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News + Blog

  • Kara's Own Voice Gains Traction with Apple--UPDATE!!!

    Jun 12, 2015

    It seems that Alice Brouhard continues to make progress with Apple on this issue.  Possibly as a result of her recent radio interview, Alice reports the following:

    karas voice update
    You can hear her radio interview at this link.
    _____________________________________________________________
    Our Original Story from May 18, 2015:

    Check out this story written by Alice Brouhard for the Post Independent.  It clearly illustrates how advocacy, including the petition to convince Apple, Inc. to modify its operating system, can have an effect in the world.  If successful, Alice and Kara, along with their app developer, will have a chance to improve quality of life for a lot of people with disabilities.

    Since many people who support Trinity Services, Inc., signed the change.org petition for Kara, we'll take a minute to say thank you to everyone who has helped to bring attention and increased focus to this issue. If those efforts continue, hopefully Apple will be able to see this wisdom of making the necessary changes.

    http://www.postindependent.com/opinion/columns/16324315-113/guest-opinion-david-and-friends-versus-goliath

    You can still sign the petition here, if you haven't already done that.  Apple: Kara's Own Voice petition




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  • NAQ Conference 2015

    Jun 01, 2015
    NAQ Conference 2015 will be in New Orleans this year. The conference theme is Everyday Well-Being. For more information, please see the NAQ-2015-flyer or visit the NAQ website at http://www.qddp.org/.
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  • Grocery Shopping. It's not a chore; it's a skill

    Jan 15, 2015

    Grocery shopping—many of us take it for granted and view it as a chore. However, for a person with an intellectual disability, this experience, like many others, is an opportunity. Taking charge of one’s normal, everyday activities and routines, like grocery shopping, for instance, is the definition of independence. It’s hard for some of us to think about such boring activities as victories, but for someone who doesn’t get to experience them often, if ever, learning to do something like grocery shopping is an important accomplishment.

    Menu planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation are opportunities for people receiving services  from Trinity Services, Inc. to participate in the daily operation of their home to the fullest extent possible. As an organization, Trinity has embraced enabling practices in this area and suggests the following guidelines.

     Shopping for groceries can be as simple as running to the local Jewel for bread and milk or as complicated as using sales papers to plan a trip to multiple stores to purchase a week’s worth of groceries. In both instances the people who will be eating and cooking ideally will be doing the shopping.

    Grocery shopping for a large household requires a bit of planning and thinking ahead. Relevant factors include having a menu, creating a list, sales, coupons, comparison shopping, and quality and freshness of food.  All things considered, it can be a time consuming event and it can be it is tempting for busy staff to leave persons with disabilities out of the process. However, shopping is chock-full of opportunities for learning.

    Considerations for maximizing the learning experience:

    Prior to shopping, assist several people with making a grocery list.  Always use the menu to determine items needed.  Teach people to check existing supply of needed items prior to including them on a list.  Remember to check the expiration dates for those items that are less frequently used.  It can be helpful to use a preprinted list that allows someone to simply circle or check the items that are needed.  You might also use a picture list.There's even apps to explore for shopping lists that can be downloaded to someone's phone or tablet.

    Minimally one person should shop with staff while learning the process.  When deciding who should participate, consider the specific needs of the individuals.  Shopping with four or five people is likely not as conducive to learning and should be avoided.

    The appropriate amount of time should be scheduled so that shopping can be completed in a learningful manner rather than a mad dash.  People who are able to do so should participate by pushing the basket and selecting food from the shelf. The motorized cart available at many stores can facilitate shopping for some persons with physical limitations.

    Most people increase efficiency and comfort by knowing the layout of the stores where they shop most often.  Familiarity with a store develops with repeated visits.  Note that people learn the store layout more quickly if entering via the same door and shopping in the same direction or order of food on every visit.  (Many people start with produce and end with the frozen food section.)  It is also helpful to check out using the same clerk.  Grocery store cashiers come to know their regulars.  People should complete as much of the process as possible independently or with assistance, including checking out, paying, bagging etc.  Certainly after returning home everyone in the house can help unload and put away the groceries.

    Considerations for maximizing the budget:

    Recognizing that purchasing groceries for a large house can be costly, every attempt should be made to help people learn to minimize the cost of food while maximizing the quality of healthy foods.

    Generally speaking senior staff who has demonstrated an understanding of assisting individuals with shopping as well as an ability to balance cost should be the staff working with people around budgeting/cost issues.

    Shopping is typically done at discount stores.  Larger chains are used when sales are particularly good or when shopping for an item or two.  Sales paper review and comparison shopping when planning menus should be standard practice.  Couponing can be beneficial and fun and is encouraged.  Shopping at multiple stores for sales should be balanced with the time and gas cost of the extra travel.  People with disabilities who have a limited personal budget can become very skilled at finding coupons and great sales and planning around these.
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  • Creating a Culture of Kindness

    May 06, 2014



    “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” --Mark Twain 

    The third Wednesday of March has been an extra special day for the last 14 years at Trinity Services —Kindness Day.

    It’s a day when our employees show appreciation by sending handwritten notes of thanks and kindness to their coworkers throughout the agency including those in Peoria, DesPlaines and Mascoutah, IL, and Reno, NV. This year, on March 27, Trinity’s 1,100 employees sent more than 19,000 notes, which were delivered with more than 13,000 colorful carnations.

    The idea behind Kindness Day was to create a day where gratitude for fellow coworkers’ efforts was the focus. The hope is that by recognizing and appreciating each other, we create a culture of kindness.

    Our motto at Trinity Services, Inc., is “Everything Counts”—the work you do, the way you do it, the words you say…everything counts. Kindness Day is just one example of how we show appreciation for one another’s actions. It is a way to say “thank you” to someone for their hard work or for helping with a problem. In a large organization like Trinity, it can be something as simple as “thank you for remembering my name.”

     Trinity employee Nancy Samardzic recalls one note she got this year, “One note I received appreciated the fact that I remembered someone’s name who I met during a training months ago. That small act of remembering someone’s name touched that person and it encouraged me to try to make sure to recall people’s names better.”

    You never know how one small gesture or act of kindness can make someone feel.

    Reading the kind words and smelling the beautiful flowers for days, helps our staff feel appreciated and act as motivators to spread kindness even beyond Trinity! We look forward to sharing and communicating kindness all year long.
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