Motivational Monday: Expectations

The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better. (Barbara Pletcher)

Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you examine your expectations.

PS: Remember to hold the one’s you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations)

What's Wrong Wednesday Village Inn












As you can see, this space is striped for general parking and accessible parking.  This restaurant changed the location for its accessible parking spaces but the striping company did not remove the old accessible parking striping, so cars didn’t know what to do.

“We make progress in society only if we stop cursing and complaining about its shortcomings and have the courage to do something about them.” (Living With Death and Dying, 1981).

Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you explore the choice to curse and complain or to do something that makes a difference in your life and the life of others.

PS: Remember to hold the one’s you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations).

“Olmstead is not just where you live, it’s how you live.” (Labor Secretary Tom Perez)

Olmstead, or Olmstead v. LC, is the name of the most important civil rights decision for people with disabilities in our country’s history. This 1999 United States Supreme Court decision was based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Supreme Court held that people with disabilities have a qualified right to receive state funded supports and services in the community rather than institutions when the following three part test is met:

  • the person’s treatment professionals determine that community supports are appropriate;
  • the person does not object to living in the community; and
  • the provision of services in the community would be a reasonable accommodation when balanced with other similarly situated individuals with disabilities.
Sue, Lois, and Elaine

Sue, Lois, and Elaine











The Olmstead lawsuit started with two women from Georgia named Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson who both had diagnoses of mental health conditions and intellectual disabilities. Lois and Elaine found themselves going in and out of the state’s mental health hospitals dozens of times. After each stay in the hospital, they would go back home; but then, because they did not have help at home, they would start to struggle again and would have to go back to the hospital to get help again. Lois and Elaine asked the state of Georgia to help them get treatment in the community so that they would not have to go live at the state mental hospital off and on. The doctors who treated Lois and Elaine agreed that they were capable of living in the community with appropriate supports. However, Lois and Elaine ended up waiting for years for their community-based supports to be set up.

Sue Jamieson, who was an attorney at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Lois (and then later added Elaine) for supports to be provided in the community. The lawsuit, which is known as “Olmstead v. L.C.” or “the Olmstead decision,” ended up going to the highest court in the country, the United States Supreme Court. The name Olmstead comes from the name of the Defendant in the case, Tommy Olmstead, who was the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

The Supreme Court agreed with Lois and Elaine. The Court found that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or “the ADA,” it is against the law for the state to discriminate against a person based on his or her disability. The Court said that the state discriminated against Lois and Elaine by requiring them to live in a mental health hospital. It should have instead provided services for them in the community. By confining them in the hospital, the state was segregating them by requiring them to live with others with disabilities. The Court said that people with disabilities like Lois and Elaine have the right to receive the treatment they needed in an integrated setting if that is what they want, if their doctors agree, and if it doesn’t fundamentally change how the state provides services to people with disabilities.

The key findings of the US Supreme Court were:

  • “A public entity shall administer services. Programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” 28cfr§35.130(d) (the “integration mandate”) this is the Discrimination!
  • “A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, or procedures when modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination. Unless …modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity.” 28 cfr §35.130(b)(7)
  • “Institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuates unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life.”
  • “Confinement in an institution severely diminishes the everyday life activities of individuals, including family relations, social contacts, work options, economic independence, educational advancement, and cultural enrichment.”


Persons with:

  • Mental illness
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Cognitive disabilities


  • State hospitals for mentally ill
  • State centers for developmental disabilities
  • Nursing homes for anyone
  • Others

Olmstead shifted the question from “should people with disabilities live in the community” to “how and when to provide programs and services in the community.”

Note:  Some Center’s for Independent Living in North Dakota are seeing this trend as a way to prevent nursing facility residents the opportunity to return to independent living in the community.


Full guardianship is most frequently recommended for people with disabilities as they enter adulthood over other less-restrictive options, a new survey suggests.

Several options exist to help people with disabilities manage their affairs in adulthood. Full guardianship or conservatorship — where a court appoints an individual or organization to make decisions on behalf of a person — is the most comprehensive. More limited guardianships where a court determines that an individual only needs assistance managing certain aspects of their life are also possible as is a method called supported decision-making whereby individuals with disabilities retain control over their choices, but rely on trusted friends, family or professionals to aid them.

Researchers used an online survey to ask more than 1,000 parents and over 150 people with disabilities across the country what they were told about these options during the transition process.

When presented with information from school officials, full guardianship was recommended in 84 percent of cases while supported decision-making was suggested just 16 percent of the time, according to findings reported this month in the journal Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities.

Meanwhile, adult services providers mentioned full guardianship 79 percent of the time and supported decision-making in 22 percent of cases, the study found.

Survey responses suggested that full guardianship was recommended no matter the person’s disability or the level of classroom inclusion they experienced in school.

The study authors — which included disability advocates with TASH, the American Civil Liberties Union, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and The Arc of Michigan — said that their findings point to a need for education about the variety of options that exist to assist adults with disabilities.

