Philanthropy in Phocus

Friday, March 29, 2024
Facebook Live Video from 2024/03/29 - Empowering Adults with Physical Disabilities

Facebook Live Video from 2024/03/29 - Empowering Adults with Physical Disabilities


2024/03/29 - Empowering Adults with Physical Disabilities

[NEW EPISODE] Empowering Adults with Physical Disabilities

Fridays 10:00am - 11:00am (EDT)


About Org: 

Envisioning Access is a Boston based 501 c 3 that is developing, in conjunction with tech start-ups and universities, innovative technologies like AR/VR, robotics, AI for those living with physical disabilities. Started in 1979, the organization has recently undergone a dynamic transformation from a service animal model to establishing an Innovative Technology Initiative. We are working with scientists and designers,

some of whom have physical disabilities themselves while also using our recipient base and developing relationships with other partners to bring on those who will use these technologies to test the products and provide input on the design and efficacy of the product. At Envisioning Access, we are amazed to discover that technology developed for the disability community is often developed without the input of anyone in the disability community. Our hope is that no technology for the disability community will be

made without the feedback of those using the tech, and if possible, developed by someone in the disabilitycommunity.

All our projects have three main goals in addition to providing accessibility for all. The technology must:

• provide a means to assist with a path for meaningful employment;

• offer assistance to getting back to school if that is what the individual wants; and,

• help alleviate isolation.

About Diane: 

As the executive director of Envisioning Access, Inc., Diane Nahabedian leads the organization's dynamic transition from providing service animals to developing innovative technology for people with physical disabilities. With over 35 years of nonprofit management experience, she has a proven track record of enhancing the stature, financial security, and strategic partnerships of organizations through effective

development, marketing, and communications.

Diane has expertise in branding and rebranding organizations, and works with teams including boards and staff to plan and execute revenue-generating events and programs. She creates comprehensive marketing and public relations strategies to increase awareness of the organization and its key players. Her mission is to empower people with disabilities to live more independent and fulfilling lives through technology that meets their needs and preferences.

Name of your organization: Envisioning Access






Tune in for this sensible conversation at

Show Notes

Segment 1

Tommy D commences the show by presenting himself as the nonprofit sector connector and extends a warm welcome to his guest, Diane Nahabedian, hailing from Boston. He also acknowledges the New York City Imagine Awards. Diane delves into her passion for the nonprofit sector and shares what drives her to assist people through nonprofit endeavors.

Segment 2

Tommy D proceeds with the second segment by emphasizing the critical role of nonprofits in society. Diane elaborates on the founding of the organization she represents and its profound impact on the community. She also highlights the organization's adaptation in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tommy D then promotes Diane's website to the audience.

Segment 3

Tommy D initiates the segment by promoting his social media platforms for audience engagement. Diane delves into the daily operations within her organization, shedding light on its collaborative efforts with various partners and stakeholders. Tommy D underscores the significance of forging partnerships and cultivating connections within the nonprofit sector. Diane further elaborates on the strategic location of her organization in Boston and its advantageous impact on its outreach and service delivery.

Segment 4

Tommy D initiates the lighting round segment, prompting Diane to delve into the organization's growth strategies and avenues for community involvement. Diane highlights upcoming events organized by the organization and encourages audience participation. Tommy D concludes the show by pledging to facilitate connections between Diane's organization and other relevant entities within his network.


00:00:42.710 --> 00:00:56.820 Tommy DiMisa: Children of all ages. It is your boy, the one and only, although I have been saying other people of the nonprofit sector connectors. But I am the one and only nonprofit sector connector. I know why, because I made it up. The show is called Philanthropy and focus.

00:00:57.110 --> 00:00:58.950 Tommy DiMisa: I am called Tommy D,

00:00:58.990 --> 00:01:21.799 Tommy DiMisa: or we are up in the New England area kind of sort of today. So I was telling my friend Diane that there's an old friend of ours, and she said she used to call me Tommy D. So I am Tommy D. Or Tommy D, dependent on what part of the northeast you're hailing. From what I get a kick out of is, you know I am from Long Island, New York, and when some of us from the northeast. Go around the country, they think we're the same. They go. Oh, where are you from? Boston?

00:01:21.800 --> 00:01:43.939 Tommy DiMisa: I always laugh about. I go. What? So? Alright! Let's get into the show. My friend is hailing from New England, from Boston, Diane Harbidian, and I know how to say that name, because I know that a lot of folks in your meeting community, and I know an Ia and at the end or ya, and we talked about that the first time we connected Diane, before I get into my rants and raves, and everything like that, let me say good morning. How are you.

00:01:44.190 --> 00:01:56.099 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I'm well, good morning to you, too, and you're right. Boston and New York are not quite the same, considering you have a mets t-shirt on, and I am a Boston red Sox fan.

00:01:56.430 --> 00:02:11.579 Tommy DiMisa: Socks go socks. Well, it's funny, you know what? Here's a deal. There was a fateful night in 1986. We won't talk too much about it, because you know anything about sports, you know. Well, it's how the Mets got a World series win back in 86. But we will not talk about that today.

00:02:11.900 --> 00:02:34.820 Tommy DiMisa: But we were, you know why I'm wearing a gear today. Look, it is opening day at City Field. It was supposed to be opening day yesterday. Apparently it rained. I was in my attic all day. I didn't even know it rains, but apparently they pushed the game to today. So Jose Cantana is pitching for the Mets. You know, against the Milwaukee brewers. And what's funny about that, too, is, I was just out with my cousin and a handful of our guys, the guys, we've been Fred for many, many years.

00:02:34.820 --> 00:02:47.940 Tommy DiMisa: And we decided we're actually gonna go to Milwaukee this summer to celebrate our 40 fifth birthday, which actually all of our birthdays happened last year, because now we're all 46, or we're on our way to be 46. So we're out in

00:02:48.290 --> 00:03:09.040 Tommy DiMisa: Colorado for our fortieth, which is probably a year late then, too. But we went to you know, to see a a Rockies game and got to go around Colorado. And I get to check out Red Rocks. So who knows what's gonna happen when we go to Milwaukee, but that's upcoming. Well, we are playing the brewers today, and right now the mets are, have an undefeated season. Let's see how long that lasts. You know, it's funny, because

00:03:09.380 --> 00:03:39.209 Tommy DiMisa: let's always do well on opening day we're not gonna talk baseball, but they always do well on opening day. So like if you're if you're so inclined, root for your Metz today. Alright, let's get into this conversation. There's a lot going on in the nonprofit sector. I you know. I gotta shout out to New York City. Imagine awards! Make sure you go to New York City. Imagine, Awardscom, the applications are out right now. So get enrolled. Get your applications filled out. If you have any questions. Hit me up, Tommy de Philanthropy and focuscom on an email Ph Oc. Us or hit me up on Instagram.

00:03:39.210 --> 00:03:55.170 Tommy DiMisa: Tommy, d dot Nyc. Because I'll get you. I'll get you connected to the team at Serene and Associates just to see if you have any questions around the application phase. That event is not until October, but the applications. Now the Long Island imagine awards is coming up may first out here on Long Island

00:03:55.170 --> 00:04:20.309 Tommy DiMisa: again. Reach out to me if you want to get sorted out on tickets and things like that. While it is not my event. Specifically. I've been on the Committee for Long Island for at least 7 or 8 years in New York City, since it's a perception. It is really the Brainchild of my friend Ken Sereni. Talk about networking talk about connecting, I mean Diane. We don't meet. If Lee Tucker didn't invite me on all right, so I don't know if you know this, but shout out to Lee Tucker because, or at Cla Clifton Allen. But

00:04:20.310 --> 00:04:35.370 Tommy DiMisa: Lee took me, and a handful of like nonprofit people, meaning like nonprofit executives, nonprofit teams, and also like consultants like myself. And we went to the Taylor Swift Museum, which was in New York City back in summer of last year.

