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See Us Hear Us

Author: Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc.

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See Us, Hear Us is a place for the disabled community to have meaningful conversation. We will explore the challenges faced by the disabled community and how we can come together to overcome obstacles, raise awareness and work toward positive social change.
12 Episodes
This week, we meet Angelo, a TBI survivor due to an arterial vein malformation. Angelo had begun feeling sick, passed out after a night out, and was quickly brought to the hospital by his family, unsure of the cause. Once the cause was determined, 2 liters of blood was drained from his brain and he had awoken from his coma, Angelo had been transported to multiple hospitals and facilities that would be able to accommodate his needs, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, cognitive therapy and speech therapy. Through this process Angelo experienced sadness, but knew he had to push through for his family. His goal was to leave his last facility walking with a cane, no wheelchair, and he did just that, making his promise to his mother come true.
This week on See Us, Hear Us, we are speaking with Taylor Darling, NYS Assemblywoman for the 18th District located on Long Island. Taylor is both passionate for helping those with disabilities, as well as becoming an advocate for those in her community. Her  passion for helping those with disabilities shines through her work as she sits on the Committee for People with Disabilities, and recognizes the inequities within the community of people with disabilities. Taylor Darling will discuss her views on streamlining access to resources, training needed to work with people with disabilities, and the importance of paying the proper wages for those who work with those with disabilities and their families.
This week we talk to Samantha, a TBI survivor. Samantha went through a tragic car accident, being hit by an 18-wheeler. She was not breathing after being pulled from the car, technically dead. After being in a coma, followed by months of rehab, Samantha was able to begin what she calls her “rebirth.” Despite the obstacles placed in front of her, she shows what the true meaning of determination and perseverance is. She has been checking off goals that she has wanted to accomplish since before the accident, and today, Samantha says “I am ready for the next challenge to come my way.”
This week is our season one finale and we wanted to end in a very special way. Our guest is Chris Whirl and he joins Dr. Christopher Long to discuss Traumatic Brian Injuries. It is a topic that he knows very well as he himself suffers from a Brain Injury. This episode was recorded as Chris was getting ready to celebrate ten years since the night of his accident. His ability to stay positive and rehab his way back from his injuries to re-enter the education system, have a job and be a role model for others is truly inspiring. Timestamps: 00:30 - Chris Whirl Introduction01:04 - What is a Traumatic Brain Injury02:32 - Chris’ Injury04:29 - How life changed after Chris’ injury07:10 - The night of the injury09:30 - Rehab and the journey back13:59 - TBI Waiver Services and Goals 17:08 - How to improve services19:00 - Current Challenges for Chris21:00 - Re-Entering the Education System26:48 - Setting Goals/Using the SMART System30:20 - Future Goals for Chris35:10 - Chris on relationships and marriageTo learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more.
This week’s guest is Tyler. Tyler has an amazing journey that has taken him from the Ukraine, to being adopted by an amazing family in the United States before accomplishing great feats while pushing himself harder than he ever thought possible. Tyler is fully employed, loves his life, helps others like him through advocacy and has even created his very own podcast and music library. Timestamps:00:37 – Born, Adopted in Ukraine01:11 – Getting used to living in America02:46 – Deal with Parents04:00 – A Personal Breakthrough06:24 – Post-High School Transition06:55 – Saddle Rock Ranch Arrival07:41 – What’s life on the Ranch like?08:31 – Advocacy and what it means to Tyler10:28 – Advocacy leads to Employment Success13:30 – Tyler’s Future Goals14:35 – Tyler’s Own Podcast Efforts - Autism Circle16:01 – Advocating for State Funding16:35 – Access to Services and Employment18:25 – Housing Options for those in Need19:15 – Support from Family20:30 – Tyler’s Mom Became an Author to Tell His Story 23:08 – The Importance of Music and Podcasts27:17 – What can Providers do to Improve Their ServicesTo purchase the book about Tyler's Life; He Just Needs to Be Loved; visit: listen to Tyler and Josh's podcast; Autism Corner visit: To Find out more about Tyler and Josh's music studio visit: To learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more. 
Bullying is something that feels like it’s gotten worse over the years than better. In this episode, Chris and Bradley talk about their experiences with bullying, the connection between bullying and people with disabilities and their ideas on how to make things better and possibly educate today’s youth.Timestamps:0:26 – Why is Bullying important?01:30 – What might cause bulling?02:53 – Bradley’s experience with Bullying09:49 – Did Bullying ever get better?11:05 – Overcoming challenges 11:58 – The challenges of learning in school13:21 – Navigating learning while being disabled and bullied15:37 – Chris’s experience’s with his family17:20 – How can we be proactive against bullying19:23 – Educating all parties about bullying20:20 – Creating a healthy environment in School21:59 – How Bradley reached the bottom and overcame 24:11 – Bradley’s closing adviceTo learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more.
Keystone Human Services is an international human services provider that started in Pennsylvania. From there, the organization has stretched across the United States and across oceans to help create positive change for others. Chris hosts Charlie Hooker; Keystone Chief Executive Officer and Greg Wellems; Keystone Executive Director Intellectual Disability Services for a very informative discussion about where the human services industry is heading. Timestamps:00:36 – Introductions01:11 – What is Keystone and how did it start?04:28 – Keystone expands in America07:21 – Keystone expands Internationally09:09 – Moldova and the Crisis in Ukraine13:12 – Landscape changes due to the pandemic and crisis in Moldova17:22 – Keystone and India21:37 – How does Keystone allocate resources for such a large organization25:28 – Workforce Challenges for Keystone and the Human Services Industry28:47 – 3 Key Areas that contribute to Workforce Challenges32:11 – How can technology help provide services differently? 36:33 – The Future for KeystoneTo learn more about Keystone Human Services, please visit to learn more.To learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more.
A growing type of service for those that are able to be extremely independent is the service of Self-Direction. Steve Fleisher is an amazing member of the disabled community that is a voice for the Self-Direction model.  Chris and Bradley explore the world of Self-Direction and how it compares to a group home setting. Timestamps:00:00 – Show Opening01:33 – Steve Introduction02:22 – What is Self-Direction02:48 – What makes Self-Direction so desired03:32 – How is Steve Self-Directed04:02 – Is Self-Direction the Best? 04:34 – Challenges with Self-Direction05:52 – Life Before Self-Direction06:51 – Struggles in group home for Steve07:51 – Finding staff for Steve 09:49 – Streamline Process for Staff with Michelle Flood10:06 – How do staff assist in Self-Direction11:28 – Self-Direction allows for employment opportunities13:55 – Steve and SANYS14:29 – How involved are Steve’s parents15:04 – Support Director Roles15:44 – Expanding on Self-Direction Challenges17:25 – Steve, Sports and Fun19:54 – Mom and Self-Direction21:17 –Self-Direction Recommendations22:00 – Chris brings us home22:38 – Steve’s final thoughtsTo learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more. 
A huge force for positive change for the disabled community is the Self Advocacy Association of New York State; also known as SANYS. Marisol and Michelle Flood discuss the importance of self-advocacy, how SANYS has created tremendous change in the state of New York and how SANYS is going to the front lines of change to promote self-advocacy.  Timestamps:0:00 – Introduction01:05 – What is SANYS and their mission03:53 – What is the relationship with Self-Advocacy and SANYS04:25 – Progress made and progress still to go for Self-Advocacy05:47 – Barriers that exist for people with disabilities 07:57 – Could education help us create positive change?10:22 – What can we do to teach students at an early age about being a self-advocate12:26 – How does SANYS spread the word about their amazing work16:02 – What are we advocating for in 2022?19:03 – These priorities affect us all21:51 – Human Services Staffing Crisis24:14 – The importance of relationships with local legislators 25:29 – How to create or re-energize a self-advocacy group26:04 – How people can get involved in self-advocacy and SANYSIf you want to learn more about SANYS (Self-Advocacy Association of New York State) please visit to learn more.To learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more. 
A Little Bit About Us

