Got Some Questions? Ask the Vocational Expert!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

My work is helpful during litigation following an injury or condition that leads to disability.  In any type of litigation, if the disability or limitation is significant, more than likely there will be questions about work and future earnings. In fact, a multitude of questions will arise as the case develops. As a well-trained and open minded vocational expert, I love to answer (and come up with) questions!

Do you have questions regarding a person’s future in the workforce?

Answers

 I’d love to find your answers!

Solid and detailed answers will describe employment related issues relevant in workers’ compensation, wrongful death, medical malpractice cases, personal injury, family law and many other areas of civil litigation.

It is important to quantify the loss, but how about going further to qualify it and define the best course of action to remedy it? Let’s characterize what is really going on by providing the facts, then finding help in the best places and describing everything in detail! Keep in mind, I pay particular attention to rehabilitation, health and safety!

Questions involve a multi-layer approach & so do Answers!

PuzzlesQs

What, Who, How? Where, Why, When?

Start with concrete observations (What):

Continue on to the specific people involved (Who):

Move to understanding (How):

Describe the locality and environmental issues (Where):

Step out on a limb of interpretation (Why):

Specify timelines and approaches that make sense  (When):

QsI know, I know, as an attorney you don’t like to ask questions that you don’t have the answer to! But you need the facts backed up by an expert, like me!

Qs
Fire Away!

These are randomly generated great questions! Remember, your answer will be multi-layered!

What occupation(s) is this person qualified to do?

Is this person employable? Where?

What is the outlook for certain occupations over the next 5 years? 10 years? etc.

What are transferable skills and how are they applied?

What are this person’s key transferable skills? How in demand are they?

How many jobs has this person held? Is that “normal”?

What did the person’s job involve? (Is there a need for job description and/or job analysis?)

What was the real reason for termination? Why did it happen?

Why has the worker not found employment?

Is the job search reasonable and effective? How can you be sure?

Is the quality of the job search material (eg: resume and cover letter) effective? How?

Are there specific criteria when targeting key occupations? If so, what are they?

How long does a job search take in a particular field? Why?

Why is motivation a factor in a job seeker’s vocational goal?

QsIs this person motivated to find work? How is that so?

How is a person’s employability assessed?

Are there places this person could work? How does one connect to that type of work?

Has this person sustained any career damage? How?

Are job seeking skills critical to the job search? Why?

What barriers influence this person’s hireability? employability? placeability? *Key Placement Factors*

What factors influence compensation and/or earnings?

What vocational services are available to assist with return to employment?

Why is this person underemployed? Will retraining for a different occupation help? How?

What are Soft Skills? (See Soft Skills Matrix) Does this person have many?

What motivates this person to work? (See Motivational Assessments)

What is the wage range for a particular occupation (or field/grouping of jobs?)

What are the statistics reporting in on this particular job?

What resources are useful for a job seeker?

Is the work physical demanding? How so?

Are there ergonomic issues in regards to this work? What are they?

What assistive technology or work tools would allow the work to be performed differently?

Qs

What markets employ this vocation? Is it viable?

What is the effect on smoking and pain? Or to overall injury recovery? Why?

Is age discrimination occurring? Why is this?

Is this person’s mobility in the workforce good or not good? Why?

What accommodations are available for work? How are they accessed?

What are the job requirements or essential functions of this work?

Does the work environment affect productivity? How?

What does this person’s future employment outlook look like?

Has this person sustained any career damage? How?

What is this person’s earning capacity? How is that calculated?

Qs

Just one more question…

Why not call me ~ Amy ~ at 515-778-0634 or email me at  amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com for help? 

FREEFree 15 minute consultation offering!

If you have questions on a case that have anything to do with work and serious disability, you need solid and detailed information to base your decisions!  Additionally, life care planning that encompasses forensic vocational rehabilitation consulting is a unique concept. It offers you, the judge and jury with information guaranteed to help your litigated case move along. 

If I could help you help your clients, please let me know! Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com. Thank you for reading.

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary Randy! August 4, 1990

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Randy and I were married by Father Dave Polich on Saturday, August 4, 1990 at 2:00 pm at Christ the King Catholic Church on the south side of Des Moines. It was a beautiful day and we had a fun ceremony with many friends and family attending and participating.

We had a fun ceremony!

Our son Nick was 16 months old and accompanied by Michele Ridout so he wouldn’t be interested in making any fuss! My father, Dick, and my sister, Julie did the readings; Tammy Butler Silvey and Stacey Quick Lovell served as my best gals; while Randy’s brother Kyl Botkin and Bryan Anderson his best boys.

