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Posts from 2015-04-08

Alliances Help Us to Move Forward

Blog Entry by Dr. Samuel N. Mathew, Executive Director

I have always believed in doing things collaboratively. That helps us to progress better. It is only so much we can do when we try to do things alone. We don’t know all of our weaknesses. When we collaborate with others, our weakness are compensated with strength from others and vice versa. And of course we are more accountable and we are more diligent!

So this March when we came over to the US to be with our children and grandchild I planned ahead and arranged some meetings to connect with those who are in the same field of work – Assistive Technology, Early Intervention, Special Education and other areas where we serve those with disabilities.

We reached Delaware on 26th evening and took couple of days to rest. My wife stayed back at our son’s place to spend time with our grandson while I packed my bags and set out for meetings. The first stop was Atlanta on 29th. I had heard about AMAC accessibility center in Georgia Institute of Technology. I had corresponded with Dr. Christopher Lee, Director of AMACS. They work under the University of Georgia System and has a mandate to provide accessibility tools, Assistive Technology tools, and software to monitor progress. Chris was welcoming and so were his colleagues Carol Philipps and others. They promised help as we establish our Assistive Technology Center. I spent the night with one of my old College buddiges, Raju Mathew. He and his wife live in Rosewell and they were gracious enough to pick me up the previous day at the airport and drop me off next day morning at Georgia Tech. Wonderful time together after a long time!

Next stop was at New York. The meeting was with Dr. Stephen Shore of the Special Education Program at Adelphi University. He specializes in students in the Autism Spectrum. We agreed to meet at JFK as he was flying out to Vermont and I was to go to Erie, PA. The meeting was good and he introduced me to Dr. Pavan John Antony, AP in Special Ed, Multiple Disabilities at Adelphi. Dr. Pavan hails from Kerala, but did his doctoral program in the US. There are a lot of opportunities we saw ahead as we progress into providing higher education for those with Autism and Multiple Disabilities. Great! I look forward to some major strides in that direction. In New York, my classmate PV Thomas came to pick me up and drop me off at JFK. Great times!

As I flew into Erie, PA on 31st, I saw the terrain was covered in snow. I didn’t expect that at all! But Erie is a place where snow is a regular feature. They are the third highest snowing city after Boston and Buffalo. The roads were clear and I checked into Wingate by Windham. A simple, clean, beautiful place. A good night’s rest was warranted. So I just had a long night’s sleep and woke early. I had breakfast and headed out to Edinboro University, about 12 miles from Erie. The day was full with discussions in different departments in EU. Dr. Charlotte Molrine arranged everything. Came off with a feeling of great possibilities.

As we are moving forward with our University plans we need good collaborators and partners and I am glad to have these friends whom we can turn to for help!

Signing off for now. I will later scribble about my stop at Temple University on 15th April.

There are a lot of things happening at NISH when I am away and I am in touch with them.


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