A Little Bit About Us


Our debut episode is finally here! Join your hosts Chris Long and Bradley as they go over some of their history and their experiences from two very different roads in life. Bradley brings experiences as someone affected by a disability and Chris brings his experience as a service provider leader and father of multiple children. Timestamps:00:36 – Chris’s First Experience in Human Services02:58 – What makes Chris proud about his impact?04:12 – Potential Future Accomplishments05:54 – How can this Podcast impact others?06:55 – Bradley’s Introduction07:44 – Bradley’s Education History09:34 – Experience Being Bullied11:08 – Going to high school with challenges12:36 – Bullying in High School14:08 – How to combat bullying15:38 – Graduating High School17:01 – Bradley’s Behavior Challenges 18:30 – Moving into a group home20:30 – First Relationship Experiences and Challenges22:14 – Creating New Roads in New York24:48 – Exploring Bradley’s Turning Point26:28 – Bradley’s First Employment Opportunity28:23 – Exploring Advocacy30:50 – Remembering the Speakers Bureau 31:34 – Bradley’s hope for the podcastTo learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more.
This episode sees Chris and Bradley bring on a special guest. Jessica Campbell is a self-advocate, a teacher at SANYS (Self-Advocacy Association of New York State) and board member of a New York Provider Agency. Jessica discusses her amazing story and accomplishments with Chris and Bradley this week in a can’t miss episode. Timestamps:0:20 – Jessica Intro and Show Mission01:50 – Background about Jessica03:12 – Jessica’s current employment03:40 – Self Advocacy and SANYS04:45 – Importance of Medicaid and Supports07:36 – Staffing for disability services08:43 – Bradley and the Speakers Bureau10:04 – Jessica’s Self Direction Accomplishments12:15 – Partners in Policy Course at Cornell University13:08 – SANYS University14:28 – Jessica and the Board of Directors at AHRC Nassau15:46 – Importance of Supportive Decision Making16:34 – What doesn’t Jessica do?17:05 – Jessica’s Personal Hobbies18:36 – What’s next for Jessica?19:19 – Services for Adult Transition ServicesIf you want to learn more about SANYS (Self-Advocacy Association of New York State) please visit to learn more.To learn more about the services that Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. offer, please visit to learn more.
Welcome to episode zero for See Us Hear Us. This podcast will be place for the disabled community to have meaningful conversations. We will explore the challenges faced by the community and examine how we can come together to overcome barriers and work towards positive change. Dr. Christopher Long is here to let you know what to expect in this Season 1 tease. 
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