"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moving On

Just a reminder that I will be giving two presentations in Clare this Saturday, March 31st . The first will be on the Henson Trust and the second is entitled "Supported Decision Making and Legal Guardianship in Nova Scotia".

The event is graciously being hosted by the Clare ACL and wil be held at L'Atelier de Clare,
# 7711, Hwy 1, Church Point from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.

Next week, I take on the task of preparing guardianship papers for my own daughter. And then, then we will get back to some more posting here.

Always lots of stuff a'happening.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Fond Farewell to a Very Good Friend

Shortly after noting that writing has been light here, I stumbled across some very sad news. The man who started me blogging in the first place (known as your "blogfather" in the blogging world) died suddenly and very unexpectedly on March 6th.

I know that fact has nothing to do with either disability or the law, but I share it hoping you will understand when posting likely doesn't pick up any too quickly.

And because it only seems fitting in a way - there were two people, totally unknown to the other, whose actions resulted in the birth of this blawg and Lex was one of them. He got me blogging on The Flight Deck, which gave me a comfort level with the whole idea, so that although at first it sounded a little wacky when Blair suggested I start to blog on these issues, it wasn't out of the realm of the possible. Blogging, yeah, I knew how to do that.

It also goes to show, I suppose, that, like all of us, I have (or at least try to have) a life outside of disability issues, way outside of disability issues. Hopefully, we all have other interests or hobbies. Have them. The time we may get to spend on them, being an altogether different matter.

So as a little peak into the other side of my life ... my interest in flight and my love of reading various thriller books (particularly, at the time, those by Tom Clancy) ultimately led to my attachment to a very special blog written by, of all people, an American naval aviator.

I know ... who would have thought it?

But that man, I tell you, that man could write. And not only could he put you in the cockpit with the young aviator trying to manage his first night traps on a carrier, no matter what he spoke of or about, it almost always felt like he was speaking to you. Directly to you.

He wrote a lot on current events (aka politics), too and although we often didn't see eye to eye (his politics being somewhat to the right of mine), it was always done in such a respectful, logical, reasoned and reasonable matter that you couldn't help but listen and at least try to understand from whence he came.

And he was always open to a different point of view; discussions could become heated at times but he would never allow them to denigrate into anything even remotely resembling those hateful swear-filled debacles that anyone who has spent much time online is all too familiar with. Not in his house.

"Attack the message, if you must, but not the messenger", he would say. And "We're all friends here", he would remind us.  Yes, friends we all were.

After 6+ years I came to know Lex more than a bit, from email correspondence, from reading his blog and from blogging on The Flight Deck.  I came to know how much he loved his family, how much he loved his country. And what kind of man (and officer) he was. And I am very, very sad to see him gone.

Rest in peace, Capt. Carroll "Lex" Lelon, U.S. Navy, Ret'd. And, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.

I wish you knew my friend. Might I suggest you could do far worse than spending a few minutes reading this.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

So. All that being said, I came across this great article today, via Linked In, and I just had to share it with you.

Many (most, all?) of us are familiar with IPPs, no? And we know that the same documents in the United States are generally referred to as IEPs. Well, have you ever been motivated to write one yourself? Perhaps for your child's school? To, you know, help them meet appropriate outcomes and overcome their challenges?

Check out Gregory Branch's article entitled "If Schools Could Have IEPs..." and don't forget to read the additional "outcomes" set out in the comments. I needed a chuckle today. Perhaps you do too.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where I'm At ...

A friend recently pointed out that I haven't been posting much on the blawg. No surprise there, I knew that. But after giving it some more thought, I thought an explanation might be called for.

First things first, I have not given up on this blawg. I cannot imagine ever doing so ... strange as it may sound, it's my baby. I have been doing this for over 4 years now and will continue to do it for many more. Perhaps for as long as it's needed. Wouldn't it be nice to work myself out of a job? Well, a girl can always dream...

But the reason I've been posting less often recently is two-fold:
  • I recently took on some new temporary contract work. The work will only last a few months (and I'm pretty well half-way through it now) but it seems to be incredibly time-consuming. I'm actually enjoying the work (Learning Guide Facilitator for a portion of the Bar Admission Course - fancy way to say teacher/marker) but it seems to suck up the little "free time" I had. Fortunately, however, it won't be permanent.
  • Secondly, my work situation is in a bit of state of flux at the moment. Between now and the end of April I will be ending my work as a digester for the Barristers' Library - sadly, they have made the decision to get out of the publishing business. But on a practical level, that means I am trying to do as much work for them as I can at the moment. The well will soon run dry.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I feel bad about not posting as much as I would like (as I've said before, the problem I generally face is lack of time, not lack of material) but I am doing my best to keep the "Places To Be" section  in the sidebar up-to-date. So might I suggest that if/when you check in to see there are no new postings, you scroll halfway down the page and check out "Places To Be".  You might just be plesaantly surprised.

HACL has been (and continues to be) busy with a series of workshops for parents - personally, I am looking forward to the Circles workshop on Saturday, March 24th.  There will also be an "Emotions to Advocacy "workshop on April 21st (material from Wrightslaw - I hope everyone is familiar with that site).

I will be giving another series of presentations on The Henson Trust and Supported Decision Making and Legal Guardianship in Nova Scotia on March 31st, this time in Clare, so if you happen to live down that way, I would love to meet you!

And who could forget the Autism Awareness Centre's Workshop coming up April 13th and 14th.

And for something totally different (at least I've never seen such a thing before), a Big School" Here I Come! program will be held August 21 -23, with orientation on June 9th. For children with a physical disability or acquired brain injury (psst ... my experience is nobody sticks to those guidelines all that much - I would suggest giving them a call if you have a child with autism or intellectual challenges or ... you get the picture) entering elementary school in September 2012, the program is to give them a chance to work with a team of rehabilitation professionals on skills to increase their independence and prepare them for “Big School”.  Sounds cool... wish we had something similar when my two started school. Would you believe my youngest turned 16 today?  Where does the time go?

And that's just a taste of the items in the sidebar under "Places To Be". So please do check them out.

And hang in there with me ... we will be back! After all, where else would I go?