Hi, most of you know that I use a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy but what a lot of you don’t know about me is that I also have Clinical Depression which means that I have days where I feel very sad, tired and confused even when things are going...Read More »
A couple of weeks ago, Amazon.com sent me an email about a new way you can donate to the charity of your choice and I wanted to share it with you!
Amazon.com is a website where you can shop for things you want or need online. I bet...Read More »
I was wondering…
What would you want to say to someone who asked you, “Tell me what it’s like to have a disability.”
I’d want to say, “Most of the time, it’s not that big of a deal. Sometimes, it’s a pain in the butt and I get really angry. It...Read More »
We do a lot of interesting and cool things here at SUFU! To make sure that we have money every year for things like our Annual Conference, Chapter Meetings, Roundups, and lots of other stuff, every year, SUFU raises funds by doing something called an Annual Appeal.
Here are...Read More »
SUFU has a great opportunity for SUFU members to get involved with the land trust community. You might be wondering, “what is a land trust?” I wouldn’t blame you because I didn’t know the answer until a couple of months ago.
A land trust is an organization that helps conserve...Read More »
Recently, the federal government published a report that said that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services failed to investigate correctly, over 2,600 cases of abuse, neglect, and other bad things, of people with disabilities! Here are a couple newspaper articles about it, for you to get more...Read More »
For this blog, I just really wanted to say, “thank you!” I learn something new in my job all the time. The biggest thing is that watching you all advocate for your rights to lead better lives, gives me strength on days when I’m not sure I have it...Read More »
A Transportation Bill that the SUFU Board Wrote is Going to be Heard by the Maine Legislature! And They Want to Hear from YOU!
Something Very Exciting is Happening! On Friday, May 5, at 9 AM, in Augusta, a bill that the SUFU Board wrote based on what our membership told us they need to improve transportation services for people with disabilities in Maine (which would also include SUFU Members), will be discussed by the...Read More »
We have some exciting things happening at SUFU! The Sports Chapter is helping so many members stay healthy and have fun, all over the state. Our new Video Chapter is showing people how to make videos for television. Local chapters are doing more in their communities than...Read More »
Tyler Ingalls asked on Facebook, “what goals did SUFU Members have for 2017?”
I’m making a promise to myself in the new year: 2017 is going to be the year that Avery truly feels comfortable in his own skin.
What I mean is, I’m going to make 2017 the year that I...Read More »
A few weeks ago, I was feeling down. I didn’t feel like I was very good at my job because I felt like I was having a hard time communicating with people and I wasn’t sure what I could do differently.
I was asking someone about it and I said,...Read More »
Transportation to SUFU events and programs in our communities is a problem for a lot of us because we might not drive or have a vehicle. And busses and cabs can cost a lot of money.
Wouldn’t it be great if SUFU Members had more transportation choices, so that we could...Read More »
Finding a job these days is tough for everybody. Finding a job when you have a disability like we do, can be just as tough. Sometimes, even the kindest, nicest, employers might not know that much about disabilities and may think we can’t do the job they need. Maybe...Read More »
I hope you had a great time at the conference, I know I did. I learned a lot of things that really made me think. One thing that really sticks out to me is something David Unger was talking about. He talked about how in order to have freedom...Read More »
I can’t believe the SUFU Conference is next week! I’ve been thinking, we all know that the conference is a lot of fun and seeing everybody is a blast!
The conference is also a place to learn new things and choose for ourselves, ways to make our lives better. With...Read More »
Our statewide SUFU Conference is almost here, September 20 & 21!
I’ll tell you why I’m looking forward to the conference this year: I want to get in better shape. I’m looking forward to learning about how I can live a healthier lifestyle because I want to...Read More »
Until Next Time,
...Read More »
A couple of months ago, the SUFU Board and the SUFU Chapter Representative Committee worked together to come up with a SUFU Strategic Plan.
A strategic plan is basically a plan to figure out what you want to do as an organization and how you want to do it.
Together, they...Read More »
A slogan is something that people say that will always remind them of SUFU. For example, A SUFU Slogan might be: ‘Speaking Up For Us: We Will Never Stop Talking’
The SUFU Member who comes up with the best slogan will win a FREE Conference Registration & their half of the...Read More »
It’s the first issue of SUFU’s Newsletter: The Connector - Enjoy!...Read More »
I’m going to admit something that I haven’t said to a lot of people: I Hate Making Mistakes.
Whenever I make a big mistake, I sweat, I get really nervous, & my mind starts racing because I worry about how other people are going to react.
Here’s the thing: Everybody Makes...Read More »
One thing that I have found out by having a disability, is that there are many times where other people guess what things I can do and what things I can’t. Sometimes, that bothers me because I want to find out what I can and can’t do, without somebody...Read More »
Last week, I went to the SUFU Roundup in Brewer. The Roundup topic was learning about local government, and figuring out where to go and who to talk to if we have problems that government could help us solve. Something occurred to me while I was there: In order...Read More »
I’m back! For those of you who don’t remember, my name is Avery Olmstead. I live in Old Town & I used to be SUFU’s Legislative Associate.
I left SUFU for a few months because I was very sick. I hadn’t expected to come back but David called...Read More »
For personal & health reasons, I’ve decided that I need to leave my position with SUFU.
