November 30th, 2020
When you walk in the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone you will be greeted by an enthusiastic receptionist ready to check you in to the Fitness Center or answer any questions you may have. Her name is Halie and what you may not realize is that she is passionate about Turnstone’s mission not because it’s her job, but because it has changed her life.
Halie, Turnstone Administrative Assistant, has been part of the Turnstone Family since a young age, attending the preschool program and receiving therapy services. Then, when she was in high school, she volunteered in the Adult Day Services program and maintained her strength in the Fitness Center.
Born with Cerebral Palsy, Halie always felt like people were quick to notice and judge her disability outside of Turnstone. As she navigated bullying at school, she was grateful for a community at Turnstone that embraced her for her character and focused on her abilities.
After graduating college, Halie experienced rejections and demotions in the workplace seemingly because of her disability. When she was approached about an opening at Turnstone, she was eager to return to a place that had meant so much to her personally.
Halie was excited to find that inside Turnstone’s facility all of the barriers she experiences outside the building were removed. Simple adaptations, such as railing along the hallway walls and wider entrances, created the possibility for Halie to work without even considering her disability.
“For someone such as myself who is disabled, when you come here, it is just a very comfortable environment – there’s no boundaries with Turnstone,” said Halie. “And to be able to come into a place where you don’t have boundaries, it’s indescribable.”
Halie shared that growing up with a disability, she didn’t have access to the same opportunities and experiences as her sister. She found that a place like Turnstone is vital to individuals with disabilities in order to avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.
“We [with disabilities] see a place like Turnstone, and it gives us hope, it gives us the dream that we wouldn’t be able to have,” said Halie. “Now you can be a Paralympian and it could all start here at Turnstone.”
It is easy for Halie to come to work every day because it is important to her to make sure other people find their worth and a sense of belonging within Turnstone like she has. Your support of Turnstone creates an inclusive environment without limitations that allows individuals like Halie to experience autonomy and wellness.
“Turnstone allows people with disabilities to believe in their abilities,” said Halie.