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Speaking Up

Submitted by Glenna Tharp, Independent Living Specialist

I’m a little bit shy in front of crowds. Sometimes when an opportunity to say something is past, I regret letting my shyness get in the way of speaking up.

Such an occasion occurred Saturday, July 25, 2015 at the PACE Picnic at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Board members, staff, consumers, and friends gathered for a celebration of the passing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). It was a fine celebration with hotdogs on the grill, good side servings, beverages and a cake commemorating why we were celebrating. There was storytelling, games, awards, a raffle, and lots of good conversation among our friends. I even met some consumers that I never see because other staff serve them, which is always nice.

But on the way home, I thought Gosh, I wish I would have thanked the board for having the foresight to keep enough money in reserves, and protect our line of credit, to ride out these rough times as the state struggles with the budget. It has been a worry to EVERYONE who rely on our state government to responsibly pay for social services. Of course, the staff at PACE was concerned what would become of our consumers, and our jobs, come July 1st. I consider it a blessing that our consumers are continuing to be served, and I continue to get paid. I think we have all had to consider what we would do if the state social services no longer received services, or if our State government would collapse. What would you do?

I’m just so grateful the good board members and administrators here at PACE are on top of things.

Glenna beautifully illustrated how shyness can be a trait that gets in the way when we’re trying to communicate with others. We at PACE want to remind you that if you are a person with a disability who wants to create a goal focusing on increasing your assertiveness, we are here to help facilitate that! Assertiveness is a skill that takes time to master. You don’t have to do it alone!

Be sure to check back next Friday for a new post on what’s happening at PACE.

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