Shattered Lives Features CRIS Radio for People who are Blind or Print Challenged

Diane Weaver Dunne of CRIS radio discusses the audio offerings available to people who are blind or print challenged.

CRIS records articles featured in more than 70 newspapers and magazines, including the most extensive line-up in the nation of award-winning children’s magazines featuring human narration, all available online and on demand.

In addition to broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, other services include streaming CRIS programs directly to hospitals and other health care facilities through their in-house systems, or through Internet radios installed at assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

CRIS also provides custom recordings for schools and museums to better serve people with print disabilities.

For complete details on all of the CRIS offerings, please visit their website:


Don’t Be Afraid of the Radio!

Radio guests

Does the thought of being a live guest on radio send shivers down your spine? If so, it shouldn’t.

After nearly five years of talk, I have developed my own style and comfort level as a host.  But, “it ain’t necessarily so” for a guest.

Doing live broadcasts can be as easy as talking to your best friend from your kitchen table with a cup of coffee.

Fear of the unknown and various misconceptions are the barriers to guests saying yes, yes, yes!

What I do for you

As a host, there are several areas of responsibility such as pre-show research and booking interesting guests. I keep in contact with all future guests, send a detailed instruction sheet with logistics of the show and contact information.

After an initial phone conversation, I build the message of my one-hour episode around one or two main concepts, creating several questions as a guide. Nothing is scripted, and the key is to have a natural conversation.

In the background, the framework of the episode is created and dispersed through announcements either before or after the episode airs. Promoting through all social media channels is something else I do for each guest and hope guests also use their contacts to promote their appearance.

Once on the air, I monitor the production, call-ins, chats, and the flow of the message as well as the timing. Most importantly, I try to make each guest feel comfortable presenting their message, and we have a short chat just before air time.


Tips for Guests

When appearing as a guest on any form of media, you should know your topic well so that when speaking everything feels natural. Let your passion show, but if you feel you need help, you may wish to invite someone to act as your advocate or spokesperson.

As a guest, you should be proud to share the episode’s links and information to your circle of friends, colleagues, and family, and ask them to share as well.

The beauty of podcasting is you can do it from the comfort of your home, no need to report to a studio, no expensive equipment, you’re just a phone call away. Be assured that I will lead and guide you through the interview, you’ll have plenty of time, which often flies by once we are into it.

Don’t fear to make mistakes, there is no judgement or debate, rather a natural conversation between friends.

If you would like to be a future candidate for consideration on Shattered Lives Radio, get in touch. You just might be a great guest!


Making a Wind Chime from a Shattered Life


Kristen Dockendorff

Kristen Dockendorff

When a person is born into this world, they come with a pre-determined set of assets, talents, strengths and liabilities.  It is God’s making, (if you believe) who concocts the ingredients and it for man/woman to shape his/her own destiny based upon those qualities.  Talents and strengths often occur naturally and are easy to spot once the person is given the opportunity to shine. However, a God-given disability can become a liability or it can forge a new path, a new direction. Those of us who have a disability as defined medically can often get bogged down in labels, predictions, expectations or lack of expectation by others, political correctness and the like.  Like it or not, what we do in life is largely dependent upon us. Yes, it can be a cruel world out there, but it can also be glorious!  It is getting to the glorious that is the difficult part and trying to sustain and re-shape, re-invent that is so trying.

Such is the life of Kristen Dockendorff, born with a rare form of Retinitis Pigmentosa, A progressive genetic eye condition leading to legal blindness. (1 in 4,000 people) beginning in early childhood. Night vision and your peripheral vision may be affected first followed by loss of your central vision. However, despite this eye disease, a highly intelligent, talented and creative girl, persevered, and also compensated with an underlying learning disability –dyslexia (Characterized by difficulties with reading, spelling, word fluency and decoding information). She married, had children and spent several years enjoying family life.

The arts were a major strength and something she gravitated toward all of her life. She was a successful Master level Art teacher in the Ashford, CT school system for 32 years teaching such as forms as origami, painting, pottery making, native American art, to pre-kindergarteners through 8th grade. At some point in time, when her eye disease progressively got worse, relinquishing her driver’s license, depression set in, and a period alcohol abuse.  Her family life also suffered and she divorced.   She needed help in order to re-invent herself. She suffered the slings and arrows of trying to persevere in the classroom, outrageously assigned to recess and lunch duty by an uninformed staff, when she could not see her students. She was also provided a classroom assistant as an accommodation. But alas, this career had to end, to try to begin a new chapter of life.

