It was the third and final day of PA conference. Justin started with his Jeopardy session. The game was full of excitements and fun. Later, I conducted a session with Renee about âUsage and Reportingâ. Our users liked the idea of âReport Libraryâ and they were interested in the agency specific summary reports. I met Bonnie Scott, she is from Life Quest. I had the opportunity to talk to Bart, he is an IT guy. We had a discussion about a typical Payroll system in US.
We came back to NY in the evening. On my way, it was very pleasant watching some parts of frozen Hudson!
–Shawon, A S M Omar Faruq
The second day was more exciting. Sue started the morning session with her nice brainstorming and funny exercises. I attended a number of sessions like âworking with familiesâ, âmulti provider featuresâ, âcaseload and super roles for PAâ, âreporting and usage statisticsâ and âdemographic and individual data formâ. All the sessions covered several issues and ended up with good feedbacks.
I had interaction with some new users. They are great people and advanced Therap users. I met Amy (Supervisor, DDDS), she is a very nice person and has a great sense of humor as well. I met Jon (Enable Inc.) who has a good understanding about our system and configured all the access control stuffs according to their needs. I met Pam, she is from Red River Human Services Foundation â she is a very enthusiastic user.
The evening was full of funs. We went for dinner to an Indian restaurant with some PrimeCare folks â Christopher, Susan McGuigan, Jennette, Shannon and two others. These guys are very friendly as well as lively. We did lots of funs over there. This is the second time I had such wonderful âBangladeshi likeâ meal J
The conference has begun with lots of excitements. This is the first time I am attending a Therap conference here in US. Itâs a great feeling to meet the real users for whom we have been developing the system. Today, I met the users who were only known by names for years through their feedbacks! We discussed different modules and exchanged knowledge and got important feedbacks for future enhancements.
The users are a very big fan of Therap. I had some useful discussions with Steve (UCP of Eastern Connecticut), Christine (UCP of Eastern Connecticut), Andrew (Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat), Renee (The Resource Center, TRC), Darrel (Lincoln Self Reliance, Inc.), Dan & Hollie (Working On Life’s Fulfillment, Inc) and many others.
Today is the first day – a lot more is waiting out there!
I always prefer to walk for exploring new places. I did not hesitate to do so for exploring New York City!
Tanm and I went for a walk and visited many places just walking around. On our way, we spent some time in Central Park, Times Warner Center, Columbus Circle, Times Square and so on. The Times Square was very flashy in the evening with lots of lights and colorful neon signs.
The next day, I went to visit the Statue of Liberty. It was not a bad experience to explore subways alone and take a ferry trip to look around.
Justin Brockie, the Chief Operating Officer was with us on the way to Therap head office. He introduced us with other Therap people who were only known by names earlier. I discussed some statistical findings with Jim Kelly, the vice chairman of Therap Services.
I visited PrimeCare’s Wolcott Center and talked to different users of our system. It was a great experience to meet the users and watching them using the system. I received application feedbacks from the users. Thanks to Shannon for being with us all the times and for introducing with users. I was also carrying the GPS device with me to check whether it works inside the facility centers so that we could integrate GPS information in our system. Later we visited a group home and collected more feedbacks about the system.
Justin took us to a nice sub-continental restaurant and we got the chance to eat the lunch with our favorite foods again. We did a brainstorming session in our CT office with Maureen, Kara and Justin. In the evening, we returned back to New York by bus.
–Shawon, A S M Omar Faruq
It was a great day for learning several things. In the morning I visited different data centers and learned about the setups that I have been using for years. Later, we had sessions with Sue Swenson who was working with the federal government. From the session, I learnt many important concepts of MR/DD industries – specially the industry in USA.
In the evening, we arrived at Therap office in Connecticut. We had a wonderful dinner at Anatolia Restaurant – a Turkish Cuisine. For the first time after my arrival, I found the food that I like J
I saw snowfall for the first time! After the breakfast, we went to Springfield, NJ. I passed the second day discussing with the Operations Team about different scalability aspects and future improvement scopes of the applications. The brainstorming sessions were very fruitful. One of the important goals of the trip was to meet the Operations Team here in NJ.
It was a great experience for me to meet Drew Turock who is the Chief Software Architect of Therap Services. I also met other Operation Team members – Lisa, Ralph and Wai Nam. We resolved many technical issues those were pending for years!
–Shawon, A S M Omar Faruq
We arrived safely in New York at local time 7 in the morning. It was the longest journey I ever had. And for the first time, I experienced such low temperature (-2 Â°C) in my life! We were traveling in a group of three members. We directly came to our Chairman Richard Robbinâs guest apartment at Manhattan from JFK international airport.
I was trying to be awake for all the day to reduce the time zone transition impact.Â On the first day, we learned the conference schedule in details from our Chairman. I discussed and learnt about different statistics and data mining aspects of the database.Â The most challenging thing was to remain conscious and attentive for all the day long without a single nap
–Shawon, A S M Omar Faruq
Yesterday was the third and final day of Asia & Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) Conference. The day started with the session on âInternational Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesâ. Advocate Sultana Kamal, former Advisor of Bangladesh Government was the chairperson of that session. Mark Harrison, Director of International Disability Equality Agency, UK was one of the presenters of this session. He presented his paper on âLessons from Disability Research in Achieving Equalityâ. Basically this morning session was focusing on the Rights of the People with the Disabilities and discussion on various movements to protect their Rights.
I joined a concurrent session on âPeople with psycho-social and invisible disabilitiesâ. Here I learnt about deaf-blind person and about their communication and learning mechanism. Mr. Akhil Paul, Director of Sense International, India showed different mechanism to communicate with deaf-blind people. He told about a forth generation computer controlled finger spelling hand â called Robotic Alphabet (Ralph), for the improved access mechanism for the deaf-blind person with others.
I met Mr. Choi Won-Gyu, Professor, Department of public Administration and Social Welfare, Chonbuk National University, Korea in the concurrent session. Later I met Mr. Dipendra Manocha, Director, Daisy for All Project. He is a blind person. We discussed many aspects of web accessibility for a blind person.
In the afternoon, the closing session was wonderful. Finance and Planning Advisor of Bangladesh Government was the chief guest on that ceremony. There I met one of my school friends Arif, Senior Reporter of nTV, the most popular TV channel in Bangladesh. He came to cover the closing session. He informed me that we would be seen in the evening news on nTV.
At the end of the conference, I received a fine certificate of participation. It was a learning conference for me and I was very delighted to meet all the people with the disabilities who win this world by their strong will. I appreciate those people who work for the people with the disabilities.
More photos of the conference are available at
–A.S.M. Omar Faruq, Senior Software Engineer