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Weekly Update: April 8, 2022

Weekly Update
Congratulations to the fabulous cast and crew of Frozen!
Information From Cotting School
Camp Season Is Coming!
It’s the time of year when you may be looking for camp experiences that take place before or after Cotting summer session. Has your child had a great summer camp experience (day or overnight) that you can recommend to other Cotting parents? If so, please send the name of the camp and a few words describing why it was great to Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.
For general reference, here are some links to information about camps serving children and young adults with disabilities this summer:
Cotting School Family Support Information Session:
A Team to Carry On
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
6:00 pm on Zoom
Presented by: Alexandria Nadworny
Who will take your place when you can no longer do all that you do for your child? While no one can replace a parent, it helps to begin the process of building a Team to Carry On™ throughout every stage of the timeline.
To receive the Zoom meeting link, please RSVP to Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.
Cotting Summer Term 2022
Take Note: The dates for Cotting’s 2022 summer term have been finalized! The program will run from Monday, July 11, through Friday, August 12, 2022.
Community Resources & Events
Coming soon! Massachusetts Easter Seals Youth Leadership: Bridgewater
Many Cotting students have enjoyed and gained experience from this program!
Bridgewater, MA, In Person, April 19th, 2022. Through the support of Mass Rehab Commission, YLN promotes self-advocacy and self-awareness for teens and young adults with disabilities ages 16 to 21, plus opportunities for youth 14 to 26.
  •  This is a statewide initiative, with meetings and events held in Boston, Springfield, Worcester and East Bridgewater.
  •  This is an opportunity for youth to make friends in their local communities and within the larger network.
  •  Parents are also invited to stay for a parent group, covering topics related to transition services and program for youth with special needs.
For more information about the meeting dates at each location event, visit the YLN Easter Seals page or RSVP to youth@eastersealsma.org or 617-226-2855.
Team Impact Wants You to Get Involved!
Team IMPACT’s unique two-year program connects children ages 5-16 with a serious illness or disability with college sports teams, creating a long-term, life-changing experience for everyone involved. Based on a clinical model, Team IMPACT guides a relationship between teams and children focused on socialization, empowerment and resilience, ensuring everyone involved has the personalized game plan they need to win, effectively building confidence and independence.
Team IMPACT works with colleges and universities nationwide, and they want YOU to get involved! To learn more or apply to the program click here.
Easterseals College Navigator
Remote & In-Person Services Available
Easterseals College Navigator program provides individualized services to college students with disabilities based on their goals, strengths and needs. Our Navigators assist students in identifying barriers, advocating for their needs and accessing college services and resources to successfully reach graduation. Services are delivered in person, virtually or a hybrid of both to meet each student’s needs.
“Intelligent Lives” Screening & Discussion in Wakefield
Wakefield, MA, April 11th, 2022, with the Wakefield Commission on Disabilities . Award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib’s “Intelligent Lives” initiated a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.
  • The film stars three young American adults with intellectual disabilities who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college and the workforce.
  • Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse as the film unpacks the shameful ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.
For more information click here or contact DisabilityCommission@wakefield.ma.us.
Sensory-Friendly Days With Mass Audubon
In order to continue making nature accessible to all, Mass Audubon has launched a series of sensory-friendly days at sanctuaries throughout Massachusetts, including Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick on 4/11 and the Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont on 4/25.
  • During these times, you can visit when properties are closed to the general public or tend to be relatively quiet.
  • Some sites will have special hikes with nature guides available to recommend appropriate trails and guide your experience, while others provide self-led opportunities.
  • You can also find All Persons Trails at many of these sanctuaries. These trails feature wide, flat, ADA-accessible paths connecting parking areas to the wilds of nature.
Pre-registration is requested or contact mass_audubon@massaudubon.org or 781-259-9500.
Insurance Coverage for Behavioral Health: Navigating the Maze
Webinar – Insurance Coverage for Behavioral Health: Navigating the Maze, April 12th, 2022, with PPaL of Massachusetts.  Are you a parent looking for treatment for your child with a behavioral health challenge, but are confused about where to start? Then join a primer on how to navigate commercial insurance benefits for youth in Massachusetts.
Topics include:
An overview of the new Behavioral Health for Children & Adolescents (BHCA) services, how to determine eligibility and coverage, MassHealth and how it can help people with private insurance, the effect of BHCA on CBHI, Educational Services, etc. and frequently asked questions & resources.
