How Vest was created
The transormative power of ideas
Michael Pearce is the inspired force behind the marvelous tool that we know as Vest. As a trust attorney who worked closely with parents of special needs children, he saw an incredible void. These parents were lost and confused when it came to planning for the future of their children. There were absolutely no tools out there to empower families to plan without fear. There was nothing to show them what steps to take or how to record essential information in a realistic way.
Michael saw the stress, the weariness, the fear, and the worry on the faces of families with special needs. Working with them, he realized that families needed to take advantage of technology to keep track of essential information. He knew that cloud technology was the solution.
No one else out there was doing anything like this. He was a solo venturist into the realm of planning technology for families with complex struggles. His vision was singular, and it took a leap of faith and a great deal of time to flesh out.
With notes on reams of yellow pads, Michael began to build the concept. When he discovered the costs involved and the timetable to develop cloud software, he became discouraged. His two children were in college and his law practice was doing well: why rock the boat?
But the thing that you have to realize about Michael is that he sincerely cares about people. His clients and others like them were struggling unnecessarily. So he kept working at it. He and his wife Sue, along with their daughters, sat down to come up with a name. They dug through the notes and mulled over lists of names that didn’t quite fit the bill. Eventually, they landed on the notion of a vest. Vests offer protection from the cold or from drowning. How many special needs families are drowning? How many are out in the cold? A Vest for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Don’t we all have a vested interest in the success and happiness of our children?
Daunted by the force that it would take to make this happen, the notes were abandoned on those yellow pads. Life was perhaps too good to mess with. Weeks passed. Then one day, Michael was driving home on his way to tell his wife that it was too much after all; he was going to shelve the project. Then, a song played on the radio:
“I'm just a normal boy
That sank when I fell overboard
My ship would leave the country
But I'd rather swim ashore
Without a life vest I'd be stuck again…
I want to swim away, but don’t know how.. “
Life happens in moments. This was one of those moments. Those lyrics from “Into the Ocean” spoke directly to Michael: “Without a life vest I”d be stuck again.”
From that point on, success was the only choice. Determined to be a positive force in the world, Michael made the decision to move forward wih Vest and make the app happen. He would commit to offering hope to special needs families.
Michael found some fantastic developers who knew their stuff and were eager to create something unique and useful. Randy and Andy brought know-how and integrity to the project. Shared vision. Shared passion for the cause. Together they created the technological backbone of Vest, which offered functionality and ease of use.
He sought out experts in special needs, as well as real families to refine the program. He found counsel with parents whose understanding of special needs that can only come from living it. Everyone involved in the development of Vest held a deep desire to to help families successfully navigate the challenges of life with disabilities.
Vest is today the product of a vision that began with one individual, but which has spread to others, through commitment and passion to help a community who has previously been left behind in the technological revolution. But now, help is here.
Vest offers families real solutions to the issues that keep parents of special needs kids awake at night.
How can an idea transform the lives of real people?
By taking shape through the passion of a group of strong and emboldened individuals. Vest is an idea that has taken flight and now offers families the ability to successfully navigate life with special needs. Vest offers our special needs community the empowerment they seek and deserve.