Of course, my mother Ann, sister Janice and her daughter Taylor Prochnow, Randy’s parents Marylin and Jim Botkin, Grandpa Chuck Botkin; Randy’s and my co-workers and friends all joined us for the day!

My brother Mike Prochnow served as videographer, while my attendant Joyce Clark and guest book attendant Sharla Hickman helped. Hope I’m not forgetting anyone at this time! We’ll have to get the wedding book out before we go out to eat tonight Randy. Oh, the organist, Alma. Everyone helped us become married!

After the ceremony with Mass of course, our wedding party rode around town in a long black limo. The driver followed our directions to retrace the steps around Court Avenue and the downtown library where we met (on 8/8/99) while walking to the parking lot!

Someone from the party opened a bottle of champagne in the limo and it exploded, staining my wedding dress! 

Our reception was held at the apartment complex in West Des Moines where I used to live at the time we met. Garcia’s Restaurant (where Randy worked part-time at the time we got married, and for several years beyond during our marriage) catered the food. And my other brother, Steven Prochnow served as the DJ! We ate, danced and had a great time partying! Randy’s aunt even decided to jump into the pool, fully dressed?!?

We have lots of pictures, and when I look back at them now, I think, what a waste of film!  Many of the pictures were not shot in correct lighting and are blurry. Nowadays, you can do so much more with shooting photography and editing pictures…a favorite hobby! 

Afterwards, and into the evening, Randy and I drove North for our honeymoon…with a destination of Duluth Minnesota. Yo, huh!?  Actually, to tell the truth, I drove that night because someone was a little tipsy. But first, right after we left the the reception, I had to drive back home before taking off for our destination because someone forgot the luggage (I blamed him and he blamed me…great start!), plus the cans needed to be cut off the car! 

Split Rock Lighthouse

Remember the trip Randy! We had a blast, and have been having a wonderful marriage ever since! Well, mostly!  Marriage is not easy, that’s for sure!  I realize I am blessed to be married to my kinda of man.

Companionship in marriage is key. Between Randy and I, there’s always a celebration, a fight (or a debate) going on, a lot of work to accomplish, or simply taking the time to hang out with each other! Another key to marriage is to lose expectations and go with the flow (even though I often try to direct the flow…)

Randy, although in the past I’ve told you I hated your guts, have smacked you in the nose, flipped you off  and committed other stupid moves (or sins)  that affected our marriage negatively, always related to some sort of adverse stressor we were unable to address in the heat of the moment,  I do love you very, very, very, …… very much!

REB+AEB 4Ever

As an aside, my blog writing  on my website does contain a lot about Randy. He says they are love letters! Well, I saw he offers good writing material about his jobs, his ethic and well, just being a good man. He is the source of my capacity to be self-employed and work from home. Thank you for being my husband for 30 days as of today! & Yo, Read my blog!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Working on a Case Involving Work & Disability? I’m Here to Help You…Depose & More

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I can help you, my Attorney Reader, in a number of ways with a case you’re working on that involves work and disability, whether it be medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation or any other litigation.  Legal Case FilesActually, disability doesn’t have to be involved, yet when is tends to make a case more complex! 

One way I can help you is to design creative questions skillfully as part of the discovery process allowing a much deeper inquiry into the person’s “world of work”.

My goal is to inspire you even more to do what you love to do which is ask questions, right!? And to be the best attorney you can be, double right!!

Depo

I’m sure questions you ask a deponent include those to: determine the nature of previous jobs; amount of money making; for whom s/he was working; why employment was terminated; and what qualifications and experience s/he had for the type of work s/he was doing [when injured].

You also question what work the individual has done, if any since the disabling condition, describing job duties; and determining previous employers and earnings.  Questions posed to encourage a deponent to detail what it is s/he can and cannot do are important, too.

These are all good questions from you yes, and critical of course (although kinda boring in my humble opinion!). Would it help you to have at your fingertips specifically designed questions (based on evidence to date) at deposition that will produce a much deeper inquiry into the person’s vocational background? I get excited when I think of sooo many other questions you could ask that really get into the meat of the matter!

meatAnd I don’t eat meat!

I’ve heard 90% of malpractice cases are settled before trial, and the deposition often is the turning point in those cases. I’d like to help you prepare questions that will lead to responses offering plenty of material for you to work on your case. My aim is to help you skin that cat in many ways and be ready for the most likely responses from your witness.