“People who have a disability may express their preferences/choices/decisions in nontraditional ways,” the researchers said. “Any legal system or proceeding that deprives an individual of the right to be accommodated and supported in choosing and making decisions and appoints a substitute decision-maker based on a test of capacity makes that person vulnerable and deprives him or her of the right to self-determination and other civil liberties.”

Never neglect the little things.  Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word of praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do.  I does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you.  You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities.  You are special.  Act it.  Never neglect the little things.  (Og Mandino)

Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you look at what you are delivering.

PS: Remember to hold the one’s you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations).


Google Putting Up Millions For Disability Initiative

Google announced this week that it will provide millions of dollars in funding to groups that are using technology to change the lives of people with disabilities. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Google announced this week that it will provide millions of dollars in funding to groups that are using technology to change the lives of people with disabilities. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Google is looking to address the needs of a billion people with disabilities worldwide and it’s putting big bucks behind the effort.

The Internet search giant said this week that — the company’s charitable arm — is offering up $20 million to nonprofits “using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities.”

As part of the initiative dubbed “The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities,” the company is also asking people with disabilities to suggest problems that they would like to see addressed with the grant money.

Google has already committed funding to two groups — the Enable Community Foundation which links people needing prosthetics with volunteers who use 3D printers to create them at no cost and World Wide Hearing which will use the funds to develop a low-cost kit to detect hearing loss using smartphone technology.

“The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities will seek out nonprofits and help them find new solutions to some serious ‘what ifs’ for the disabled community. We will choose the best of these ideas and help them to scale by investing in their vision, by rallying our people and by mobilizing our resources in support of their missions,” Jacquelline Fuller, director of, said in a blog post.

Alongside the monetary commitment, Google said it will work to ensure accessibility of its own products and add new offerings that benefit people with disabilities. The company cited its work developing self-driving cars as well as Liftware, a utensil designed to help people with hand tremors eat more easily, as examples of its existing work in this space.

“Historically, people living with disabilities have relied on technologies that were often bulky, expensive and limited to assisting with one or two specific tasks. But that’s beginning to change,” Fuller wrote. “Together, we can create a better world, faster.”

Advisers for the new project include autism self-advocate Temple Grandin and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

As if the odds are not bad enough to get run over in a parking lot, to get inside you have to go through the drive thru lane.  This fast food restaurant also has incorrect accessible parking signage.

What's Wrong with this picture drive thru

Boy Scouts Accused Of Kicking Out Teen With Asperger’s

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An Illinois couple is suing the Boy Scouts alleging that their son with Asperger's syndrome was improperly dismissed from the group. (Marcus Yam/Seattle Times/TNS)

An Illinois couple is suing the Boy Scouts alleging that their son with Asperger’s syndrome was improperly dismissed from the group. (Marcus Yam/Seattle Times/TNS)

The parents of a Hanover Park, Ill. boy who has an autism spectrum disorder are suing the Boy Scouts of America Northwest Suburban Council for what the lawsuit calls the “improper and illegal” revocation of the child’s membership.

Brian and Deborah Smith say in the lawsuit, filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, that their teenage son has Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder that affects language and behavioral development in children.

According to the suit, their son was a member for more than seven years and a patrol leader in the Northwestern Suburban Council Troop 399, but last July, the family received a vague notice from the council revoking his membership.

“Without warning or any effort to complete the steps set forth in the BSA publications, on July 22, 2014 Plaintiffs received a notice from Boys Scouts of America that (the boy’s) membership in BSA was revoked effective immediately,” the lawsuit said. “The notice did not articulate any reason why the termination was made other than that ‘information was received which ‘compelled us to revoke your son.’”

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith issued the following statement:

“We were only recently made aware of this suit, but we will closely review this matter and respond appropriately. While we can’t immediately discuss this matter, I can tell you that the BSA works to accommodate the needs of Scouts.”

In a phone interview Monday, the boy’s parents described feeling surprised upon receiving the letter.

“Our family has been very involved in Scouts for years,” Brian Smith said. “They talk about how to deal with discipline, policy and procedures; they don’t just send letters completely out of the blue.”

According to the lawsuit, the boy, identified therein as “P.S.,” suffered from “severe emotional distress” and needed counseling services.

“He was completely devastated,” Deborah Smith said. “It took a long while to get over the hurt. It was a huge hole in who he was. All of his goals were around Scouts. He had been doing it since first grade.”

The boy, “who loves the outdoors and scouting,” is currently working on a farm, his father said.

The suit cites the Boy Scouts of America’s “Guide to Working with Scouts with Special Needs and Disabilities,” which states that there must be “preestablished consequences for misbehavior for all Scouts.” The guide also requires that “the discipline fits the offense and is not unduly harsh.”

The Smiths are seeking further explanation on the circumstances that led the council to strip their son’s membership and that the decision be overturned.

© 2015 the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Motivational Monday: Living fully

Live fully as if you only have one minute left: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Live that last one minute of your life without fear or regret.  This is a powerful way to live – fully alive!!

Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you live fully alive!

PS: Remember to hold the one’s you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations).

Living Fully and Letting Go (Psychology Today)

Living Fully and Letting Go (Psychology Today)

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