”….I don’t know what I’d do without them!”Story Told by: United Way of El Dorado
Karen Patterson, an El Dorado resident and retired special education teacher, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis approximately 20 years ago. Over time she has come to require a very specialized seating system for her power wheelchair. The system is custom made by the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation in collaboration with United Cerebral Palsy.
The chair itself has tilt and recline features that allow Karen to re position herself in order to remain comfortable. Leg raisers allow her to improve circulation in her legs. Lateral supports help prevent scoliosis and keep her upright to facilitate breathing and digestion. A specially fitted seat cushion helps prevent pressure sores from developing. The chair provides Karen with the mobility she needs to make it to medical appointments as well.
Karen admits she is somewhat amazed by all the things the seating clinic has done to make her life easier and help assure her health and independence. Karen sums it up by saying ”I don’t know what I’d do without them!”. The seating clinic is funded in part by the United Way.
From grad to pro – Ashlea’s story
Ashlea describes herself as punctual, dependable, and reliable. Those who know her, including the CPRF School of Adaptive Computer Training staff, speak very highly of her positive attitude and strong work ethic.
We were first introduced to Ashlea when she began attending the SACT Business Fundamentals for Youth Program. Though the school originally opened for adults affected by the digital divide, we now partner with Unified School District 259 and Butler County Special Education Interlocal. Thanks to funding from supporters like you and contributions from the school districts, CPRF is able to offer morning and afternoon classes to help high school students like Ashlea earn high school credit and learn skills that enable them to pursue their college/vocational goals.
SACT staff looked forward to seeing Ashlea’s smiling face every day in class. Our classroom is ideal for students who use wheelchairs, walkers, or have other special needs. In addition to the fully accessible classroom, this unique program uses video conferencing equipment to connect with a remote learning classroom for students in Butler County.
Despite her diagnoses, Ashlea has not allowed autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to define or limit her.
In fact, Ashlea excelled in our program. “Ashlea had excellent attendance and a fantastic attitude,” said Aaron McAnarney, SACT instructor.
The respect was mutual. Ashlea appreciated Aaron’s support, saying, “He’s a sharp guy. If I got stuck on a hard problem, he would help me.”
Ashlea completed our program in May 2014, earning Microsoft Office Specialist Certifications in both Microsoft Word and Excel along with two high school credits.
But Ashlea was setting even higher goals for herself.
While attending the school district’s Chisholm Life Skills Center, Ashlea was able to use her new computer skills to participate in Project Search – a business-led high school transition program that gives students a year’s worth of work experience. This workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.
Ashlea’s training, internship experience, and determination to succeed resulted in a full-time employment offer at the Sedgwick County Treasurer’s Office. She takes public transportation to the courthouse every day and proudly passes through security wearing her badge. When asked what she is most proud of, Ashlea said, “I am most proud of graduating from Chisholm, receiving certifications from the SACT, and my full-time employment.”
When given the opportunity to learn and train in a supportive environment, Ashlea’s future changed dramatically.
“…my life is more comfortable and easier…”Story Told By: Ami, Daniel M. Carney Rehabilitation Engineering Center customer
“I just want you to know that I appreciate everything you do to make my life more comfortable and easier.”
“…Adult Day Services provides attention to her needs…”Story Told By: Brooke Seager
I feel confident sending Jessica to Adult Day Services even when she isn’t feeling well because of the nursing, rest area and attention to her needs. The PT and exercise, appropriate activities, sensory room, trips to the pet store, care, nursing staff are all appreciated.”
“… I needed to get back on my feet…”Story Told By: Rose Sells, CPRF employee and Timbers resident
“CPRF has played a very big role in assisting me in being independent. Being employed by CPRF and living at the Timbers came at a time in my life when I really needed that sense of independence that I needed to get back on my feet.”
“…Timber Lines has been a God-send to us…”Story Told By: A Timber Lines Transportation Services customer
“We’ve been using Timber Lines for transport to doctor appointments since Mrs. P became so fragile that we could no longer get her into and out of the car without injury to her or ourselves. Timber Lines has been a God-send to us.”
“…Quality takes time…”Story Told By: Joel Strain, Wheelchair & Posture Seating Clinic client.
“The Carney Center has played a vital role in allowing me to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Their thorough and personalized approach can sometimes require hours of waiting. Quality takes time.”
“…Her chair is her life…”Story Told By: Dinell Stuckey, Wheelchair & Posture Seating Clinic parent
“Brianna’s chair is her life. Without her wheelchair, we cannot access anything in her world or around the room. I can’t imagine her going to school all day without a specialized seating system.”
“…It’s just a joy to work with the clients and the staff…”Story Told By: Angie Norris, Sedgwick County Master Gardener and Adult Day Services volunteer
“We feel like we walk away with more than we came with. It’s just a joy to work with the clients and the staff.”