Welcome to BUTTERFLYWHEEL® | Monica J. Foster   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to BUTTERFLYWHEEL® | Monica J. Foster

Cross-Disability Topics

Speaking on Cross-Disability Topics

Everyone has experienced a time when they felt like their whole life was in transition, and it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed by new circumstances. When you add a disability or chronic illness to the equation, it can feel like a no-win situation as you navigate your bodily, mental and emotional changes, the system and community. Don’t let these things limit your ability to enjoy life and the company of your loved ones. Piece together your own #beyondlimits outlook.

Speaking to cross-disability and self-advocacy groups, I share my hard-won wisdom and life experiences as a vibrant amputee on wheels to help you find your new normal. I provide a variety of  intensive seminars and workshops, and will create a presentation specific to your group or situation upon request. You’ll have a memorable session designed to increase morale, deepen empathy for others, boost productivity and heighten group and individual energy.

The Nuts & Bolts of Life, Love and More Beyond Limits Series

This series is a thought provoking, sensitive and sometimes humorous collection of seminars packed with content designed to help you get the nuts and bolts you need to maximize the experiences of building a life, work, love, faith, community and more of your choosing beyond limits. The Life, Love and More Beyond Limits Series is for you, if you are:

  •  A civilian or respected military veteran having difficulty transitioning into your new life with a disability, emotional or chronic illness
  • A family facing difficulties and challenges due to a loved one’s disabilities or serious chronic illnesses
  • A couple living the daily challenges of an interability relationship, where one or both of you has a disability, mental or chronic illness
  • A faith-based group wondering how to better include people with disabilities into your family of faith
  • A self-advocacy group wanting to include people with other disabilities into their group to be a more inclusive, cross-disability group

The Nuts & Bolts of Life and Career Vision Creation

Let’s play with images, personal power words and motivational phrases! I will teach your vision board seminar group how to use images of your goals, dreams and desires, and empowering phrases to guide your thoughts and intention and activate those goals in collage form. Create a bridge between your thoughts and actions and begin achieving your personal life, work and group’s goals now. Also a great tool for self-advocacy groups to get organized, support groups, not-for-profit board member trainings and more. What would YOUR group like to use a vision board for? I can help you put together a purpose and plan for a group seminar that’s fun, inspiring and a great bonding experience with loads of benefits.

I CAN Activity

A dear mentor from childhood shared this simple, yet powerful activity with me to help me focus on the positive in life, regardless of the obstacles. The I Can Activity is perfect for small groups (6-12 people), and all ages and abilities, but can be customized for larger groups.

This fun hands-on activity (you don’t have to be a crafter to love it!) will give you the tools you need to focus on a goal so you CAN see and act powerfully. This activity is perfect for, but not limited to, worship groups and circles, youth and scouting organizations, disability and chronic illness support groups, small business groups, women’s groups, veterans’ and senior citizen activity groups.

The Nuts & Bolts of Community Inclusion: Become an Inclusionista!

Community inclusion is a very simple idea, and yet we make it so very complicated, especially among people with disabilities and mental health challenges. To be included is to be accepted and to be able to participate fully within our families, our communities and our society, no matter what the challenges, obstacles and accommodations are. I’ll give you tips and insight on how to become more passionate about community inclusion for yourself as a person with or without disabilities and others with disabilities that you serve if you are a service provider, educator or advocate. Become an Inclusionista!!

The Nuts & Bolts of Self-Advocacy: How to Be a ‘Purrrfect’ Self-Advo(cat)e

What is self-advocacy? Who is a self-advocate anyway? Is it just about life with a disability? And how do we learn to speak up for ourselves? In this training I explore the Who, What, When Where, Why and How of self-advocacy. I’ll share my story of growing into a strong self-advocate practically from birth, defying ‘experts’ expectations for my life while showing you how to be heard, understood and get things done. This training includes a little help from my beautiful cat, Annabelle. Don’t worry if you’re allergic or don’t particularly like cats. No live animals are involved in this training.

The Nuts & Bolts of Supporting Meaningful Relationships

I explore the facts, myths and concerns around people with disabilities’ need for friendship, relationships and to be a more important part of the community. Relationships of all kinds must be a part of every person with a disability or mental health issue’s individualized education plans (IEPs) person-centered plans, wellness recovery plans (WRAP). Coping with curiosity, crushes, puberty,  healthy self-esteem, body image, hygiene, preserving sacred and bodily space, sexual identity and sexual feelings can be more difficult for people with disabilities who might be struggling to understand their emotions, abilities and their bodies all at once. Adults and young adults with disabilities want more information about how to meet people, making friends and dating, interacting safely online, sex, sexual health, personal safety and protection, navigating relationships and shifting from victim to survivor after abuse (we can do that, you know?), so they are more confident community members and citizens of the human community. This training can be adapted for cross-disability audiences, age-appropriate groups (young adults and adults) or focused specifically for groups made up of all self-advocates, family members or service providers. A seminar focused toward medical and mental health professionals is available as well. This training in its variously adapted forms has received positive reviews from audiences of all abilities, staff and Council members from the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities and Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville. This batch of trainings was birthed as part of a statewide grant initiative I consulted on (thanks to funding from the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities and the project grantee Human Services Institute), the N.C. Relationships Initiative.

Contact me today for more information or to schedule a speaking engagement.

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