Cover art for podcast The Shining Beautiful Series Podcast

The Shining Beautiful Series Podcast

91 EpisodesProduced by Katherine CarolWebsite

Listen to this podcast and discover the power of "Shining Beautiful" in life and in your community. Mikelle is perhaps the only non-verbal podcaster in the world. How does she do it? With technology. Meet Mikelle, who experiences cerebral palsy, her mother, Katherine Carol, and Gretchen Storm, spee… read more

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Innovate for Change in a Post Covid World

September 27th, 2022


Meet Shaun Woods from WISE (GoWise,org) in Washington State.  Shaun and his organization are dynamic innovators.  During COVID, WISE pivoted faster than most organizations using this chaotic time to fuel innovation …

Our Thoughts on Balance. Three Perspectives on Staying Grounded in Turbulent Times

August 27th, 2022


Balancing during these times of constant change is challenging.  Long-term planning is less predictable than in the past.  The team at Shining …

Summer Fun. Can it be an Essential Part of Transition Planning?

August 1st, 2022


We welcome back our friends, Jen and Codi Mendenhall,  from Grand Junction, Colorado. Jen and Codi are entering that critical transition planning …

Meet Powerhouse Advocate Ricky Broussard

June 30th, 2022


"I love to work."  "Be sure to think out of the box."  These are just some of the comments from Texas advocate Ricky Broussard.  Ricky's unique perspectives include having lived in several more extensive institutional …

Mikelle and MaryAnn Spill the Beans...two weeks without Mom!

June 8th, 2022


The Shining Beautiful team shares the ups and downs of navigating two weeks without Katherine.  It wasn't perfect, but it was good. Listen as MaryAnn …

I Just Have to Go Back to the Islands

May 11th, 2022

Caregivers and parents need a break from time to time. Time to think, reflect, and turn back the clock on always being available. As we find out, it isn't easy to leave emotionally, financially, or logistically.  As …

22 Cents an Hour

April 19th, 2022

Meet Doug Crandell, author of 22 Cents an Hour, Disability Rights and the Fight to End Subminimum Wages.

Join Mikelle and Katherine as we explore with Doug, the history of subminimum wages, and the challenges which are …

Healthcare. Charting Your Own Path.

March 15th, 2022


At the time of Mikelle's diagnosis of cerebral palsy, the path was uncharted. Expectations for her were low, and while willing to learn, her doctor knew little about her condition. Katherine and Mikelle share the great, …

Persistence Pays

February 17th, 2022


Oh, the holidays created some challenges for the ladies.  Family in the hospital, Mikelle's van totaled by a DUI driver on Christmas Day, a missing …

It is a Holiday Sandwich!

December 28th, 2021


Well, 2021 had to end with some chaos.  Sandwiched in between a couple of family ER visits (not us) and a drunk driver crashing into Mikelle's parked …

Has COVID Changed the Power of the IEP?

November 21st, 2021


It is time to get honest about education and the impact of COVID on both teachers and students. Educating students with special needs presents opportunities and challenges even when everything is working well.  The glue …

Staff Shortages are Scary!

October 27th, 2021


It is Halloween and we are supposed to be scared, right?  While the jack-o-lantern glow fades, the staffing shortages burn brighter every day.  Mikelle, Katherine, and Kendyl, a direct service professional discuss the …

What is Happening?

September 22nd, 2021


Oh, boy!  Not even sure where to start on this episode, but it feels like chaos cause it is like chaos.  Good times mix with challenging times. Change is complex and confusing. 

Perhaps, the most challenging aspect of …

Conversation, Culture, Change with Powerhouse, Amy Gonzales

July 28th, 2021


Please forgive the tech advocates for the slow start on this podcast.  We are not perfect but we are smart enough to invite Rehabilitation Subject Matter Expert, Amy Gonzales to our podcast!  In this episode, we cover …

Recruiting and Hiring in a Changing World! Finding Alenna.

June 30th, 2021


This is not our first hiring rodeo.  Over the years, we have pretty good luck building an amazing team.  However, this year everything is different.  Confronting a labor shortage in health care, we had to get creative. …

New Home, New Life!

