Five Helpful Websites for Families With Special Needs
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog this week!
Here at M&L, we understand the importance of community. As parents, professionals and volunteers in the special needs world, we have all spent many years forming connections, creating friendships and building relationships with other parents, medical professionals, and special needs advocacy and support organizations. From a parent’s perspective, we recognize that our special needs journey would have been much, much harder without these relationships. From the perspective of special needs planning company, we emphasize that it is necessary to form these networks of support in order to help your family member with special needs build a full, integrated, inclusive life both now and in the future.
With that in mind, we dedicate this blog to sharing five incredible websites committed to helping families build and develop relationships with other members of the special needs community. We have carefully selected these websites to suit a wide variety of needs – we hope that you take a moment to browse through them, and find new and exciting ways to expand your networks of support.
Parent to Parent USA (P2PUSA) is an organization that offers programming and parent-to-parent support to families with children that have disabilities, special healthcare needs, or mental health needs.
The organization works like this: P2P organizes a one-to-one match between an experienced support parent and a non-experienced parent. This “match” allows the experienced parent to provide emotional support, provide assistance with finding resources, information, services, etc. and allows the opportunity for the non-experienced parent to form relationships and connections in the community. After the match is made, P2P will follow up and provide support to ensure that the match achieves the P2P organization’s goals.
According to the website, “The Parent to Parent network is a growing national resource for families. Statewide, regional and local community based programs continue to emerge out of grassroots efforts; new statewide Parent to Parent programs are being developed to support the efforts of local programs; national needs are being addressed as they arise; and international interest in Parent to Parent is growing every year. The strength of Parent to Parent comes directly from the parents who dedicate themselves to its continuing success.”
For more information or to begin looking for a support Parent match, please visit the Parent to Parent USA website,www.p2pusa.org. Please note that there is an annual membership fee for some of the P2P USA services.
The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project (Making Opportunities Reality Granting Assistance Nationwide) is a 501c3 charitable organization founded by “Robert & Kristen Malfara in honor of their precious son Morgan, who has a very rare form of Leukodystrophy.” All funds raised by or donated to the organization go directly back into their programming.
As a national, community-based organization, the M.O.R.G.A.N Project organization and its committed volunteers are dedicated to promoting awareness and facilitating support for parents caring for their children with special health care needs, thereby enhancing quality of life for these special families. The organization also provides guidance, resources, and gently used disability equipment for families with special needs.
As written in the organization’s mission statement, “The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project’s Quality of Life support programs for children with disabilities have been designed around one very simple value: to make the parents’ job of caring for their own special-needs child in the family home just a little bit easier.”
If you would like to learn more about the M.O.R.G.A.N Project, or become involved, please visit their website, www.themorganproject.org.
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD)
According the the organization’s website, “The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth. The NCWD/Youth, created in 2001, is composed of partners with expertise in education, youth development, disability, employment, workforce development and family issues.”
The organization – which was formed to provide youth with disabilities improved access to education and employment outcomes – was inspired by the following statistics:
· One third of students with disabilities do not finish high school.
· Only one third of students with disabilities that need job training receive it.
· Only 26% of working age individuals with disabilities have a job or own their own business.
NCWD intends to improve on these statistics by working to improve the workforce and development system for all, while focusing on policies and practices that enhance services for youth with disabilities.
For more information on NCWD for Youth, specifically their transition programs for preparatory experiences, connecting activities,work-based experiences, and leadership development please visit the organization’s website www.ncwd-youth.info.
PLAN – Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network – is a family-led organization founded to secure the future for people with disabilities. Although founded in Vancouver, Canada, PLAN is an international organization providing a model for over 40 individual organizations.
The organization, which was founded in 1989, is focused on supporting individuals with disabilities as they transition into adulthood, and plan for their futures – futures that at some point may not include parents. The organization helps families build extensive support systems based on cooperative, mutually beneficial, personal relationships.
As written on their website, PLAN facilitates social networks of support around individuals with disabilities, provide information, resources and assistance in planning the future, and offer support, personal advocacy and connections to other families. Although the PLAN website (www.plan.ca) is specifically for Canadian families, it will serve to inform and inspire.
If you are interested in learning about how to build support networks for your adult family member with disabilities, you may wish to read more about M&L’s community building non-profit ILO, and the work that that do building intentional communities and facilitating networks of support. Contact them for more information.
Another great organization to turn to for help and support is – of course – M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC! Here at M&L we are both professionals in the special needs field, and parents of children with special needs. We offer a number of services for families with special needs including financial planning, life planning, insurance analysis, benefit counseling – the list goes on and on. We also offer services aimed to help individuals with disabilities that are seeking independent living options, both through our consulting service and our Independent Living Program and Housing Project database.
If you would like more information on exactly what M&L is all about, please read our blog M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC: Who We Are, What We Do and How We Can Help You or take a moment to browse through our website – particularly our resources and blog webpages. We have ensured that our website is flooded with information to help all families with special needs on their unique special needs journey.
Thanks again for taking the time to visit our blog today- we hope that we were able to provide you with a stepping stone towards becoming more involved in special needs communities in your area.
If you would like more information on how to build community, please take a moment to browse through our website. As written above, we are a special needs planning company devoted to helping families and individuals with disabilities achieve their fullest potential. If you would like to chat about your unique special needs family and how M&L can help you, please contact us! We would love to meet you.
Thanks again everyone! See you next week.
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