We like to take a moment on our blog to introduce you to the hardworking people that make up our staff at the Disability Empowerment Center. Today we sit down with Barb Feaser, the Director of Independent Living at the Disability Empowerment Center.
How did you end up working at DEC?
I had previously worked at the Center For Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania. Through my employment with them, I had learned about the Independent Living Movement, and all the wonderful services that were out there to empower individuals with disabilities.
I felt like I was ready for a change but wanted to maintain employment with a CIL, so I contacted DEC. They were not hiring at the time, however, they encouraged me to apply for the ADRC LINK position that was housed at DEC. I applied and was given the opportunity to work in that position. While working with the LINK, a part time IL specialist became open, and I was given the opportunity to move into that position. I loved it so much and just knew that a CIL is where I was meant to be, so as soon as a full time position became available, I moved into that.
Since then, I have become the Director of Independent Living. It has been so much fun to grow with an organization that is so driven to empower others to live independently. I love my job!
Why did you want to work for DEC?
Because I believe in the Independent Living movement. There is so much work to be done in this field, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of an organization that educates and empowers others.
What is your job title and what do you do at DEC?
I am currently the Director of Independent Living. I supervise my wonderful, hardworking Independent Living Staff.
Together, we work on empowering, educating and teaching both our consumers and the community about the Independent living philosophy. We do as much outreach as we can and strive to grow as a team and organization.
What is your favorite part about your job?
When you believe in what you do, you love everything about your job, but my favorite has to be watching the consumers we work with, living the IL philosophy and seeing the smiles on every individuals face as they accomplish each goal they work on. We try to encourage our consumers to never stop dreaming, and we try to help their dreams become a reality. It is the greatest feeling!
What does “empowerment” mean to you?
Empowerment to me is increasing the capacity of individuals through educating them and providing them with the proper tools, so they feel that they have control over their own lives and all decisions they make.
Empowerment is a great feeling!