The Ultimate Preparedness Guide?

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM) and the focus is on planning, with an overarching theme:
“Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead.  You Can.”
We should all take action to prepare!

We compiled Disaster Preparedness Resources just for you!
Check out our Special Disability Resource Hub Newsletter.
Read.  Share.  Prepare.


As we prepare our emergency survival kits and plan to hunker down in our neck of the woods, it got me thinking about The Ultimate Guide!

Need a go-to resource in times of trouble?
Need the Ultimate Preparedness Guide?
Be Encouraged!

“We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods.  This I declare, that he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.”  Psalm 91:1-5  (TLB)

Stay Safe, Dry and Well.  Phyllis


Disability Resource Hub Guide

We are Committed to Reaching Families with Special Needs – Advertise With Us!

Your Sponsorship allows us to put this publication into the hands of families with special needs children, for FREE, through public and private schools, diagnostic and referral centers, specialized physicians, therapy clinics, hospitals and local support groups. Both public schools and professionals give the Disability Resource Hub Guide to their families who need additional support. They are able to refer parents to multiple providers using a single resource.

We would love to include you in the next publication –
The Deadline is November 15!  Please contact Rori at:
407-620-9355 or email: rori@brightfeats.com

A Future and a Hope

Musings From The Hub… Phyllis Guthman

As a parent of a child with special needs, I strive to maintain a healthy and balanced well being by keeping the faith.  At times it feels like a mountain to be climbed.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lena Horne

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  Martin Luther King Jr.

Even in the darkest hours, we know where our hope lies.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Regardless of our circumstances, my husband and I agree, that service is a priority for our family, and we always receive more than we give.  Our family motto is “Service Through Legacy Projects”.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s comforting to serve with like-minded individuals, and I have been blessed to be surrounded by many.  When a friend invited me to participate in a multiple year journey, an opportunity to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families and caregivers, but most importantly offer H.O.P.E., I was on board!

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” William James

I am thrilled to share:  “Autism:  Breakthrough To Hope”, A WEDU PBS Town Hall  

Thursday, April 27 at 9 p.m., tune in to WEDU PBS as they host a community town hall on autism. Families and caregivers of children or adults with autism, professional experts, business leaders and companies who advocate through employment will discuss autism and other related disabilities highlighting some of the struggles and successes through personal experiences.

Check the website for PBS Videos & Resources and more, including:

  • First Steps:  You have received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Resources by grade.
  • Social Development & Communications
  • Behavior
  • Transition to Adulthood

…and more resources to come!

You will keep up to date on resources and information when you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!

Check our Disability Resource Hub Calendar for upcoming events!

 

‘Tis The Season of Appreciation!

Nineteen years ago our family entered the world of disability, first hand, when our child was diagnosed with a developmental disability; and 18 years ago, I began providing support and information to families/caregivers of individuals with disabilities.  It has been a great privilege to serve at statewide and local disability organizations, boards, support groups and the school district, as well as co-creating some valuable on-going initiatives.

Along the way, I attended the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking Program, a leadership and advocacy training program that teaches individuals with developmental disabilities and parents to become community leaders and catalysts for systems change. While walking along this path, participants learn how to obtain the best available services for themselves and others.  This experience has left a lifelong impact on me and I highly recommend this program.  Learn more here.

As our PIP graduation project, a friend and colleague and I worked together to convert a struggling autism support group to Developmental Disabilities Information Sessions for parents of students with disabilities that attend Hillsborough County Public Schools.  Our first meeting of K.I.D.D.s (Key for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities) was held at an elementary school, two individuals attended, a married couple. The Mom went on to start a local support group and sibling group – the support group continues to meet today. Over the years our group grew in attendance and stature and today, K.I.D.D.s is known as K.I.D.s (Keys for Individuals with Disabilities) and serves hundred of parents a year with beneficial sessions.  Find out more at the Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) – Hillsborough website here.

