One success story tied to ADOPT’s efforts concerns an Asian refugee who is hard of hearing (HOH).

She benefited greatly from being connected to DRS, an agency she and her brothers were not aware of despite their connections to other services and supports. DRS providers may want to connect with Asian-oriented associations as they work with this community. These include the National Asian Deaf Congress, World Federation of the Deaf, and Deaf Asian American Association of Chicago.

Michelle Lee, Treasury Analyst at Aon Corporation (Chicago)

Two days before graduating from the University of Arizona, Michelle was in a car accident that fractured her C5 vertebra, leaving her with no sensory or motor functions in her legs and very little in her arms. She became frustrated by her treatment at a Tucson hospital, which expressed no hope for her recovery.

Michelle eventually came to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), where she was admitted for three months as she started from the basics of rolling out of bed and into her wheelchair. As she progressed, she found a passion through art therapy: acrylic painting on canvas. Even though she had not believed that she would be able to engage in artistic endeavors after her injury, she incorporated various painting techniques into a style of her own. RIC’s vocational rehabilitation facilitated an interview at Aon, an insurance company where she now works with the aid of voice-recognition software. Michelle now looks forward to whatever may be in store; among other possibilities, she’s evaluating law, business, and art schools.