9th College Work Transition Summit for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

Mayor's Office For People with Disabilities LogoMayor's Office For People with Disabilities Logo9th College Work Transition Summit for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

SAVE THE DATE!

Saturday ● April 18, 2015
2102 West Ogden
Chicago, IL

This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
To register please visit: http://events.autismspeaks.org/TownHallChicago
For more information, please contact
Chicago@AutismSpeaks.org
(224) 867-8573

7 Tips for Parents of Children with Disabilities Braving the Cold

 

Snow Truck Plowing Snow

Snow Truck Plowing Snow

As we approach dangerously cold winter conditions, it is important to prepare and utilize our best options.  If you can avoid leaving your home, please do so.  This is probably the best option, but  it is an option that is not available to a lot of us.   We have to earn livings outside of our home, our children’s schools are open, or our living conditions may not be safe enough for us to remain in.

While venturing out into unforgiving cold effects both people with or without  disabilities. People with disabilities and parents/caregivers of people with disabilities face significant challenges.  Below are immediate actions you can take to prepare for the cold.

  1. Wear multiple layers of clothing, including a scarf around your neck, a winter hat, lined boots and two pairs of socks. Parents:pack extra changes of warm clothes in your children’s back packs.
  2. If your child is able to carry a cell phone, do so.  If not, make sure they have your contact information where you can be reached on their person.
  3. If you or your child utilizes a wheelchair, wrap a small blanket around your legs, tucking it underneath yourself or around your sides when traveling. This will help to maintain body heat. Wheelchair users may consider purchasing pneumatic tires for better traction. Another alternative for some circumstances is to use standard dirt bicycle tires.
  4. Use table salt or clay cat litter to clear ramps – rock salt can poison working assistance animals and also may be slippery.
  5. Remove the tires from your wheelchair and shake debris and ice off them before placing them in your vehicle. Wipe down any metal surfaces (wheelchair tire rims, walkers, etc.) as soon as possible after returning home. This will prevent rusting.
  6. In these frigid temperatures, it is important to stay hydrated.
  7. Dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, too. Whether you use a working assistance dog or are taking a pet outdoors, consider a dog coat and boots for your dog’s paws. Also, keep a blanket in your vehicle for your dog.

Things to Consider:

  • Using a wheelchair in snow can be strenuous, heavy wheeling – the added exertion could lead to a stroke or heart attack, particularly if you’re unaccustomed to it.
  • If you or your child utilizes a motorized wheelchair, try to have immediate access to a extra battery pack.
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater. Ovens should not be used to heat homes.  (Warming centers are available, please contact 311 if your family needs to be taken to one.)

 Winter Resources:

Warming Centers

 

FEMA WINTER STORMS & EXTREME COLD

CDC:Winter Weather Checklists

THE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE VOLUNTARY REGISTRY!

 

 

Social Wellness and Social Success Groups now open for Registration!

Social Wellness Group The Social Wellness Group is intended for children ages 9-12 with a High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Children must be able to participate and gain from a 60-minute group session.

Wednesdays Beginning Jan. 15, 2014
6:00 – 7:00 PM
Outings 6:30-8:00 PM
The Social Success Group is intended for middle school students in 6th-8th grades with a High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.The Social Success Group is intended for students middle school students in 6th-8th grades with a High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. They must be able to participate and gain from a 60-minute group session and various community outings.

Mondays Beginning January 13, 2014
6:00-7:00 PM
Outings 6:30-8:00

Six Principles of IDEA/ Special Education Training

Concerned Parent parents stand with their childThis training is an overview of IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) which is the law that protects the rights of children receiving special education services.

Aspects covered:

  • Evaluation process
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP),
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE),
  • Procedural Safeguards.

 

5 Things You Should Know About Families Dealing With Disability

Written by Jaimie Davis Smith
(This story is from the Huffington Post)

Disability is part of my family’s daily life and it has been since my oldest daughter was born with a chromosomal abnormality over seven years ago. My daughter’s genetic disorder resulted in a variety of disabilities, both cognitive and physical, that impact nearly every aspect of our lives. Usually we go along with our routine, but sometimes I am struck by how little others know about disability and what life is like for us. I have been reminded of this recently and wanted to share five things I wish everyone knew about disability.

1. We really, really dislike the word “retarded.” Please stop using it. Now. The r-word is loaded. It is pejorative. It is hurtful. For those of us with loved ones with cognitive disabilities, the use of the r-word turns them into lesser beings not worthy of the same dignity and rights of those not struggling with the same difficulties. Not everyone has thought about how using the r-word impacts those of us dealing with disability. I get that. But if we try to explain it to you please listen to why it is not okay to use the r-word even if, as I was told recently you “didn’t mean it that way” by a woman who then stormed off somehow angry with me for trying to explain to her how her use of this hateful term impacts my daughter and my family.

2. Some disabilities are invisible. It would be convenient if everyone that disability made it obvious to the rest of the world in some way. Individuals who have visual impairments often use white canes or seeing eye dogs to help them navigate the world. Everyone knows that a wheelchair indicates that someone does not have full use of their legs. But, the person dealing with muscle weakness who can walk, albeit with difficulty, may look completely capable to a casual observer. The child who has autism and deals with sensory issues may look like a typically developing child having a bad day or a brat to you. A child with no obvious differences may have an oxygen monitor or feeding tube tucked away under clothing. But, these disabilities are real. They make life difficult, often on a level unimaginable to most. Remember that the next time you think someone is “faking” a disability for some perceived advantage, whether it’s a parking spot closer to the door or skipping the line at Disney World. Most individuals with disabilities you cannot immediately recognize would gladly give up the small accommodations for which you may resent them if they could also give up the disability that entitles them to these accommodations in the first place.