Eighteen years ago, my former Supervisor and the creator of the FDLRS Parent Liaison Project and the Parent Services Manager, Millie Bucy, started the Excellence in Action Awards”, established to recognize individuals who have made a difference in the life of a student with special needs receiving Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Exceptional Student Education (ESE) services.  I have attended every Award Ceremony, even if briefly last year, for the past seventeen years and it became a true labor of love to co-produce this event for fifteen years.  Another friend and colleague and I came up with the concept and name of the Millie Bucy Positive Parent Involvement Award and the selected parents are incredible advocates!

Our family’s disability journey has been filled with peaks and valleys, as life tends to be.  We learned how to advocate and navigate through the valleys; and greatly appreciate the folks that supported and assisted us in achieving goals and improved outcomes for our child.  This is why we have nominated someone, every year, for an Excellence In Action Award and we encourage you to do the same! Any parent or caregiver of a student with special needs or the student with special needs can nominate.  There is an opportunity to also nominate a parent for the Millie Bucy Positive Parent Involvement and Community Awards as well.

The submission deadline is Monday, March 20, 2017 by 5 pm! 

The Award Ceremony is simply wonderful, the goodwill and appreciation experienced by nominees, nominators and guests alike is heart warming.

Trust me when I say, sharing gratitude is a cathartic and fulfilling experience for the nominator and the nominees are typically amazed and appreciative to be acknowledged, as humble servants generally are.

Learn more about the Excellence in Action Awards here: fdlrs.mysdhc.org/Parent_Services/EIA

Nominate online here:  www.surveymonkey.com/r/EIA2017


You will keep up to date on resources and information when you like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn!

Florida Department of Education:
Parent Survey – Exceptional Student Education

This survey is for parents of students with individual educational plans (IEP) receiving special education services during the 2016-17 school year. All information provided will remain confidential.

The Florida Department of Education is working with school districts to gather information on how well parents think their child’s school is partnering with parents of students with disabilities, and would like to include your input. Your responses will help guide efforts to improve services and results for children and families.  Survey link: www.esesurvey.com/LoginPlink.php


Check our Disability Resource Hub Calendar for upcoming events like:

Hillsborough County Public Schools: Students with Disabilities:
Superintendent’s Advisory Council for the Education of Students with Disabilities
The primary focus of this council is to identify and recommend systemic strategies that are intended to improve outcomes for all children who have disabilities within Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Meeting Dates: March 3, 2017*, April 7, 2017, May 5, 2017
*Abbreviated Meetings – Committee Work.


Mar 21:  Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with Gigi’s Playhouse Tampa5 – 7 PM, Centre Club Tampa, 123 S West Shore Blvd, Fl 8th, Tampa, Florida 33609

Welcome: Get Your Resources Here!

Musings From The Hub… Phyllis Guthman

I recently had the opportunity to attend an advisory council for students with disabilities.  It was a good meeting, that included committed district leadership, community members and parents that had come together to discuss important issues that impact students receiving exceptional student education (ESE) services.

The past 16 years working with disability organizations, has taught me that there are many resources available.  Accessing those resources, however can be a challenge, so I encourage you to plug into your local school district for Parent Services and PTA.  Yes, “PTA” and the School Advisory Council. Remember, your child with special needs attends a school,  Since special education is a set of services, rather than a specific place for your child to go… (Special education FAQ, Great Schools!), it’s important to get connected with and support opportunities for parents to participate and become a part of the school culture.  It also gives parents a chance to have their voice heard regarding issues pertaining to their child, regardless of ability. Sign up for district and school alerts via email, text etc… Many Districts use eflyers, like peachjar.  Learn more about the Peachjar Eflyer System at the Hillsborough County Public Schools website.

Follow Disability Awareness Calendars for resources, events and organizations, such as:  Friendship Circle’s Special Needs Calendar 2016
October includes Disability Awareness & History, Disability Employment Awareness, Down Syndrome Awareness, Rett Syndrome Awareness Months and more!

No, you may not receive a “Welcome To The World of ____(fill in the disability) Here Are Your Resources!” packet upon or following a diagnosis, so seek out local and statewide disability organizations.  Sign up for their email updates, follow them on social media, bookmark their websites.  Yes, it takes  time and effort and it’s well worth it!

Welcome:  Get Your Resources Here and Never Loose Hope!


Noteworthy Upcoming Events!

