Restore Special Education Funding
The following is an excerpt from an email sent to the disability community:
"The new state fiscal year begins on July 1st. On Thursday, June 6, 2013, the FY14 Conference Committee members were named and negotiations began on the $34 billion MA state budget, with a number of key issues to be resolved before the start of the state's new fiscal year.
One of those issues is the allocation for the states' special education circuit breaker account. The House funded the account at $235 million while the Senate funded it at $252.8 million."
"We are asking that all our supporters email the conferees to ask them to support the Senate's number of $252.8 million for the special education circuit breaker account."
** The conferees, their email addresses and a sample email are below:
- Sen. Stephen Brewer (D-Barre) Stephen.Brewer@.masenate.gov
-Sen. Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster) Jennifer.Flanagan@masenate.gov
- Sen. Michael Knapik (R- Westfield) Michael.Knapik@.masenate.gov
- Rep. Brian Dempsey (D- Haverhill) Brian.Dempsey@masenate.gov
- Rep. Stephen Kulik (D- Worthington) Stephen.Kulik@masenate.gov
- Rep. Viriato deMacedo (R-Plymouth) Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov
Subject: SPED Circuit Breaker Funding 7061-0012 -I am writing to ask that you support the proposed Senate appropriation of $252.8million for the special education circuit breaker account (7061-0012). Your support will provide full funding for circuit breaker and public schooldistricts. We cannot afford to shortchange any of our students in education,especially the state's most vulnerable children.
Sincerely, Name & Address"
Thanks ahead of time, and please submit your email to them ASAP.
We want so much for our children to reach life's milestones. Whether it's their first step or first driver's license, we watch with mixed emotions as they navigate life.
Waiting Waiting Waiting
We are all waiting for springtime. It is coming, although Mother Nature hasn’t made it easy this year.
All this waiting is really no different than the nurturing we put into our special kids. We wait for appointments. Wait for reports. Wait for the school to call. Wait for the state to approve us (or not). Wait for our child to make progress in the best way that they can. Wait to get into a special school or program.
Like spring time, the wait is often worth it. An approval and positive outcome have a great feel, a hard-earned enjoyment. Kind of like that feeling when you have that first whiff of warm air and flowers are finally budding all around.
So spring, we want to see you now. Special parents know you will be here, and worth the wait
"We will not let this tragedy define her life"
The tragedy was the horrific school massacre in Newtown, CT. The her the quote refers to was a little girl named Joey, also known as Josephine Grace Gay. Sadly Joey was killed that day.
Joey was also autistic and non-verbal. Yet her devastated parents took a higher road than many of us could ever manage. They did this by quickly setting up the "Joey Fund" with the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
On the Flutie's Joey Fund page, Joey's family states "We will not let this tragedy define her life. Instead, we will honor her inspiring and generous spirit. We have established Joey's Fund in her name through the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. The proceeds of this fund will help families raising autistic children. It's our way of dealing with this pain and never letting go of her love."
What an inspiration for all of us. The entire message and fund information from the Gay Family can be found on
wwwflutiefoundation.org/Donate-Joeys-Fund.asp or Joey's Fund Page.
Thank you Bob and Michelle Gay, for showing us your special way of remembering Joey, and using it to help others with Autism.
Peace & Peace
Wishing you all a happy and joyous holiday season is a little tougher this year. We know that for the families and friends in Newtown, CT, there are broken hearts desperate to make sense, find any joy at all.
As someone who has lived most of my life in the next town over from Newtown, and still have friends and family there, this event feels pretty personal.
How to get through it? I wish I knew.
For this year, our tidings of peace, joy and relief from this tragedy go out to Newtown and each other. It's at least a start on a very long road of healing for so many suffering hearts.
Peace and Peace
For those of us with special kids, it can be hard to watch their "typical peers" hit those milestones; sports teams, dating, college, jobs. It can be hard to digest that these milestones may have a different time frame for our kids. Their hopes and dreams are modified, yet hard-won achievements that others take for granted are celebrated.
I'm stilling planning a celebration for my own son, who, instead of reaching the milestones of college or vocational school, will move to a modified program to assist him reach for some of these same goals. Just at a different time frame.
