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Assistive Technology ... Pinned

image: Pinterest Button

Pinterest, a virtual pinboard, is currently one of the fastest growing social media platforms. Members can view the "pins" of other "pinners," pin items to their pinboards, and search for any topic that someone may have "pinned."

Assistive technology was not about to be left put of the pinning craze! A Pinterest member has created an Assistive Technology board - http://pinterest.com/lguetzko/assistive-technology/

In addition, visitors can search for assistive technology to find individual items.

Les Mirkin Shares DVR Message with Chinese Officials in Shanghai

image: China Visit Photo

DVR District Director Les Mirkin and his wife Denise are pictured with eight Minhang District officials, all visiting DWD interns during the last five years. They include Huang Ning "Lynn," to Mirkin's immediate right, and Wu Jiaming "Steve," standing over his right shoulder. Lynn and Steve were among 19 Shanghai government officials visiting Wisconsin last winter.

originally printed in the DWD Bulletin

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is making a difference, not only in communities across Wisconsin, but half way around the world.

Les Mirkin, WDA 10 Director, returned recently from China. He traveled to the Minhang District where he talked to Chinese government officials about Department of Workforce Development programs and services, in particular, those he and his DVR colleagues provide.

Mirkin took part in a Municipal Government Administration Seminar, a joint project of the Minhang District People's Government and the East Asian Legal Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over five days, June 11 through June 15, he participated in a seminar with two other Wisconsin officials in Shanghai.

Joining him for the seminar were Gwendolyn (Wendy) Coomer, Executive Assistant for the Department of Administration, and Dr. Charles R. Irish, Senior Director and Volkman-Bascom Professor of Law Emeritus. The trip was funded entirely by the Minhang District of Shanghai.

Read the full DWD Bulletin article

Scholarship Opportunity

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is accepting applications for their 2012-2013 scholarship program.

The AAHD scholarships support students with disabilities pursuing higher education in a field related to disability and health. Preference is given to students who plan to pursue undergraduate/graduate studies in the field of public health, behavioral health, epidemiology, health promotion, disability studies, to include disability policy and disability research.

Visit the AAHD website at http://www.aahd.us/initiatives/scholarship-program/ to download an application.

The deadline for submission is November 15, 2012.

Managing Stress

This article originally published by Mind Tools

image: Mind Tools LogoImagine that you work in human resources, and you've recently been dealing with a lot of people problems. It's been another long day. You're now meeting with your last "client" before you go home.

As you listen to this person's story, you start to get tense. You find yourself avoiding making direct eye contact with her, and you feel yourself shutting down emotionally. You don't want to listen to her complaints; instead, you just want to finish.

Rather than taking your frustrations out on this person, however, you apologize and ask for a five-minute break. You go for a quick walk outside, breathe deeply, and then stop for some water. When you go back into your office, you're smiling, refreshed, and ready to help.

Most people experience some degree of stress in their jobs. But if you understand the most common types of stress and know how to spot them, you can manage your stress much better. This, in turn, helps you to work productively, build better relationships, and live a healthier life.

Full Article

DVR Reunion

Former DVR managers gather annually for a reunion. This year, the group met in Wausau, Wisconsin. The DVR reunion webpage has been updated with this year's picture and participants.

Thanks for a Job Well Done

Nancy Prokash - VR Counselor, Shawano

An e-mail sent to Kristin Rolling from Anna Eggebrecht - WDA Director

I took the last test of my GED and although I haven't received the official letter yet, my instructor, XXXX at XXTC, called me yesterday to let me know that I passed with honors! Thank you, I don't know that I would ever have gotten my GED on my own, if DWD hadn't pushed me.

Natalie Carlsten - VR Counselor, Menomonie

I am writing regarding Natalie Carlsten, my DVR Counselor. I have been working with Natalie for at least one year. She has been an excellent resource for me in my journey to live proactively with my mental illness disability and start a job search. She is an excellent listener. She is always empathetic, but at the same time we have developed a relationship where she can tell me when I need to change my attitude. I appreciate her honesty. I appreciate the way I can bounce ideas to her. I sense that her job is not just a profession, but an avocation. She has the heart for this work and a spirit that truly wants to help me. She is obviously very well trained in her work. I am grateful to be a DVR client and to have Natalie as my Counselor.

Fatemeh Bazzaz - VR Counselor, Madison

This morning, I was offered full-time employment at Social Security and I took it. I am very happy, very grateful and looking forward to getting started next Monday.

Thank you for giving me the Intern opportunity at Social Security. Thank you for believing in me. And, thank you for your kind support. I feel like you see me which has been the loveliest of experiences.

Gene Tremblay - VR Counselor, Eau Claire

We can go ahead and close the case, Thank you for all you have done and your patience. This job is a great fit for me and my hearing has not been an issue. It's amazing how well I get along with the staff! The residents are great, and I like my schedule! I know I was frustrated in the beginning with how long it took to get this job, but it was worth waiting for! Thank you for adding humor and looking on the bright side, when I felt discouraged.

Larry Schultz - VR Counselor, Milwaukee NW

Thank you for meeting with Nik and me. I need to share what happened after we left your office ...

I took Nik to Mama's down the street. After we were seated, he was grinning ear to ear. He looked at me and said, "I am just so happy right now. It's the best day ever! I thought I was going to be homeless and living off my parents for the rest of my life--I can do anything now!"

We then proceeded to literally dance in the aisles to Dean Martin songs. (We were the only patrons in the restaurant at the time.) Thank you for getting his joy back!

Nik has been so down since the diagnosis of ADHD and he was so worried that he couldn't meet his goal of being a pediatrician. Thank you, thank you, thank you for picking up on his concern and letting him know his options are as big as his dreams.

Nik is really psyched to be working with you. I am glad that there is this resource available and that you are great at what you do.

Brock Hansen - VR Counselor, Madison

I would like to thank you for all your helpful input and suggestions at my past appointments. I feel very fortunate to have had such a professional and caring counselor as yourself. You truly make an effort to help people, and I don't take it for granted.

I begin work at my new job this coming Wed! Can you believe it? It sounds almost too good to be true, and I hope to do a really good job, and not worry too much. I am amazed at the continuous efforts and support that Jill has regularly provided. She really stays on top of things! It was by chance that she discovered this position that was just being created at this business, and we took advantage of moving quickly. She has made many phone calls for me, and we've met a number of times. Thanks to the timely efforts by you and Jill, I actually have a job that seems ideal for me, especially considering my resume. I still have concerns about my hearing loss, even with the hearing aids (another thanks to you). So, I look forward to our follow-up contacts, and again, thank you so much! It has been my privilege working with you.

Therese Conley - VR Counselor, Jefferson

Thanks for listening! I'm both fortunate and grateful to have such a great support system.

My journey has given me a new faith and insight into the human experience.

What's New/Updated on the Web

Staff Updates

New Faces/Transfers:

  • Jayme Memmel, VR Counselor, Beaver Dam
  • Ira Mitchell-Zackery, VR Counselor, Racine
  • Andrew Johnson, VR Counselor, Janesville
  • Jennifer Glaser, Consumer Case Coordinator, La Crosse (LTE)
  • Gina Haupt, VR Specialist (Central Office)
  • Rachel Reeder, VR Assistant, Oshkosh (LTE)


  • Kim Pomeroy, Central Office
  • Charles Williams, VR Counselor (WDA 2)
  • Jessica Brittnacher, Consumer Case Coordinator (WDA 5)