June 24th, 2021


We are fascinated with Win Charles's courage and grace.  After both her parent's passed, she found herself facing a dilemma about where she should …

Nutrition, Wellness and Cerebral Palsy

May 27th, 2021


Check the literature and there isn't much on wellness and cerebral palsy.  MaryAnn, a nutritionist in training, Katherine, and Mikelle discuss the unique needs of people with CP and how they approach health and wellness …

Happy Mom's VENT Day!

April 30th, 2021


There are days....and this is one of them. Katherine planned a quick road trip to look at reality, clear her mind and seek new vistas for both her and Mikelle.  Celebrating moms!  We all need a chance to vent.

An Introduction our Storytelling Project-Adding Voice to Advocacy.

April 8th, 2021


What a great episode with Jerome Deroy from! This episode is all about the story.  How to listen to it. How to tell it. And, the …

Rockn' the Radio. MIkelle and Katherine prepare for the big interview.

March 16th, 2021


Podcasting pays off!  Mikelle and Katherine prepare to be interviewed by KUNC's Henry Zimmerman of the Colorado Edition.  Nervous, the ladies discuss …

Celebrating 2 Years!

March 9th, 2021


Hello, dear listeners.  Thanks to you, we are now celebrating two years of podcasting.  Listen in to hear what wonderful opportunities are coming our …

Finding Sunshine in Winter

February 25th, 2021


February is typically the month of romantic love, but this year isn't any more typical than the last one! For the gals at SB, the month has been …

Hello and Goodbye to Danika. Diversity Makes the Team Stronger.

January 31st, 2021


We apologize.  We failed to introduce you to a valued team member and now she is leaving us! So, say hello and goodbye to Danika.  Unlike some of our …

Hiring a Friend. The intricacies of friendship, personal support and onboarding during Covid-19,

January 19th, 2021


Hiring a friend has its risks.  What happens to the friendship?  Can your boss still be your friend?  All these questions were asked by Mikelle and her friend, Lex.  Complicating a new hire is the onboarding process …

Happy New Year 2021

January 6th, 2021


Whew!  The holidays are over and the ladies are focusing on new goals for 2021 and celebrating some last-minute victories in 2020.  The ladies have …

Covid and Quarantine

December 12th, 2020


The experts warned us.  We did our best to avoid it, but it still entered our circle--even our house!  Yep, we had to get tested and went …

Disability, Dentistry and Drama

November 17th, 2020


As far as support services have come for people with disabilities, dentistry lags behind.  Part funding, part lack of trained dentist and a system overwhelmed with patients, it is tough to get great care when your teeth …

Coping with Covid and Virtual Education

November 12th, 2020


Allison and Katherine discuss the difficulties of educating Jack who is in his final year of high school.  There are many losses but are there some …

The Tech Mess. Wiping Up Your Technology Spills.

October 30th, 2020

17:56 is ever-evolving.  In this episode, you get a peek behind the scenes as the SB team explores new podcasting tools in an effort to …

Thoughtober....A Time for Reflection

October 23rd, 2020


Shockober, Rocktober....we decided it is Thoughtober--a time to reboot, reflect and renew.  Katherine shares her fall sojourn to nurturing herself through nature and updates on the ladies.

PS. Vote!

The Answer is Out There! Crowdsourcing SB Style!

September 30th, 2020


The problem: Mikelle's on/off switch to her wheelchair broke three times.  A $2 part that cost $4,000 to fix. A frustrating problem which causes …

It's a Photo Shoot!

September 18th, 2020


We all know MIkelle is a star that shines beautifully! 

Now, she gets to shine on the new Colorado Office of Employment Firsts soon to be launched …

Drive Thru Inclusion

September 1st, 2020


COVID is kicking the can of inclusion way down the road for Mikelle and Katherine. This acclaimed blog post viewed by many policy professionals and …

Re-imagining Mikelle's Support. Is it time for an update?

August 21st, 2020


We have read during this pandemic organizations are focusing on rethinking, reimagining, resilience in a quickly changing world.   We decided to take a queue from business and do some reimagining ourselves. 