The emotions are definitely mixed, but we're pretty sure he will get there. That is a good reason for us - and him - to celebrate
Massachusetts' Disability Events - All Ages
Free Health Assessments for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities: June 22nd & 23rd, 2013, Hynes Convention Center, Boston. HealthMeet® will be at the Health & Fitness Expo with free health assessments for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, booth #740 for The Arc of Massachusetts. Channel 7News, NBC and CW56 and Boston Medical Center are hosting this expo, where over 70,000 people will visit for health screenings, fitness exams, and a chance to meet Channel 7 personalities and celebrities like Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo from The New England Patriots. HealthMeet® aims to improve the health of individuals with I/DD, and is funded by The Arc U.S and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Book your health assessment slot by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-891-6270 ext 107.
Community\Safety Day for Disabilities: June 22nd, 2013, 10 a.m. – 12 noon., Peters Park, South End, Boston. This event is hosted by Boston Police District 4 Community Service Office and is for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related developmental disabilities and their families/caregivers. Local First Responders will be on hand to answer questions on how to best prepare for emergency situations involving your loved one diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other related developmental disabilities. For more information contact the Boston SpedPac website or email email@example.com
Horseback Riding Special-Needs Adoption Party: June 22, 2013, 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange at the Therapeutic Equestrian Center, 537 Northampton St., Holyoke. An information and orientation session to meet families who have adopted a child with special needs, DCF social workers and MARE staff. Participating adults will then have the opportunity to interact and enjoy horseback riding with children and teens who are waiting for adoption. School-aged children, sibling groups, children of color and children with special needs tend to wait the longest for families. To RSVP or for more information, contact MARE at 617-54-ADOPT or 1-800-882-1176 or visit www.MAREinc.org.
Beach Wheelchairs for Cape Cod: SMILE Mass is placing floating beach wheelchairs on the public beaches of Cape Cod, including:
• Barnstable-Hyannis, Covell's Beach
• Bourne, Monument Beach & Scusset Beach State Park
• Brewster, Long Pond Beach • Chatham, Harding's Beach
• Craigville, Kalmus Park Beach & Veteran's Park Beach
• Dennis Beaches, Corporation Beach, Mayflower & W.Dennis Beach
• Falmouth, Surf Drive
• Harwich Beaches, Bank Street Beach & Red River Beach
• Mashpee, South Cape Beach • Orleans, Skaket Beach
• Provincetown, Ryder Street Extension
• Sandwich, Wakeby-Mashpee Pond at Ryder Conservation
• Yarmouth, Bass River Beach a& Seagull Beach
For more information contact www.smilemass.org or call 617.967.7755
“Everyone’s a Winner” Special-Needs Resource Day: June 22nd, 2013, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Bright Beginnings Center Playground, Hopedale. Find local community resources including Music Together of Blackstone Valley, Pathways to Learning, Kennedy Donovan Center, Hopedale Cub Scouts, Athletes 4 Autism, Hopedale SPEAC, Alternative Educational Support and more. Meet other parents and caregivers, plus kids can enjoy Balloons with DJ Mike, games, Athletes 4 Autism and the playground. A $10 donation per family is requested at the door. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adaptive Recreation Across Massachusetts: Summer 2013 With the DCR’s Universal Access Program:
Kayaking: CALL FOR TIMES. Fees usually around $5.00. Flat-water kayaking with adaptations and support as needed
- Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, MA, July 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12. Register to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052.
- The Charles River, Waltham, MA, July 9, 11, 23 and 25. Register to (781) 454-5297
- Quinsigamond State Park, Worcester, MA, August 15 & 22nd. Register to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052
- Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, MA, July 11, 18, 25, Aug 1, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Register to Boating in Boston (508) 435-3965.
- D.A.R. State Forest, Goshen, MA, July 1, 8, 10, 15, 17, 24, 29 31, August 5, 7, 14, Register to (413) 584-2052 or Stavros Outdoor Access (413) 259-0009.
- Douglas State Forest, Douglas, MA. July 11, 18, 25, August 1. Register to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052
- Barton’s Cove, Gill, MA, July 9, 16, 23. Register to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052
- Canoeing at Hampton Ponds SP, Westfield, MA. July 30, August 6 & 13. Fees $5 per person. Register to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052.
- Jones Ferry, Holyoke, MA, Thursdays, time varies, May – October. Learn to row or scull with specialized rowing shells and adaptive support as needed. Free, but pre-registration is required to (413) 586-8612.