Object

My hope is that my help with your deposing techniques is valuable pre-trial as well as if the transcript is used for court. Plus, please keep in mind, I can definitely help you in more ways to better understand the individual’s disabling condition. A life care plan is perfect for that! Expert witness and testimony services are available as well.

I am here to help you help your client!

Call me ~ Amy Botkin at  515-778-0634 or send me an email message at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com and I’ll get back to you.

 

Good luck with your legal work. Keep me in mind for to help you during any depositions involving work and disability. I’m Here to Help You…Depose & More!

Thank you for reading! Do you want to really know that you love your job as an attorney?  Here’s a link to an assessment titled why-do-you-do-your-work-you-may-be-in-love that can help you find out!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Happy 30th Birthday ADA! It’s Fun to Celebrate the Birth of a Great Law!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush. Today the Law turns 30 years old! Happy Birthday!

The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life — to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in State and local government programs and services.

It’s fun to celebrate the birth of a great law! Bring on the cake and ice cream!

The ADA was modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin – and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

To be protected by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined by the ADA as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. Source: https://www.ada.gov/

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The ADA is an “equal opportunity” law for people with disabilities!

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Please click here for FAQ about the ADA.

And for your information, this Center is very helpful!

100 Corporate Lake Drive
Columbia, MO  65203
(573) 882-3600
1-800-949-4232
Serving Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska
 

I have many memories of the people I’ve counseled over the years! And I will continue to advocate awareness of persons with disabilities. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve others.

Here’s a bouquet of gerbera to profess my gratitude for what I learn from my customers, clients, and all the people who have taught me about my career

I hope people all over America are celebrating the birthday of the ADA with the treat of their choice! I truly love chocolate cake and ice cream and want you to have another look! 

I thank those who fought hard to bring the ADA to the people. I have experience working on cases involving the ADA and enjoy linking my knowledge with cases regarding employment discrimination in the workplace.

If you have a case involving work and disability, let me know if you’d like my help. I will thoroughly investigate all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and/or life care planning and pay particular attention to health, safety and quality of life! 

Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case. I’m Here to Help You Help Your Client.

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 FAQs

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 FAQs

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. As a civil rights law, the ADA prohibits discrimination of individuals with disabilities. To do so, the ADA ensures equal employment opportunities, requires public and private sectors to increase accessibility, and aims to provide those with disabilities the same advantages and benefits maintained by those without disabilities.

What are the main components of the ADA?

The main components of the ADA are non-discrimination of individuals with disabilities, equal employment opportunities, and the increase of accessibility around the United States.

What terminology is preferred today?

There’s no hard and fast rule – terms frequently change and vary across disabilities, regions, and generations. Few people use “challenged,” “crippled,” “handicapped,” or other stigmatizing terms because they are outdated. The best practice is to ask for individual preference.

What does disability mean?

The official government definition is as follows: an individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

How many Americans are directly covered by the ADA?

According to United States census information, 1 in 5 Americans have some type of disability (note: this is difficult to verify, as disabilities can vary in severity and this statistic neglects the unreported or undiagnosed).

What led to the passing of the ADA?

The ADA ultimately expands upon various court cases and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, which enacted non-discrimination policies for individuals with disabilities in public entities. Additionally, the ADA was modeled on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its focus on eliminating both public and private discrimination, as well as in the allocation of government resources for those affected.

What does accessible or accessibility mean?

To make something accessible enables individuals with disabilities direct and indirect availability to products, devices, services, and environments.

Is there a difference between accessible design and universal design?

Accessible design references a process that is specifically designed for individuals with disabilities. Universal design is a process where the outcome is usable for anyone, exemplified by curb cuts and ramps that may be necessary for some individuals, but are used by all.

What are some everyday changes enacted by the ADA?

  • Equal employment opportunity to ensure that a qualified candidate cannot be rejected because of a disability.
  • Public transportation must have accessible cars, buses, and elevators.
  • Restaurants, museums, stores, and other establishments must be accessible – meaning proprietors must remove physical barriers, be wheelchair friendly, and comply with other ADA accessibility requirements.
  • Closed captioning has grown in use and most video services now have a system to insert captions when necessary.  
  • Telephone companies must have services for customers who are deaf.

Is equal employment opportunity the main accomplishment of the ADA?

While equal employment opportunity is a major accomplishment of the ADA, other successes include increased accessibility and non-discrimination policies in various aspects of everyday life, such as education and telecommunications.

What are the major challenges of the ADA?

