a work friend is leaving today... a wonderful advocate for people with disabilities, and he's packing up and moving across the country to experience life without Kansas winters... being able to cruise around on his own year 'round will be a treat for him. I met Brad in 2000 when I came to work for this agency. He was a self-advocate trainer, meaning he traveled around the state giving pep talks to men and women who had cognitive disabilities, telling them basically not to take any shit from anyone, to live the lives they wanted, and to take control of their own decisions. Good advice for anyone, great advice for those who often get talked about, around, or for. Too often those of us in this field take on some sort of "guardian angel" role, which is often the last thing needed. Brad has been instrumental in teaching me about stepping back, shutting up, and listening to what's really important... and that sometimes the most important lessons we learn are by stepping out without a net, rather than having too much help or protection. Good luck, Brad, you are braver than you think.