You may be wondering about how all of this works — the project that is. So today, I want to share some of the ins and outs of Equal Access RI. It’s not just me that makes this project possible, it’s a team effort. And for three days a week since the end of May, the wonderful people at RHD-RI in Pawtucket, RI have become part of my expanding team. Whenever I have needed help with the project, they’ve has been there to support me, to lend a hand, and most importantly to push me to do more myself, instead of simply doing things for me.
For example, when I arrived at RHD-RI, we had 6 weeks to make a great power point presentation for an upcoming meeting with the Rhode Island Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist. In that short amount of time, they helped me to take my old Johnston presentation and completely reorganize and simplify it, making it more effective and appropriate for our new audience. Even more impressive, with their help, I was able to create a basic business plan, design an EARI logo, print business cards, take professional photos, and develop an entire website in time for the important meeting. And with their guidance and support, the meeting was a huge success (view the presentation here). My staff encouraged me to be confident in my own voice and to lead the presentation myself, even though I was really nervous about it. But they helped me practice it ahead of time, and they were there at the meeting to support me as well. Deborah Gist was so impressed that she introduced me to the Superintendent of Providence Schools, and suggested that I begin the next phase of my project by assessing schools in that district.
Since then, we've been working on a few things:
- Practice assessments of RHD-RI, and learning more about ADA code compliance
- Improving and expanding the website, including regular updates of this (super awesome!) blog
- Beginning to assess public buildings, like the Providence Place Mall
I’m really happy with the progress we’ve made so far, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes us. Thanks to RHD-RI for helping me continue to make EARI a reality and a success. If you have any questions about RHD-RI or the project, please feel free to ask in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org