There is some disagreement over the ADA as a civil rights law and the ADA as a series of safety regulations. Also, enforcement of the measures enacted by the ADA can be difficult to monitor. Another problem is that people without disabilities may be unaware of jargon (such as “accessibility” or “reasonable accommodation”), resulting in confusion and delay of action. The ADA has had a limited impact on poverty and unemployment among and violence against people with disabilities.

Why it important to learn about the ADA?

The ADA is a major civil rights bill; non-discrimination policies and equal employment opportunities are significant outcomes of the legislation. Also, the increase of accessibility and universal design influence the lives of all Americans, not just those with disabilities. It has had widespread international influence, with many countries adopting similar laws.

Where can I find more information on the ADA?  

Source: https://americanhistory.si.edu/topics/disability-history/pages/americans-disabilities-act-1990-faqs

 

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Dam! Need Help on a Case? I’ll Search Until I Find It!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Some days do you feel weird because part of your daily routine has changed? It happens quite regularly with me. Yes both, feeling weird and not having a typical day!

Image result for images feeling weird

Time that follows after finishing work on an in-depth legal case can feel unusual. How about the time after you’ve completed a project or a presentation that you spent hours on, or when you complete a long-term educational goal…and the homework is done?! You know what I’m referring to. You feel different!  And kinda weird, which is okay. In fact it’s great!

After I’ve served as an expert, I can relax and think upon the experience and what I learned about myself and my role in the process. I consider how I did good and how I could do better.

My work opens up experiences where I continuously learn about my work!

My work as an “expert” requires me to research and study the subject matter at hand. So, I make my own homework all the time and seem to like it! Am I or am I not an unusual person? I absolutely love to study and analyze information!

And like my brother Steven enjoyed, I too like to come up with theories and see if I can prove or disprove them to myself. Some of Steve’s theories however, defied gravity, like his skateboard stunts, and his water skiing stunts, I still don’t know how he could fly!

Steve

The meaning is:  Crown, wreath

I looked up “Steven and dare devil” and found out that on August 18th 1985, a Rhode Island bartender named  Steven Trotter made the trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel wrapped in inner tubes. Mr. Trotter was fined a total of $5,503. Then, he did it again.  On June 18th 1995, Steven returned to the Falls and made it another success.

Niagara Falls Facts for Kids

This time he and a female partner (a caterer) made the big drop together. That is all fine and good for them, but what about the rescuers? Somebody had to help get them out of “hot” water. Oh my! I remember as a child visiting Niagara Falls (height of 167 feet!!)  many moons ago with the family. My brother Steven loved it! I would love to visit again.

But instead I only need to travel a short distance to the pedestrian bridge over the Des Moines River. I love to stop on the south side of the Women of Achievement Bridge and gaze down at the beautiful falls from the Center Street dam…the dam height is 15 feet! I love the dam in Iowa Falls too which has a height of 26 feet! Or course the Saylorville dam is fun to visit too, especially when it’s flowing full force and you get splashed! Dams are gorgeous yet dangerous! Dam! 

BudHere’s to you bro! 

I always have a sip or two on July 17th which is my brother’s birth date at a favorite local cemetery and let Randy drink the rest! (Budweiser is not my brand of beer).

Think about “daredevils” and what their personality and temperament are like. Okay, someone similar to my brother! Someone who takes risks, not silly or reckless dares, but a good slightly risky risk. Are you a person who accepts dares? how about risks? Think about your job and your role at work. Think about how I can help you with a legal case. Okay, go ahead and think about drinking a beer!

Water Quality Check in Beer Brewing - LAQUA [Water Quality ...

And make it a Big Beer!

Law involves uncertainties and risks that cannot be quantified. Some cases may be “risky” because of their sheer complexity or because the subject matter cannot be reasonably measured. I recognize that when I’m called upon to help on a legal case everyone has a role in the process. From me you will receive a report that is clear, truthful and comprehensive.

Here’s a little story about me:

I once searched for a solid week for a black pearl that fell out a ring from my finger. It happened one morning as I was leaving my apartment going to work (for the State). The heavy door grazed my hand as it was closing, caught my ring and the pearl fell out. It fell through the deck slats and landed somewhere in a huge mess of leaves, etc. below. I looked briefly yet had to get to work on time. Upon returning home I looked for the pearl. I looked every time I left the apartment to go to work or go where I needed to go. I was determined to find it!

Image result for pearl black and white ring cartoonWhat an incredible ring!

