The Studio Blog Archive
A few posts we've written over the years
Audiologist Patrick Washington
My name is Patrick Washington, and I am the new Audiologist at Rainbows. I have been a practicing Audiologist for about 4 years and have been at Rainbows for about two months and have fallen in love. When I started sharing about working at Rainbows to family, friends or even people I met in the community, I felt my personal happiness returned to me. Not only that, my loved ones noticed I finally seemed happy being a provider at Rainbows, compared to previous employment. I am stationed at Kids’ Point to do audiological evaluations and at Kids’ Cove to provide services for infants and toddlers birth to 3 years. I am honored that Paco and Alexia have given me the opportunity to join their team with the amazing therapists, office staff and early intervention teachers.
Now, honest time, I was very nervous in starting this new journey! I was technically on my own learning most of my duties since the previous audiologist had to quickly resign her position and start her journey in a different state with her family. Paco, Kathy and Alexia were great help in teaching me the basics of my position and at the same time getting me prepared for the launch of the myEvolv/Anywhere platform. I have returned from a four year absence in working with children, since being a student audiological resident at another non-profit organization. I had to go back to square one and learn the testing protocols, methods and techniques on how to not only test children, but children with special needs. Also, this was a different transition for me to adapt from providing traditional clinical services in an office setting to Part C early intervention services in the homes.
On to the next step, I started shadowing with the therapists and getting some exposure on how a typical home visit is conducted, but also learning all the different skill sets from each therapist. That was the exciting part of joining Rainbows and one of the things I expressed excitement for during my interview. I now had the opportunity of working with an interdisciplinary team! I always dreamt of one day working with a group of individuals, since I always have worked on my own. I feel working with others helps me to grow into a better clinical provider and I always have enjoyed working and accomplishing goals with a team and knowing that my contributions would be appreciated.
The last next step, and I feel the therapists loved this step, I finally started seeing kids at the homes. I was nervous but excited at same time. I didn’t know what to expect when the parent(s) or kids saw me hovering over the therapist and introducing myself as the new Audiologist. I thought I would scare the kids or even the parents! Reason why? I am 6’4”(HaHa). So far, most of the visits have gone successfully and some….well…let’s say….I keep learning and growing? Overall, I am really enjoying working with the families by being an advocate for their kiddo’s hearing health and educating the parent(s) so they can have a better knowledge about the auditory system.
My journey has only been about two months. However this is what I have learned so far:
- Many employees/therapists at Rainbows have been here for years, a decade or even two decades. It amazes me the dedication, passion and loyalty that I see from the women and men I meet at Rainbows.
- Teamwork is very important within Rainbows and everyone has a part in accomplishing the needs and goals for the kids and families, not just one individual doing the work.
- Everyone on my team was willing to answer any questions that I had and it was the first time I felt confident in asking questions and not feeling inadequate of my abilities to ask for assistance.
- This is the first place I have worked at where my thoughts/opinions mattered. It feels good when staff or the therapists would come to me and ask for my thoughts about testing, protocols or even practice on testing methods with me. I see myself being an asset for the first time in my years of practicing.
- Lastly, I finally feel valued and appreciated at Rainbows. In the past, I had to follow a certain model or norms to be considered an effective provider and if I didn’t follow it exactly, I wasn’t considered “successful.” At Rainbows, I still follow a certain model, however I define my norms and use my knowledge and abilities to provide evidence-based interventions for the kiddos and families and I get 100% support from staff and the therapists.
My journey at Rainbows has just begun and I am looking forward to the many opportunities that will be presented. I am deeply honored to be part of this organization that allows me to evolve, similar to a butterfly and that helps families and kiddos receiving services through us evolve as well. I won’t feel alone in my journey, because I will have people around to cheer and support me, and I am lucky for that.
2019 Pre-K Graduation
By Michelle Croomes, Early Care and Education + CBETS Coordinator
Pre-K Graduation is an event that always gives me an opportunity to reflect on our school year here at Kids’ Point. This year was no exception. Our program has continued to grow, and for the first time in addition to having the wonderful Annabel Bentley who is a fully licensed teacher in the state of Kansas, we were able to add a second fully licensed teacher with Layton Higgins. Annabel and Layton took to coordinating lesson planning between the two classrooms like they were old friends. New curriculums were introduced to the children, including one for math and one for social/emotional learning specifically, that the kids really enjoyed. It was so nice for me to hear back from parents the skills their kids were demonstrating at home.
