Author Archives: rickcouch41

Summer transition programs pave the way for future success

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and its partners have had a busy summer conducting transition programs throughout the state to help students prepare for life after high school. These programs have provided hands-on lessons designed to develop and improve employment and independent living skills for teens and young adults with disabilities. The agenda differed from place to place, with

Read more

SAIL and Carpenters for Christ partner for life-changing projects

The partnership between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Service’s SAIL/Homebound program and Carpenters for Christ has had an enormous impact on River Region residents. The crew was in action again Monday, Aug. 5, when they constructed a 68-foot ramp for a consumer in Montgomery. The ramp, Carpenters for Christ co-founder Glen Baggett said, was their largest project to date. Fortunately,

Read more

ADRS celebrates the 29th anniversary of the ADA

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Montgomery Area Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities invited other state agencies and friends to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act Thursday, July 25. The group gathered in the fourth-floor conference room of the ADRS 560 S. Lawrence St. building to celebrate this important

Read more

ADRS Lakeshore celebrates a new beginning

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services’ ADRS Lakeshore office officially welcomed the public Friday, July 26, by cutting the ribbon at its new complex at 201 London Parkway in Birmingham. Visitors had an opportunity to tour the 16,000-square-foot building, which will provide an extra 2,000 square feet of space for the more than 30 staff members. The building features two

Read more

ADRS staffers shine at AL-APSE Conference

During the most-recent Alabama Association for Persons In Supported Employment (AL-APSE) Conference, two members of the ADRS staff were honored for their service. Rachel Hughes earned the Brenda McComb Leadership Award, and Mobile Vocational Rehabilitation Service Field Supervisor Beth Hanks earned the President Award. Both were honored at the awards banquet, which took place at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel &

Read more

Fussell fuels Faulkner students’ desire to achieve their goals

For years, Faulkner University Director for the Center of Disability Services Nichole Fussell faced an uphill academic battle. Now, she is able to promote the services that helped her earn college degrees and open doors for others facing similar challenges. Unlike some students with learning disabilities, Fussell was able to push through high school and enter college before she realized

Read more

Readers relay news articles to blind and low-vision listeners

Keeping up with the latest news and events in the River Region can sometimes be a challenge for blind or low-vision residents. Fortunately, a partnership between the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Troy University’s WTSU public radio ensures that listeners can stay informed of what is happening in the Montgomery area. The Radio Readers, a group of volunteers who

Read more

Caldwell excited about opportunity to lead CRS

For Children’s Rehabilitation Service Director Cathy Caldwell, her new position with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has seemed more like the next step than a major change. Caldwell, a Prattville native who spent the last 12 years as director of the Bureau of Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) with the Alabama Department of Public Health, said the switch to the

Read more

Lanzi provides words of wisdom to 2019 YLF delegates

The 21st Youth Leadership Forum recently concluded another successful session. Sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the five-day event seeks to equip high school students with disabilities with valuable leadership skills through sessions on self-esteem, career exploration, technology, independent living, and etiquette. Other sponsors of this year’s camp included the Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with

Read more

Project SEARCH concludes 2019 sessions with graduation ceremonies

Project SEARCH recently conducted graduation ceremonies throughout the state. Interns in Alabaster, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Albertville, Birmingham, Anniston, Montgomery, Mobile, Fort Payne, Baldwin County, and Decatur were honored throughout the month of May for completing the business-led transition program for students with significant disabilities. Project SEARCH provides high school students an opportunity to explore careers and develop transferable job skills, while

Read more

ADRS hosts meeting introducing Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side program

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Alabama’s Early Intervention System hosted the Alabama Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side kick-off meeting Friday, May 17. Throughout the day, those in attendance learned about Hands & Voices and how to provide non-biased support for the families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information on the

Read more

Nothing can slow the success of Stephens

Don’t let her size and sometimes quiet nature fool you. Dothan resident and Rehobeth High School senior Whitney Stephens is a fighter. Stephens has never let any obstacles hold her back, including 27 surgeries and 50 overall procedures. Through it all, she pushed forward and remained an honor student. In December of 2018, Stephens was recognized as the Alabama Department