Until there ya go! 7 days later, I found it!  I am one persistent person when it comes to finding something I absolutely know is there! And that includes something so small as a black pearl! And something so important as facts related to your case.

If there is part of your job that is somewhat risky, convince your brain that you are not scared of said dare or risk, and how proud you will be of your accomplishment. Consider all outcomes, and don’t forget others who are or could become involved. Then gather the courage and just do it! Don’t stop until you are done. Feel the exhilaration! This is similar to serving as an expert witness!

Skydiver

 Be safe, especially if you have a dangerous job (or hobby)

What will I study next? How to sky dive?  I would love to! And I’ve thought about it…hummm, maybe in Brooklyn! Actually I want to get into art. Not that I’m good at drawing or painting. I just like to study and learn new techniques. Not that risky huh! Stay tuned! 

Contact me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com for help on a litigated case involving work and disability.  Thank you for reading!

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Big Miss Steak…Cut Your Meat, Chew A Lot and Eat Slowly!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We humans make some big mistakes. It’s those misguided or wrong actions or judgments that range from simple to complex that can cause alarm and then when understood and corrected can turn into an unforgettable learning experience.

My family and a couple of the kid’s friends had Florida travel plans in June of 2017 to visit my mom and her new husband Dave; and my sister who lives in the Sunshine state, too. Disney World was in the works and a lot of beach time was in mind!

I enjoy flying in an airplane, do you?

We were ready to board the plane…in fact most passengers had already boarded, when I heard over the intercom something to the effect of “stop boarding”. I then witnessed passengers I previously watched moving into the plane’s bridge walk back out with their carry-ons in tow; and thought to myself “oh no, no, no, this doesn’t seem right”.

After all passengers were back in the boarding area, the announcement came on that the plane had been hit by the baggage handling cart causing a hole in the fuselage and we would not be flying. I listened to several passengers give their theories…and some actually felt the impact from the baggage cart when it hit the plane on the side. Wow.

Baggage carts are usually seen in a flurry of activity

After being at the airport patiently waiting to board for 3 hours, the flight was canceled because no rescue plane could be found.  Did you know rescue planes existed?

Many passengers were grumbly and we figured someone at the airport possibly got fired. I watched with fascination through the terminal window as the plane was being inspected, even the pilots were taking pictures with their cell phones! 

Being a Saturday evening, this was the last flight of the week until Thursday, (can you read into what airline I’m referring to if you’re familiar with DSM to Orlando flights?) Although there were some options for our travel the next week, none would have worked out for each of our schedules.

Cartoon Map Of Florida State - Download Free Vectors, Clipart ...

No vacation in Florida. No Disney for the kids. No beach for me…and I even packed four bikinis!, no seeing our friends and family, no nothing…and all the energy involved in the planning of the trip, down the tubes.

I really just wanted to get out of the airport and back home that day. I looked at this experience with the family as practice however, because we’ll be doing it again! Plus I learned how to pack more efficiently and now know I can take food on the plane! 

big miss steak!

Question: How the heck did a human driver hit a huge airplane with basically a golf cart and seriously damage it? This was A Big Mistake affecting a lot of people! Of course my mind went into litigation thinking as there could probably be some lawsuit for any reason. Good thing no one was injured; and hopefully those who really needed to get to Florida ASAP got there without too much anguish.

Related image

You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!! You’re Fired!!

When my son Jacob was very young, he used to love to repeat You’re Fired! You’re Fired! You’re Fired! over and over and over.  I really never had any idea who he was firing, but he did a lot of it! Jacob was fond of Charizard, of the Fire/Flying Pokemon species, maybe that’s why he was fond of the phrase you’re fired? Are you? Have you ever been fired? Have you had to fire someone? Did you learn from it?

Okay, here’s one (of my own mistakes) about me as I was getting ready for the Florida trip. As I considered what to take as a carry-on (free on this airline), I decided upon a smaller purple suitcase with wheels I’ve used before…and as I was packing it I felt something lodged at the bottom.  Upon retrieval, I found a maroon jewelry box and opened it.

Wrapped up in tissue was my diamond tennis bracelet!

Being missing for over a year, I had seriously thought it was lost for good. Okay this “big miss steak” wasn’t so bad, and I hope I learned my lesson.  There was another time time I was stopped at airport security because a pocket knife was found buried inside an unknown ripped seam inside my little purse.Oops.Swiss Army Knife Clip Art

Another “big miss steak” is inadvertently bringing a pocket knife through security!

