Updates for Buddy Walk 2014:
— Rob Kiesling, Buddy Walk Chair
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.
ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS, if necessary:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
On April 24th, 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.
On 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 email@example.com by Friday, March 28, 2014. For additional information on Discover Your Network, contact James Furiosi of The Employment Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (570) 420-1900, ext. 3434.
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.