Charles River Boston, MA. June 17 – August 25, M-F, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Sat & Sun 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Modified sailboats and adaptive support as needed, with a “Pay what you can” fee system. Pre-registration required to Community Boating Inc (617) 523-1038
Adaptive Cycling: Adaptive bikes for adults and kids including hand cycles, trikes, tandems, and recumbent bikes. Fees are $3 per program or use an AOA summer pass. Pre-registration is required to All Out Adventures (413) 584-2052
- Norwottuck Rail Trail, Hadley, June 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 16, 30, 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Dalton, August 9, 23, 10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Accessible Hiking: Explore accessible trails and rugged paths, use of Terra Trek mountain wheelchairs and sighted guides available. Limited transportation. Fees $3 per person, $5 for families, $12 for groups.
- June 4, Chicopee State Park
- July 16, Walden Pond Concord
- July 17, Blue Hills Milton Summit hike -advanced
- August 2, Dunn State Park Gardner ADA Celebration
- August 28, Great Brook Farm Carlisle Dairy tour & ice cream party
- August 29, Breakheart Reservation Saugus
Horseback Riding. Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, August 23, 26, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Free. To receive waivers, register and reserve a spot call Gigi at (617) 626-1294 or Gina at (978) 682-7855.More!
Viewing deck at the Summit House atop Mount Holyoke at Skinner State Park is now be wheelchair accessible with the ramp opening scheduled for mid-June, for a spectacular view of the Connecticut River Valley.
Mount Tom State Reservation has a new accessible trail leading to a viewing bridge on Lake Bray.
Mt. Greylock State Reservation has several new accessible interpretive and signage exhibits open.
Scusset Beach has a new accessible boardwalk over the dunes and two new beach wheelchairs that roll into the water
More information can be found on the on the State of Massachusetts DCR Universal Access Program Page.
Get Off the Roundabout of Caregiving Burnout - The Life You Save May Be Your Own: June 19th, 2013, 6 – 8 p.m., Taunton. Speaker Michael Bloom, a Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership™ Master Practitioner, also has practical expertise as both a family and professional caregiver. This workshop covers practical tips, tools and coping strategies to navigate the caregiving energy recharge, ways to obtain the strength needed to deal with the emotional roller coasters, ways communicate with calmness and clarity, and to care for your loved while leaving room for joy and freedom in your own life. To RSVP, send your name, address and number attending to email@example.com by June 14 or visit Massachusetts Families Organizing For Change.
"Morningstar Access" at Boston Children's Museum: July 15th, & August 15th, 2013, 8:00 a.m. - 10 a.m., Boston. This new program offers children with special needs the opportunity to enjoy the Museum in an uncrowded environment with few other visitors. Pre-registration is required and is limited to 100 Guests. Non-member fee $3.50, museum members attend free. For more information contact lwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org or call 617-986-3697. For additional information about the Museum's accessibility and special needs offerings visit Boston Children's Museum Accessibility Page or Morningstar Page or call 617.426.6500
Camps and Camp Fairs 2013! See over 70 Disability Summer Programs in Greater Massachusetts on our Camps/Camp Fairs Page.
Sensory Friendly Films are now on the Recreation Page.
Free Disability Parent Workshops in Massachusetts - From the Federation For Children with Special Needs:
Effective Communication with the IEP
Suspensions & Discipline in Special Education
To register, contact The Federation For Children With Special Needs in Boston, Massachusetts, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-331-0688.
SPED Child and Teen is not responsible for any listed events' contents, or changes in content, times, dates, fees, or speakers. Please check with event host to verify details.
SPED Child and Teen does not endorse any event, listing or product on this site, and all content is for information purposes only.
Teens and Young Adults
A Full Life Ahead – Friendships & Love: June 26th, 2013, 7 p.m., Burlington. Jim Ross, The Real Friends Project Coordinator for the Northeast, Metro Boston, Southeast Region, will discuss ways to build relationships between those with and without disabilities by identifying and developing resources. This is part of the MDSC's efforts to develop more opportunities for families with children transitioning to adulthood. Space limited to 50 attendees. RSVP to email@example.com or visit the MFOFC Events Page.
"Transition Talks" Parent Groups: June 27th, 2013, Seven Hills Family Support Center, Sturbridge, 6 p.m. Free and open to the public. Transition Specialist Robin Foley will discuss helping to empower parents with their child’s special needs journey and transition for ages 14-22. Topics include student visions, exploring post-secondary educational opportunities, etc. Open to the public, For more information call the Seven Hills Family Services South Valley Family Support Center at 508-796-1954.