I strive to be extremely careful with my work, especially with my writing skills. However typos do arise and I’ve been known to unfortunately miss my own (including having a date wrong on my resume for a couple years before I noticed it!)  BTW, other’s typos glare at me.  

But big mistakes, like negligence when it comes to a patient’s health care, is something I can help with and I’m sure we’ll both learn a lot through the course of the case. If I make a mistake on your case, I will accept responsibility.  

I’ve recently worked on a medical malpractice case; and in this case the patient died, however my role/goal was to perform a vocational evaluation and assess his earning capacity had he not died in such a short period of time. For more information on my work in this case and how I followed basically the same methodology as other evaluations, please contact me. 

Image result for big miss steakYes everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs to be careful in our roles at work. I don’t know if anyone was fired or if there was any lawsuits over this airport incident, but it got me thinking about mistakes, including the many of my own.  

I’m not saying eating steak is a mistake, but I agree becoming a vegetarian is a big missed steak!  Keep in mind I am a vegetarian and have not eaten steak since 2011 (although I can’t deny the great smell!)  To each their own, just be sure you cut your meat carefully, chew a lot, and eat slowly!

Contact me at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com for help on a litigated case involving work and disability! Thank you for reading my post. Are you a meat eater or a no meat eater? It’s your choice!

 ________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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My Brother Lived in Florida and Worked in Canada! Need to Highlight Your Client’s Vocational History?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Back when I wrote the I Changed My Mind post, I started to blog about my brother Steven John Patrick Henry Murphy Fred George John Prochnow.  Okay, aka Steven, Steve or even SJP. My brother Steve loved the 4th of July.  He sure loved the holiday activities and the fireworks!

Water skiing was one of Steven’s favorite summer-time activities!

Steven was a member of the Iowa Falls Ski Club for many summers.  I was too for a time!  The team practiced and showed off in front of people driving along the river bend, or walking across swinging bridge, or boating, or hanging out at Foster Park.  Along the Iowa River you never know who you’ll see!

The big ski show is on the 4th during the annual River Bend Rally Celebration.  For the show one year, Steve dressed up as a clown (over swim trunks), hit the ramp, and sailed through a ring of fire! The crowd roared!

Steven was into extreme sports. A daredevil to the bone.

Iowa Falls is nestled on the borders of the beautiful Iowa River in north central Iowa. The river, the cliffs, and the parks along the river have given Iowa Falls the well-deserved nickname, “The Scenic City.”

It’s fun to re-explore “The Scenic City”.  A few years back, old high school friends partied together for our class reunion.  Isn’t it interesting how some people just never change? Isn’t it interesting to learn about your high school friends careers? Isn’t it sad to learn when one dies?

The 4th of July was Steve’s favorite holiday

On July 17 of this year, 2020, Steven would’ve turned 58.  I wonder how he would’ve changed? I believe he’d still be happily married to Shereen, and a father to several children and a variety of pets

He’d still be riding his motorcycle and enjoying the sun. He’d still be working at Disney World.  He’d still be the wild and crazy daredevil loving man.  But that’s not reality as he died in a motorcycle accident late at night on October 24, 1998.

July’s birthstone is the ruby, which calls to mind thoughts of love and passion.

I miss him tremendously.  He started his career at Disney World outside wearing a tee shirt and shorts in Epcot’s World Showcase. His land was Canada.  I love this relaxing and scenic area of Disney World, centered around a reflective lagoon. There are eleven countries represented in unique cultural fashion, and the food!

Steve would brag and say “I live in Florida and work in Canada.”

He later landed an executive job where he wore a dress shirt, pants and a tie (often with Mickey on it…and he’s buried in a Mickey Mouse tie) to the office every day.  

I am so proud of how he progressed at Disney World.  Before he died, he was working in career training and development.  I remember my last telephone conversation with him where he was telling me about his work and his job was to help fellow employees of Disney progress in their careers!

Amy & Eeoyre! I felt so special!

Here I am at Disney World when in December of 1997, I flew down to Fort Lauderdale for a work-related training when I started my employment with Interim Personnel the year before he died.

It was always great to go to Disney for free because  he (and his wife Shereen) both worked there! We never even had to wait in a line, and could get in through the employee entrance gates. In this photo, I’m wearing my brother’s Mickey Mouse coat and his Mickey Mouse Santa hat (which I still have) and posing with my good friend Eeoyre

Maybe more on SJP in a future post. Love you bro! Hello my attorney reader! I can help you with a case that will benefit by highlighting your client’s vocational history!  Thanks for reading and thinking of me. Why wait to place me into action?