Read more

Gadsden and Anniston CRS offices participate in Special Olympics

Six staff members from the Children’s Rehabilitation Service offices in Gadsden and Anniston were excited to again participate in the Etowah County Special Olympics at the Gadsden City Football Field along with hundreds of athletes. The group has been a part of the Etowah County Special Olympics for more than 10 years. The crew manned four activities at their tent

Read more

Opportunities abound at Huntsville career fair

Job seekers were eager to showcase their skills at the annual Ability Career Fair on Friday, May 3, at Redstone Federal Credit Union in Huntsville. The fair, which was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Huntsville Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, and Phoenix Industries connected employers and individuals

Read more

Partners in Care Summit an eye-opening experience for participants

Family Voices of Alabama and the Family to Family Health Information Center, along with Children’s Rehabilitation Service, opened the annual Partners In Care Summit at the Marriot Legends Conference Center in Prattville earlier this month. Day 1 of the two-day event was dedicated to youth and family members, while the second day offered those in attendance an opportunity to visit

Read more

Focus groups help ADRS Lakeshore plan for the future

Staff from the ADRS Lakeshore office recently spent a week traveling the state to conduct a series of focus groups. The groups, made up of Vocational Rehabilitation Service staff, provided input that will be used in a restructuring effort to address the growing demand for the office’s programs. Program Evaluation and Development Specialist Samantha Wadsworth said Lakeshore has grown beyond

Read more

Blind and Deaf Services conference draws big numbers to the beach

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services held its Blind and Deaf Services staff training conference at Gulf State Park in mid-April with plenty of enthusiasm and excitement. This was the first time a combined training of this format had been conducted, which led to the theme “Hand in Hand, We Can Make a Difference.”

Read more

Davis reflects back on ADRS career

For Melinda Davis, the success she has achieved with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has been based not only on the knowledge she gained on the job but also on a strong family and spiritual support system. Davis, who was honored with a retirement coffee Monday, April 29, has dedicated decades of her life to helping children with special

Read more

ADRS staff, families join in Child Advocacy Day at the Capitol

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Alabama State Capitol in early April to celebrate Child Advocacy Day. The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services was well-represented, with staff, supporters, and families lending their voices to those advocating for a number of programs for Alabama’s children. After the ceremony, ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, EI State Coordinator Betsy Prince, and several

Read more

James family is a true EI success story

Despite her tiny frame, Kinsley Grace James is an unstoppable force. After being born at 28 weeks and weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces, the now 2-year-old has made consistent strides through services from Alabama’s Early Intervention System (AEIS). The road to progress has certainly run into its fair share of obstacles, but Kinsley’s mother, Ashly James, said her daughter does

Read more

STEM-finity Wars launches 2019 campaign in Mobile

Students from the Mobile area gathered at Bishop State Community College in late March to participate in STEM-finity Wars. The Marvel Universe-themed event, which was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, is an interactive transition program that provides valuable information, resources, and experiences to eighth- through 12th-grade students who are

Read more

Youth consultant to compete in Ms. Wheelchair Pageant

Sarah Williams is seen here offering advice to a prospective college student during last summer's YLF program.

The River Region will be well-represented this weekend when CRS Youth Consultant Sarah Williams travels to Huntsville to participate in the Ms. Wheelchair 2019 pageant. Williams will spend two days in the Rocket City to compete for the crown. She said she was urged to compete by fellow CRS youth consultant Courtney Adams and received further encouragement from coworkers Kim

Read more

Mobile VR participates in Mardi Gras Festivities

The ADRS Mobile Vocational Rehabilitation Services office had a chance to combine revelry and raising awareness for their programs Thursday, Feb. 28, by participating in The Mobile Arc Association of Reveling Cavaliers Mardi Gras Parade. Several staffers manned the float, while others provided support and spread the word about their mission by visiting spectators. Everyone left with a smile on

Read more

Active-shooter training opens eyes to the importance of planning

When it comes to active-shooter situations, preparation is the key. During a Tuesday training session, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services employees received valuable information on how to deal with emergency situations from Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Bureau Commander for Special Investigations and Operations and SWAT team leader Randy Pollard. Pollard outlined a plan that encouraged participants to run, hide, or

Read more
« Older Entries