We asked …

RE-Thinking How We Pay Support Team Members

July 29th, 2020


The times, they are a-changing. Mikelle's team is transitioning members with a couple of returning members and one departure. It might be time to rethink how we pay Mikelle's support team. Creativity and innovation are …

When Mom Travels in the Time of COVID.

July 23rd, 2020


In the last episode, Katherine shared her concerns about traveling in the time of COVID-19.  This podcast gives Mikelle, Mo, and Mary Ann describe the worries, preparation, and impact of Katherine's sojourn into the …

To Vacay or Not to Vacay. That is Katherine's Question.

July 8th, 2020


Let's face it.  We are all feeling a little COVID-Cabin Fever.  Traditionally, Katherine and Mikelle's lives overlap, yet, leave each has their own space to do "their thing."  Every year, Mikelle kicks Katherine out for …

Hope and Happy Birthday

June 23rd, 2020


Nice podcast here.  It starts with Mary Ann, a member of Mikelle's support team, spotting a mural on a garage wall along a nearby alley. "Mikelle, …

Engaging Parents in Customized Employments with Beth Keaton, GHA,LLC

June 12th, 2020


Join Beth Keaton and Katherine Carol on this powerful episode on working with parent expectations, foster parental involvement in preparing their …

We Are All Newbies in a New World. Interview with Shea Tanis, Co-Director of The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities

May 27th, 2020


In this vibrant and fun interview with Co-Director of The Coleman Institue for People with Cognitive Disabilities, Shea Tanis, Mikelle and Katherine …

Figuring it Out for the Long Run

May 19th, 2020


The world is regrouping and recovering, but a grocery worker at our local store passed away from COVID-19 and eleven others have tested positive.  We are not jumping back into the community and are for the most part …

Mikelle a Star? Of course!

April 28th, 2020


We meet some interesting people.  Corey Davis served in the Navy and is currently in film school here in Denver. He met Mikelle through his …

Figuring it Out in Times of Social Isolation

April 18th, 2020


Yes, we have moved from social distancing to social isolation. Like you, we are trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.  A quick update and …

Mom to Mom. How You Doin'?

April 6th, 2020


Let's have coffee and chat.  How are you doing? We are in week 4 of social distancing and lockdown.  Looks like we have a few more weeks of this new reality. In this short episode, Katherine shares how she and Mikelle …

Lockdown and What it Means for People with Disabilities

March 26th, 2020


The voices and experiences of people with disabilities and their families need to be heard during this COVID-19 crisis. Our guest this episode is our …

Community Building in the Time of Social Distancing

March 16th, 2020


Time for a new normal?  How do we building community when we can't get out in our communities?  Like you, we are figuring this out at the Shining …

Katherine's Story--The Beginning

March 7th, 2020


Recently, several listeners asked to learn more about Katherine and her journey as a parent. How did she figure out this crazy system of supports? And, how, as a parent, did she figure out who she needed to be to …

Telling Your Story Works! Check out why!

February 26th, 2020


Hello Everyone!  Thank you for your ongoing support for our podcast!  It has been exactly one year since we launched and to date we are right at 2000 downloads.  Not bad for a kitchen table podcast by two newbies!

While …

Celebrating 15 Years of Love and Friendship. Mikelle & Jerome

February 7th, 2020


In a time of differences, it so refreshing to celebrate enduring love and friendship.  Jerome and Mikelle met in high school and their friendship is …

Meet Jim Corey. Rehabilitation Renaissance Man.

January 30th, 2020


From Army to Advocate. From Job Coach to Cultural Creative.  If you are looking for ways to help people with different abilities transform their …

Ready for 2020? Time to De-Clutter

January 24th, 2020


You probably need to do it.  We just did it. De-cluttering that is...time to make room for new opportunities, quit wasting time searching for things and create an environment ready for learning new things.

