Hello, My name is Misty Williams. I started work as an Occupational Therapist in 2009. I worked full-time for 8 years in a Skilled Nursing Facility doing long-term, short-term, and outpatient therapy. I transitioned to working PRN after having children and now continue to work in SNF’s as well as a local hospital where I work with skilled patients, rehab patients, and acutely injured patients. My experience with disability is primarily through my work with patients in these settings. I have worked with people in the facility and completed home visits to assess patient’s living spaces and safety factors when returning home to make recommendations for modifications. The people who have sustained unexpected, permanent debilitating injury seem to be affected most and need information on resources to improve their ability to return home successfully. Besides my job, I take great interest in helping people in our community be successful outside our homes. I am involved in our local community in Harrisonburg as a member of Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition who believes people of all abilities should have access to bicycle pathways for recreation and travel purposes.
Housing and Health
Why do we need universal design? Let’s say my current health (well being) is not directly affected by a lack of accessibility to my ideal home. At least I think… It’s easy to forget how a Smart home/accessible home can reduce everyday stress, fatigue, or improve organization and help create an easier routine; which can, in turn, make us feel more rested, less irritated, happier. Maybe then we have improved health and less money is spent on hospital bills. How about those people that have disabilities? It’s not a new concept to make things easier. Universal design can make the world a better place for everyone.