00:04:36.000 --> 00:04:38.720 Tommy DiMisa: And the funny thing about it is, I was looking at this with my

00:04:39.070 --> 00:04:42.420 Tommy DiMisa: my daughter, and and we were at an event for my cousin the other day.

00:04:42.540 --> 00:04:50.690 Tommy DiMisa: and I was looking at this, and the museum was there for like a year, and it just closed down like this week, and I had promised that, like I would take my

00:04:50.780 --> 00:05:20.097 Tommy DiMisa: my 2 daughters, who one is like a Mega Swifty, and the other one is like a kind of swifty, and then I'm also a bit of a swifty we didn't get to go to the to the museum, so shout out to lead Talker for 2 great things. He took me to the museum, and because of him and his big network you and I got connected on one of his zoom calls. So I I mean it. I saw some things you were posting about the Idd population, some of the work you were doing. And and I I think I commented on a Linkedin post. And you were like, you know, cause we'd connected. And I'm watching.

00:05:20.490 --> 00:05:29.059 Tommy DiMisa: And I was like, why have you not been on my show yet? And then I realized I only do the show once a week. I know an awful lot of people. And I'm gonna I always run out of. I say, on the show.

00:05:29.220 --> 00:05:38.119 Tommy DiMisa: We run out of time before we run out of words. I run out of bookings on episodes because I only do it once a week, so that we're going to solve that problem eventually. And I have been sort of

00:05:38.590 --> 00:05:58.290 Tommy DiMisa: threatening the world that I want to do the show every single day, Monday, through Friday, every single weekday, and that will open up a lot more opportunities. But you are here now. I'm fired up that you're here. Now, this organization, before we get into your background stuff envisioning access is a Boston based 501 c. 3, that is developing in conjunction with tech startups and universities.

00:05:58.290 --> 00:06:20.680 Tommy DiMisa: developing innovative technologies like AR VR robotics and AI for those living with physical disabilities. Look gang. If you know Tommy D. You know as much as I am about the nonprofit sector, specifically nonprofit serving people with mental health challenges and serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or Idp, that's really my my wheelhouse. That's where I love to spend my time.

00:06:21.060 --> 00:06:35.489 Tommy DiMisa: That being said. That's like saying, I have a favorite child, because I don't really have favorite nonprofits. I love them all. But and sometimes you do have a favorite child is the one who's being nicest to you. Let's be honest gang. But anyway, we're not going to talk about that, Diane. Let's get into the program.

00:06:35.640 --> 00:06:58.850 Tommy DiMisa: How tell me about your background? I mean 35 years in the nonprofit sector. I had it pulled up before. I'll look at it again real quick. The New New England Health Alliance and relationships and fundraising you with the Y.M.C.A. Of Greater Boston. Again, in public relations and marketing, the Jewish family centers for Children service of Greater Boston, Director of Marketing Communications, Executive Director of Holy Spirit University Foundation

00:06:59.175 --> 00:07:12.520 Tommy DiMisa: the Y.M.C.A. Of Greater Providence, Chief Marketing and Membership Officer, and all the way that I mean 35 years in this space. What draws you initially go back way back when to why, nonprofit, what was the the catalyst? There.

00:07:13.050 --> 00:07:24.328 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I think the thing that's exciting about being in the not for profit space is, it's all about the mission when you're in, not for profit. It's it's always about the mission.

00:07:25.120 --> 00:07:31.069 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: not for profit, like a for profit. Business is a business. I mean, you have to

00:07:31.551 --> 00:07:37.500 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: raise the money you have to. You get up and you have to run the business.

00:07:37.540 --> 00:07:46.660 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But when you're in a not for profit space, you're driving towards the mission. You're not worried about how many widgets you're gonna make and I'm not

00:07:46.710 --> 00:07:52.659 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: saying there's anything wrong with being in other businesses. But no matter where I've worked.

00:07:53.040 --> 00:08:00.150 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: It's really I love it because we're we're focusing on

00:08:00.230 --> 00:08:08.170 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: families. We're focusing on what's the best for the the population we're dealing with.

00:08:08.820 --> 00:08:22.042 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And and there's always a mission around that when we work. When I worked for the 2 big Ymcas I worked for it was all around, you know, youth, development and children and families. It was making sure.

00:08:22.720 --> 00:08:45.339 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: there was affordable childcare. Even the you know. People know Ymcas because of swimming lessons, making sure everybody learned how to swim. Everybody had an opportunity to go to Summer Camp when I worked for the the position I had before I got to envisioning access was director of marketing and Pr. For the Roger Williams Park Zoo

00:08:45.760 --> 00:09:02.030 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: in Providence, Rhode Island. When you think about the Zoo you think about? Well, I'm gonna go to the Zoo. I'm gonna see the animals. But it was really focused on conservation and education. So everything has had a mission. And here, at envisioning access. It's all about

00:09:02.110 --> 00:09:06.439 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: quality of life programming for people with physical disabilities.

00:09:06.720 --> 00:09:11.660 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So we're running a business. I mean, you have to. You have to bring in

00:09:13.012 --> 00:09:17.339 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you have to bring in the fundraising dollars. But really.

00:09:17.490 --> 00:09:35.329 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: staff and board are focused on that mission, and we never lose focus of that. And I think, for all the years I've been in this field, and no matter where I go, I've never lost sight of that. And I think that's why, being in the not for profit world is so exciting.

00:09:35.460 --> 00:09:45.050 Tommy DiMisa: Yeah, thank you for all that. I mean, it's super exciting. I always find that people are drawn to it because and I just wrote this down as I was hearing you talk, I I wrote down. We measure success differently.

00:09:45.200 --> 00:09:51.840 Tommy DiMisa: You know we measure success differently, and and I think you know. Certainly, you know no slight to the for-profit sector.

00:09:51.840 --> 00:10:15.620 Tommy DiMisa: They measure success in that regard. As how many widgets did we sell? How? What was the revenue? What do we bring in right? Did we lower expenses against, you know, income or against revenue? And all this sort of stuff, which is the the revenue and expense piece, again, is is critically important in our sector and nonprofit sector. But we measure the success of this thing differently. How many people were fed, how many swimming lessons were given right or or support

00:10:15.620 --> 00:10:24.454 Tommy DiMisa: you said youth, development, and children and family services. You know I was at an event for Family and Children's Association here on Long Island yesterday morning, and it was a

00:10:25.410 --> 00:10:34.359 Tommy DiMisa: was a fashion show, and it was a fashion show to raise money for the organization. It was people women who worked. It's it's Women's month. It's National Women's Month. It was women who worked

00:10:34.590 --> 00:10:55.819 Tommy DiMisa: at the organization Fca. Family and Children association, and it was young women and girls who are impacted and served by the organization fashion show. So it's just a great opportunity to shine a light on on these individuals, whether they were working in the for profit that we're talking about that not for profit that we're talking about, or whether they were served by it something you just mentioned about the Zoo.

00:10:55.900 --> 00:11:15.559 Tommy DiMisa: I you know you. You said. You know people think about the Zoo that to go see the animals, but there's so much more there, there's underlying, not even underlying, but not that you don't see when you walk into the Zoo, you see the Zoo right, but the conservation piece and the other piece that you pieces you were talking about. So I think that's so exciting, and it and it is, you know

00:11:15.750 --> 00:11:26.931 Tommy DiMisa: for those of us who get to kind of play and spend time in the nonprofit sector, I mean, how do you make a choice to do anything else like. Ha! You know you don't. Don't tell anybody. Don't let them in on our secret over here, you know.

00:11:27.160 --> 00:11:34.730 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And and I for a few years, when I was sort of trying to figure it out. In the early, very early part of my career.

00:11:34.760 --> 00:11:50.049 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I worked in a pr agency, and it was interesting. It was like, for me it was a great training ground, but it was. And and you learned I learned so many things I learned about billable hours, and I learned how to sort of organize myself.

