Yesterday morning, I was the keynote speaker for the closing session at the Missouri Rehabilitation Association 2008 annual conference. What a treat!
Folks, let me give you a little idea of what members of the MRA do...
Let's pretend you're a Missourian (and skip this step if you are, in fact, a resident of the Show-Me State). You become disabled or, for whatever reason, you've just never worked with the state. You and your disability go to Vocational Rehab, explain your disability and the counselor tells you what your next options are. He/she gives you a choice of a few different orgs which will do evaluation, testing and training, all in an effort to minimize the effects of your disability AND help you to become a productive, employable member of society.
Now, faithful reader, think what sort of personality it takes to work in this field?
Those who work in the field of rehabilitation are typically caregivers-they want to help, nurture and support others to accomplish the individual's goals. THIS is the kind of person I was humbled to work with through MRA. I'm tellin' ya...every single person I met had such a warm, comfortable and caring aura about them...I just wanted to give the entire audience hugs!
A very, VERY big thanks goes to Kim Vaughn from the Springfield Voc Rehab office for being such a great client (and for being just a sweetheart of a person). I'd also like to acknowledge Joe, Brian and Frank from A.O. out of Springfield, MO, as well. Faithful Reader, you could not find three kinder individuals if you went to the International Convention of Nice People! These three guys are precisely the types of folks who line the streets of heaven (at least, in my personal idea of heaven).
Thanks to all the counselors, providers and vendors who attended the MRA conference! And especially to all those who purchased books and took the time to chit chat with me afterwards. I'm truly humbled by what you do and how you do it!
(pictures coming tomorrow, don't worry!)