Author Archives: rickcouch41

Heroes Hub helps vets sharpen employment skills

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services partnered with Southern Union State Community College and others to host a Veterans Employment Workshop in Opelika earlier this month. The purpose of the program was to prepare veterans to receive an offer of hire at the upcoming Veterans Hiring Fair in the spring. The program focused on the current and future landscapes of

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ADRS, EASE, and Athens State host Transition Mentoring Day

Admissions Advisor Bethany Campbell is excited to give a history of the school and tour of its facilities.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Erica Allen Supported Employment (EASE), and Athens State University recently partnered to host Transition Mentoring Day for high school students with disabilities on the campus of Athens State. Some 200 juniors and seniors from Athens High School, Limestone County Schools, Brewer and Priceville high schools, and Decatur City Schools rotated in 50-minute sessions to

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Facebook Live series to spotlight ADRS programs

An exciting new opportunity for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services to spread its message took flight Wednesday, Jan. 23. Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw discussed some of the department’s services and programs during a live online broadcast with Alex Bimes of Alabama Care to outline some of the avenues that help people with disabilities achieve their maximum potential. The broadcast

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Floyd excited for the opportunity to lead ADRS IT department

A new face has stepped in to fill the shoes of recently retired Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services IT Director Dave Rainey. While her title is new, Beverly Floyd, who was previously a software development manager, is no stranger to ADRS. Floyd has been associated with the department since 1983 when her twin sisters began receiving services from Children’s Rehabilitation

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Lions partner with ADRS to construct wheelchair ramps

Everyone involved in the project did his part to make sure all the pieces were in place at the proper angles.

The missions of the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and Lions Club focus on improving the lives of Alabamians with disabilities, so it is only fitting that the two recently established a partnership. A presentation to the Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services by board member Dr. Stephen Kayes highlighted success stories that allowed club members and ADRS Rehabilitation Engineering and

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Awards ceremony celebrates Governor’s Committee success stories

The Alabama Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities and Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services conducted a statewide awards ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Alabama State Capitol. Governor Kay Ivey was on hand to congratulate the award recipients.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey was on hand to congratulate the honorees at the recent statewide awards ceremony at the Alabama State Capitol. T he annual event is sponsored by the Alabama Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. Ivey said state leaders are always looking for ways to provide more opportunities

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ADRS job seeker now helping others realize their work goals

Renika Baggage discusses job opportunities available at the Anniston Army Depot with an attendee during this year's Governor’s Job Fair for People with Disabilities in Huntsville.

There are many success stories highlighting the impact that the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and its programs can have on an individual. Renika Baggage, however, provides a look at how the recipient of these services can share his or her experiences to change the lives of others. Baggage attended the annual Governor’s Job Fair for People with Disabilities in

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ADRS board elects Williams new chairman

  The Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services will be under new direction in the coming year. During the Dec. 7 quarterly meeting in Montgomery, the board unanimously voted District 5 representative Eddie C. Williams as chairman and District 3 representative Penny Piland Foster as vice chairman. Williams said he has always taken his role on the board very seriously because

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BEP partner Misty Dawn honored for performance during storm surge

From left, Business Enterprise Program Business Specialist Darryl McCaul; Sodexo District Manager, Lexis/Nexis General Manager James H. Winkler; ADRS Business Enterprise Program Director Lori Brady; and Misty Dawn Enterprises owner David Talley pose for a photo after the awards ceremony. Misty Dawn earned the national “Spirit of Sodexo Award” and the Center for Domestic Preparedness 2018 “Government Services Segment Unit of the Year Award.”

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services’ Business Enterprise Program (BEP) has a long history of successful business operations and superior customer service.  Licensed blind vendors have been operating small businesses across the state since 1946 and achieving independence through self-employment. For almost 15 years, ADRS has partnered with Sodexo USA to provide dining hall services to the FEMA Center for

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Deaf Services strategic planning sessions shape plans for future

Members of the audience listen as Adams listen to Adams explain the next part of the process

  A series of ADRS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services strategic planning sessions has provided leadership with useful feedback for determining the direction of the program. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Coordinator Bedarius Bell said the meetings take place throughout the state every three years to allow leaders to receive input as they prepare their plans to move

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Two new transition programs now available through ADRS Lakeshore

This program will engage, educate, and equip high school and community college students with the skills they need for future employment.

