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The Meadows Blog

Empathy

Michael Crawley - Friday, August 19, 2016

Empathy is the ability to sense, understand and appreciate the feelings and experiences of others. It requires taking the time and making the effort to focus on someone else without judging them and without giving into the temptation to deny the validity of their perspective. Unfortunately, it is often the case in the lives of people with developmental disabilities that empathy is not embraced by those who have a direct effect on their lives.  
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What Do You See?

Michael Crawley - Friday, July 22, 2016

What do you see when you encounter someone you believe is different than you? Do you see someone who makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you see only the characteristics that you don’t understand? Do you see someone that leads you to make unfair comparisons or form instant opinions based only on appearances without any facts? Do you see a person you believe to be broken or inferior in some way? Perhaps you prefer to turn away so you don’t have to see them at all. 
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Fathers

Michael Crawley - Saturday, June 11, 2016

When it comes to raising children with developmental disabilities, mothers receive well deserved attention for their parenting. They are considered the primary caregivers and nurturers. They interact with teachers, health professionals and case managers. They are always on the front lines advocating for their child’s rights, and they are vigilant concerning their health and safety. But although they may not receive the same amount of attention, fathers of children with intellectual challenges also play a crucial role in the life of their child.  
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Hope

Michael Crawley - Sunday, May 08, 2016

It is a fact that all human beings must have hope. Being hopeful promotes good health. It benefits us physically, psychologically and emotionally. It is intellectually stimulating to have positive expectations for your life. It is important to be able to face the future without fear. Having hope gives us a sense of well-being about ourselves and our families. It is a feeling that life can be more. It’s an expectation that things do not have to remain the same. Hope represents possibility. It is the promise of something better. It is the belief that situations or conditions will improve. 
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Employment Choice

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In recent years there has been a concerted effort, which is long overdue, to ensure that people with developmental disabilities are given every opportunity for full inclusion in all areas of society, including employment. There is now legislation being put in place which stresses that individuals with intellectual challenges must have more choices in their employment options. We certainly agree that is a desirable outcome. 
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Thankful

Michael Crawley - Sunday, March 27, 2016

I have been writing this blog for almost three years now. During that time I have tried, with only a few exceptions, not to focus on myself. We have so many people, particularly our employees and their families, that provide such wonderful ideas and material to work with that there is always an abundance of interesting topics to explore. But just this once I want to explain how thankful I feel to be working at the Meadows. 
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The Teachers

Michael Crawley - Sunday, March 13, 2016

Because the Meadows is a vocational setting, our focus is on training people with developmental disabilities to provide them with the job skills they need to be successful. However, because of the complex needs of the individuals we work with, it is impossible not to connect with them on a much deeper level. And it is that rich interaction that allows us to see life from their perspective and to understand that perhaps the way they see the world is a beautiful lesson in being human.    
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Lights In The Darkness

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 07, 2016

Someone I did not know has died. So why does it matter to me? 
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Our Customers

Michael Crawley - Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Meadows Center for Opportunity is a non-profit foundation that offers employment and vocational training to men and women with developmental disabilities and other intellectual and physical challenges. Our mission is to provide the opportunity for adults to work in a safe and supervised setting where they can maximize their existing strengths and abilities while they learn new skills that can benefit them in the future.  

For more than three decades our organization has been blessed with consistent success, due in large part to the incredible loyalty of our customers. They have been unwavering in their support of our efforts to make a difference through meaningful employment. We could not be a positive force for people with disabilities without their help.  

Some of our customers use us specifically because of the individuals we hire. They want to be part of something that adds value to the community and that plays an important role in the lives of people who are often marginalized. Others use our services because of the exceptionally high quality of our work and our affordable pricing structure, but no matter what their motivation, we are extremely grateful for each of the more than 3,000 customers statewide who choose the Meadows for their secure data destruction.   

Obviously their patronage gives us the ability to ensure that our employees receive a steady paycheck, but it provides so much more than just financial stability. It also gives adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be successful which builds their self-esteem and self-confidence. It gives them a sense of acceptance as they work as part of a team for a common goal. It allows them to experience the dignity of work. 

The businesses, government agencies, schools, medical facilities, law firms and other organizations that use us for their shredding needs are truly partners in our mission to change lives. Without their ongoing support we would not be able maintain our commitment to hire people who are frequently ignored in the job market, but who sincerely want to work - and have the right to work.

The individuals we employ have achieved and accomplished far more than many believed was possible, and our customers deserve a great deal of the credit for acting on their conviction that adults with intellectual challenges deserve to work. Their continuing support allows our organization to consistently maintain a standard of excellence that is the direct result of the amazing efforts of our employees.