00:11:50.630 --> 00:11:54.990 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But in and and it's an ex. It's such an exciting world.

00:11:55.490 --> 00:12:03.280 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But when I and I made the decision that I was, gonna I had worked in the not for profit area went into the

00:12:03.430 --> 00:12:06.730 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: agency world and then went back. And I thought.

00:12:07.260 --> 00:12:12.090 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I'm glad I did that because I learned all these fabulous lessons.

00:12:12.600 --> 00:12:18.929 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But there's something that drives you in the not for profit world. And I think you see the impact

00:12:19.040 --> 00:12:32.900 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: that you make. And you know, you see the impact that your volunteers make. We have a board here at envisioning access, and they're making an impact in the work they do. We have a staff. We have a small staff.

00:12:32.920 --> 00:12:38.070 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: but the work they do, they've got so much energy. The impact we're all making

00:12:38.120 --> 00:12:44.479 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: every day is exciting. So I think even even I mean, everybody goes to work.

00:12:44.580 --> 00:12:55.019 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and and you have a day that may not be as fulfilling as another day. But even on those days you think, okay, the work we're doing

00:12:55.526 --> 00:13:00.933 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: is is truly making an impact on somebody or on a population of people.

00:13:01.320 --> 00:13:04.920 Tommy DiMisa: I would say there's no big deal changing the world, because, like like at the end.

00:13:04.920 --> 00:13:05.940 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And like that.

00:13:05.940 --> 00:13:06.260 Tommy DiMisa: Get, your.

00:13:06.260 --> 00:13:09.130 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I can get that for the the group here, because.

00:13:09.130 --> 00:13:31.740 Tommy DiMisa: But look, it's a picture. So a friend of mine had this made up for me with my logo, and no big deal just changing the world, cause I would say those it was kind of like a cute thing, because, of course, it's a big thing that people do. I guess at the end of the day, though, like you say, when you have one of those stressful days, the end of the day, you're like, yeah. But the world is a better place for what the heck we're doing, whereas again, not try to knock around other things other companies. But

00:13:31.990 --> 00:13:47.720 Tommy DiMisa: like, is the world really a better place because you made more watches. Is the world a better place because you made more vehicles? Is the world really a better place? Fill in the blanks, and you know I I've stood up on this show because I stand at my desk here in the attic, but I've stood up on the show and and kind of

00:13:48.000 --> 00:13:58.179 Tommy DiMisa: complained a little bit about the capital is set up, and how things work and how we're just consumer. Buy more, buy more, buy more because the machine doesn't work unless we buy more stuff and we gotta work harder. So we get more money to buy more stuff.

00:13:59.368 --> 00:14:01.779 Tommy DiMisa: It sounds kind of crazy to me.

00:14:02.330 --> 00:14:05.940 Tommy DiMisa: But I I think in this case, you know.

00:14:06.280 --> 00:14:09.989 Tommy DiMisa: there's less impact made by creating more

00:14:10.350 --> 00:14:32.127 Tommy DiMisa: materialistic junk, much less impact than there is by doing work that saves lives, that helps people swim, that impacts and improves the lives of people living with the disability like what we're gonna talk about where your organization does. So we'll get into all that Tommy D ranch sometimes, and I try to calm them down. But I can. Only I can only control him so much. He does his own thing most of the time.

00:14:32.740 --> 00:14:53.169 Tommy DiMisa: I remember I had a sales manager one time who, and so there's some kind of crazy part of life met my my father and was like this sales manager couldn't, could not control Tommy D. And I guess my dad like, what do you do to like like? How did you control them? Grown up? He's like you're kidding me right like. So if they couldn't control me. I certainly can't control.

00:14:53.170 --> 00:14:54.039 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Oh, my goodness!

00:14:54.307 --> 00:15:02.069 Tommy DiMisa: Anyway. I try to laugh because that's what's fun. So, Diane, when we come back we're gonna go to Quick break. We come back on a dive in

00:15:02.420 --> 00:15:20.137 Tommy DiMisa: to what envisioning access is doing in the world, the impact, the collaborations, because, as I didn't in the upfront there, just talking about the collaborations with the different stakeholders and things like that. There seems to be so much there that we can really unpack together. So if you're having fun. I hope you'll come back for the next segment. If not, I'll just.

00:15:20.616 --> 00:15:21.030 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Come back!

00:15:21.030 --> 00:15:27.639 Tommy DiMisa: If not, I'll fill the time by myself. We would write back. It's your boy, Tommy D. And my friend Diane right back philanthropy and focus.

00:17:41.960 --> 00:18:03.309 Tommy DiMisa: I made the trek of all these flights of stairs to get to this little room right below the roof of my house. That's the attic. That's where I spend my time, and that's where the show originated, and I mean it originated in my mind. But it it. I went around talking about it. I always say this not to be self deprecating, but really just to inspire people. I talked about doing the show for like 2 years before I did anything.

00:18:03.710 --> 00:18:16.430 Tommy DiMisa: What if I never started? What if I never got started? Well, that would be 158 episodes of something that has happened that would not have happened. My point is lean into something, man. If you want to do it, just just lean in and do something. I mean

00:18:16.810 --> 00:18:28.510 Tommy DiMisa: it's talk is is important because it helps put the vision out there right. But do the thing, and then you could talk more about it right? I don't know. Diane, have you had experiences like that? Where, like, there's something you want to do, and you just gotta do it.

00:18:28.770 --> 00:18:30.440 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Oh, yeah, of course.

00:18:30.530 --> 00:18:31.416 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I think

00:18:33.390 --> 00:18:37.937 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: a a all the time, and I think you just you just go for it, and I think

00:18:39.120 --> 00:18:45.514 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you do. I? I think the envisioning access has been like that. We just did it, you know, you just go for it.

00:18:46.640 --> 00:18:48.176 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So we made our

00:18:48.690 --> 00:18:55.276 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So we made our change. We took a look at it and said, Alright, we just have to make this change.

00:18:55.590 --> 00:19:09.249 Tommy DiMisa: So let's talk about that. Because this is not a new organization, right? I mean, the organization is, I will just put this out there the organization is founded in 1,979. Tommy D. Was founded in 1,978. So like, it's very similar. So that's.

00:19:09.250 --> 00:19:10.090 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Grew up together.

00:19:10.150 --> 00:19:19.749 Tommy DiMisa: We did. We did. We didn't even know each other, though we we're from different neighborhoods. But but tell me about so the organization has been around, as I say, 45 years.

00:19:20.080 --> 00:19:31.318 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right, and and sometimes they refer to us as like a 45 year old startup. But and we are, and we aren't. So we were started in 79 by a woman who

00:19:32.110 --> 00:19:37.769 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: was working with a group that was called paralyzed American veterans

00:19:37.790 --> 00:19:51.739 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and so brilliant woman, and she decided that she wanted the group to work with a service animal, and what she decided was that the service animal should be a Capuchin monkey. So the original. I know you were laughing, but.

00:19:51.740 --> 00:20:19.980 Tommy DiMisa: I love that I mean so alright. Hold on. We gotta pause like that's like we're used to service animals, you know. We're used to here, you know. The Guide Dog Foundation out here on Long Island, which is a national organization. But that happens to be out here on Long Island. John Miller, you know American vet dogs and guide dogs those organizations, you know. We see so many organizations, and it's often a dog. But Monkey go back. W. Rewind. Hold on pause, I mean love it, but different.

00:20:20.370 --> 00:20:33.028 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right, and and W. I'm not exactly sure why. It was a Capuchin monkey. But Capuchins are very, very smart animals. They also have a disposable thumbs. They have hands.

00:20:34.360 --> 00:20:37.217 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So she that's what she did.

00:20:38.170 --> 00:20:40.629 Tommy DiMisa: And that was helping this organization of veterans.