Boston Special-Needs Students Self-Defense Event: June 25, 2013, 10:00 - 11:00 AM, Madison Park High School, Boston, Cafe 75, 2nd Floor of the School's Main Building. Boston Public Schools special education students had the opportunity to find their strength and learn to advocate for themselves with Triangle's IMPACT:Ability program to empower people with disabilities and communities to prevent abuse. See what they’ve learned with a live demonstration. To attend, RSVP to Jodi Dugan at 781-388-4353 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Self-Advocacy Training: June 29th, 2013, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., Boston. The Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) Mentor Match team hosts this event specifically with the Mass Rehabilitation Commission. This training will help teach participants on how to self-advocate in a variety of settings, and provide practice with disclosure. Free and open to anyone with a disability between the ages of 14 and 24. To attend, please email email@example.com or visit the PYD Events Page.
IMPACT:Ability Personal Safety & Self-Advocacy for People with Disabilities: Starting June 3, 2013, Reading. EMarc Recreation and DDS Metro North are offering IMPACT:Ability, in partnership with IMPACT Boston. IMPACT's training program for people with disabilities provides instruction on awareness, assertive communication, physical self-protection and reporting violent or potentially violent situations to a safe person. IMPACT:Ability addresses the specific learning needs of people with intellectual disabilities through a curriculum that consists of rote learning, concrete skill building, and role-plays that give participants the opportunity to practice communicating assertively, protecting themselves and reaching out for help. Priority and full scholarships will be given to adults who are DDS eligible, reside in DDS Metro North, and live at home with family. Participants not meeting these eligibility requirements may pay program tuition is $200 for the 8 weeks. Registration must be received by May 28th. Contact 781-587-2382 orRec@theemarc.org or visit EMarc's Impact Boston page.
Planning the Next Steps for Youth with Disabilities ages 14-22: June 13th, 2013, Work Inc., Family Support Center, Dorchester. This workshop addresses the issues related to designing the right curriculum and supports throughout high school so that the student will be on the right track for becoming self-sufficient and living independently after graduation. Information and strategies will be provided to help parents and students translate individual preferences and dreams into meaningful goals in the IEP. To register 617 691 1601 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts 2013 Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for Students with Disabilities: July 15-18, 2013. YLF is a free overnight leadership conference for youth with any type of disability in their last two years of high school. YLF Delegates will be selected from cities and towns across the Commonwealth, representing diversity in regards to geography, ethnicity, gender, and disability. YLF Delegates cultivate leadership, plan career goals, and build a network of supports during the 3-day overnight forum. Activities include workshops & discussions on Assistive Technology, Independent Living, Employment, College & Higher Education, Advocacy, the Disability Rights Movement, how to contribute to your community, plus there is a dance and social activities. Applications can be found at www.eastersealsma.org, or email questions to email@example.com. Application deadline May 30th 2013.
Summer 2013 Transition Internship Program (TIP) for Youth with Disabilities: From the Boston Center for Independent Living TIP program hires and pays interns ages 16 -22, and matches them with partner sites where they work for the summer. Partner sites are looking for interns who are energetic, committed to coming to work, eager to make a positive contribution to their organization, and ready and willing to learn. Work hours are ten to twenty hours per week and the intern is expected to attend weekly employment skill building workshops at BCIL.
TIP expects to begin placing students in late-June and the program will go through the end of August. For more information the TIP Manager at 617.338.6665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the TIP sweepage.
Easter Seals Youth Leadership Network: Through June 2013, in Boston, New Bedford, Springfield, and Worcester. A place for youth and young adults, up to age of 26, to find peers and mentors with disabilities who can relate to the unique challenges of growing up with a disability
Worcester. Info and dates on our transition page.
"Advocates in Motion" Social Program: This Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress program provides fun, inclusive, interactive events and fosters social relationships for teens and young adults ages 13-22. AIM participants develop leadership and self advoacy skills, form meaningful relationships with peers and build their self-confidence in an encouraging environment. AIM members meet one Sunday afternoon per month from September to May. There are a variety of social, recreational and volunteer activities throughout the year. Contact email@example.com or 781.221.0224 or visit www.mdsc.org .
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