For the past 10 years, Lockport, NY, has been host to the annual Beast of Burden Ultra Marathon. Traditionally, there is a 50 mile and 100 mile distance. The race starts in Lockport, through Gasport; and into Middleport. No, it isn’t that simple. Once you get to Middleport, you have to turn around and go back to Lockport. To get to 50 miles, you need to do this twice! Just imagine the 100 mile!
This year, it was my pleasure to crew for my brother, who ran the 50 mile race. It was his first 50 mile race, and my first time crewing such an event. There were runners from all over the United States. Obviously, most were driven and focused people.
As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” We were definitely prepared for this race. iPhones synced, so I could see exactly where we was at all times, fluids, snacks, salt tablets, sneakers, hats, etc. All coordinated to minimize the time he would need to stop.
In the end, he finished 3rd for the 50 mile distance. Not to bad for his first race! Congrats brother!
THERAP wrapped up it’s 2014 National Conference in Kansas City, MO last week. Every year the conference improves from the year before. From my perspective, this year seemed to be much better attended than the last few years. I think moving things from year to year is a smart move. I am glad I got to meet with the other certified trainers and look forward to working together on Moodle… until THERAP decides to develop their own distance learning module.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Nice! One of the problems we had is that when someones account was inactive, no one could see it unless the Provider Administrator reactivated the account. This required a call to reactivate, and a call to deactivate. Now users have the ability to look up inactive users, which is an amazing resource when dealing with employees that may have switched positions in the agency, or sadly, placed on leave for one reason or another.
Another new change in TMS is the ability to add certificates individually for each class session participant. Between their ability to access their own training profile and certificates for trainings, employees have full access to their training information. Yet another great time saver!
This weekend I got a small reminder of what it feels like when you are a “fish out of water.” While visiting my brother in Albany, we decided to go for a bike ride. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! Its been about 20 years since I have been on a bike. Not only did I need to regain my comfort on a bike, but I needed to be brought up to date on the new gear system for his bike. This was no Huffy on Mongoose (Do they even make that bike anymore?), it was lightweight Schimano road bike. Almost immediately, I noticed a difference, the turning seemed to be very sensitive; not like a heavier mountain bike. The gears were quite different. On the left side; there was a thumb toggle on the left to go into low gear. To go into high gear, you pushed the brake to the right. On the right side things were different the thumb toggle put you into a higher gear, while the brake would put you back into a lower gear. It took a while to get the hang of it.
If that wasn’t enough, it took very little effort to keep up with traffic. In a car, 30 mph is a snails pace. Try it with nothing to break your fall but the the gritty pavement beneath you.
Given my experience, I find it slightly insane that I am , in fact, researching a quality entry level road bike to continue this activity. Who knows, perhaps the Iron Man is in my future (Probably not, but a triathlon may be)
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a (wo)man’s determination. ~Tommy Lasorda
Each June, employees from voluntary agencies around New York State descend upon Keuka College for the annual Keuka Lake Conference. The conference, which has been operating for the past 31 years, selects one Direct Support Professional that has gone above and beyond in the performance of their job.
So this weekend I took an opportunity to refine our classes / courses / curricula in THERAP. Community Services has been using the Training Management System for about 4 years now. When we began using it, only a curriculum could be assigned to an employee. In addition to all of the “classes” that were listed under Curriculum, we also had a specific curriculum for every job title at the agency. As you can imagine, over time, this became quite unwieldy. Even though I use TMS daily; and am very familiar with its function, I was nervous. CSDD employees about 850 staff. If something were to go awry, it would create a nightmare to repair. After many hours, I was able to delete all the curricula and courses, create a few new consolidated courses that would work for a large number of employees and assign those courses to the staff. This is not to say their were not any glitches in my plan. For one, there were a handful of curricula that I was unable to delete without reassigning the classes that comprised the curriculum. The correction for this glitch requires looking at each employees class assignment and un-assigning the surplus classes. There were also a few group of employee’s that required a course other than the one I initially determined was the best fit. This was a simple correction. The moral of the story? Trust the plan, but prepare for pitfalls.
NYS to cut $240 Million from Voluntary Service Providers for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Please let Governor Cuomo and the NYS Assemby that these proposed cuts will decimate the program offered through the Voluntary and Not for Profit providers in NYS. Over the past three years, New York has cut almost 9% from these same programs, about $350 million. This current proposed cut would push already cash strapped agencies over the edge, requiring a cuts to programs that will directly impact services to the states most vulnerable citizens. The cuts to program and services will invariably create concerns in program quality and even potential Health and Safety risks as agencies are forced to prioritize increasing needs with diminishing resources.
All of this from the same Governor that spearheaded the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. This program was specifically designed to improve protections and the quality of care for the most vulnerable of New Yorkers. These two platforms are incompatible with each other. Please tell the Governor Cuomo that the proposed cuts are unacceptable if he truly believes in the ideals espoused by the creation of the Justice Center.
Follow the link below to sign a petition supporting the restoration of these cuts:
You can also contact your member by telephone:
1. Aileen Gunther, Chair of the New York State Assembly Mental Health Committee: 518-455-5355
2. David Carlucci, Chairmen of the New York Senate Mental Health and Disabilities Committee 518-455-2991
3. Senator Schumer : 1-202-224-6542 or email Senator Charles E. Schumer
4. Senator Gillibrand : 1-202-224-4451 or email Senator Kristen Gillibrand
5. Your Member in the House of Representatives: Call the Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Congress Members Office. If you don’t know who your Member of Congress is, ask the Switchboard operator or go to www.contactingthecongress.org and fill in your address to get the phone number and email of your representative.
6. President Obama: call the White House Comment Line at 1-202-456-1111 or the White House Switchboard at 1 202-456-1414. If the lines are busy, please keep trying! Keep hitting the redial button!
Tomorrow is Election Day. Make sure your voice is heard. If you havent participated in early voting in your state, do it tomorrow. Go into the booth informed. Selecte the candidate that you think will truely do the best job for America.
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison(wo)men because they are different from other (wo)men. ”
― Lyndon B. Johnson