About the speakers:
  • Amy Weinstock is the director of the insurance Center for Autism and Behavioral Health at the UMass Medical School’s Eunice Shriver Center and an instructor in the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry.
  • Terri Farrell is the project director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center of Massachusetts in the Shriver Center of UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA.
ABLE Accounts Workshop
Webinar – April 12th, 2022, with the Special Needs Transition Group of Wakefield, MA. The roadmap to enrollment takes you from the pathway of being ABLE eligible to enrollment as you ask questions such as:
  • What is ABLE?
  • Who is eligible?
  • What can funds be used for?
  • How do I manage the account?
  • How do I enroll?
Topics may include:
  • ABLE accounts and qualified disability expenses
  • Expenses that do or do not meet QDE criteria
  • The impact of an ABLE account on social security and SSI disability benefits
  • Maximizing the use of an ABLE account without jeopardizing a range of other benefits
  • A range of strategies for funding an ABLE account
  • Using ABLE accounts to support the transition from school to adult training and higher education
  • Work and independent living
About the speaker: Michael Weiner is a financial advisor who specializes in special needs financial planning.
RSVPs are required to SPEDHousing.Transition@gmail.com
Disability is a Qualification for Employment and That Matters to Business
Webinar – April 13th, 2022, with the UMass Lowell Center for Autism Research & Education. Free and open to the public. The UMass Lowell CARE Expert Speaker series hosts professionals from around the country to provide information on topics related to helping individuals with autism and the field of applied behavior analysis.
SPEAKER: Director of Employer Relations Bonnie Rivers from Work Without Limits, UMass Chan Medical School/Commonwealth Medicine
  • There are numerous misconceptions, myths and stereotypes that surround disability and work.
  • We will discuss how to emphasize that disability can be a unique qualification for employment and how to translate that into the value proposition for businesses to include people with disabilities as staff, customers and suppliers.
  • This workshop is for all audiences, but particularly candidates with disabilities, their family members and employment service providers committed to improving the disability employment landscape.
  • Employers seeking to increase their disability inclusion capacity would also benefit.
To RSVP click here or contact Ashleigh_hillier@uml.edu for the Zoom link.
Estate & Financial Planning for The Special Needs Community: Special Needs Trusts
Webinar – April 14th, 2022, with the CASE Collaborative in Concord, MA. For parents and family members of persons with special needs. It is never too early to learn about this important tool to ensure our loved ones are properly cared for when we are no longer able to do so.
Topics discussed will include:
  • How the various needs, abilities and vulnerabilities of the individual impact the recommended type of estate plan (one size does not fit all)
  • Why disabled children may need more funds in the future than other children
  • The dilemma for estate planners and parents is that property left directly to disabled children can disqualify them for SSI and Medicaid benefits because these programs are based on financial eligibility criteria as well as requiring a demonstrable level of disability
  • Funding special needs trusts
  • Basic benefits for people with disabilities
About the speaker: Ken Shulman’s work in disabilities planning has led him to volunteer with organizations that provide services to persons with special needs. He was the past chair on the Disabilities Committee of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and recently completed two terms on the board of directors of the Asperger’s Association of New England.
To RSVP for the Zoom link, contact the CASE Collaborative at scampbell@casecollaborative.org or 978-318-1534.
Guardianship & Alternatives for Special-Needs Families
Webinar – April 14th, 2022, with the Arc of Greater Haverhill – Newburyport, MA. For parents and family members of persons with an intellectual or developmental disability, this seminar provides an overview of the legal consequences of reaching the age of emancipation at 18. Discussion will include:
  • A description of the range of decision making options
  • Guardianship, the powers and duties of a guardian, the procedure of initiating a guardianship and substituted judgement
  • How supported decision making can be used as an alternative to guardianship
About the speaker: Attorney Meredith H. Greene practices in trust and estate special needs planning, estate planning, guardianship, conservatorship, adult services advocacy and government benefits advocacy.
To RSVP for the Zoom link click here or contact Andrea Morris at Andrea.Morris@TheArcofGHN.org or 978-373-0552 x211
Stay in touch!
Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to pvarrin@cotting.org.
Helpful Links
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Cotting School every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just select “Cotting School, Inc.” as your charitable organization and remember to shop at smile.amazon.com! Amazon will then donate a portion of your order’s purchase price to Cotting School!
Spread the Word!
Do you know someone who would like to learn more about Cotting School? Please share the information at the links below with someone you know. Cotting School parents are our best ambassadors, and our team is available to connect with families that would like to learn more!
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