Everybody has been great & it has been an honor & a privilege for me to be a part of this organization. And just because I won’t be working for SUFU, I’m still going...Read More »
We are taking a break from the blog for a few weeks. If you have any questions, please contact David Unger: email@example.com
Avery...Read More »
Happy 2016 & I hope your holidays were great!
To start the new year off with a bang, I wanted to let you know what the Legislative Chapter (Currently: Tucker Conley, Chris Heywood, Robbie Garland, Marco Orlando, and Abbott Philson) has been up to!
The Legislative Chapter is very...Read More »
Last week, I attended the 2nd Supported Decision Making Coalition meeting, put on by Disability Rights Maine. Supported Decision Making means having the freedom of choice (that I talked about last week) to be able to ask for advice in making your own decisions, rather than someone else making...Read More »
Those 3 Words are… Freedom of Choice. The freedom to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, and who you want to do it with. The freedom to choose the issues that you want to advocate for, not what someone else thinks is important...Read More »
The original topic that I was going to blog about this week is taking me longer to research so I’m saving that for next week. Instead, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask about how you feel about the blogs I’ve written so far. I have a few...Read More »
As SUFU’s Legislative Associate, it is my job to find out what issues are really important to you & work together with you as SUFU Members to make sure that our voices are heard by people who can make a difference, including the Maine Legislature.
I consider myself part of...Read More »
I wanted to start this off with a few questions for the Chapters:
- Are you enjoying the blogs that I am writing?
- Are there things that I could do to make the blogs easier to understand?
- Are there things that I haven’t talked about yet in the blogs that you wish...Read More »
Remember last week when I asked you what you would say if you had the opportunity to talk about, “What you want people to know about living with a disability?” This weekend, I had 2 opportunities to do just that!
On Friday, I had the opportunity to meet...Read More »
A few years ago, someone asked me, “What should I say to someone who has a disability?” My response was, “Saying hello is always a good place to start.”
I was trying to make a joke of course, but throughout my lifetime, I’ve been asked that question a lot. On...Read More »
I wanted to tell you about a new & exciting SUFU opportunity that you may want to become involved with: the SUFU Legislative Chapter!
If you would like to work together with me & other SUFU Members on finding was that we as SUFU Members can have an impact on...Read More »
I wrote this article a few years ago for another organization, but I really wanted to share it with you too…
Several weeks ago, I needed to finish reading a book, so that I could write a review for Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Since it’s really hard for me...Read More »
Remember in my last blog how I talked about hearing about what issues were important to you? Here’s an opportunity coming up where you can let people know in person about the services and supports that you receive.
SUFU will be hosting a series of Ice Cream Socials to help...Read More »
A good friend of mine came up from Boston to visit for a few days. He uses a wheelchair, too. We were talking and he said something to me that was really important for me to hear. He said, “You need to realize that you matter.”
What my friend meant...Read More »
I originally wrote this in 2013. Everything in the article is true but thankfully, it didn’t all happen on the same trip! – Avery
Recently, I went on a trip to Washington D.C. DC itself was great and I would definitely go back in a heartbeat. However, I...Read More »
In this blog, I’m asking for your advice. I hope you can help me.
Last week I talked about what self-advocacy meant to me. I forgot to mention that sometimes advocating for yourself can be really confusing and scary because sometimes when you know that there is a problem, you...Read More »
This week’s blog may be a little longer than usual but please read it because it’s really important…
I have some questions for you to think about…
- Are there times where you don’t feel people are listening to you?
- Are there times where you might want to express yourself but feel too...Read More »
So, this was my first SUFU Conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being the relatively new kid on the block, I was kind of nervous. For me, it was great to see people that I hadn’t seen in a long time, like Carmie, Judy, Lenny, and Sherry,...Read More »
I’ve got 2 topics for you today…
1st, I wanted to let you know about Jon’s blog about the upcoming SUFU Conference in Bangor, September 8 & 9:
There’s still time to register for the conference & we’d love to see you there!
2nd, I wanted to...Read More »
I want to let you know that our SUFU Conference is only about a week away. Please Register for the SUFU Conference NOW! We want to get a lot of people and new smiling faces there this year!
As the new Program Associate, I have been making phone calls to...Read More »
I have some questions for you about Guardianship that I hope you will talk about on the SUFU Blog & let everybody know what you think:
- If you are under guardianship, what is that like for you?
- If you used to be under guardianship & now you are not, how...Read More »
10 Things about Avery You Didn’t Know…
- When I was in the 3rd grade, I wrote a 1 page book called, “The Mystery on 12th Avenue”.
- When I was in the 5th grade, I wanted to be a police officer.
- When I was in high school, my brother put so much...Read More »
I have some questions for you that I hope you will talk about on the blog & let everybody know what you think:
- If you have a job, where you get paid money, do you like your job?
- If you said Yes, what do you like most about your job?
- If you...Read More »
Hi there, I’m Jon McGovern and I am the new Program Associate for SUFU. I’m very excited! Part of my new job will be making phone calls, attending meetings, helping with the Annual SUFU Conference, other tasks that Monique needs me to do and to work for you, the membership of...Read More »
I wanted to let you know about something that the Maine Legislature will be considering next session (most likely in 2016): The ABLE Act. The ABLE Act would allow people with disabilities like you & me, to save some money in a new type of bank account and still keep...Read More »
DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) in Maine is holding a bunch of talks around the state to find out from people like you and me who live with a disability(and those who care about us), what we need from our service providers to really enjoy living, working,...Read More »