VSA Florida‘s “A New Definition of Dance”, now in its second year, features internationally renowned dancers of exceptional merit, who also have disabilities.
October 14 – 26, 2016:  Jacksonville – Tampa – Miami

Special Needs Ministry Events!


Hillsborough County Public Schools: Students with Disabilities
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Hillsborough County Public Schools:  District Calendar

Oct 10:  Non-Student Day

Nov 11:  Non-Student Day

Nov 21-25:  Fall Break / Schools & District Offices Closed

Dec 19-30:  Winter Break / Schools & District Offices Closed


Parent University is a FREE series of informational sessions supporting the academic life of children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Sessions focus on academic and support programs our district public schools, effective strategies families can use to help every child succeed, and ways to advocate for the resources necessary for our public schools. In addition, district representatives will be available with information about their programs.

Alliance for Public Schools is working in four Florida counties:  Hillsborough, Orange, Pinellas and Volusia. Find out what they’re up to in your area.

Oct 22:  Parent University, 8am-11:30, Franklin Middle School. Register
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Oct. 29:  4th Annual Creating A Plan For The Future:
A Workshop Focused on Post-Secondary Planning for Students with Disabilities,  8am – 12:30pm, at Sam Horton Instructional Services Center (ISC), Tampa, FL.

Sponsored by:  Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), Department of Exceptional Student Education (ESE), Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) & Project Connect.  Register Online

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Check our Events page regularly for information on workshops, trainings, conferences, classes and programs for individuals of all abilities, parents, caregivers and service providers.

The Disability Resource Hub Event Calendar is intended to be an informational resource for individuals of all abilities, families / caregivers and support providers.

Follow Musings From The Hub and receive our posts via email!

Subscribe to the Disability Resource Hub Newsletter and search our archives to stay informed!

Oh, the things you can learn!

Musings From The Hub… Phyllis Guthman

Got questions?  Good, you should have questions!  Fortunately, you don’t have to look far to find information for students with disabilities and their parents/caregivers.

An important event, coming up on Saturday, September 24th,
is Guardianship for Special Needs Students, sponsored by the Focus Academy PTO and presented by Gerald “Jay” Hemness, an attorney specializing in Guardianship for special needs students. I have had the good fortune to work with organizations that have hosted Jay and can tell you first hand that you don’t want to miss this!  He has the ability to take subject matter that can seem overwhelming, and make it accessible for the layperson.

Jay is an expert on the topic and has an amazing heart for individuals with special needs and their families.  Please consider attending this event and learning more about this important topic!

Remember, you are not alone and never loose hope!

Oh, the things you can learn:

Sep. 21:  It Takes A Village, 5 – 6pm EST
Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) 2016 Employment Webinar Series provides an opportunity to participate in a series of webinars geared to build capacity on an array of employment related topics.


Sep. 24:  Guardianship For Special Needs Students, 10 am – 1 pm
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Sep 27: Familias Unidas en Discapacidades – Registration is open for this free, one-day event. Lunch is included as well. This event is intended for families who are Spanish speaking. All presentations will be in Spanish. There will also be the opportunity for IEP/504 consultations. Presented by CARD-USF and Family Network on Disabilities, 8:00am, Tampa
Sep 27: Familias Unidas en Discapacidades – Estamos muy contentos de anunciar que el registro está abierto! mar, 27 de Sep a Las 8:00, Tampa, FL., Por: CARD – USF & FND


Sep. 27 & 28  Setting Limits for Effective Behavior Management
Tue., Sep. 27:  6 to 8 pm and Wed., Sep 28:  10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Shriners Hospitals for Children ~ 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa 33612
KIDs (Keys For Individuals with Disabilities) is a series of free parent information sessions provided by Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) Parent Services and Hillsborough County Public Schools for Families of Students Receiving Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Services Setting.  Register online


Oct. 1: YES! Of America United F.A.I.R. (Family Abilities Information Rallies) 10am – 3pm, at All People’s Life Center, Tampa, FL


Check the Disability Resource Hub Events page regularly for information on workshops, trainings, conferences, classes and programs for individuals of all abilities, parents, caregivers and service providers.

 

Back-To-Events, For Families!