00:20:41.050 --> 00:20:50.080 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: It. That's what they started. So she started training. She trained one monkey and paired it with, and we were not called envisioning access.

00:20:50.290 --> 00:21:01.180 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: The organization was originally named helping hands cement aids for the disabled, and eventually became known as helping hands monkey helpers.

00:21:01.380 --> 00:21:04.330 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: which is what most people knew us, as we know.

00:21:04.330 --> 00:21:09.430 Tommy DiMisa: I know that's not what you are, or who you are as an organization now. But what a great, what a great name! I mean!

00:21:09.430 --> 00:21:11.650 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: It was. It was wonderful, and so.

00:21:11.650 --> 00:21:12.849 Tommy DiMisa: And funky helpers.

00:21:12.850 --> 00:21:19.320 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: That's and and until the last year or so that we recently we, Brandon, I'll get to that. So.

00:21:19.320 --> 00:21:20.060 Tommy DiMisa: And.

00:21:20.180 --> 00:21:23.329 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: She trained the monkey, and she paired it with

00:21:23.790 --> 00:21:32.159 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: a man who was disabled. He was paralyzed. He had a spinal cord injury. That pair actually lasted for 27 years.

00:21:32.820 --> 00:21:38.960 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Through the eighties, the nineties, and even into the early 2 thousands.

00:21:40.390 --> 00:21:52.780 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: the organization bred monkeys, but trained and placed the Capuchin monkey with individuals who had spinal cord injuries, Ms. Other mobility impairments.

00:21:53.220 --> 00:21:59.260 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But over these years a number of things happened. The Americans with Disabilities act.

00:21:59.650 --> 00:22:00.450 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Bob

00:22:00.610 --> 00:22:07.529 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: defined the service animal as a dog and miniature horse, and, as you said, most

00:22:07.910 --> 00:22:12.640 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: most people think of a service animal as as a dog.

00:22:13.880 --> 00:22:16.330 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Most states at this point

00:22:16.830 --> 00:22:18.000 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: outlaw

00:22:18.100 --> 00:22:19.850 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: primates in the home.

00:22:19.850 --> 00:22:20.580 Tommy DiMisa: Okay.

00:22:20.580 --> 00:22:24.900 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So if you you know, if you have a monkey in your house

00:22:25.230 --> 00:22:33.672 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: in probably I I would say 38 to 40 States. It's probably against the law. There are states that still allow it.

00:22:34.350 --> 00:22:39.230 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: but I think most importantly, technology has gotten to a point

00:22:39.270 --> 00:22:40.410 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: where

00:22:41.250 --> 00:22:51.709 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: it's made the monkey obsolete. Now the monkey has made a great companion for people, and it did do some. It did do tasks. The monkey was trained to do things.

00:22:52.290 --> 00:22:59.340 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: That now technology can do. But technology can do a lot more. And so

00:22:59.540 --> 00:23:01.239 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: we had to look

00:23:01.460 --> 00:23:02.170 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: at

00:23:02.460 --> 00:23:09.090 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: at the organization and say, Where do we go? You know the monkey is not

00:23:09.360 --> 00:23:16.720 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: allowed to be trained and placed anymore. Do we stop? Or do we keep going? And

00:23:17.020 --> 00:23:18.360 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: the board and.

00:23:18.360 --> 00:23:33.809 Tommy DiMisa: Let me let me stop you. Meaning is that the end of this organization? Right? Because we're not going to break the law? So we're not going to do something that isn't legal anymore. So either while that ran its course or you know that famous word which is a great word and still is a great word, although in the era of

00:23:33.810 --> 00:23:49.129 Tommy DiMisa: Covid it became overused. But we had to pivot, and we pivoted, you know, but basketball players pivot. But then the whole world had to pivot, remember. So there was a decision. Time there for for you all like everybody else, I mean, was this, when did this decision making happen? Was it during that era of our history.

00:23:49.130 --> 00:23:58.749 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: It was during it was during Covid. So then the commitment had been made that no matter what the decision was, they would care for the monkeys which we are doing?

00:24:00.700 --> 00:24:03.330 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But they had to pivot and say.

00:24:03.860 --> 00:24:04.910 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Okay.

00:24:05.090 --> 00:24:13.749 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: what do we do now? Do we keep moving and find something else, or do we just take care of the monkeys? And when the last monkey passes away, that's it.

00:24:13.750 --> 00:24:14.409 Tommy DiMisa: The end.

00:24:16.180 --> 00:24:17.470 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And so

00:24:17.810 --> 00:24:21.220 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I came in in September of 2020, and

00:24:21.380 --> 00:24:26.073 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: we really looked at it. And the the board the staff.

00:24:26.650 --> 00:24:28.150 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: We? We

00:24:28.270 --> 00:24:31.399 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: did a bunch of brainstorming sessions, we?

00:24:31.570 --> 00:24:43.389 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And now I can't say they were all the most peaceful sessions, but it was they were good. They were. You know, we really looked at the organization and and came up with this vision and said, technology being what it is

00:24:43.780 --> 00:24:44.660 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: that

00:24:45.550 --> 00:24:59.600 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: it? I'm not saying the replaces the wrong word. But technology will get us into the future. And what we're looking at for the technology is to say, we need to use technology to provide

00:25:00.282 --> 00:25:10.217 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: folks with meaningful employment, access to higher education and alleviate isolation. Our population is adults. So 18 plus

00:25:11.303 --> 00:25:25.269 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and how do we do that. Well, we work with tech startups and universities that are developing this technology. And we work with them to develop the technology. But equally important to have

00:25:25.660 --> 00:25:30.690 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: our recipients and new current recipients and and new

00:25:31.030 --> 00:25:34.199 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: weigh in on that technology and say.

00:25:34.570 --> 00:25:39.090 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: this is working. It's not working. Because who better than the person who's gonna.

00:25:39.540 --> 00:25:46.070 Tommy DiMisa: Of course, of course, and I and and in reading that, and preparing for this morning's conversation that I mean, you know.

00:25:46.250 --> 00:25:58.420 Tommy DiMisa: that seems like kind of an obvious situation and answer, I see it smiling. But just cause. Something might seem obvious, or common sense doesn't always mean it's common practice. Want while we know that. But it's true, right? Like we just.

00:25:58.750 --> 00:26:09.499 Tommy DiMisa: But of course, the people who are going to utilize and be served by the technology in this case should be the ones informing how the heck thing should work and function right.

00:26:10.120 --> 00:26:18.429 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right. And the other thing we keep in mind. And we the organization has always had in mind is the primary caregiver.

00:26:18.490 --> 00:26:26.432 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So how is it gonna affect the person? But you know the spouse, the parent who's ever the primary caregiver?

00:26:27.330 --> 00:26:31.770 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And and is the technology giving that person peace of mind.

00:26:31.920 --> 00:26:35.270 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And the other thing is, you know, if somebody

00:26:35.340 --> 00:26:38.320 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: is diagnosed, let's say, with multiple sclerosis.

00:26:39.050 --> 00:26:45.290 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: do they necessarily have to lose their job? Well, no, the technology now can

00:26:45.450 --> 00:26:50.871 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you can stay? Look, we're all staying at home and working in some kind of hybrid work.

00:26:51.300 --> 00:26:57.859 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: fully remote situation. If you have a spinal cord injury and you are.

00:26:58.070 --> 00:27:00.110 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know you lose

00:27:01.220 --> 00:27:06.609 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you you can't move from the and we are. We have recipients who are in this

00:27:06.640 --> 00:27:09.949 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: position. You can't move from the shoulders down.

00:27:09.980 --> 00:27:15.470 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Are there ways to access the technology. So you can do what you need to do.

00:27:15.620 --> 00:27:22.910 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: That's what we're working on. And I think this is really exciting. Is it different than when we worked with the monkeys?

