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5 Factors to Consider When You Have a Disability and Are Running for Public Office

Check out this article from Ed Carter, a retired Financial Advisor who now focuses on financial advising for those with disabilities. You can find out more info on his work at https://ablefutures.org

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Chances are that you can’t name but a few people off the top of your head who have a disability and hold a public office—be it at the local, state, or federal level. And considering that one in four U.S. adults lives with a disability, this is a problem.

There’s no doubt that individuals with disabilities are severely underrepresented in this country, which means that the ways in which the government can serve them are limited. But what can we do to change it? Inspiring those with disabilities to run for public office and informing them as to how to do it are great ways to start.

1. The Reality

While dreams and aspirations are reasons to consider a run for office, they won’t be enough to sustain you through a campaign, much less the daily duties of being an elected official. Discuss the realities of a campaign and heavy workload with your loved ones before you make any decisions.

For example, are you ready for the criticisms that will likely come during the campaign? Can you handle the workload required both during a campaign and once you’re in office? Are you equipped with the skills and experience needed to win against your opponent? These are the kinds of questions to go through with your family before you dive into a campaign.

2. The Candidate

If your family is on board, you will then need to do some self-reflection. What is it that you stand for? Will you run on a platform of helping other people with disabilities get access to the services they need? Who are the target voters you will be working to win over? Once you have a solid idea of what you want your identity to be as a candidate, you’ll be ready for the next step.

3. The Campaign Manager

The team you have in place will play a major role in determining the outcome of your campaign, and this starts with the campaign manager. Because your campaign manager will ultimately be in charge of everything campaign related, be sure to find someone who is qualified, reliable, and dedicated to your values. If you don’t already have someone in mind for the position, asking for recommendations from your network of professionals is a good way to start your search for a campaign manager.

4. The Team

Besides the campaign manager, there are several other roles you will need to fill on your team. For example, hiring a web developer can help ensure that your website engages and informs voters, and you can easily find candidates through job boards. A communications director will be responsible for getting your message out to the public, responding to media, and so on. A finance director will handle fundraising and make sure there is money to implement your strategy. The number of staff members needed is largely determined by the needs of each specific campaign.

5. The Strategy

Finally, what is your strategy? Get with your team to determine a plan of attack for your campaign. This might include things like deciding the major parts of your platform, how you will market your message to the public, and other ways you will reach voters. This is also where you will plan for any necessary adjustments to accommodate your disability, whether it’s while canvassing homes, doing interviews, or attending meet-and-greets at local businesses.

If you live with a disability and are interested in running for public office, make sure your family is on board with your decision. Then, put together a solid team and strategy that can help you win. Most importantly, always stay true to yourself and remember the voters who supported you along the way.

Check out the resources below:

One in Four
Underrepresented
Realities
Identities
Qualified
Find Candidates
Communications Director
Fundraising
Strategy

Summer 2020 Updates

Clinic Based Small Groups and Camps

As we reopen the clinic, we are so excited to be offering small group therapy and camps this summer! As of June 15th, we will begin running groups/camps of 2-3 kids with one therapist for 45/90 minute sessions. These small groups will help build social skills while focusing on language building and fine/gross motor skills. Additionally, we are offering groups with siblings this summer! Insurance and private pay options are available. Check out our flyer or contact us for more information. We are so happy to be back!

Small Group Therapy 2020

Summer 2020 Groups/Camps

This summer, we are doing things a little bit differently. To keep our families and therapists safe, we will be doing teletherapy groups and summer camps! This is a wonderful opportunity to keep your kiddos on track to meet their therapeutic goals, while allowing them to socialize with peers in a safe way. Please check out our summer brochure, and reach out to us for more information. We can’t wait to see you all (virtually) this summer!

Group Therapy 2020

What is TeleHealth?

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What is Telehealth (Teletherapy)?

Telehealth or Teletherapy is a way for a clients to receive their health services (including therapy) remotely. It is a way to provide therapy through a live video connection utilizing a smart phone or computer’s webcam and microphone. Similar to Skype or FaceTime, families are able to connect with their therapist in the safety of their own homes. Our therapists use HIPAA compliant video conferencing platforms to provide a continuation of your child’s therapy services. These sessions can be individual sessions, or even group sessions allowing your child to interact with both their therapist and peers.

For more information or to inquire about our teletherapy groups, please contact us.

How to: Make a Bird Feeder

  How to: MAKE A BIRD FEEDER

Materials:

  1. Toilet Paper Rolls
  2. Peanut Butter (or any like consistency substitute)
  3. Bird Seed
  4. Plate (paper so that you can fold it and pour the left over seed back into the container)
  5. Popsicle Stick (a plastic knife would work also)
  6. Twine or String

Instructions:

  1. Remove all remaining toilet paper from the toilet paper roll
  2. Pour out bird seed onto the plate
  3. Spread the peanut butter (or substitute) thickly on the surface of the roll
  4. Roll the peanut butter covered roll in the bird seed, making sure all the peanut butter is covered
  5. Cut a long piece of twine/string and put it through the opening of the toilet roll
  6. Tie the ends of the twine/string in a knot
  7. Hang on a branch outside
  8. Enjoy watching the birds eat the seeds

Language Goals:

  1. Planning: before starting this activity, have your child plan a course of action
  2. Following Directions: either read them the directions or have them read the directions and follow them
  3. Comparing/Contrasting: Take pictures or find pictures of two different birds eating from the bird feeder, have your child find similarities and differences between the two birds
  4. Inferencing: have you child think about what other animals might eat from the bird feeder
  5. Vocabulary: talk about all the different parts of a bird, what category is it in, what it looks like, what it does, where it lives,  etc.

