MPower Me founder, Dr. Maria McWhirt has over 30 years of experience in social work and policy research. As she faced the service cliff with her youngest son who has autism, she recruited his older brother, born with severe vision impairment, to develop MyGuide™. The mother-son team worked together with clinicians and teachers to develop do-it-yourself tech-based tools to empower everyone with temporary or permanent special needs to participate more meaningfully in their own lives.
Today, MPower Me is a Virginia Medicaid provider who designs, installs, and supports personalized assistive technology to increase independence, communication, employability, and inclusion, while enhancing existing services and reducing the need for human intervention, especially for those who are otherwise unable to connect with their community during the pandemic.
A Message From Our Family To Yours, During COVID-19
Amidst unprecedented amounts of uncertainty, we are sure of one thing – families with special needs are resourceful. Regardless of how put-together or shaky your plan was for your loved one with special needs before COVID-19, if you’re like the rest of us, you’ve since learned it was a house of cards.
Overnight, the structures we worked so hard to put into place were dismantled. That one teacher who could get through to him disappeared. The special snack that could pull her out of a funk is $75 online. And those obsessive thoughts and anxiety behaviors that you had once conquered have resurfaced with a vengeance. Meanwhile, the other peeps you have to take care of, including yourself, and/or that job that you need, are all ganging up on you, competing for your attention. We know. We get it.
Because when we look in their sweet faces, our hearts utterly melt.
Is this what their life is like all the time? Having no control of anything at all? Would your feelings or choices, if you could even put them into words, matter? These are the questions that unlikely superheroes ask themselves. We want to share with you the empowering potential of MyGuide, something clinicians call a technological accommodation for all disabilities, even cognitive deficits.
MyGuide has been tested by clinicians and special educators, and the cost is often covered by Medicaid and other assistive technology funding. Whether you’ve been completely abandoned or have dedicated professionals willing to help, MPower Me offers families the most secure, flexible, and powerful resources their own family uses.
Contact us for more information about obtaining personalized assistive technology, connecting to others in more meaningful ways, or to support our vision for technology parity for everyone, regardless of temporary or permanent special needs.