The jobs that our customers help to provide are an important part of the lives of those who are among the most vulnerable in our society. These men and women take great pride in having the opportunity to reach their maximum potential. Their complete dedication in doing their work correctly and efficiently gives us the flexibility to meet deadlines and to adjust to any other special requirements that might be needed.  

Over the years some of our customers have also made contributions to our annual fundraiser, which typically generates between $50,000 and $60,000 dollars. That money is used to purchase new equipment and to upgrade our facility so that we can continue to provide the most professional service possible. We are grateful for the corporate compassion they show in their ongoing commitment to the individuals we employ.   

Unfortunately it is quite easy for a business to think of their customers as faceless non-human entities and vice versa. But in reality, both sides of the transaction are composed of a diverse collection of people all sharing the same hopes, dreams and aspirations. What is different about those who choose to do business with us is their ability to see the humanity of the individuals we employ. They understand that every person should be accepted for who they are, without judgment, regardless of the particular issues they face. They realize that adults with developmental disabilities deserve to have the opportunity to succeed and should not be denied that chance because of a diagnosis. And they believe they have a responsibility to organizations like ours who are providing the structure necessary to allow people with intellectual challenges to achieve their very best.

Through their willingness to embrace the beauty and power of diversity, and by providing the dignity and respect that people with disabilities deserve, our clientele set a powerful example for others to follow.   

On behalf of our management team, our staff and the incredible men and women we employ, the Meadows would like to express our deepest thanks and sincerest appreciation to our customers for supporting our mission through the years.

We look forward to working together in the future.

 
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Memories

Michael Crawley - Saturday, December 19, 2015

Memories are our most prized possessions. They are an accounting of the milestones that have shaped our lives, allowing us to relive the most important moments. The births, the graduations and the weddings are all stored in our minds to be treasured. Each memory is an important part of the collective evidence of the life we’ve led. They are a mental transcript of all the experiences that make up our past, but most importantly, our memories keep us close to those we’ve lost.  
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LATEST NEWS


Why We Are Not Hiring

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 25, 2018

People frequently contact the Meadows to see if we are currently hiring individuals with intellectual challenges. Unfortunately, as much as we wish we could, the answer is NO. 
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The Men and Women of the Meadows

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 18, 2018

The mission of our organization is to provide employment and vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities as well as other intellectual and physical challenges. 
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Physical Challenges

Michael Crawley - Sunday, February 11, 2018

For those of you who are familiar with the Meadows, you know that on this blog we focus primarily on intellectual challenges. That is because each of the men and women we employ has an IQ of 70 or less, which is the state’s criteria of determining a developmental disability. 
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Public Perceptions

Michael Crawley - Monday, February 05, 2018

As people drive past our building each day it is impossible to get a true sense of what is going on inside our 42,000 sq. ft. facility. That leaves the general public with a natural curiosity about what kind of organization we are and exactly what it is we do. 
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Every Life Matters

Michael Crawley - Sunday, January 28, 2018

Each one of us believes that our life is important. But, unfortunately, our fixation with our own significance can sometimes lead us to presume that other lives don’t matter as much as ours. We often fall into the trap of believing that we are superior and, therefore, by default, others are inferior. 
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More Than A Job

Michael Crawley - Monday, January 22, 2018

Our jobs play an important role in each of our lives. In many ways, they help to define us. For some, it means having the ability to provide for their families. For others, it is a lifelong commitment to a meaningful career. But no matter what the circumstances, our jobs occupy a significant portion of our time. 
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A Friend Is A Friend

Michael Crawley - Monday, January 15, 2018

Friendships are some of the most important relationships we have in life. They add a richness and warmness to our existence. They provide comfort and make us feel connected. They allow us to be understood and accepted for who we are. They provide us with people we can count on during difficult times. And, just as importantly, friendship gives us someone to share our happiest moments with. 
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The Families of the Meadows

Michael Crawley - Monday, January 08, 2018

When an individual arrives for their first day of work at the Meadows, it is an accomplishment resulting from a lifetime of effort. It’s the culmination of years of commitment and dedication. It’s the achievement of a goal that at times seemed unattainable – but is now a reality. 
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The Unseen

Michael Crawley - Monday, January 01, 2018

Most people would be shocked to learn that three out of every one hundred Americans have a developmental disability and that in the United States there are approximately ten million adults, teens, and children with some type of intellectual challenge. 
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The Year Ahead

Michael Crawley - Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A new year is a time to not only reflect on what has been - but to also anticipate what could lie ahead. 
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The Meadows
Center for Opportunity

1000 South Kelly
Edmond, Oklahoma
73003-6081

phone: 405.348.4470
fax: 405.340.5395