Buddy Walk/Buddy Ride 2014

September 27, 2014 from 12:00 to 4:00 PM

Updates for Buddy Walk 2014:

Please distribute the attached Save the Date card! BW Save the date postcard

  • Still in the process of getting the new online registration site up and running, thank you for your patience.
  • Don’t wait too long to start forming your teams though, especially all of the school and University teams, it’s a great time with summer coming for team captains to start lining up team rosters, sponsorships, team fundraising ideas, etc..
  • We will be out exhibiting our groups and advertising the Buddy Walk / Buddy Ride in a bunch of community events this summer, please come out and stop by to lend a hand, or simply say hello. We are also hoping to have the actual Harley Davidson Bike on hand for viewing at some of them!
    • The Celtic Festival at Shawnee Mountain- 5/24-5/25
    • The Pocono Raceway Festival (Stroudsburg)- 6/07
    • The Michael Allman Band/Bike Rally-(Sherman Theater)- 7/12
    • The Wurst Festival at Shawnee Mountain- 7/19-7/20
  • Looking for people to help out in selling tickets for our first ever Harley Davidson Rafflelimited to 2000 tickets @ $10 each. Please contact us if you can help out with this. For those of you that might not have the time or means to lend a hand throughout the year, this would be a great way that you could help us out.  Thank you in advance for your anticipated support. With everything else that is involved with pulling off an event of this magnitude, we could REALLY use some help with this. Raffle tickets might make the perfect father’s Day gift! (Hint, Hint…)

— Rob Kiesling, Buddy Walk Chair

Make a Call for Students with Disabilities

Thanks to everyone who’s been making calls and forwarding our email blasts on the special education funding reform legislation. The efforts are starting to have an impact, but we need to make sure our voices are heard.

The Senate may take up SB 1316 as soon as members return to the Capitol on June 2, so please make a call today and urge them to support SB 1316.


  1. Find the District office phone number and e-mail address of the your state senator here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/#address.
  2. Call their District office and leave a message, asking them to support Senate Bill 1316.


  • Please support Senate Bill 1316, the special education funding and accountability reform bill. Senator Pat Browne is the lead sponsor in the Senate.
  • The current funding system for special education is broken, is unfair, and does not provide enough resources for special education in the right places.
  • I am asking you to support reform of the state funding and accountability system for special education. The school districts you represent need support for special education, and must be held accountable for results.
  • I have personal experience with how this broken system hurts children with disabilities and all students. (Describe your experience.)
  • It is disheartening to hear misleading opposition to this legislation from the leaders of the charter school advocacy community. In truth, charter schools that serve students with more significant disabilities would, under the proposed new formula, receive far greater resources to serve those students than they do under the current, flawed system. (See chart: http://www.elc-pa.org/?attachment_id=1215)

Join us for Self Advocacy Day 2014!

New Adventures For Self Advocates!

Friday, May 9, 2014
9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Pocono Inne Town, 700 Main Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360

This day is an opportunity for self-advocates from Carbon-Monroe-Pike Counties to share with other self-advocates and those who support them with what they need to live an Everyday Life.

Who Should Attend?

Individuals who have developmental disabilities, identify themselves as self-advocates, and wish to learn about the lives of other self-advocates. Those who support persons who have developmental disabilities are also encouraged to attend.

Following Your Dreams

Ernie Roundtree will speak about his experiences as a Special Olympic athlete and following his dream as a runner for the past 12 years.

Let’s Talk About Leaders

Who are some leaders in the struggle for people’s rights? What leaders do YOU know? What ways are there to be a leader? How do people become leaders? What can help you become a leader? Let’s talk about all of this and more! When we are done, you will be able to start on your own path to become a leader.

To register for this conference contact the Advocacy Alliance toll-free at 1-877-315-6855 or by email  jd@theadvocacyalliance.org.





Statewide Art Contest for Individuals with Disabilities

First Lady Susan Corbett announced a new art contest − a partnership between The Arc of Pennsylvania, the commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts − that will showcase artwork from Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

“Art is a language that transcends ability,” Mrs. Corbett said. “Pennsylvanians with disabilities have a lot to overcome, but it is their abilities and talents that we often overlook. That’s why I am proud to announce a new partnership between The Arc of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the commonwealth to launch a statewide art contest entitled ‘Art: The Universal Language’.”