The ADRS Lakeshore office is offering two new transition programs this fall. The E3 and SET programs are intended as supplements to the college prep and job readiness workshops offered each summer. E3 – which stands for engage, educate, and equip – launches Friday, Sept. 28, and provides high school and community college students with the skills necessary for employment, said

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Gadsden CRS office helps teen secure standing chair

From left, transition social worker Holly Edwards, Jason Simpson, Grayson, Lisa Ellis and Mike Oliver gathered for a quick photo after a successful test run and fitting.

Grayson Huffman could not contain her excitement recently when she arrived at the Gadsden Children’s Rehabilitation Service office to receive a new motorized standing wheelchair. Grayson, 17, a junior at Cherokee High School, has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. Thursday’s presentation of the new chair ended more than six months of paperwork, research, and second effort from the Gadsden

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ADRS helps Roberts give back with community garden

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Brittney Urquhart and Bill Roberts share a laugh during one of their recent meetings.

It is no surprise when Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services staffers make a difference in the life of a consumer. However, through their efforts, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Brittney Urquhart and Rehab Engineer Tim Driskell have literally helped plant the seeds for success in the lives of many in Sylacauga. The process began when consumer Bill Roberts, a former firefighter, fire

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ADRS launches 2018 United Way campaign with special event

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and United Way combined campaign kicked off Friday, Sept. 14, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. with a few new incentives. The special event, held in the State Office, featured food, fun, fellowship, and door prizes, along with presenters to explain how contributions to the United Way make a difference in the community. ADRS staffer

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Parent consultant uses Facebook to offer CRS families more convenient meeting options

Life, especially for parents, can become very hectic. For this reason, Jessica Havard, a parent consultant in the Children’s Rehabilitation Service office in Mobile, has explored new avenues through Facebook to make Parent Advisory Committee meetings more convenient. “I realized a lot of people my age are using technology, and often they are on their phone anyway,” she said. “I

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White Cane Day 2018 coming up in September

White Cane Day will be observed Saturday, Sept. 29, this year in Montgomery. Pictured are participants from the 2017 celebration as they march down the street with the use of their canes.

Alabama’s White Cane Day will be celebrated Saturday, Sept. 29, in Montgomery. The event, which is in its sixth year, will begin at 9 a.m. at the Alabama State Capitol building. Lenore Dillon, coordinator of vision rehabilitation therapists and orientation and mobility specialists for the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, said the opening ceremonies will include the Star-Spangled Banner, the

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SAIL staff offer training on eligibility, referral process

A special training is giving Children’s Rehabilitation Service staff a greater understanding of the department’s State of Alabama Independent Living(SAIL) Service. The training program, presented by SAIL state office staff members Marilyn Long and Lillian Butler, outlines the avenues used to improve the lives of ADRS consumers, including eligibility requirements and the process for referrals. Long, a specialist for the

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Soliday a success story for Ready to Work program

Shonna Soliday and ADRS Rehabilitation Specialist Denise Holmes discuss discuss the success of the Ready To Work program.

With a strong support system, a lot of hard work, and a positive attitude, Shonna Soliday has paved the way for others to find success through the Ready To Work (RTW) program. Soliday, with assistance from Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Dena Dodd and E.H. Gentry, recently became the first student with vision loss to complete the program and secured a position

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Holloway brings experience, understanding to CRS medical consultant post

Sharon Henderson, a parent consultant in the Opelika CRS office, and new CRS Medical Consultant Dr. Albert Holloway listen during the recent statewide meeting of the Parent Advisory Committee.

Dr. Albert Holloway has joined the Rehab Family as a medical consultant for Children’s Rehabilitation Service. Holloway, who joined CRS through a contractual agreement with Medicaid, is available to respond to medical concerns generated from staff, families, and providers of CRS services. CRS Director Melinda Davis said she is delighted to have Holloway available to serve as medical consultant. “He

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Students complete inaugural College Quest program at AU

The participants mixed water, glue, and other items together to make the solution come together.

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services’ new College Quest program for students with vision loss conducted its initial session on the campus of Auburn University June 16-29. Twelve high school students from around Alabama worked with resident assistants to complete several intensive, hands-on workshops designed to develop and improve independent living skills. The two-week camp offered a full day of

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Deaf Services consumer ready to hit the road after earning CDL

Woodle poses with his support staff, which included Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Quentin Morris, far left

An exchange of smiles and a fist bump between newly certified truck driver Joey Woodle and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Quentin Morris allowed both to celebrate a huge milestone Wednesday, May 9. Woodle, who is deaf, realized a lifelong dream moments earlier by passing his driving test and earning a commercial driver’s license from the Central Alabama Community College’s Truck Driver

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