00:27:23.280 --> 00:27:42.400 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Yeah, it's what's different is, it's it's obviously not a service animal. But we're following a lot of the same protocols that we learned with the monkey. So we're bringing that legacy in. And I think that's what's so exciting. And and I think, we're we're certainly moving into the future with that.

00:27:42.580 --> 00:27:45.170 Tommy DiMisa: Yeah, you know what I'm thinking, too, is like.

00:27:45.370 --> 00:27:48.240 Tommy DiMisa: while a service animal can get you so far.

00:27:48.310 --> 00:27:59.139 Tommy DiMisa: AI and technology can get you way. I mean, we're talking completely different situation, right? Like, especially when you talk about vocational stuff which we know.

00:27:59.438 --> 00:28:08.160 Tommy DiMisa: And I know this from a lot of organizations. Specifically, I sit on the board of the Spirit of Huntington Art Center out here on Long Island, which I want to get you connected with Diane will talk about that

00:28:08.449 --> 00:28:18.150 Tommy DiMisa: but they have an artworks program, whereas individuals age out. So at 21 at at least here in New York, and I would expect in other parts of the country, at age 21 individuals

00:28:18.230 --> 00:28:27.759 Tommy DiMisa: with intellectual developmental disabilities, age out of the school system, and oftentimes there's this cliff that people kind of fall off of. Some will go to college, some won't, some will go to trade school, some won't.

00:28:27.860 --> 00:28:29.980 Tommy DiMisa: At the Art Center spirit of Huntington.

00:28:30.420 --> 00:28:42.369 Tommy DiMisa: We have an artworks program, and I mentioned kind of just quickly earlier that that we had an event for my cousin on the weekend. What I really was referring to is the Lindy Luke classic in memory of my cousin Linda.

00:28:42.690 --> 00:29:08.669 Tommy DiMisa: Linda has special needs and what we do with the Lindy Lou Classic is the the organization is called the Lindy Lou Foundation, and we raise funds, and of the money we raise for that organization go to nonprofits that are serving the same population. So the spirit of Huntington to go back to that as an art works program that teaches individuals how to do website design digital marketing, the the entire adobe suite. We illustrate a whole thing.

00:29:08.690 --> 00:29:20.990 Tommy DiMisa: and when I say we, I mean in memory of my cousin Linda, the Lindy Lou Foundation has purchased, I think at last count like 8 or 9 Mac computers for this art works program out there. Yeah, it's really really special.

00:29:21.210 --> 00:29:36.309 Tommy DiMisa: Our company was rebranded so professionally. I own an employee benefits agency called vanguard benefits. So if you want, I want to check it out. Yes, we appreciate looking at our website, everybody but check it out to see the work done by spirit hunting. It's vanguard benefits you, Yocom.

00:29:36.320 --> 00:29:44.459 Tommy DiMisa: and you'll see our team of marketing professionals is a neurodiverse team. My, where this all goes to just show you

00:29:44.460 --> 00:30:06.438 Tommy DiMisa: that we must, as a society, stop focusing on what individuals cannot do, and we must focus on what individuals can do. I mean, I sometimes this may. This may be the self deprecating piece, and it may make make you chuckle, but I suck at a lot of things. I don't have ability to do many, many things. There's like 4 or 5 things that I'm really freaking good at one of them is doing this show.

00:30:06.720 --> 00:30:19.709 Tommy DiMisa: But like what it's really so. My point is, if I could didn't have certain abilities, and you know I I had to find what I'm good at everybody. But the thing is, it's about access, because just because I could say that

00:30:20.040 --> 00:30:28.819 Tommy DiMisa: it's one thing. But we must find ways to give people access to what I'm saying with you, with the situation, Diane with the monkeys versus what we're talking about now.

00:30:29.290 --> 00:30:42.490 Tommy DiMisa: Everybody's not everybody. A lot of people are frightened by AI, and I will tell you sometimes at night I listen to too much Youtube and I get frightened by AI. To be honest with you, even Elon. At times I refer to Elon Musk as Elon gang, as if he's my phone.

00:30:42.490 --> 00:30:43.479 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: He's your best friend.

00:30:43.480 --> 00:30:59.780 Tommy DiMisa: My bestie from the neighbor. Yeah, yeah, I don't think he knows who Tommy D. Is just yet, but you know, even Elon has. I've watched interviews where he's very concerned about this. But what I was trying to parse out while you were talking about this technology side of things. And that's a big, all encompassing word technology. But

00:31:00.340 --> 00:31:24.110 Tommy DiMisa: people are afraid that they're going to lose their jobs. But I people some of the things that we're gonna lose. I was just talking to my business partner this morning, and he loves like Chat Gpt for email writing. And for all these cool things right? I I can't believe how fast it can whack out some things that we need done. You know you just put it incredible which would take me a day and a half. It's like 7 min, not even. It's probably like 30 s.

00:31:24.570 --> 00:31:26.090 Tommy DiMisa: and it like tells your story.

00:31:26.260 --> 00:31:29.939 Tommy DiMisa: I'm on a rant. I could tell, but my point about this whole thing is.

00:31:30.360 --> 00:31:46.340 Tommy DiMisa: we're now, I think, enabling people to do things and empowering people to do things that they would not be able to do, and that's you know monkey can serve you. Monkey can get you, you know, some food and help you get things you need around the house. But the monkey is not gonna help. You do your job every day, and that's that's right.

00:31:46.340 --> 00:31:49.810 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right? Right? And I think that you know there's

00:31:49.860 --> 00:31:52.179 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: robotics are gonna

00:31:52.590 --> 00:32:05.249 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: WA robot in the house. And are we at that point yet where everybody's gonna have a robot? Maybe not. But having some of this technology is gonna free up the primary caregiver, you know, are we?

00:32:05.260 --> 00:32:11.361 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: If if you're old enough to remember, or have seen the reruns of the Jetsons. There was.

00:32:11.720 --> 00:32:12.600 Tommy DiMisa: Of course.

00:32:12.600 --> 00:32:35.939 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And I I've gotta tell you. When I was so I grew up in a house my father had multiple sclerosis, and we used to, you know, and and my mom was the primary caregiver, and we used to watch the Jetsons, and I remember as a little kid, thinking, I wish we could have a rosy, my mom would be free to not have to do what she did. Well, we're getting to that point. Where wouldn't that be wonderful.

00:32:35.950 --> 00:32:40.890 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But but we're also getting to the point where virtual reality

00:32:40.950 --> 00:32:50.000 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: is gonna be able to do things so that somebody who might not have Mo. The mobility they need to get in the car and drive to work

00:32:50.060 --> 00:32:53.510 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: can work in virtual reality.

00:32:54.430 --> 00:33:11.919 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know, we're seeing more and more senior centers using virtual reality, or somebody at home connecting with loved ones through virtual reality. So the technology is there, I mean, even when my my father

00:33:12.580 --> 00:33:16.279 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: unfortunately loved all this stuff and all these gadgets.

00:33:17.060 --> 00:33:45.820 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: He didn't live long enough to see all this stuff on when it was just beginning, was playing with all this stuff, and I could see the excitement it was like, Oh, my goodness, I can! It's like it was setting him free. So imagine now what it it can do for folks. But now every people have input and we want people to say, this works for me. This doesn't work for me and be part of the development so that

00:33:46.070 --> 00:33:54.317 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: it works for hundreds and thousands of people so they can go back to work and not have to, you know.

00:33:55.463 --> 00:33:56.910 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: actually compromised.

