Hello, 2016: M&L’s Annual Year in Review

 December 31, 2015
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Hello everyone, and welcome back to our blog this week! We hope that you have having an excellent holiday, surrounded by family, friends, happiness and joy. From all of us here at M&L we would also like to wish all our clients, friends, family, and the readers of this blog a Happy and Prosperous New Year! We would also like to thank you for allowing us into your homes and your hearts over this past year; we love nothing more that meeting new families and helping individuals with special needs reach their fullest potential and achieve their dreams. Thank you for allowing us to do that.

As has become a tradition at M&L we would like to usher out 2015 and welcome the New Year by doing a wrap up of the milestones we have reached over the last 12 months – please join us!

2015 Milestones

2015 truly has been an incredible year for M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC, and our staff, family and friends. During the last twelve months, we have been very privileged to be able to meet and work with dozens of new families, helping them to plan for financially successful, happy and productive futures for their families with special needs. Through meeting and working with new families every day, M&L is proud to say that we are growing and evolving into a leader for special needs financial and life planning for the DC metropolitan area. Here are just a few of the milestones we reached over the last year:

Government Benefit Counselling- 100% Success Rate Our government benefit counselling service is one of the most popular tools in our financial planning toolkit; through the expertise and experience of our owner/founder Maedi Tanham Carney, CFP®, CWIC, M&L Special Needs Planning works with our clients to ensure that they understand which public resources are available to them and their family member with special needs; we also help our clients access these funds by offering step by step guidance through the application. We are very proud to stake an excellent success rate with our government counselling services for the last three years running – since 2013 every client that we have counselled has been successful in her or her application for government benefits. If you would like to learn more about this service, please contact us.

Workshops, Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plans, Services Over the course of 2015 M&L has continued to help dozens and dozens of individuals with disabilities and their families complete comprehensive special needs financial life plans, and have been able to share our expertise in regards to insurance benefit analysis, letters of intent, independent living, and other services. We have also continued to offer our Workshops, and continue to offer each presentation in our workshop series at various times and locations throughout the year. This workshop series is designed to help parents and families of individuals with disabilities gradually acquire the information needed to plan successful futures; by attending these workshops, parents/guardians/family members are able to learn how to navigate the financial and legal maze of planning for the individual with special needs and can unlock and access the tools that will help them secure a successful life both in “the now”, and well into the future, particularly after the parent/family member/guardian are gone. If you would like more information on this workshops series, please click here.

Each time we are able to provide planning assistant, guidance, or just plain advice to families with special needs we recommit to helping to creating a brighter future for all individuals with disabilities – it is our mission and our goal to become a leader in the special needs planning field, and we are well on our way to achieving that goal. If you would like to learn more, contact us! We would love to help.

Integrated Living Opportunities It has been an incredible year for M&L’s community building non-profit, Integrated Living Opportunities (ILO). Just to quickly recap – in March of this past year, (ILO) achieved 501c3 status. Receiving 501c3 status means that the organization has been recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit organization, and is tax-exempt by virtue of it charitable programs. As a 501c3, ILO can now fundraise and accept donations to enable the organization to offer the services so desperately needed by those individuals with disabilities who are searching for independent living and community options.

Once that milestone had been reached, ILO was off a running, and the achievements just kept piling up. Shortly after 501c3, ILO’s network of participating families began to grow and expand – as of today, we are 20 families strong, with a number of self-advocates having already achieved independent living, and more projected to achieve this goal in 2016. ILO participating family members began to create and cultivate community pods and social committees; over the last few months ILO Board Member Debbie Fickenscher has created a community pod in Germantown/Gaithersburg, MD with regular social events and meetings between pod members. Washington, D.C. community pod leader Maedi Tanham Carney has created and spearheads a Friday night social cooking class, during which 6 self-advocates meet regularly to learn new skills and work on existing ones, and self-advocates have been networking amongst themselves and other community organizations to help build relationships and partnerships within their intentional communities – it’s been an excellent year for growing our organization from the ground up! ILO has made incredible progress in 2015 on the administrative side of things as well; in addition to creating a logo for ILO, we have also been hard at work creating a website that will both support existing ILO participating families and hopefully also work as a tool to recruit more families and grow our network! This comprehensive website contains information about the different services our organization will offer families with special needs, and insight as to our mission and vision as we work to make intentional communities a viable living choice for all adults with disabilities. We have also shared with visitors our founding story, a “meet and greet” of all of our board members, as well as behind the scenes photos and videos of participating families and self-advocates as they work together to realize dreams. We will also be publishing weekly blogs that are chocked full of important and relevant information for families and individuals with special needs.

ILO is planning to launch this website in January 2016 – what better way to start a new year? If you would like to be kept informed, please contact us, or subscribe to this blog. The website address is www.ilonow.org Going forward into 2016, ILO’s focus will be on growing our network, creating intentional communities in MD and DC, and also fundraising; if you are interested in donating financially or with your time, please visit our website in January. We will have lots of information about how you can help ILO – and also how you can join ILO and build communities for your family members with disabilities. So, stay tuned!


Thank you for your continued Support!

From all of us here at M&L, we would like to thank you for your support over the last six years since M&L was founded. We have truly enjoyed every minute of working with all of you, and look forward to a new year of challenges and goals. If you or a family member has any questions on the milestones that we have achieved over the last year, or would like to avail of any of the services that we offer please do not hesitate to contact us – we love hearing from you!

Thanks for joining us, and as always please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding special needs financial and/or life planning for individuals with disabilities. Together, we can make 2016 our best year yet!


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