Tag Archives: staff news

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

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Floyd is ADRS’s new software development manager

ADRS Computer Services recently promoted a familiar face to be the department’s new software development manager. Beverly Floyd assumed her post, previously held by Clay Weaver, on March 16. “Right now, I’m really serving dual roles,” Floyd said, “Not only am I taking over for Clay, I’m also still wearing my project management hat. I’m busy, but it’s also exciting. I’ll be working

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Board names Burdeshaw next ADRS commissioner (photo gallery)

The Alabama Board of Rehabilitation Services has appointed Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw to succeed Cary Boswell as ADRS commissioner. Boswell, who will be retiring June 30, has served in the department’s top spot since 2009. Burdeshaw has been with ADRS almost 20 years, having served as a SAIL case manager, vocational rehabilitation counselor, staff training and development coordinator, and most recently,

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VR counselors go back to basics at ‘Boot Camp’

For the third time in five years, VRS got back to basics with a special training course for new counselors. Approximately two-thirds of all vocational rehabilitation counselors have fewer than 10 years of service to the department, said James Myrick, VRS assistant commissioner. “With such a young counseling staff,” Myrick said, “we’ve devised a special 16-hour training course to ensure our counselors are

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ADRS celebrates 20 years of independence

Connie Brechin Gloria Crider Becky Fields Ann James Ronny McCall Fredonia Mobley Karen Nobles Sue Schulgin Lynn Shelton

Twenty years. Four commissioners. Six sites. The statewide commemoration of the department’s 20th anniversary kicked off Monday, Sept. 14, in Mobile and wrapped up two weeks later in Huntsville. Founding Commissioner Lamona Lucas made a special appearance at events in Mobile and Montgomery. Former Commissioner Winona Nelson spoke to the Montgomery group, and Former Commissioner Steve Shivers joined the celebration in

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Orientation welcomes new staff to the ‘family’

Family is a large part of our department’s culture, and the “Rehab Family” is a notion that’s familiar throughout the agency — all except, perhaps, our newest employees. This week, ADRS held a two-day training for approximately 40 of the department’s newest staff to help grow their knowledge of the history of the department and provide them with a thorough overview of its many programs. The training,

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20th anniversary celebration makes first stop in Mobile

The statewide celebration of the department’s 20th anniversary kicked off Monday in Mobile with a special appearance by Founding ADRS Commissioner Lamona Lucas. The six-part commemoration honors two decades since the creation of the department and recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of staff. The celebration with continue Friday, Sept. 18, in Dothan. Three anniversary celebrations are planned next week to occur

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Overstreet’s journey: from stay-at-home mom to Jackson CRS office coordinator

Before Jennifer Overstreet gave birth to her daughter, she didn’t give much thought to the many issues that families of children with disabilities face in the state of Alabama. Today, Overstreet is a far cry from where she was 25 years ago. Recently named the new office coordinator for the CRS office in Jackson, she oversees a small office of six

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New BEP director says future is bright

For 28 years, Lori Brady has witnessed Alabama’s Business Enterprise Program (BEP) grow to assist 100 blind vendors/small business owners with total gross sales of more than $25 million. As Brady settles into her new role as BEP director, she says she sees potential for much more. “What sets BEP apart from other programs,” she said, “is that we train and license our vendors to become independent

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Summit brings together partners in care

More than 200 attendees came to Prattville’s Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill Conference Center for the 5th annual Family Voices Partners In Care Summit, April 13-15. The yearly family/professional development workshop works to strengthen networks between families and care professionals and spotlights current challenges to developing quality systems of care for children and youth with special health care needs and their families

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ADRS welcomes newest staff to ‘the family’

Family. It’s a major component of our department’s culture, and the “Rehab Family” is a concept that is familiar to all ADRS staff – except, perhaps, our newest employees. Yesterday, ADRS Commissioner Cary Boswell, along with members of the Executive Leadership Team and shared services staff, welcomed the department’s newest staff into the Rehab Family at new employee orientation. The two-day

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‘A-Team’ tackles accommodations issues with cross-divisional approach

The Birmingham-area Accommodations Team – better known as the 'A Team' – discusses accommodations at their quarterly meeting.

The ADRS A-Team — that’s the accommodations team — isn’t taking pity or prisoners when it comes to helping all consumers achieve their maximum potential. The team’s innovative approach targets consumers with the most-significant disabilities, and cleverly uses creative solutions through rehabilitation technology to better prepare individuals for life at home, school, work, and in the community. If the concept sounds similar

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LTI completes third session

The 23 students of the Leadership Training Institute recently reconvened in Montgomery for the third session of the five-part intensive training program to develop better leaders within the department. Early in the week, members of the class visited the ADRS State Office to discuss their small group solutions projects with department leaders. The group also took another field trip  Wednesday to

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VR supervisors retreat to Columbiana for training

VR supervisors recently participated in a late winter retreat/training session at Alabama’s 4-H Center in Columbiana. The annual supervisor’s retreat allows VR supervisors to unplug from the day-to-day management of their offices around the state and plug into team-building strategies and reinvigorate their leadership skills. In addition to team building, the three-day training session also focused on group networking and creating and

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Needs Assessment findings presented to CRS

Children’s Rehabilitation Service received the needs assessment survey results from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on March 9. The in-depth survey is conducted every five years by agencies that receive money through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. “The purpose of the survey is to identify both the strengths and the weaknesses of our services,” said

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VR welcomes Akin, Stewart to new leadership roles

Two recent promotions find VRS staff members Craig Akin and Jean Stewart assuming new leadership roles. On Nov. 16, Akin replaced new VR Assistant Commissioner James Myrick as general VR state office administrator/director of special programs. Akin’s promotion left Montgomery’s VR office without a supervisor. That position was filled by Stewart, who moved into her new post Jan. 16. Akin

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SAIL staffer Autrey receives national leadership award

SAIL Rehabilitation Specialist Steve Autrey is this year’s recipient of the National Rehabilitation Association’s (NRA) Yvonne Johnson Leadership Award. Autrey received the award Nov. 1 at the NRA Annual Training Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Since 2001, the Yvonne Johnson Leadership Award has been given annually to an individual who is highly committed to issues concerning people with disabilities and the professionals who

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LTI preps next generation of leaders

The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services has always believed in promoting from within. The department’s commitment to that philosophy is even evident in the “Blueprint for the 21st Century,” which states that “we value leadership at all levels and we will … provide support and leadership development opportunities.” In keeping with that commitment, the department is preparing to launch the

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Dec. 1 paychecks to include bonuses for eligible employees

Most state employees can expect a boost in their Dec. 1 paychecks. The increase includes a one-time $400 bonus for state workers employed on Oct. 1 and continuously thereafter through Nov. 30. Taxes and other deductions will cut that amount to $249.40. That same check will also include the annual longevity bonus for state employees who have been with the

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Hiring of internal audit manager part of Boswell’s focus on accountability

  As part of Commissioner Cary Boswell’s strong emphasis on accountability, the department has hired an internal audit manager. Frank Snyder, who began work Aug. 1, comes to ADRS after nearly two decades with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “I’m really excited to be here,” he said. “There’s certainly a lot I need to learn about the

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Paperless electronic system securely manages time and leave

A new paperless time management system is currently rolling out to all Alabama state employees. The State Time and Reporting Terminal, or eSTART, is a program that automates the collection of employee time worked and leave usage. The eSTART system is designed to provide each agency with a real-time view of absenteeism and potential overtime impact, and manages and records

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