00:33:56.910 --> 00:34:26.260 Tommy DiMisa: Yeah, I I'm super excited because I I wanna come up. I I mean, we're gonna go to a break in a second when we go to break. I'm gonna bring in. I'm gonna bring up the website envisioning envisioning And I'm calling that out because some of you may not be watching. You might be listening somewhere into the future, and you'll want to check out that website and then connect with Diane. But, like I I when we come back, I'm sure there's events, conferences, things that are upcoming right like, you know, with the universities and really cool stuff. And I'm like saying to myself, because

00:34:26.530 --> 00:34:42.030 Tommy DiMisa: my brain loves new information and things like that. And I you know everybody's going. Just say it, Tommy. Tell them all you have. Adhd. Okay, fine. But, my Adhd brain, my beautiful brain loves to to feed on this new information. I'm like, Oh, my God! This is a whole world that I hadn't thought of.

00:34:42.030 --> 00:34:56.539 Tommy DiMisa: and I wasn't even aware of, and I want to be part of it. So I want to connect with you offline. I want to come to different things you guys are doing and all that. But we're gonna talk about that because I know other people want to do it as well. I'm gonna share the website. We're gonna take a quick break. We come back. It's Diane and Tommy

00:34:56.540 --> 00:34:58.769 Tommy DiMisa: on philanthropy in focus.

00:36:59.930 --> 00:37:19.420 Tommy DiMisa: In the attic, but like not literally in the attic, like, I don't have room for you up here gang, but just join me on the show every week, every week. 10 Am. We come back, and if you're listening to this at 2 30 in the morning in Indonesia, well, you know. Good morning. How are you? I'm Tommy d listen, connect with me, Tommy, Dyc.

00:37:19.650 --> 00:37:39.689 Tommy DiMisa: On Instagram, Tommy, Domesa di M. Isa all over the world. So just look for me there you'll find me, Linkedin. I love Linkedin. There's all these platforms. And then email, if you want to ask me any questions, Tommy, Df philanthropy and focus phocs. Alright, Diane, let's let's jump right back into this because there's a lot here. And like we talked about you and me earlier this week, we said, you know.

00:37:40.150 --> 00:37:55.989 Tommy DiMisa: we're gonna have a lot to talk about, and there's a lot to deliver. And we're gonna do our best to get to most of it. But I mean, I just pulled up the website, the innovative technology initiative. I mean, there's so much there. So tell us about like a day in the life as an executive director of this organization. What are you guys working on.

00:37:58.010 --> 00:38:01.525 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Do. Do you want to hear about my, the traffic I sit in in Boston.

00:38:01.760 --> 00:38:04.340 Tommy DiMisa: Listen. We got the Long Island expressway here, man.

00:38:04.633 --> 00:38:05.219 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: That's true!

00:38:05.220 --> 00:38:15.040 Tommy DiMisa: You wanna be competitive, you know, like about it. Traffic la, right now is checking in saying, Tommy D. We got traffic out here, too. Everybody's got traffic. I was out, and now you got me off track. Here we go.

00:38:15.540 --> 00:38:15.800 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Okay.

00:38:15.800 --> 00:38:28.790 Tommy DiMisa: Let me tell the story. Let me tell the story. Now, hold on, hold on! I'm in Reno, Nevada, because I was told I was called in Nevada, but when you're out there they tell you it's Nevada, all right, so I'm in Reno. So I I get on a highway, and

00:38:29.130 --> 00:38:40.159 Tommy DiMisa: you know, they said, it's you gotta be. You gotta worry. It's rush hour. I was doing 80 miles an hour. Okay. I don't know what the rules of laws are out there. You can't get me now is statute of limitations down. I can't get a ticket, but I was doing 80 miles an hour I go.

00:38:40.190 --> 00:38:56.942 Tommy DiMisa: The guy goes. Yeah, I know it was. You're in traffic. I go. What are you talking about? Like? He goes. That's that's rush hour. I go rush hour. What does not rush hour look like cause? I was cruising. There was nobody on the road, so there are very populated parts of this country, and then there are less populated parts of this country.

00:38:57.200 --> 00:38:57.820 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Yes.

00:38:57.820 --> 00:39:04.849 Tommy DiMisa: So populated places. So I understand your day starts with traffic. Mine usually doesn't, because I just go right up to the attic. So it's easy.

00:39:05.970 --> 00:39:23.769 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Today. So we are working on pilot, what we're calling pilot projects. And so we're sort of at the be we're we're at the beginning, the middle of the beginning of our journey, as envisioning access, we rebranded from helping hands monkey helpers to envisioning access.

00:39:23.800 --> 00:39:26.729 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Last year, March of 2023,

00:39:27.490 --> 00:39:35.299 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and what we've been working on is testing various technologies and technology partners.

00:39:35.310 --> 00:39:50.830 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So one of our partners, is with Northeastern universities, Corey College of computer science. And we're working with this wonderful professor there, safe, savage and some of her graduate students.

00:39:51.438 --> 00:39:54.549 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And I met her at a conference.

00:39:54.650 --> 00:39:58.070 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: She is working with her students on an app

00:39:58.180 --> 00:40:02.080 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: to help visually impaired individuals.

00:40:04.510 --> 00:40:11.413 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: find jobs, and so how to build a resume, how to find the job on

00:40:11.950 --> 00:40:15.630 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: on your laptop how to write a cover letter.

00:40:16.922 --> 00:40:31.719 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So she sort of they did a first iteration. We sat down with a group of people who were visually impaired, and they said, This is a terrible app. It doesn't work, we can't see anything. And it. But it was great.

00:40:31.720 --> 00:40:38.440 Tommy DiMisa: Of course it's great feedback like, how do you know what somebody needs if you don't experience what their experience is?

00:40:38.440 --> 00:40:41.729 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And and Professor Savage and her students

00:40:42.160 --> 00:41:03.740 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: we're like this is great. Oh, my goodness! You're telling us you don't like it. So they've gone back to the beginning. And but we're working together. We're looking for grants together where we talk to each other all the time. It's this wonderful partnership and working with Northeastern is working with the Corey College of

00:41:03.760 --> 00:41:17.050 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Computer Science. And Professor Savage is like this dream because she's engaged. We're engaged. And we're trying to work together. So it's a partnership that has just blossomed. And

00:41:17.130 --> 00:41:29.669 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know, I I tease. I'm like it's like this love best with her because she's just so wonderful. But in conjunction with that, we're working with a Canadian company that's working on an app

00:41:29.730 --> 00:41:30.910 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: for

00:41:31.170 --> 00:41:38.080 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: visually impaired neuro divergent. And we're helping on the mobility impairment side

00:41:38.310 --> 00:41:51.140 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: for people who need to learn how to interview for a job. So think about interviewing for a job. Nobody's good at it. Everybody gets nervous doesn't matter who you are or how many times you've done it.

00:41:51.430 --> 00:41:52.360 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So

00:41:53.796 --> 00:42:03.149 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: we had been talking to them for a while, and so they we. When they started building the app, they said, will you help us with

00:42:03.200 --> 00:42:15.180 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: the mobility impairment with the voice recognition. So we work with a guy named Billy. Billy was the last individual in the Helping Hands monkey Helpers program. He has a monkey.

00:42:15.260 --> 00:42:20.739 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: They said, yeah, he's a young guy had an accident. He has a spinal cord injury.

00:42:21.040 --> 00:42:23.269 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and he's very tech savvy?

00:42:23.785 --> 00:42:28.909 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And he's helping us with other technology products. And So

00:42:29.180 --> 00:42:35.760 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know he's not. We said that, you know, we worked out an hourly rate all of this. But

00:42:35.960 --> 00:42:39.929 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: so he started helping the company on the voice recognition

00:42:39.940 --> 00:42:51.800 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and things were working things weren't working. So he was spending a lot of time. And so they said, Okay, it's time to pay you, he said. You know what I don't want to be paid in dollars, he said. I want to learn how to code

00:42:52.140 --> 00:42:55.459 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: if you'll spend time with me. And I thought.

00:42:55.470 --> 00:42:59.630 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: this is really great. We need this happen now.

00:42:59.930 --> 00:43:06.069 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Billy, when he had his accident, was about to go to graduate school, he had just gotten a promotion at his company.