Musings From The Hub… Phyllis Guthman

Back To School brings learning opportunities for parents; and amid the plethora of events, is the *Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) Superintendent’s Advisory Council for the Education of Students with Disabilities.  The 1st meeting will be held on Friday, September 2, 10 am – Noon at The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, FL 33612.  The primary focus of this council is to identify and recommend systemic strategies that are intended to improve outcomes
for all children who have disabilities.
*Update: Hillsborough County Public Schools are closed September 2nd and this meeting is also cancelled. Stay tuned for the rescheduled date!

Additional HCPS Events:
Sep 17Parent University, Jefferson High School, Tampa,
8am – Noon. A FREE series of informational sessions supporting the academic life of children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Breakout classes will be focused on academic and support programs in Hillsborough County Public Schools, effective strategies families can use to help every child succeed, and ways to advocate for the resources necessary for our public schools.

Oct. 29:  4th Annual Creating A Plan For The Future: A Workshop Focused on Post-Secondary Planning for Parents of Students with Disabilities, 8am – 12:30pm, at Sam Horton Instructional Services Center (ISC), Tampa, FL.
Register Online

There are a host of workshops, parent information sessions, conferences and trainings – so be sure to save the dates!
More Upcoming Events Include:

  • Sep 24: Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference,
    8am – 4:30pm, at Dunedin Highland Middle School, Dunedin, FL. Hosted by Family Network on Disabilities. Online Registration.
  • Sep 27: Familias Unidas en Discapacidades – Registration is open for this free, one-day event. Lunch is included as well. This event is intended for families who are Spanish speaking. All presentations will be in Spanish. There will also be the opportunity for IEP/504 consultations. Presented by CARD-USF and Family Network on Disabilities, 8:00am, Tampa
    Sep 27: Familias Unidas en Discapacidades – Estamos muy contentos de anunciar que el registro está abierto! mar, 27 de Sep a Las 8:00, Tampa, FL., Por: CARD – USF & FND

Check our Events page regularly for information on workshops, trainings, conferences, classes and programs for individuals of all abilities, parents, caregivers and service providers.

The Disability Resource Hub Event Calendar is intended to be an informational resource for individuals of all abilities, families / caregivers and support providers. Submitting an event: Requests for including events should be in the areas of family, advocacy, appreciation, inclusion, transition, special needs ministries, education and social/recreational.
All events should be for individuals with disabilities and their families. Please submit your event information and flyers to:
contact@phyllis-guthman.com for consideration. Due to numerous submittals, all events will not necessarily be placed on the calendar. Endorsement statement: The sharing of information, resources and events are not necessarily endorsed by Disability Resource Hub. For additional information please contact event host directly.

Follow Musings From The Hub and receive our posts via email!

Subscribe to the Disability Resource Hub Newsletter and search our archives to stay informed!

Musings From The Hub…

A Reluctant Back-To-School Post

…and so it has come to this: Back-to-School. I will admit that I have always enjoyed having my kids home, having some quality non-structured time is certainly an important reason for this,
but also the break from the structure, the routine, dropping off, picking up, events etc. is a much welcomed relief!

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I long for the days of a true Summer Break – like I had back in the day –
with the last day of school prior to Memorial Day and the first day
of school after Labor Day. That’s right, three full glorious months
of summer!

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Plenty of time to lie in the grass and watch clouds float by, bike ride all over the valley, to take fun summer school classes – yes, summer school – not Extended School Year (ESY). Such pleasant recollections of consuming copious amounts of slushy frozen carbonated beverages, cinnamon rolls from Winchell’s Donuts (the size of my bike tires); and rainbow sherbet from Thrifty’s, of reading endless comics and Nancy Drew books (yes, hard cover and paperback books – with paper pages), of going swimming, and to amusement parks, and road trips with the family, sigh.

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I am aware that I am in the teeniest, tiniest minority on this!

So, as “Your Special Needs Resource Destination” we’re providing useful back-to-school resources for individuals of all abilities – even if a bit reluctantly!

Sign up for free Disability Resource Hub email updates, like us on Facebook  and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  

Keeping The F.A.I.T.H!
Family, Appreciation, Inclusion, Transition, Hope!

Faithfully,
Phyllis, Disability Resource Diva!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6