Meet Mary Ann

January 14th, 2020


In this episode, you meet the youngest member of Mikelle's team, Mary Ann.  Sweet, sassy and like Mikelle, a little bad assy!  Mikelle interviews …

Happy New Year 2020...Life Planting

January 2nd, 2020


Join Mikelle and Katherine as they explore new ideas and set new goals for 2020 using the "Life Planting" metaphor of planting new intentions/seeds and goals for this next year using various planning and reflection …

Happy Holidays from The Shining Beautiful Series Podcast

December 24th, 2019


Tis' the night before Christmas and we are settled in watching Christmas movies and gazing fondly at the Christmas Tree remembering Mikelle's …

Navigating the System through the Life Span

December 12th, 2019


Recently, Katherine keynoted the Louisanna Developmental Disabilities 2019 Conference. Katherine focused on the steps and stages of navigating the …

Friends Helping Friends. Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 28th, 2019


This episode is a shorty filled with love and laughter as Mikelle and Ian reminisce about old times and develop a plan to do some "fixin' up for the …

Mikelle Lost Her Benefits

November 18th, 2019


Arghhh!  After 25 years of receiving Long Term Care Benefits, suddenly MIkelle is no longer disabled enough to receive them.  Had she suddenly become "less disabled"? No. So why was she kicked off the very benefits that …

Disability, Inclusion and Community from a Native American Perspective

November 9th, 2019


As founder and president of Warrior Society Development, Jim incorporates traditional Warrior Society philosophies in his daily life. "Many think of a warrior only in physical terms, but a true warrior is a protector, …

Lessons from Leaders Part 3

November 1st, 2019


In our final episode on our series on leadership and customized employment with Cary Griffin and Bob Niemiec, Griffin Hammis & Associates, we discuss advice to emerging leaders in the field of Customized Employment …

Lessons from Leaders Part 2 with Cary Griffin and Bob Niemiec

October 15th, 2019


Customized employment revolves around creating a job that is just right for the job seeker. Cary and Bob discuss strategies helping those supporting …

Lessons from Leaders Series. Part 1 Bob Niemiec and Cary Griffin

September 29th, 2019


Wow! Almost two hours of storytelling and wisdom for leaders Bob, Niemiec, Cary Griffin and Beth Keaton!  These experts in customized and supported employment were some of the early pioneers in getting people with …

Meet Salena! Walking Sunshine.

September 17th, 2019


Mikelle and Katherine welcome Salena Salinas to the Shining Beautiful team!  Talking with Salena touches your artist's heart and gives yet another …

Marco Polo.....Marco.......Polo

September 10th, 2019


Why do we like this app?  Because it is more like a real conversation and it gives Mikelle time to compile her message with a video expressing her nonverbal communication. And, it is fun!!

Here is a link to Mikelle …

Welcome to the Mikelle Bootcamp!

August 29th, 2019


We wish our best people would stay forever. Simply put. They don't. We have been down this road before, but this time we are losing a 7-year veteran …

E.V.V. Update. The Bright Side?

August 23rd, 2019


Since our last posting on EVV, folks from the State of Colorado reached out to us to learn more about our frustration and the Center for Medicaid …

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), the darkside?

August 10th, 2019


We hesitated in recording this episode. After all, we have had a wonderful relationship with Colorado's state leaders. Together, we have attempted to …

Loss of Parents. Grief. Advice from one left behind. Plan!

August 2nd, 2019


We rarely talk about grief in our society.  It seems an even more distant discussion if you have a disability and lose your parents. This is the first of episodes to talk about grief in an intimate and loving way.  It …

Pebble in the Pond

July 24th, 2019


Finding the right title for this podcast was a bit challenging. The experience of living with disAbility impacts families and communities for generations to come. Grandson and nephew, Jackson Learned, joins us at the …

Colorado APSE's First Podcast? Yep, it us!

July 17th, 2019


We had hoped in doing our podcast, others might be inspired to start their own.  Lucky us, Colorado Apse decided to start podcasting and started with …

Let's Talk Employment First with the Colorado APSE Chapter

July 9th, 2019


Yahoo!  The Shining Beautiful Series Podcast has inspired Colorado APSE to begin their own podcast series.  Their first interview is US! …

Happy 4th of July

July 4th, 2019


First of all....Happy 4th of July!  This podcast is short and focused.  We all want to spend time with family and friends, play games and eat burgers …

Can Person Centered Planning Prophecy Employment Success?