00:43:06.310 --> 00:43:10.220 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I mean, and Billy, to his credit, has

00:43:10.440 --> 00:43:19.910 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: an amazing outlook on life. He's got great family support. And he's been really great in and working with us. I'm like

00:43:20.220 --> 00:43:29.109 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: this is, you know, because we made because we built a relationship with this company, the company

00:43:29.840 --> 00:43:36.579 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: build a relationship with Billy. It all worked out. And it's stuff like that that we're seeing more and more that

00:43:36.630 --> 00:43:40.559 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: at the end of the day you say, okay, that worked.

00:43:41.043 --> 00:43:46.679 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know, Billy will eventually. I mean, he's advising us on some technology.

00:43:46.880 --> 00:43:49.019 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: but he will

00:43:49.200 --> 00:43:54.429 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: be employed in some form, some way, in some technology company

00:43:54.530 --> 00:43:56.560 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: sooner or later.

00:43:56.560 --> 00:44:04.208 Tommy DiMisa: Let me, if I can, interrupt 1 s because shout out to Billy, Billy, I hope to meet you one day and and shout out to all the parties that are in this

00:44:04.510 --> 00:44:27.190 Tommy DiMisa: ripple effect, I'll just say, or the butterfly right? Because I just it. Things happen for a reason, and some reason, for some reason. Something popped up on Instagram this morning, and it was talking about the butterfly effect. Right? And I'm gonna just butter, you know. The butterfly flapping its wings, causes a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Take that into other parts of life, and just something happens and changes the trajectory of someone's life.

00:44:28.650 --> 00:44:49.319 Tommy DiMisa: How many lives is Billy now impacting because of the work he's doing that, you know, and that's you know, it's access. Right? I'll go back to the piece about access. Right? So, Billy, I don't know you, so I don't make any assumptions, but the point of the matter is like, it's all it's relationships and connecting. That's what the whole thing is. That's what this

00:44:49.320 --> 00:45:00.600 Tommy DiMisa: that's with it. My, from my looking through my lens as the connector guy is, it's relationships, it's connecting. And we're all better off for having these relationships. And I mean, that's this. That's what this is like.

00:45:01.350 --> 00:45:25.299 Tommy DiMisa: the the trajectory, I assume, of Billy's life is going in another direction. Positively because of this relationship in the work. Now, how many lives are going to go and get improved because of the work he's doing, and on and on and on. And that's what you. That's why, 35 years ago, you know, it made sense. And in my case, maybe 8 years ago, it made sense to go. I'm hanging out with nonprofit people all the time, because these are cool people who are changing the world.

00:45:25.620 --> 00:45:26.550 Tommy DiMisa: And

00:45:26.710 --> 00:45:27.310 Tommy DiMisa: that's right.

00:45:27.310 --> 00:45:31.410 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And you're ex absolutely right. And and I don't know that I

00:45:32.110 --> 00:45:40.800 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: thought I I I think. And you're right. That's why, 35 years ago. It made sense. But I think I from where I sit now

00:45:40.980 --> 00:46:01.346 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I see it so much more clearly, cause I can see it from all facets, because I see you know it. I see everything that's going on, and I think when we tell those stories to our board at a board meeting they see it, and it gets them excited, and I think it. You know

00:46:02.030 --> 00:46:18.516 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: it. We tell them this is why you're doing what you're doing. But I think it's it's a it's why you get up every day and say, you know what I'm I can't wait to start the day because I know somebody else is gonna be affected and.

00:46:18.860 --> 00:46:29.299 Tommy DiMisa: That's it. Because, le look, I don't know this to be true. I really don't. But like I listen to a lot of things, and some of it's a little lessotic. Some stuff's pretty out there, whatever, man but like, if you

00:46:29.480 --> 00:46:40.080 Tommy DiMisa: bring it down, we're all connected. I I you know some people say to universal consciousness, I'm one of those people, but like there's, you know, that, like we're all intertwined and connected, and

00:46:40.530 --> 00:46:54.789 Tommy DiMisa: you know, give and take and calls and effect. And all these type of things, Diane, like, just like that's how it's supposed to be. So. The fact that you and or your staff are fired up, and I'm fired up to jump up and do the show every Friday morning, because

00:46:54.790 --> 00:47:18.720 Tommy DiMisa: if I didn't have this conversation with you, some of these people who are paying attention to listening wouldn't have heard about your organization wouldn't hurt Billy's story. Wouldn't have heard about Professor Savage shout out to the good professor out of the Cory College of Computer Science at Northeastern University, who I never heard of before until 6 min ago. And now I am going to know her. Someday, you know what I mean like, that's impact man. So the more we can do to to impact and create change in the positive, I think, is what we're doing.

00:47:18.920 --> 00:47:21.179 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right, and I think that

00:47:21.850 --> 00:47:35.079 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: it it's it. That's the exciting part of the work. And I, you know. And I think so. All of these projects we're doing. There's we're. We're starting small because that makes sense.

00:47:35.320 --> 00:48:03.415 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And we're building. And in in the end it will affect hundreds or thousands of people. And that's you know. So that's why I was teasing. And I said, we're like a 45 year old startup because we're starting over we're building on that legacy of what we did prior to this technology. And we're starting new. We're lucky. We're in Boston where there's I mean, there's technology in new York, obviously.

00:48:03.790 --> 00:48:10.150 Tommy DiMisa: No, but I I mean, like, where like you, you told me like, logistically, like physically like where you're seated. And now.

00:48:10.150 --> 00:48:11.519 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Oh, my goodness, yeah.

00:48:11.520 --> 00:48:14.839 Tommy DiMisa: Yeah, you're kind of surrounded. Where are you? Shout out to where you are, to the community.

00:48:14.840 --> 00:48:16.200 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So it's working on.

00:48:16.340 --> 00:48:31.880 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: We're in the Alston neighborhood of Boston. We're practically next door to Harvard. We're not far from Boston University and Boston College. So we're, you know. We're right in the middle if you know Massachusetts.

00:48:31.910 --> 00:48:35.429 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: we're right off the we're right off the Mass pike

00:48:36.340 --> 00:48:37.210 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: near

00:48:37.700 --> 00:48:40.250 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: when you're seeing Elizabeth's hospital. So.

00:48:40.250 --> 00:48:46.060 Tommy DiMisa: So so the connections are are abundant where you are the relationships, the academia, you know that, and not.

00:48:46.060 --> 00:48:47.080 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I wouldn't even say.

00:48:47.080 --> 00:48:50.220 Tommy DiMisa: And dollars are available, too, in a lot of cases. Yeah.

00:48:50.220 --> 00:48:54.766 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: We hope? I mean, you know, we're a not for profit. That's always that's always

00:48:55.870 --> 00:49:03.430 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: what we hope for. But yeah, we're right in the middle of of everything that's going on, and that's what that makes it exciting.

00:49:03.430 --> 00:49:16.639 Tommy DiMisa: I love it. We gotta take one last quick break. We come back. I wanna know, Diane, how people can help out how they can stay connected to the organization what you want them to follow I know there is. There's a Facebook slash monkey helpers still got the old brand on some of that stuff.

00:49:16.640 --> 00:49:18.589 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Yeah, still have. Yeah, thank you.

00:49:18.590 --> 00:49:36.559 Tommy DiMisa: It's okay. You gotta keep those relationships plus every time I say the words monkey helpers. It makes me smile so it should make you all smile, slash monkey helpers, Linkedin, obviously also on there. We'll we'll share all this stuff out as we can, and then we when we come back, how people can help, how they can get connected and what you need. How's that sound.

00:49:36.560 --> 00:49:37.370 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Right.

00:49:37.657 --> 00:49:38.519 Tommy DiMisa: Right right back.