3. It’s okay to ask questions when disabilities are visible. My daughter uses an adorable wheelchair. Not all wheelchairs are cute, but hers is sky blue with a rainbow embroidered on the seat and has front wheels that light up if you push it fast enough. To other children it looks like a fun ride. Kids point at it on the street. They ask for rides. Usually, their parents try to shush them and pull them away. Well, guess what? I know that my daughter is in a wheelchair. She’s been using it for years. When she’s in it, it’s clear to everyone that she has a disability. I don’t mind questions. In fact, I encourage them, especially from other children whom I often allow to push my daughter’s wheelchair a short distance to remove the mystery surrounding disability. I welcome the opportunity to explain to children that some people are just born differently. I don’t mind discussing disability with adults who may wonder about our circumstances. It is only through open dialogue and communication that we can educate others about disabilities of all types and promote acceptance.

4. We are not heroes. Families that include a loved one with a disability often hear that they are amazing or that others don’t know how they handle it all. But, the thing is, backing out is not an option. We did not take on a burden out of altruism. We deal with the circumstances we have been dealt because we have to, because we have no other choice. We deserve no special credit for this. I have no doubt that most of the people who make these statements to me would do the same if they were in my shoes. They wouldn’t have a choice.

5. Be considerate. You can try to step into our shoes and not impose your own rules on us. It’s not difficult to figure out some things that might make life easier for people with disabilities. But, sadly, most businesses and even schools and churches do not take the steps needed to welcome individuals with disabilities, such as installing ramps or elevators, until they are legally required to. If you want to be better, you can take small steps even when they are not legally required. You could open the door for a mother pushing a wheelchair even if it will delay you by a few seconds. You could ask your child to let a child with disabilities take a turn on the swing since it may be the only piece of playground equipment she could use. You can respect measures that have been put into place to help those with disabilities and their families by not sitting in clearly marked movie theater seats that have been especially designed to accommodate adaptive equipment. You can let the individual in the wheelchair on the elevator first, even if you have been waiting longer. The mother at my son’s school was certainly not considerate when she told me recently that a handicapped parking space could only be used by a family with a child with disabilities who attended that school — and not by a parent with disabilities or a family who may need to bring along a sibling with disabilities to drop-off. Imposing arbitrary, uninformed opinions about who “really” has a disability or need for accommodation is hurtful and harmful, especially when expressed in front of children who are still forming their opinions about disability and may be unsure how to react themselves.

 

Seeking Volunteers for Annual TASH Conference

TASH Conference "A Movement United"The Annual TASH Conference themed, “A Movement United” is fast approaching.  TASH is seeking volunteers to help during the conference. . The conference will be held December 11-14 at The Hilton in downtown Chicago.  Volunteers are eligible to receive 80% off their full conference registration.

 The TASH Conference is the one place where stakeholders from every aspect of the disability community come together to learn, share and grow in our collective effort to advance inclusion and human rights for people with significant disabilities.For more than 37 years, the TASH Conference has impacted the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. 

Volunteer Information:

Volunteers are eligible to receive 80% off their full conference registration.

  • Anyone interested in signing up for volunteer shifts must apply using our online form: https://edtash.wufoo.com/forms/k7x3p3/
  • Volunteers who wish to receive a registration discount must commit to at least 10 hours of volunteer work at the TASH Conference.
  • Once a volunteer signs up for at least 10 hours on the volunteer schedule, they will receive a discount code for 80% off their full conference registration.
  • All volunteers are required to be TASH members or pay for their $30 basic membership in addition to the discounted registration fee.
  • After November 15, the volunteer schedule will be locked and finalized.
  • All volunteers are required to attend the volunteer orientation on Tuesday December 10, 2013.
  • Questions about the program need to be directed to conference@tash.org or (202) 540-9015.

Volunteer opportunities for one day attendees:

  • Volunteer opportunities are also available for individuals with disabilities who can only attend one day at the conference.
  • Individuals with disabilities who commit to 4 hours of volunteer work will receive 80% off the one-day rate and can then attend the rest of the conference events and activities on the day their shift.

We recommend that you review the conference program before choosing the times you would like to volunteer: http://conference.tash.org/

 

Lunch and Learn Webinar: Skills For Effective Parent Advocacy

Collage of diverse familiesTired of getting the run-around while wading through an alphabet soup of acronyms and not being sure of what you can and should do to help your child? Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy will provide you with these important tools: •Going from Frustration to Power; •Who is an advocate and why be an advocate? Learn six skills to follow to effectively advocate for your child.

Transition to Post Secondary Education Webinar

 

Mom and DaughterDiscusses issues relating to transitioning from school to adult life/post-secondary education identifying outcomes and developing goals as part of the IEP process. Parents and young adults will become knowledgeable regarding resources in the community in order to build linkages, and ensure dignified life as a contributing citizen.