How Exceptional Lives listened to parents and took action!
On June 1, Exceptional Lives launched the newest version of its free online Guides for parents of children or adult family members with disabilities. In this post, Kim Corwin of Northborough MA, working mother of a child with disability, writes about her experience searching for timely, relevant disability information.
As a parent of a child with a disability, finding the right services for my son has always been a challenge. Most of the time I have to be much more than a mom – I have to be researcher, expert, and navigator too. It’s hard to know where to start when trying to get help.
Exceptional Lives’ free online Guides are a great place to start. When I first came across Exceptional Lives, I was trying to see if my son qualified for SSI. Their SSI Guide gave me just what I needed about the eligibility rules, how to apply, and the role I’ll play as a representative payee if my son gets SSI.
After my first time in the SSI Guide, Exceptional Lives asked to speak with me about my journey trying to find services for my son. I shared with them how tough it is to find individualized information, especially for my family’s unique situation. That’s why these personalized how-to Guides are such a great new way to get the information you need.
Exceptional Lives also asked me how they could make their Guides better for parents. I’m pleased they took several of my suggestions – as well as those from other parents – and recently made some great improvements! Here are my favorite among them:
Table of Contents – As a busy parent, I don’t always have time to read through everything in one sitting. I want to glance quickly at what information is included in my personalized Guide, and jump ahead to a certain part if I‘m short on time. The new table of contents lets me do that.
Plain Language – Most websites, books and other disability info sources are dense and hard to get through. Exceptional Lives has now put all their Guides into plain language, making it easier for me to understand, and act upon, the information I need. They deliver their Guides in a way that’s helpful to all parents, no matter what your literacy level happens to be.
Checklist – I like to think that I’m an organized parent, so I love checklists. In fact, the new Guides double as a checklist! I can mark off any item or page as done, keeping me focused on what I still need to do. Whenever I go back into the checklist, I can quickly see where I left off last time.
Questions First – Instead of spreading the questions throughout a Guide, Exceptional Lives now asks all questions up front. I enter my answers once, and then get information that’s relevant to me in my own personalized Guide. I feel like I get to the valuable information quicker now!
So if you’re a parent of a child or adult with a disability, I encourage you to check out the new Exceptional Lives Guides soon!