00:51:43.570 --> 00:52:04.040 Tommy DiMisa: We are back, and as far back as I can remember, I I mean literally as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a game show host, and I guess at the time it was past. Say, Jack, you know, or or Rick Holmes on on the family feud, and Richard Dawson before that, and all the yeah, Mark Summers on double dare on nickelodeon.

00:52:04.040 --> 00:52:16.870 Tommy DiMisa: And I I kinda thought I would do that one day, and so this part of the show always becomes like the lightning round of the show. But instead of like helping people solve quizzes and little puzzles and guess answers to things.

00:52:16.870 --> 00:52:42.269 Tommy DiMisa: I decided, I guess that I'm just gonna help nonprofits tell their story and amplify their message into my mind. Make the world a better place. So let's do the game. Let's play a game. Now, Diane, what's upcoming for this organization? Who, if anybody specifically are you looking for relationships with and or give you, if you want to give some shout outs. I mean, we talked about Professor Savage and the great work that Billy is doing. But you know, what do you need? How can we help what's going on? When do you want me to come up to Boston stuff like that?

00:52:42.270 --> 00:52:45.499 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: And come up to Boston anytime you want.

00:52:45.500 --> 00:52:46.939 Tommy DiMisa: Alright. We'll do that. We'll make that happen.

00:52:46.940 --> 00:52:57.850 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: We're here, I guess! Shout outs I. You know what I have to shout out to my staff. They are the best, the best, and the board. You know what we have a really loving, wonderful board. So

00:52:57.870 --> 00:53:10.670 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I I have to shout out to them, I think what we you know what I think. If folks are interested in the work we're doing, if they wanna learn more about the projects they have technology they're inventing.

00:53:11.040 --> 00:53:29.549 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: They wanna learn how to invest. I'm not gonna say no to investment. Or you know, they wanna learn about giving all of that. We are looking for partners all the time. If somebody is interested in learning how to get involved with us.

00:53:30.363 --> 00:53:31.509 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: In testing

00:53:31.630 --> 00:53:49.729 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: all of that, just go to info i nfo info at envisioning, and then what we do is we'll just look through, and then they we will go to the right person. But you know, partners in all of those ways. We're looking for. The other thing, I will tell you is, we have

00:53:49.760 --> 00:53:53.660 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: a a fun event in October, October eighteenth.

00:53:54.060 --> 00:54:00.310 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: from 4 to 7 pm. It's an accessible fencing event, and we're doing it in conjunction.

00:54:00.310 --> 00:54:01.750 Tommy DiMisa: Fencing like this.

00:54:02.145 --> 00:54:13.224 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Doing it with the Boston Fencing Club done this, but one of the members of the staff here is a fencer and quite a good fencer.

00:54:13.620 --> 00:54:18.070 Tommy DiMisa: Touche, Diane Touche, that's all I know about. That's the only thing I could say about fencing. I know.

00:54:18.070 --> 00:54:23.879 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I'm not a fencer, but he is, and we are. Gonna do a clinic for kids.

00:54:25.200 --> 00:54:30.019 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and you know, if you are a fencer, or want to learn about a fencing fencing.

00:54:30.120 --> 00:54:49.968 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: If you're in a wheelchair, if you are not in a wheelchair, everybody, absolutely everybody children, you know, especially like 7 to 15. You are more than welcome. We want you. It's only $20 and then there will be a Para Olympian who has been who fences that will

00:54:51.350 --> 00:54:55.719 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: probably participate be snacks. Yeah, lots of.

00:54:55.720 --> 00:54:59.259 Tommy DiMisa: So that what? What what a great thing! Just to you know! I think

00:55:00.720 --> 00:55:10.689 Tommy DiMisa: I try. You know I don't do it every morning. But I try to write down things I'm grateful for, you know, because we talk a lot about gratitude as a society now, and we realize how important it is, and how it changes our mindset.

00:55:10.730 --> 00:55:25.667 Tommy DiMisa: And every time I I do have this little notebook that I write things in, but I don't do it every day but one of the top things that I write down, and I tell people that I'm most grateful for is my eyes and my legs, and I say that really, because I it is very

00:55:26.240 --> 00:55:53.359 Tommy DiMisa: it's much easier and more efficient to get around when you have eyes that work for vision and legs that work from mobility. It just is. And I say that to just be there are people who don't have those things, and I think if it says that might sound basic and fundamental. But it's real, like, right. And and you know, people who who do have disabilities are doing incredible, amazing things, and to point out a Paralympian, and you know, and the fencing, and that just all this kind of stuff is just like

00:55:53.600 --> 00:56:01.100 Tommy DiMisa: that's what we got to look back at every day, is just dial back and realize the stuff you got in front of, and how great you know it is, because plenty of people don't have

00:56:01.120 --> 00:56:18.070 Tommy DiMisa: resources, don't have abilities and don't have access, and they're very grateful for the abilities and access and resources they do have. Right? So we gotta we, anyway. That's a longer show where I could just stand here and and talk about gratitude. But we don't have time for that. We're almost out of time, anyway. So what else? How? How else can we help.

00:56:18.500 --> 00:56:29.189 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: So those are the big things. So you know, if the kids want to come, I mean, I realize it's you have to be in the Boston area for fencing. But we you know what go if you're interested

00:56:29.400 --> 00:56:36.770 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: right now, info at envisioning, and pretty soon we'll have more information, but it's October, so it's still.

00:56:36.770 --> 00:56:39.760 Tommy DiMisa: Do have more information. Make sure you share it with me. We'll get it out on social media.

00:56:39.760 --> 00:56:40.500 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: I will.

00:56:40.720 --> 00:56:52.970 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: But I think we you know we're looking for partners. If you are working in a tech startup, if you are living with a disability and working on a technology.

00:56:53.210 --> 00:57:02.440 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Please reach out to us because we're looking at all of that. I think it's important. People who are living with disabilities. And our scientists

00:57:03.064 --> 00:57:09.839 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: and our developing technology oftentimes are overlooked. We're not, you know. I mean, we

00:57:10.030 --> 00:57:13.477 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: let's talk because I think it's important

00:57:14.620 --> 00:57:16.230 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: or if you wanna

00:57:16.660 --> 00:57:19.620 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: help out by testing some technology.

00:57:19.870 --> 00:57:37.109 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: you know, and we might have the right ta technology for you to test. So reach out to us. Because we we wanna chat with absolutely everybody. And of course, if you wanna invest in any of this stuff and us, we wanna talk to you, too.

00:57:37.110 --> 00:57:45.230 Tommy DiMisa: Yeah, but that was great warning, too, because you're a marketeer at the end of the day. Right? You're a marketer. So you know, it was investing gang. It's not just donating money. It's investing in an organization.

00:57:45.230 --> 00:57:46.570 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Investing. You're investing.

00:57:46.570 --> 00:57:48.869 Tommy DiMisa: The future we got. We got.

00:57:48.870 --> 00:57:50.819 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: We're investing in people's future here.

00:57:50.820 --> 00:57:57.259 Tommy DiMisa: You're investing in people's future, the butterfly effect. Right? We gotta go because we're out of time. My buddy, Steve Fry comes on with his show always Friday in a second.

00:57:57.260 --> 00:58:01.129 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Well, thank you for this. This has been wonderful. I've enjoyed it. Come, visit us.

00:58:01.130 --> 00:58:23.029 Tommy DiMisa: I will. We'll do a video when I come up to Boston. I want this 3 organizations I wanna put out here, you know, spirit of Huntington Art Center, Viscardi School, and which I'm very connected to, and a friend of mine, John Kemp, who used to be the CEO of viscardi very, very big name in the in the disability space we will get you connected to them. Listen, gang! Go out there, do your work. Get involved in nonprofit. Diane, I appreciate you making a great day. Everybody.

00:58:23.270 --> 00:58:26.739 Diane Nahabedian @ Envisioning Access: Thank you. This has been fun. Thank you very much. Bye, bye.

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