 

Tags: Speech     Language      Activities     DIY      Spring      Birds

 

Spring Activities to Elicit Language

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The weather is beginning to change and it’s that time of year when you just want to be outside! Here is a list of fun activities to do with you children to elicit tons of language!

Start a Garden:

  •  Grab seeds, pots, a shovel, and a some soil to start your plants inside.
  • Make a plan of what to do and then follow the steps! (working on planning, sequencing and following directions)
  • Talk about the different parts of the plants when they start to grow and the tools you use to help the plants. (working on vocabulary)

* Don’t forget to water them and keep them in the sun! *

Easy Plants to start from seeds: SunFlowers, Marigolds, Basil, Tomatoes

Fly a Kite:

  • Grab a kite on a windy day, take it outside and watch it fly!
  • Talk about the different parts of the Kite (working on vocabulary)
  • Talk about what you are doing and what would happen if you let it go. (working on cause and effect and expressive language)

Go on a Picnic

  • Pack lunch and a blanket and have a picnic outside!
  • Play I Spy with the new surroundings (working on vocabulary , and receptive and expressive language)
  • Talk about what you are going to do after you’re done eating (working on future thinking and expressive language)

Tags:  Speech    Language    Gardening    Vocabulary     Spring Activities      Capable Kids

Common Acronyms in the Speech Therapy World

Is your Speech Language Pathologist always talking in acronyms and it’s hard to keep up? Here is a list of the most common acronyms that most SLPs use.

SLP – Speech Language Pathologist

OT – Occupational Therapy

PT – Physical Therapy

ASHA – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

CCC – Certificate of Clinical Competence (The letters that come after a SLP’s title)

DX – Diagnosis

EI – Early Intervention

MA or MS – Masters Degree

Acronyms used in the schools

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act

BOE – Board of Education

BIP/BMP – Behavior Intervention/Management Plan

ELL – English Language Learner

ESL – English as a Second Language

ESY – Extended School Year

FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education

FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP- Individual Education Plan

IFSP – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

ITP – Individual Transition Plan

LRE – Least Restrictive Environment

NCLB – No Child Left Behind Act

RTI – Response to Intervention

SPED – Special Education

Acronyms that have to do with therapy

TX – Therapy or Treatment

ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis

FBA – Functional Behavior Assessment

Acronyms for disorders

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

AOS- Apraxia of Speech

APD – Auditory Processing Disorder

ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder

CAS-  Childhood Apraxia of Speech

CAPD – Central Auditory Processing Disorder

CP – Cerebral Palsy

DD- Developmental Disability

EBD – Emotional and Behavioral Disorder

HI – Hearing Impaired

HOH – Hard of Hearing

LD – Learning Disability

OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OHI – Other Health Impaired

SLD – Specific Learning Disability

Acronyms for communication forms

AAC- Augmentative and Alternative Communication

ASL – American Sign Language

AT – Assistive Technology

PECS- Picture Exchange Communication System

What does a Speech Language Pathologist do?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.” So…. What does that mean?! 

A Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) has a very broad scope of practice, covering everyone from newborns to the elderly, who may have difficulties with communicating, cognition, and/or swallowing.

SLPs work with people who have language disorders. A person with a language disorder may have trouble expressing themselves (expressive) or understanding what others are trying to communicate to them (receptive). They may have difficulties sharing their ideas, thoughts, and/or feelings. They may struggle with their grammar (syntax), their meaning (semantics), or their social interactions (pragmatics), both expressively and receptively.

SLPs work with people who have speech disorders. A person with a speech disorder may have trouble correctly producing certain sounds (articulation), certain patterns of speech (phonology), or fluency of speech (fluency/stuttering).

Articulation – distorting, substituting, or omitting, one or multiple letters while speaking, making it difficult for people to understand. See the chart below to know what sounds should be mastered by what age.

Speech Sound Acquisition

Phonological – continuing to use a phonological process (sound pattern) after the age that it is considered mastered.  See the chart below of phonological process and what age they should be mastered by.

Phonological Processes Chart

Fluency/Stuttering – an interruption in the flow of speech characterized by repetitions (repeating a sound, syllable, word, or phrase), sound prolongations (elongating a sound or word), blocking (unable to get the word out), interjections (like “um” or “err”), or constantly revising one’s own speech.

SLPs work with people who have previously had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or stroke. A person with a TBI or stroke may have trouble in all areas of speech, swallowing and cognition.

SLPs work with people who have trouble eating or swallowing. Sometimes there is an issue with the texture or consistency of the food and sometimes there is difficulties with the overall swallowing process known as dysphagia. SLPs work with their clients to help treat, overcome, and adapt to these problems.

SLPs have a wide scope of practice and most specialize in certain areas, but all are capable of diagnosing and providing therapy in any of these subcategories.

Have more questions? Leave them in the comments section and we will do our best to answer them!

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