Contact me, my attorney reader, at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com and let me share my writing talents and my consulting expertise with you! Thank you for reading my post.

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

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Blending Art and Science…to Help Litigated Cases! I Can Help You Help Your Clients!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I’m intrigued about the “difference” between art and science. It’s easy to say art is subjective while science is objective. Fundamentally, art expresses knowledge, while science is the system of acquiring knowledge. Yet in many ways art and science are actually connected and related to each other.

Amy & Randy July 17, 2011

Kinda like a couple with waaay cheap sunglasses! 

Randy and I have more differences than similarities. Or do we? Let’s look at a few basic facts:

We often prod each other of our differences. I prefer pepper, while he does salt. Me ketchup, he mustard. He likes corn, me peas. I love apples, he prefers oranges. He likes vanilla ice cream, me chocolate. Hot peppers *me! versus no way to hot peppers *he! I really could go on and on about our taste differences! By the way, I’m a vegetarian! Not Randy the meat eater!

KetchupMustard

But what about our important similarities (that have nothing to do with food)!

Our similarities matter the most. Like how we: Approach life. Share our faith. Explore our world together. Use our resources. Create options. Solve problems. Work hard. Lovingly care for our 3 young adult children. Spoil the pets.  There we meet; well we try hard to meet! 

Keep in mind Randy is much more serious than I am. The better descriptor for him is probably straight-laced (kinda), not one to bend (that many) rules, and he likes to go by the book (mostly).  He prefers to follow instructions, a map, or a detailed plan (he designs power points before we go on a road trip)! And me, well I make my mind up where to go when the time is right for me! But I don’t get lost!

Randy is a teacher with a bachelor degree in Art ~ a BA and he has a ME  ~ Master in Education. I am a counselor with a bachelor degree in Science ~ BS, and my MS is again in Science. But wait!! When it comes to teaching or counseling, what really is the difference between art and science when expressing knowledge in real life?

I would say the main difference between art and science is that art is more focused on the perception of the world through the eyes of a particular individual. Art involves an emotional response, and can be based on personal experience, opinions, preferences, and individual perceptions. Look at a painting and we all see something different!

Art elicits an emotional response while science doesn’t (at least for most people I know)!

Image result for painting

Do You Like This Print?

Science, on the other hand, is regimented and systemic with rules, procedures, and policies to follow. When people perform scientific investigations, the purpose or goal is to find an answer to something in a very planned out and specific way using the scientific method. Easier said than done, and requires planning with purpose and planning with options.

Image result for beauty in the eye“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”

Look at a cell under a microscope and you are supposed to see the exact same thing (assuming you know what you’re looking at) as the next microscope user. BTW, I never could really “see” what my microbiology partner at ISU saw, but I did get excited (an emotion!!) when he said I was close!

I found other ways to look at the topic of blending art and science:

Image result for curveballBaseball pitchers use the science of physics when throwing a curve ball, but actually throwing a good curve is an art form.

Or perhaps medicine is an easier example.  Medical practice is both an art and a science.  The two cannot be separated without destabilizing the system. Do you want physical treatment without discussing what your psychological needs are?

Image result for medicine

A couple lives on the art of marriage AND the science of marriage. And a rehabber relies on the art and science of rehabilitation! There is a balance, although it certainly can tip often.

The balance is found in creating the work of art marriage / or the work of art rehabilitation is supposed to be, in a natural sense. It involves digging your heels in and applying the science of either of these (marriage/rehabilitation) when times get rough.

Keep in mind, I’m not a marriage counselor, I’m a rehabilitation counselor! And also keep in mind, I’ve been married for close to 30 years. In August of 2020 we’ll be a-celebrating!

So applying a sense of balance to my own work activities using art and science  to help you help your case sure makes sense to me!  My reports will not parse other’s reports, use wild statistics, or make blanket statements based on literature with no direct relationship to the individual’s  health condition and/or future work.

In my reports, I will make sense of what I believe to be the best options for your case and focus on connecting the results of my research to support my helpful recommendations and conclusion. This is blending art and science in a meaningful way. This is helping you help your client. This is why I do my work.

I appreciate the sound of blending art and science!  

I can help you with your case involving work and disability, the employment aspects of a divorcing couple, or a case involving the need for life care planning

Additionally, let me know how I could help you with a case with conflicting opinions! There’s always a way to blend the best and come to the truth.

Give me a call at 515-778-0634 or email me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case. Thank you for reading! 