Fast forward to July 2016. Kristen has been retired for two years and has relocated to a new home. She is hoping to formulate a new career path for sustained employment with the assistance of a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Rehabilitation Services- Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind in Connecticut-

(For Services within CT – 1-800-842-4510; 860-602-4000). Throughout her ordeal, BESB was a mainstay, providing her with a full complement of services.unnamed-1

A brand new addition to her life is her guide dog Emma , a true life partner, where they just received intensive training, and bonded as a family. Her training was provided by the oldest existing  guide dog school (since 1929,)  in Morristown, New Jersey –

Another relatively new venture that she has embraced is the sport of adaptive sailing.  To “put it all in perspective,” an artist (and musician) has to be creative when money is tight. Kristen recently recounted her inspiring journey on an episode of Shattered Lives Radio.  Part of forging a new path is finding ways to create her art from materials not purchased in a store. She travelled to the banks of the Housatonic River, in western CT only to find some durable reeds-cane in which to craft beautiful Native American style flutes, a good match to the art she creates on her potter’s wheel.  *** (Listen to podcast for a musical sample!). When asked what her message would be to listeners, she stated, “Be true to yourself.” Having a Shattered Life…or not is all about attitude and perspective. Kristen prefers to  “make a wind chime out of a once-shattered life.”

The best means of contacting Kristen is via email at

If you are interested in purchasing her pottery or flutes you may view them on


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Three Missing Girls From Connecticut – A Lifetime Ago or was it Yesterday?


Debra Spickler, Janice Pockett and Lisa White missing from Tolland County, CT


Shattered Lives Radio recently featured the cases of three missing girls from Tolland County, CT. Appearing on the episode were family members and investigators who updated listeners on their latest efforts to solve the cases and return the girls to their families.

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When we think of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, it was a different time as compared to 2016. Living life was less complicated, free-spirited, trusting, even innocent. And yes, there was turmoil and a revolution of change all at the same time! There was the Vietnam War raging, civil rights marches in the south, an explosion of creative expression from the music world – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, folk music, Woodstock, campus protests, marijuana and psychedelic drugs to “free the mind” and “flower power.”

On the home front, in our neighborhoods and backyards, our parents never gave a thought to shady people lurking in the shadows or those not to trust.  We were sent outside to play, perhaps for the entire day, but you had better be back for supper!

No one locked their doors. Children went off on their own and DID accept rides from strangers.  They ran away from home. They hitchhiked to their next destination down the road, in a fearless, invincible way.  Those children were classified as juveniles, they ran away, probably to return in a few hours, so why worry? They were arrested for truancy, underage drinking and the like.  No doubt children were abducted, molested, and were also victims of human trafficking (although this term would not evolve for many years).

So where did three young girls from Eastern Connecticut, specifically Tolland County, the Vernon- Rockville area, or those visiting the area, fit into this backdrop?

Missing girls

Debra Spickler was 13 years old from Mystic, CT visiting her aunt in Vernon CT. Last seen on July 24, 1968, at Henry Park, Debra and her cousin were walking towards the area of the local swimming pool. The two girls became separated.  Debra’s cousin looked for her afterwards, but she has never been seen again.

Janice Pocket was 7 years old in 1973.  She left her house at 3 p.m. on her bike, to retrieve a butterfly she had left under a rock.  Her mother retrieved her bike about a half mile away, but Janice was never seen nor heard from again.

Lisa Joy White, 13, lived in Vernon, CT and went to visit a friend in the Rockville section of Vernon in the evening of November 1. 1974. After visiting her friend Lisa began walking up Prospect Street towards the center of Rockville alone. That was the last time she had been seen.


Important Information

No physical evidence has ever been identified in any of these three cases which span from 1968 to 1974. The only piece of evidence, which was located in Janice Pocket’s disappearance, was her bicycle which was unable to be processed.

The Cold Case Squad meets as a group monthly and has uncovered dozens of leads and tips with thousands of old documents to review and electronically scan.

As part of their evidentiary search, they are most interested in obtaining any photos or videos taken during the summer of 1968 in the location of Henry Park, in Vernon, CT, particularly depicting landscape and people in the background at events occurring in the park where Debra Spickler went missing.

Any information will help build the culture of this time frame.

The public should be assured that this is an open-ended, ACTIVE investigation in which all possibilities will be considered.  In addition, a collective $150,000 Reward is being offered for information. 

Guests Appearing on Shattered Lives Radio

  1. Daniel Cargill- Retired Ct State Trooper; Lead Cold Case Analyst; Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
  2. Lt. William Meier, Vernon Police Department; Began as 2014 Investigator with the Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
  3. Janelle Candelaria- Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Department of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Rocky Hill, CT;
  4. Mary Engelbrecht- Younger sister of Victim Janice Pocket;
  5. Aprille Falletti- Younger sister of  Victim Lisa Joy White


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Contact with information:

To send material contact

Social Media from the Families of the Tolland County Missing Girls and Contact Information:

Mary’s Facebook page-

Aprille’s Facebook Page –

Every missing person is somebody’s child

(Monica Caison, Founder of the Cue Center for Missing Persons)