June 26th, 2019


A few weeks ago, Katherine attended the Washington Initiative on Supported Employment's Community Summit in Wenatchee, Washington.  She just happened to sit in on a session on person-centered planning and was blown away …

A Sweet Sailor. A Sassy Woman. A Great Match. (Repaired link)

June 18th, 2019


We are so sad when team members move on. We dread looking for new folks but do it because we have to fill a vacancy. Our newest team member comes …

Leadership, Virtual Reality and Learning How to Be a Beginner

June 11th, 2019


Cesilee Coulson, Executive Director of the Washington Initiative on Supported Employment(WISE) is one of the foremost leaders in the country …

Technology Tuesday. Technology Supported Employment

June 5th, 2019


How does a woman who can't walk or talk run a small business?  With technology supported employment, Mikelle has been working steadily for 20 years.

Mom to Mom...Vision. Education. Adulthood

May 29th, 2019


Listen to two veteran mom's discuss the importance of having a clear vision for our children with disabilities starting when they are in young.  …

Extraordinary Women (Who just happen to have Cerebral Palsy)

May 22nd, 2019


Inspiration fires us up. It helps us see ourselves beyond our current vision. Mikelle inspired Win to become an author and speaker. Win inspired and coached Mikelle and Katherine on the intricacies of podcasting.  

Writing An Ad That Works! How we find great help for Mikelle.

May 14th, 2019


In our last podcast, Saying Goodbye to Liz, we mentioned how we have been fortunate to have some great ladies working for Mikelle.

In this podcast, Katherine reveals her secrets to pre-screen quality candidates for …

Saying Goodbye to Liz. Turnover sucks.

May 7th, 2019


In few days, longtime team member Liz Lichty leaves for the Oregon coast to join her family. Saying goodbye to a beloved team member is difficult. …

Siri...Are You Listening?

April 30th, 2019


Every day each of us text our friends, reach out to loved ones and even do business via texting. Except if you are non-verbal and have limited motor skills.  What then?  

In today's episode, we will demonstrate why and …

BBBF...Barista, Brother and Best of Friends

April 24th, 2019


For people with communication and mobility challenges and other disabilities developing enduring friendships can be difficult.  Mikelle is fortunate …

Meet an Innovator!

April 16th, 2019


Revolutions start with a single idea and a passionate leader. Disability Cocoon is igniting a technology movement where people with disabilities can …

Repaired Kasey and Mikelle Interview.

April 2nd, 2019


Hello Listeners. Apparently, we had a glitch in our recently uploaded episode of Mikelle interviewing her brother. The last three minutes are sweet. Take a listen.

Siblings! Perhaps, the most important relationship!

April 2nd, 2019


Welcome to the Shining Beautiful Series podcast where we celebrate the brilliance of community in the lives of people with disabilities.  Today, we …

Tech Talk Tuesday. How Technology Builds Teamwork

March 26th, 2019


Today's episode is focused on how technology enhances self-determination, teamwork and how it lets everyone know who is the boss!

Talking with Taylor- Mikelle finds out the secret to hiring great people.

March 19th, 2019


Mikelle Learned interviews Taylor Mason, former roommate, and current support team leader.  Taylor worked for Mikelle for over six years.  Discover Taylor's Tips for Teamwork and creating lasting relationships.

Where Do I Start with Technology?

March 12th, 2019


Let's face it.  Technology is overwhelming for families and individuals with disabilities and the folks that support them.  So many devices, …

Mikelle Interviews Mom?

March 5th, 2019


Last week, we talked about the importance of access to technology for people with disabilities.  This week, Mikelle interviews her mom, Katherine, to …

Tech Tuesday! Why is Access to Technology Such a Problem

February 26th, 2019


Technology Matters!  Especially if you have a disability! The problem?  Many people don't have access either to needed technology and the support …

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