Speaking Topics

What do you see when you look at me?

My first topic is the one I have done most often, it is about having a brain trauma that you really can’t tell I have when you first meet me, or even know me for a long time. But it is there, and it was a long journey to find out my way to it being part of my life, a part will never leave, from 21 years ago. Somehow we got out of the hospital with no prescribed therapy or help. I sat for awhile and then one day did a little thing and from there wrote my own 3 point plan to how to begin a new life, changed, yes, but still viable and possible and full. Those points anyone can do, but it helps greatly to know someone else, me, has been there, a bit lonely and unsure before I found a way. My way won’t work for everyone, but it gives an idea of a path and hope for finding an answer.

A new law for brain trauma survivors

In 2012, I had a negative experience with law enforcement that left me with an increased level of stress and struggle on handling my life with my disability. The long 3 years of resolution and 2 years of bringing the answer into an actual law, HB 1338, to help with this circumstance took a lot of planning and resolution. The bill was passed out of committee by both houses of the Texas Legislature with unanimous votes. The governor signed it into law on June 17 of this year. The date of implementation was moved from the initial year of 2017 to September 1, 2015. And the first training, done by TCOLE in October 2015 had over 750 officers who signed up. I have had many people bring me a story of a similar incident happening to someone they knew, and support for this new law has been enthusiastic and widespread. My experience has given me the insight to speak for many such unfortunate events, and a story people can relate to.


What you can DO

The law I shepherded is important, but so was getting it passed. I have had as many comments on that advocacy as I have on the content of this legislation. It has come from law enforcement, families of brain trauma survivors, and myriad people I know through casual conversation and work, A great example is a fellow potter whose brother is a police officer, her words were this is so needed.

But this topic is not the only thing that needs work, what have you seen that you would want to change? That’s what this page is for, because I am an everyday person just like you. This page is how to go about identifying the issues you want to change and then working within the system to find out how it came to be, who are the parties to talk to, and what are the answers possible? Working within the system for a positive effective change is a great path. I didn’t do anything you can’t do, I researched the issue, how to change it, the timeframe I needed to work within, and then I began to do it.

We can all do that. Contact me if you want help to start that change, I am interested in hearing and helping if I can.

DO stands for: Define your issue, O is for own the solution, don’t rely on other people, don’t just talk about it, make it happen.