The contest is open to any Pennsylvanian of any age with a disability.

art_contest_Flyer Art Contest - Announcement

Two upcoming FREE Education Clinics Being Presented on April 24th and April 27th

On April 24April 24 Education Clinic and SNTth, we will be presenting with Parent Education Network.  I will be presenting on “Understanding Your Child’s Educational Rights and IEP” and Crystal Welton, J.D., LL.M. will be presenting on “Special Needs Trusts: Planning for Children with Special Needs.”  Following the presentations, we will have several attorneys there to meet with families to review their child’s IEP and answer any questions.

April 27 Education ClinicOn April 27th, we will be presenting with Dr. Tiffany Griffiths and Associates.  We will be presenting a complete overview of the evaluation/IEP process, including an overview of the educational rights of children.  Following the presentation, Dr. Griffiths and I will be available to with families to review their child’s IEP and answer any questions.

I have attached two flyers with specific information regarding these Education Clinics.  Please feel free to pass along the information, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you so much!

Heather M. Hulse, JD, MA, MS
McAndrews Law Offices, P.C.




The Carbon-Monroe-Pike Employment Coalition is hosting Discover Your Network, a morning conference and Job Fair on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. This event is open to students/adults with disabilities, employers, non-profit agencies, case managers, and teachers/other support professionals.

According to a recent survey reported by the Associated Press, 34% of people with intellectual disabilities are employed versus 83% of working age people who are not identified as having disabilities. The firm Right Management in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, reports that the majority of its clients received jobs through networking. Given these statistics, it is apparent that new strategies are needed to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The focus of “Discover Your Network” is to help students and adults with disabilities develop networking and self-advocacy skills which can lead to employment opportunities. This involves identifying strengths and skills and locating the resources and natural supports that will help one succeed.

Workshops will focus on networking skills, customized employment, employment incentives for hiring people with disabilities, transition programs in Northeast Pennsylvania, and self-advocacy skills. Of special interest to employers who attend, the Business Leadership Network of Pennsylvania will present on employer incentives for hiring people with disabilities along with a local employer which successfully hired a person with a disability.

In addition to workshops, there will be a networking fair. Job seeking students and adults should come dressed to impress and bring a one page summary of strengths or a resume. Job seekers will interact with local employers and non-profits. Prize drawings will be held afterwards. A continental breakfast and coffee will be available during the event.

Registration is required for everyone who wishes to attend the workshops and/or have a booth at the networking fair. To register, contact Jennifer Duggan at the Advocacy Alliance at 570-207-0151, toll free at 1-877-315-6855 or email jd@theadvocacyalliance.org by Friday, March 28, 2014.  For additional information on Discover Your Network, contact James Furiosi of The Employment Coalition at jfuriosi@cmpmhds.com or call (570) 420-1900, ext. 3434.


A new service from the Advocacy Alliance of special interest to families and friends of persons with developmental disabilities

The Advocacy Alliance Pooled Special Needs Trust Announcement is of special interest to families and friends of persons with developmental disabilities.

The Advocacy Alliance is proud to announce the addition of a new program to our services. We are now able to offer a Pooled Special Needs Trust to our consumers by approval of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

The Advocacy Alliance Pooled Special Needs Trust allows disabled beneficiaries the opportunity to place their assets in trust through a Master Trust and Joinder Agreement. When disabled beneficiaries join the Advocacy Alliance Pooled Special Needs trust, their assets will be held and managed in a separate account that is “pooled” with other beneficiaries’ funds to maximize earnings potential through investments.

One of the advantages of a pooled special needs trust is that the initial investment can be small to allow disabled individuals, their parents, or their grandparents to participate without the legal costs of developing a standard special needs trust. Once the individual is enrolled in the trust, they can add to the trust without the concern of losing benefits. The disabled beneficiaries’ assets that are used to fund the trust will not be considered available resources in determining the beneficiaries’ eligibility for Medical Assistance.

The funds placed in the trust are available for the beneficiary’s use upon request for approved supplemental needs and care.

The purpose of the Advocacy Alliance Pooled Special Needs Trust is to promote the comfort and happiness of the beneficiaries and to improve their quality of life. We are attaching a copy of our Trust Services brochure for your review.

Please contact Mary Jane Yevics , Director of Guardianship/Trust  Services, or Gail Powers, Chief Financial Officer, toll free at 877-315-6855 with any questions or if we can be of service to you.