Stacey and her husband Duane have three daughters. The oldest two are in college and will graduate this coming December and May.
Tana, Duane and Stacey’s youngest daughter, was born in 2001. The couple was told Tana might not live after the age of two, but she just turned 12! Tana has an undiagnosed condition resulting in quadriplegia cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, swallowing difficulty that requires tube feedings, and profound cognitive delays.
Stacey was kind enough to answer some questions so we can get to know her better.
Tell us about your interests.
My interests often revolve around my passion advocating for those with disabilities. I have served two terms on the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, as well as the Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel. I am a member of the Disability Law Center Advisory Pane and as our local special education advisory council. For the past year and a half I have volunteered for our SEAC to host resource fairs for students with IEPs and their parents. We will be holding another Transition Fair in April 2014.
I recently became a certified Consumer Support Planner and have started working with other families to help them navigate and write plans for the CDCS Waivers.
As an Attorney, I also take pro bono family law cases in certain circumstances. If that’s not enough, I am heading back to Graduate school at the U of M for a Masters in Social Work. I love learning and I take every class I can that might help me learn how to help our daughter like the certificate in deaf blindness I got this spring.
What do you enjoy most about working with Orion ISO?
The responsiveness of staff is great. I like working with and beside staff on some of the DHS committees. And I adore payroll who have to be super patient when I make oopsies on a timesheet.
What do you like about consumer directed services?
I love the creative ways we can use our funds. We are able to retain nursing staff through staff recognition as well as in home therapies for our daughter like twice weekly music therapy, art therapy, massage, horse driving therapy and community courses in art, bowling and more. We have modified our home for her needs and purchased a variety of specialized equipment.
What have consumer directed services allowed you to do that traditional services have not?
Provide creative in home services that traditional insurance wouldn’t cover.
What is your very favorite thing to do?
I would love to say laying by an ocean beach on vacation, but that doesn’t happen very much. So in all honesty I love watching Tana interact with her peers at school. She grew up with them from kindergarten on and they are so very kind to her. I get choked up with happy tears all the time when pictures come home on her IPad.