Supported Employment Works!

by pathforward June 18, 2021
12:00 PM
  By: Pamela R. McDaniel Work gives individuals a sense of purpose and self-worth. For many, it defines who we are, and how we fit into society.  Work helps improve individual and family finances, and it helps us connect socially. All individuals, regardless of disability, deserve the opportunity to be full members of their community where they can live, learn, work and play at every stage of life their life. We are so proud of the people we support!  Our supported employment specialist serve to help individuals find and maintain gainful employment in the community to create more fulfilling lives for themselves.   Larry – A Natural Born Worker Day one of working at Moon Dumpsters, Larry’s supervisor was so impressed with his work, that he contacted the head owner.  Larry’s supervisor reported to the owner, that Larry not only did his job, but he took the initiative to complete other task without being told.  The owner askes to speak with Larry, and gave him the highest compliment telling him, “Larry, I’ve heard nothing but good news about you.  You are the best worker we have hired in a long time.  Keep up the good work!”  Having this job makes Larry feel more independent, and responsible.  “I am working to build my finances, and put my life back together so that I can get a place of my own.  I feel blessed to have a job”, Larry stated.  Regardless of what his background looks like, Larry decides to seek help, and move forward to better himself, and become a productive member of society.   Austin – Gaining Confidence and Building Skills Austin has been employed at his first job at Goodwill for two months. Austin is diagnosed with Autism and suffers from anxiety, especially in unfamiliar places. Supported employment orientation/training helped him to have a good start with his job assignments.  Austin’s supervisor is pleased with him and his work. Recently, she stated, “Austin is wonderful and a pleasure to have. Everyone loves him and he keeps all of us laughing. He is phenomenal!" Austin enjoys his job and is happy that it is a great fit for him.  Working has improved Austin’s ability to socialize with co-workers, and build relationships that he would not have otherwise had.   Lana – First Job to Independence Stuffing from a traumatic brain injury, Lana was total hands on when she came to the supported employment program.  She started her first job at Marshall’s about six months ago, requiring prompts, redirecting, and constant supervision.  After working with the employment specialist, we are happy to report that Lana is completing her task without being told.  She has taken on more job task at work, allowing her to realize how much she can learn and do on her own.   Supported employment is about helping people with significant disabilities enter or re-enter the labor force.  Individuals who participate in our supported employment program are encouraged, equipped, and empowered in the gifts, and talents God has placed in them.  We pride ourselves on seeing ability, and not disability!

3rd Thursday Social Club is Back!

by pathforward June 15, 2021
11:37 AM
By Cheryl Steenerson, PFK Bluegrass Region Coordinator As 2019 rolled in, I began to realize just how few opportunities existed for our adult consumers to socialize and make new friends, after they left school. That’s when the 3rd Thursday Social Club was born. Though PFK started it, we only organize and execute it, because we wanted to open it up to all adult IDD folks in the Bluegrass area. Any adult on the Waiver can attend, along with their staff. Though 2020 got hijacked from us, 2019 saw lots of fun activities and attendees. On the 3rd Thursday of each month we would gather for a meal and a fun afternoon activity like visiting the Bluegrass Airport Museum, touring Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory, The Movie Tavern, 3D printing, pizza and bowling, crafting and painting. Each event is kept low cost and each participant pays their own way, if there is a fee. Now that 2021 has arrived, we already have one done! On Thursday, May 20th, the group met at the Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort for an outdoor picnic and tour of the grounds. It was a perfect day with plenty of sunshine and even a light breeze! Participants brought their own lunch and then followed the map to see numerous astounding works, complete with information signs explaining the work and the artist. Everyone had a blast! Several of the pieces were interactive and invited the participants to touch, climb and even sing within them. The park is a nonprofit that runs on donations. A golf cart is available for use for those with mobility issues. They also have classes and events, both day and night, to introduce visitors to a variety of art and even understanding the night sky! Many events for 2021 are in the works including Shaker Village (Harrodsburg), The Living Arts & Science Center (Lexington), lake fishing (Richmond) and the River Cruise (Frankfort). Suggestions for events are encouraged from the participants. 

DSP Honorable Mention Award at the Annual KAPP Conference!

by pathforward September 13, 2019
11:00 AM
Path Forward of KY nominated Dejuana Trumbo for the DSP of the Year award for the annual KAPP (Kentucky Association of Private Providers) confernece. Dejuana was selected as one of 8 honorable mentions.  Dejuana is an excellent DSP who has served in our field for 10 years, the last 4 being with Path Forward. Dejuana’s quality of care is unmatched, according to guardians and supervisor. Dejuana typically works long hours with two participants, helping them progress goals daily. The CLS participant has gone from a service life to a full community life, in less than 4 years. As her own guardian, this participant needed to learn to read, manage money, cook, get her driver’s license and manage a home. She has succeeded in all goals! After learning about healthy relationships, the participant found a life partner and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last year. Dejuana guided her through her pregnancy, from parenting skills to visiting her at the hospital (50 miles away), during the birthing process, on her own time. To say this DSP goes above and beyond the call of duty is an understatement. A shy young lady, unsure of herself in every way, the participant blossomed into a woman with a life and family thanks to the hard work and caring heart of Dejuana. Her 2nd participant is noncommunicative, and requires assistance with all ADLs. Confined to a wheelchair and on a pureed diet, this participant enjoys listening to music and going outside on nice days. Prior to Dejuana coming into their lives, the guardian was the sole caregiver. The number of positive accolades from mom on Dejuana could fill a book! Mom has felt comfortable enough to restart her social life, after 25 years! The participant has had zero care issues and laughs with joy every day. Dejuana Trumbo is truly a gifted Direct Support Professional that succeeds in making a positive difference in the lives of her participants every day of service.

