athlete and the benefits that being part of a team and that organization have provided me.  It is my hope that this presentation shed light on our community and about a great organization with the hopes that they would help provide some financial support to Sportable.  This event also provided me the opportunity to meet with some really great connections that I feel could help me tremendously in the very near future.

 

            The following week, on October 25th, we flew to Boston, Massachusetts where we participated in an all day event with disability parent centers at the NEPACT Region One Annual Conference.  The purpose of this event was to educate these parent centers on how to incorporate youth with disabilities into parent center activities.  During the day we first sat on an eight-person panel that talked about our experiences as individuals with disabilities and how we advocated for ourselves growing up.  It was great to hear the stories of the other seven panelists about how they have been able to work with their disability and become successful members of society.  After we concluded the panel we broke up into table groups based on our disability type and provided the attendees with tips on how to incorporate the specific type of disability into their work at their parent center.  I was part of the group that discussed working with individuals with mobility impairments.  This event allowed me to network with parent advocacy groups from other great states.  These connections may now allow us to potentially provide services in some of these states that we have not previously reached.

 

 

 PHOTO: Matthew smiles for the camera as he awaits the start of the Youth involvement breakout strand at the NEPACT Region 1 annual conference in Boston Massachusetts.  A group of 8 panelist was there to discuss how the parent centers in region one could get more youth involvement in their projects.

PHOTO: Matthew smiles for the camera as he awaits the start of the Youth involvement breakout strand at the NEPACT Region 1 annual conference in Boston Massachusetts.  A group of 8 panelist was there to discuss how the parent centers in region one could get more youth involvement in their projects.

 PHOTO: The group of Young professionals who presented at the NEPACT Conference.

PHOTO: The group of Young professionals who presented at the NEPACT Conference.

 PHOTO: Annie Downing and I presented at the 2015 annual DCDT conference in Portland Oregon. Our presentation was about our journey to becoming strong self advocates.

PHOTO: Annie Downing and I presented at the 2015 annual DCDT conference in Portland Oregon. Our presentation was about our journey to becoming strong self advocates.

            Our last leg of this adventure took us to Portland, Oregon on November 4th where we presented along with our friend, Annie Downing from Virginia, at the 2015 annual Division of Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Conference.  Our presentation was titled “ The Journey of Two Youth Advocates to Success.“  This presentation covered our paths from when we participated in our first advocacy program to where we are today and all of the steps in between.  We also provided tips and suggestions as to how the audience members could implement some strategies that helped make us successful with their own students.  Our presentation was strongly attended by around 25 to 30 educators from all over the country and world.  I was very grateful for the opportunity to present with Annie and hope it is something we can do together again in the future.  After the presentation several audience members approached us about some potential opportunities in the future. Stay Tuned.

6 Wheels Consulting is very thankful for all of the opportunities that we have had very recently.   We will admit however, that we will enjoy some time at home without any big trips planned in the near future.  We are continuing to work on some very exciting things that could be coming down the pipeline very soon.  As always please stay connected to us on our social media platforms for up-to-the-minute updates.   For now, we rest, because man what a crazy few weeks it’s been.