The team at The Adaptables, Inc. CIL are here to connect with you. Here’s a little bit about each of us and our story so far. Contact any of us so we can learn more about you.
I was born in the mountains of western North Carolina to older parents who taught me to be honest and caring; to treat everyone like I want to be treated. That has followed me all my life and has given me a talent of working with people. Being able to look at a situation from all perspectives and realizing there is more to the story. God has given me many gifts in my life. Networking and gaining the knowledge of necessary resources has aided me in helping others. In my 22 years working in the textile rental industry, I worked with customers and fellow employees to providing the best products and services, all at an affordable cost. We maintained a 97% retention rate and regarded as an industry leader.
The biggest decision in my life was to have gastric by-pass surgery in 2002. Complications kept me hospitalized for 364 days. That was a humbling experience in my life. Taking me to a whole new skill set of being able to work in the disability community. My passion grew as I met more people who would tell me their stories of being isolated due to a disability and I could relate to being institutionalized and that sense of hopelessness. I connected as I saw myself walking in that person’s shoes. Their stories inspired me as mine did them. I wanted to coach that person to a life beyond where they were at that moment. With inspiring peers and God’s guidance I have been successful in assisting consumers to become independent and affording them the opportunities through my work to live in the communities of their choice.
My life experience and the knowledge that I have received over the past fifteen years, it is time to share these lessons with colleagues. They will carry the disability movement forward and support consumers’ goals, providing the services and coaching them to an independent way of life.
My leadership comes through life experiences and working with people, not books. This is a field where you need to have lived the experience to know how to change the lives of people with disabilities and those lessons have taught me well.
Debbie Hennessy, MS-Assistant Director, a proud Army brat, raised between New York State and Germany, Debbie spent much of her young life traveling the world. Her personal experience with disabilities began over 20 years ago. Life changed, but doors opened and she returned to college, earning a Bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies and a Master’s Degree in Community and Mental Health Counseling.
She began her mental health counseling career at Job Corps, working with at-risk youth, mostly dual diagnosis and set up the first interdisciplinary team on campus, which included IEPs that were shared with both vocational training and residential living. She introduced a program Seeking Empowerment Balance and Awareness, the program provided group sessions to youth designated “least likely to complete the program.” SEBA as it was called had a 90 percent success rate, higher than that of the center itself.
The center closed and Debbie took a grant funded county position on the Substance Abuse Task Force. In conjunction with local educators and law enforcement, the team put up billboards, held town meetings, and took every avenue to educate not only the children and youth that were dying in alcohol/drug related vehicular accidents, but also was proactive in educating the public regarding the “choking” game and overdose deaths.
Debbie has worked in all levels of government, many grant funded positions, and is a strong advocate for those with disabilities, animals, and many others. “I love working at The Adaptables, it gives me a chance to help others and I understand how they feel, I have been on both sides of the desk.”
Working her way from a person with a disability, which defined her in so many ways-not able to do what was needed, relying on others, fearful of change, and concerned for the future has been a great triumph. Now she works fulltime as the assistant director, creating programs that help others with challenges live to their full potential. “The intrinsic value I receive from our consumers is truly a blessing. I don’t see myself as a person with a disability, but as a hardworking independent woman who has some challenges.”
Independent Living Specialist (IL Specialist)
Born in NC, Tim has over thirty years of experience with a disability and was able to become an advocate for himself and ultimately for others. Tim became a Certified Peer Support Specialist and has joined The Adaptables with a belief in self -advocacy, self- determination and the rights of consumers regardless of their disabilities. Serving as Chair of the Consumer and Family Advisory Committee(CFAC) at the local LME/MCO broadened Tim’s horizons by working with and better understanding other consumer’s struggles, desires and ambitions. Tim believes in offering hope that consumers can be recognized as a person first and a person with a disability secondary. Tim has received lots of help and encouragement in his recovery from peers and professionals. Tim likes to consider himself a “hope dealer” for those with challenges. Tim proudly served in the USMC and understands the struggles of our veterans. Working at The Adaptables is a new undertaking and offers Tim the opportunity to work across all disabilities.
Patsy Stimpson is the Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for The Adaptables, Inc. She has 30 plus years experience in Customer Service, Accounts Receivables and Payables. She and her husband, Herbert, have been married for forty years and have three children and three grandchildren. About working at The Adaptables, Inc., Patsy says, “Working at The Adaptables, Inc. is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Through the company, I get to meet so many wonderful people…This job is more than just work for me, it is fast becoming a way of life as I learn more and more about the world of disabilities.”