Social Worker Author and Motivational Speaker Chally Guest on WSPY Fox Valley Today
I was a guest on WSPY TV 30's Fox Valley Today with Anne Vickery. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year's theme was inclusion. It's hard to feel included in the workforce when I've been unemployed longer than I've been working. That's why WSPY and Anne thought it was important for their listeners and viewers to hear my story. The first half of this segment discusses my educational and work history,
As you'll hear, I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from Aurora University in 2006 (graduating summa cum laude). I am a Licensed Social Worker with my Type 73 in School Social Work and I've got valuable skills worth mentioning.
First, for clients on the autism spectrum, I have knowledge and experience writing social stories. I also have first-hand knowledge and experience linking clients who have special needs with information and resources with regard to transportation, adaptive equipment, home health equipment or other community resources available in the area that they may need. In addition to working in the schools, I have experience in the mental health field. In these environments, I gained knowledge and experience in facilitating different treatment groups, working as a member of a larger treatment team, as well as providing case management and individual counseling.
Yes it's true that I don't have a driver's license, but I am confident that this will not prevent me from performing the essential functions of a position with or without an accommodation, should I be given the opportunity. My personal and professional experience working with individuals diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorders makes me a uniquely qualified candidate for employment.
In second half of the segment we discuss what my book is about and also the important work of Canine Companions for Independence. In addition to trying to find a job as a social worker and writing my book, I also do motivational speaking. Therefore, I'm interested in sharing my story with local libraries, schools, boy scouts, girl scouts, women's groups, churches etc. in Kendall, Kane and DuPage Co. If you'd like me to speak at a location near you, please e-mail me. Thanks!
My Name In Lights
Visit to Covenant Christian School
This morning I spoke to the students of Covenant Christian School. I shared a little about me in a modified game of "Cross the Line." But mostly, I share and show how God has used both of my Canine Companions for Independence Service Dogs to bless my life. My book delves deeper into how with courage, faith, the love of my family, and the help of Yazzen, my first service dog, I overcome obstacles I face. As you watch part I of my presentation, you'll see that I haven't let my difference stop me from living a life without limits and as you'll see in part II, my Successor Service Dog Portland's a BIG reason for that!
My first book fair was a success! By the time the event ended, I only had five books left on my table. I am so thankful to the people I met and those I already knew who came out to support me and Canine Companions. I'd also like to thank fellow (young adult) authors Susan Miura and Amy Alessio, for their willingness to share some of their experience and knowledge about indie writing and publishing with me. They are great and I encourage you to explore their work..
This afternoon I had the pleasure of sharing my story with members of the Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club and give them some food for thought regarding interacting with and understanding persons with disabilities. For some, it may be difficult to know what to say or even do when they encounter someone with a disability. As I learned earlier this week, those of us within the disabled community may have different viewpoints about words (i.e. handicapped, crippled,etc.) some able-bodied individuals use when talking about persons with disabilities. If you hire me to speak on the topic of disability etiquette and education, you'll see that I approach this topic with humor and honesty. For me, this topic is more about the "golden rule" and less about political correctness.
Amy Chally, a social worker with cerebral palsy, and her service dog Portland have been working with children at Geneva Middle School North. (Denise Crosby / The Beacon-News)
Tonight, I submitted my FINAL manuscript and cover to my self-publisher! Now they're reviewing said manuscript, and will create a new master version that we will use for the interior of the book. Once the interior's complete, they'll review it and make sure it's ready for manufacturing and cataloging. When the review process is complete, I’ll select the final distributors for my book, provide them with a description (most of which, I’ve already done) and then they'll set the price. From there it'll be all about sales and Marketing!
A release date for the paperback and Kindle versions of Making Independence Happen, One Paw at a Time© may still be a few months away, but it's coming, promise. Stay tuned!
Today, I spoke to a small diversity group consisting of students with disabilities and their parents about how I have chosen to defy disability and delight in diversity.. I talked about the importance of self-acceptance, perseverance, independence and advocacy. I also shared some important information about the programs and services available to people with disabilities. If you hire me to speak at one of your functions, this is some of what your attendees may hear:
However, I will vary my speech, based on the target audience and topic.
Welcome to My Blog, the place to find more information about my book, my motivational speaking, information on disability awareness .and my media appearances.