CAC Corner: Robin Savage- Traveling the TRAX

August 7, 2012 by cpehrson

Getting out into the community is important for everyone.  Options for Independence,  a nonresidential Independent Living Center, makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to participate fully in the community.

CPD Consumer Advisory Council member Robin Savage joined OPTIONS for Independence on an adventure to Salt Lake City to spend a day at the New City Creek Mall.

Head shot of Robin and Blake Savage

Robin and Blake Savage

My day started with OPTIONS for Independence waking me up because I slept in and was not ready when they came by to pick me up. Once in the van, we headed to Ogden, Utah to Union Station to board the new Front Runner train for a ride to Salt Lake City. There was a large group of participants attending this OPTIONS activity and it was quite a chore getting everybody loaded on the train. Once on the train, the smooth ride was very comfortable and it was fun looking out the second level window at the scenery as we zoomed down the track.

The train arrived in Salt Lake City and we hurried off the Front Runner and hurried onto the TRAX train for the final ride to City Creek Mall. When we got there, everyone seemed to go their own direction checking out the City Creek Mall. The mall is very big, three stories tall and covers two blocks with a glass covered sidewalk on the second floor connecting the two blocks. It also was very easy to get lost, once inside you could not tell which direction to go because you were surrounded with shops, stores and a lot of people.

There were so many stores to choose from as we were walking around we could not find the Disney store but luckily we noticed it was on the second floor so we took an elevator up to go to it. I went into Macy’s and several other stores and found that the prices were very expensive. There were some stores that were reasonably priced. I found the City Creek Mall to be larger than ZCMI and Crossroads combined.

Once we had been through the mall we decided to cross a street and visit the Salt Lake City Temple where we enjoyed spending time in the visitor center. I enjoyed the small temple display in the visitor center that allowed you to see the many rooms in the Temple.

When we left the visitor center we crossed the road and found an ice cream shop by the mall. While enjoying our ice cream we could see the Church Office building, the Joseph Smith Memorial building, and the beautiful landscaping along the sidewalks. It also brought back memories from my family history mission I served several years ago.

Back at the mall we spent some time finding the gym which was on the third floor. I wanted to go in the gym because my brother built some of the equipment used in the gym.

Next, we realized we needed to find the TRAX stop for the green line which would take us back to the Front Runner Train and our ride to Ogden. I was amazed that OPTIONS staff was able to round up 23 individuals and get us all on TRAX at the correct time so we would not miss the transfer to Front Runner for our ride back to Ogden. In Ogden we all got on three separate buses and headed back to Logan.

I want to thank OPTIONS for Independence for providing a fun and safe activity and ride home. I found this adventure to be a great learning experience and very exciting. It was a wonderful day filled with fun and friends.

Sincerely, Robin Savage

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CAC Corner: Public transportation brings independence

May 2, 2011 by cpehrson

This CAC Corner blog is brought to us by Robin Savage, a CPD Consumer Advisory Council self-advocate member.  She and her husband, Blake, have been members of the CAC for several years.  You will never see Robin without a bright smile on her face and a cheery word to say.  She and her husband live in Hyrum, Utah.

By Robin Savage as told to Connie Pehrson

Hyrum, Utah is a wonderful place to live….if you have a car!  It is 8 miles from Logan, and that creates a problem for residents who don’t drive, like Robin Savage and her husband, Blake.

They don’t have a problem getting around in Hyrum because they can walk to many of the places they need to go.  Blake can walk to the middle school where he is a custodian, and Robin can walk to most of the schools that she works in as a substitute lunch assistant.  They walk to the library and to their church.  A lot of their family is within walking distance; some live just next door.

But when they have business in Logan such as medical appointments, meetings, or just want to go shopping, they have to rely on family or friends to drive them in.

That is, until they discovered the Cache Valley Transit District (CVTD) bus system!

Being independent is very important to Robin and Blake.  They are proud of their thriving greenhouse business and like to be able to take care of themselves.  When the CVTD South route started up several years ago they were excited to take advantage of it.

Now they use the bus once or twice a week to get into Logan.  Sometimes their family will drive them in and drop them off at the Transit Center and they can go wherever they need to by themselves. Then they can ride the bus back to Hyrum.

Not only does the CVTD give the Savages independence, but it is FREE!

Public transportation can be a lifeline for a person with a disability or a senior citizen. Special needs/accessible transportation is an important ingredient to being independent.  Without transportation options, some people might otherwise be virtually trapped in their homes or forced to lead much less independent lives.

Utah provides several transportation options for people with physical or mental disabilities.  Many counties in Utah have a paratransit service that can be accessed by eligible individuals.  Local Independent Living Centers (ILC) provide transportation assistance when needed. Utah 2-1-1 connects people with important health and human services programs such as transportation throughout the communities of Utah.

[NOTE: CVTD South buses come to Hyrum regularly every week day  at a variety of times and also has limited runs on Saturday.  CVTD does not run on Sundays.

The CVTD also provides a paratransit bus service through Call-A-Ride; it is for people with disabilities who have been certified as functionally unable to use the fixed route buses.  The paratransit service can be reserved by contacting the Transit District office.]

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CPD Legacy Story: Blake Savage

January 18, 2011 by cpehrson

Written by Connie Pehrson from an interview with Blake and Robin.

Blake Savage and his wife Robin are members of the CPD Consumer Advisory Council.

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When you are looking for some healthy plants for your garden this spring, you’ll want to check out a small greenhouse in Hyrum, Utah run by Blake and Robin Savage.

Blake started his greenhouse business after the family farm was sold.  He lives with his wife, Robin, in his grandmother’s house that was part of the family farm.  It was there that he found an outlet for his green thumb to continue to nurture the soil and grow healthy vegetable plants that he now sells to others.

Blake was born in Salt Lake City and his family moved to Hyrum when he was 5 years old.  It was then  that Blake came to the CPD to participate in the Special Education classroom that was offered here at that time, learning skills that would help him throughout his life.  In the late 1980’s, when the children in Special Education were mainstreamed back into the district schools, Blake moved to Lincoln Elementary School as a sixth grader.  He went on to attend South Cache Middle School and Mountain Crest High School through the 12th grade. After high school, Blake started working at Deseret Industries, learning job skills that would help him find a new job and become even more independent.

Blake decided to go on a short mission for his church and served in nearby Ogden, Utah.  After his mission was over, Blake worked at the Cache Industries program for a short while before landing a job as a janitor at South Cache Center (Middle School) in Hyrum.  He has worked there for over 21 years.

Another passion of Blake’s is music, and when the family farm was sold, he needed something else to keep him busy so he started out as a Disc Jockey for the local Special Needs dances in the valley.  Blake says that he is available to come to any dance that needs a great DJ!

Along the way, Blake met his sweet wife, Robin, at the Single’s Ward they both attended.  They soon got married and moved into his grandmother’s house.  Robin is a great homemaker and helps with the greenhouse when she is not working at the local school lunchrooms.

Blake has served on the CPD’s Consumer Advocacy Council for over 5 years, and now Robin is working by his side as a CAC member, also.  They help to keep the CPD on track by sharing their experiences and opinions about disability issues that impact their lives.

Together, they are carving out a good life; happy, independent, productive, and successful.

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