Creating a Beautiful Space!

by pathforward August 19, 2019
08:00 AM
Creating a Beautiful Space! By Tammy Ritchie and Eric Fitzpatrick  Creating a beautiful space is hard, especially when starting from scratch! Eric’s new home needed a garden, according to Eric because he loves watching things grow. The space was cleared, supplies purchased and the work begun. Eric learned how to use pruners, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow. It was hard work and Eric never complained. He choose the plants and put them in place. A bird feeder and bath was added for feathered friends to enjoy. Eric loves maintaining it and the new garden, after creating such a beautiful space! By Jo Grayson When I was a college professor teaching English composition courses at Eastern Kentucky University, I never put much thought into what some of my students called “green therapy.” My students would enthusiastically write about the benefits of extra recess time in elementary school as many of them would go on to become teachers of young children who need to have that time outdoors. As I would read on my own, I would read the many benefits of “green therapy" even for adults who have several disorders ranging from Attention Deficit Disorder to Depression. So when Chelsea and her friend Eric asked if I would help them build a garden, I was happy to oblige. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to learn, not only about growing your own food, but also to be able to use these plants in the kitchen. As a project my consumer and I were able to learn many things, including what building materials are required to build a raised flower bed. Together, we were able to choose a design we liked from Pinterest and have some professionals help us with using the heavy equipment required. We were able to look at prices to build the most cost effective space. Chelsea and I were able to learn how long it takes to build such a garden. She and Eric were able to choose what plants they wanted to grow. We learned about planting things too early or too late and what effects wildlife can have on a garden. We also learned about soil and fertilizer. After the garden was built they picked out what they wanted to grow, we were able to plant herbs and some vegetables. All in all, this project has helped Chelsea learn new things as well as being a fun project that will benefit Chelsea for years to come, as we learn each year from trail and error.

A College Graduate!

by pathforward August 12, 2019
08:00 AM
  Denise Knight and Teresa Lonkard   Paulette has always been passionate about learning and about achieving her goals. When she learned about the College Connections program through Down Syndrome of Louisville with a partnership with JCTC, she knew she wanted to be a part of it. On May 23, 2019, after almost 3 years of hard work and determination, Paulette celebrated graduating college at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Paulette enjoyed taking part in classes including Life Skills, which she attended with several of her peers. She then chose a variety of integrated courses including African American Music History, Drawing, and History of Rock and Roll. She reported that she loved her music classes and learned a lot. After giving a speech during her ceremony about what graduating meant to her, she celebrated her accomplishment with her family home provider and her siblings. She said it was a “great day” and she was sure to let all of her friends know about her graduation. Paulette shared that her mother had always told her that she could graduate college and she wanted to complete the program for her mother.  Paulette is excited to have her certificate of completion and to be a college graduate. She is ready to go out and change the world. Congratulations Paulette!    

Private Pay Services

by pathforward January 31, 2019
09:00 AM
The Supports for Community Living Waiver and the Michelle P waiver are Medicaid paid services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. These waivers are intended to assist individuals to live and participate in the community rather than in an institutional setting. Currently, there is a waiting list for both the SCL and MP waivers. There are close to 7000 people on the MP Waiver waitlist and 2500 on the SCL waitlist. Path Forward of KY is now offering a private pay option for people who need and want individualized services but are not on a Medicaid waiver. We are offering all services that we currently provide through the waivers by the same direct support professionals who provide waiver services. The services that Path Forward of KY provides are: Community Living Supports/Personal Assistance/Companion Care: a one on one service that enables an individual to accomplish tasks to increase independence and promote integration into the community. This service offers support and assistance with routine household tasks, maintenance, activities of daily living, shopping, socialization, relationship building, leisure choices, and participation in community activities. Case Management: assists individuals with disabilities navigate services, benefits, medical appointments, and advocates on behalf of the individual. Respite: support needed due to the absence of or need for relief for the primary caregiver. Behavior Support: professionally trained behavior specialist use positive approaches and ABA therapy techniques to help decrease challenging behaviors and increase coping skills and social skills. Supported Employment: ongoing job support after funding is no longer available through Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. We will assist the individual in maintaining employment in an integrated setting with competitive wages.   If you are interested in learning more about our private pay services you can contact our office at 502-451-2565 or email info@pathforwardky.com