The children we will say goodbye to at the end of the summer, are also something that I will continue to reflect on. The changes in all of them from last August through graduation was a true pleasure for me to witness. I am sure every one of them got to show a little piece of their own personality on graduation night. The proud looks on family faces couldn’t have been more evident. These little ones are off to start a brand new adventure, as their time here at Kids’ Point draws to a close. I truly believe in the theme of the night- “Let’s Build a Better World Together”. If anyone can be instrumental in that idea, it’s these little Rainbows’ alumni, and their wonderful families!
Rainbows Run 2019
By Jenn Metzger, Special Events Coordinator
When I joined the Rainbows team mid-March, planning for the 8th Annual Rainbows Run had already started. The great news was, although Rainbows was short a special events coordinator, they had an excellent team in place and had already spent several years fine tuning the process. I jumped into my role eager to utilize my skills and expertise as a seasoned event coordinator the first week into my position!
Rainbows staff had just wrapped up a spectacular 44th Blarney Breakfast and it was time to focus full throttle on the Rainbows Run with less than six weeks to go. The first thing I noticed while planning the event was how organized and fluid everyone was. With Rainbows’ strong foundation in place for event planning I was able to focus my attention on immediate and sensitive needs: sponsorships, vendors, and updates to committee members.
One of the biggest impressions I took away from the Rainbows Run was the hands on dedication and loyalty from the sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and committee members. Each first time phone call I made, establishing who I am and why I called, they were ready and waiting! I was prepared to convince them why they should give of their time or resources; little did I expect for them to say, “About time you called!” I was blown away with the genuine care for the organization and to see its success in the Butler County community.
The actual day of the Rainbows Run went as well as the planning process. Staff and committee members had their roles defined, backup plans in place, and were armed with one of the most supportive volunteer crews I have ever had the pleasure to work alongside! Most events, I find myself micromanaging details, putting idle volunteers to work, and racing around putting out “fires” before they start. Although, we did have a few hiccups- no event is ever perfect sailing- I found myself once again amazed at how hands on and proactive the volunteers were! Seriously, it was event coordinator’s dream!
The 8th Annual Rainbows Run was the first Run|Walk I had the privilege to plan. The energy level of 225 participants, the dedication of the team, and the spirit of over 130 volunteers made my first event with Rainbows United a memorable experience in my life. Seeing how everyone came together to raise over $17,200 while sharing how Rainbows personally impacted their lives, makes the event so much more precious to me!
Achieving success through teamwork, partnerships and collaboration does not come easy, in fact it can be time consuming and challenging, but the end product is more than worth it. This week, Rainbows’ staff went Live with our new client database software, myEvolv, after years in the making. It has taken more than 5 years to evaluate, secure funding, adapt the software to our needs and now implement the sophisticated online system. It will allow better understanding of a child’s needs and the services they currently are receiving all in one accessible place. It is a huge step forward in the continuity of information for our staff, eliminating disparate databases that do not talk with one another and taking Rainbows into the future with less paper, more efficiency, and improved reporting.
This only happened because of a number of dedicated partnerships. When we first dreamed about collecting client data electronically and connecting all services under one system, we had a special community Technology Task Force that researched our processes and determined what we needed. They then helped research more than 30 different software programs and believed myEvolv was a fit for Rainbows and the best software to meet our needs.
After we knew what we needed, we had to have funding to make it happen. We applied for grants and tax credits, made budgets and upgraded our internal servers, network and hardware. We knew we needed a Project Manager who would help steer us in the right direction and stand by our side as we got in the details, more details and other details. Richard Vogt with High Touch Technology has done just that and more. A dedicated group of staff have devoted hours that have turned into months and years to enter every line of every form we are replacing, testing every button, dropdown menu and field. They have streamlined processes, confronted change and are willing to stay the course in making the customized code work for our children and families. This group’s resolve under the pressure of daily duties and intense details is something for which we are grateful.
My thanks to everyone who has been a part of funding, building and testing the software to customize it for Rainbows’ use. Everyone involved has been resourceful in finding solutions through intelligent decisions making and determination. Your commitment, dedication and determination are especially applauded.