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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I’m A Lot Like A Mole…Fortunately to Help You on a Legal Case!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Okay, so I do something I’m not so sure many other people chose to do and it’s clearly an inherited trait.  Dad did it too. Okay, it’s…it’s…I’ll just come out and tell you. I use bar soap and I use the soap until it is totally gone. And I mean totally! 

I don’t waste soap

Like dad, I also save and reuse paper napkins if possible (but prefer cloth!) and keep paper towels (ditto) the same way he did, until they’ve been totally used up! He’d toss, recycle or burn what he had to.

Waste Not, Want Not

(Learned the saying from dad) and ya, it’s a proverb: if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need, or, if one is not wasteful then one will not be needy. You get the point, and so did I back then and I still do today.

Dad would also say things like “It’s your nickel” back when the home phone rang in the 70’s with the cost increase to “It’s your dime” in the early 80’s! Which really both made no sense at the time. But the point is: my dad was cost conscious (boy oh boy am I too)! Dad was not wasteful and I greatly appreciate inheriting certain traits from him.

I miss you so much dad! I know you are a part of me that I will have forever.  Here’s a picture recently uncovered. It’s of my dad Dick and his baby Amy! I have no idea where we are and why I’m wearing silly glasses! Pretty cute though, huh! My dad, always a good looking man!

I still look like this!

I am also quite cognizant of what I throw away. I don’t want to be wasteful and I don’t want to worsen any landfill with un-recyclable garbage (read: plastic packaging). I know plastic has many very practical and very useful purposes. But when it is used once and thrown away…that bothers me. Especially when I’m at a conference in a “green/sustainable building” and they serve all food items on single use disposal yet non-compostable products.

I recycle everything possible (and feasible considering time and other factors) and started composting (thank you to my sister Julie who gave me her used Earth Machine)! To me, the smell of good natural composition of kitchen and yard waste is incredible and to think of how it was made by helpful microbes, worms and other organisms!

When mixed with your soil, compost will revitalize it, make it healthier and more productive, and increase moisture retention! Can’t go wrong there, huh!? So, I use compost and spread it out in my yard and garden. I don’t use chemicals and pick weeds by hand!,  plus I’m into the No Mow method of lawn maintenance (although Randy isn’t).

Viola! Beautiful lawn and it smells so fresh!

However, and much to my chagrin…we got moles. They must really like their meals found in our front and our back yard. The good can seem not so good when now my lawn is disfigured with raised soft ridges and scattered holes. So, this is all natural and meant to be, right??!

Have you ever seen a mole close up?

A mole is really interesting looking, lives underground and is nearly blind. There’s been a couple deaths ~ a baby and an adult mole ~ with corpses delivered by most likely my cat Alaska in the driveway and later buried by my animal loving  husband Randy. Yes, I made him dig a hole and bury. 

I read that although a mole can detect light it does not hunt using its eyes. Instead, it relies on smell (hence the interesting snout!) and on touching wriggling prey (hence those crazy nails) using sensory hairs on its face. So a mole is good for underground life.  Based on my research : )  A mole is also territorial, strong, a hard working solitude industrious digger, and a natural engineer (just like my brother Michael).

So to safely say, I’m a lot like a mole. Yes I need to get new prescription glasses, there’s nothing wrong with my sense of smell, my nails are natural, and I have a somewhat fuzzy face according to my husband. There may be other similarities, but I’ll let you make them on your own!

I’ve talked to people, including my sister Julie, who have attempted to wage all-out war on moles without success. What I’m realizing is that molehills are signs that the soil is in good shape.

And I can celebrate that fact!

But there is lingering doubt and some anguish over the mighty, mysterious and resilient mole. And I’ve concluded a mole deserves respect, and as often as I can offer it, tolerance.

I see value and purpose in everything that surrounds me.

That’s because I’m a natural rehabber!

So, with this post, I ask you, My Attorney Reader, if you could use help in helping your client through the difficult maze of their claim, please let me help.

I won’t come to court looking like a mole, but I will show up acting like an industrious mole:  ready to dig in, make use of forensic skills, realize the work won’t be easy, and never stop aerating!

I’m here to help you help your client. And, I love to help out using my forensic rehabilitation services! Thanks for reading my post. If you would, please read it again, and consider what I wrote from a metaphorical perspective. The point is the goal of my work is to discover new ways to highlight facts of your case.  Thanks for reading again!

Give me a call at 515-778-0634 or email me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case.

___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

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