Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Seminar Notice: People with DD & Alzheimers

Press release submitted by Tami S Seitz 3/15/10 (Excerpted)

"Alzheimer's disease is increasing among persons with developmental disabilities, particularly those with Down Syndrome. It must be considered a terminal condition that presents numerous challenges to provider organizations, families and friends of those who are affected" explains WIU Special Education Professor Don Healy.

An educational seminar sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association–Greater Iowa and Illinois Chapters and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities will be held at the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities campus Wednesday, March 24. Cost to attend the morning session is $30, while there is no charge for the afternoon session. CEUs (3.5) in continuing nurse education are available for an additional $10. The event, co-hosted by the University of Illinois, Chicago, is part of The Professional Training Institute 2010 Programs.To register, call (847) 933-2413.

From Mainstreaming to Specialty School?

Could this proposal have merit?

By Carl Orth | The Suncoast News NEW CHARTER SCHOOL (excerpts)
Published: March 6, 2010
HUDSON - Potential is a terrible thing to waste. So Emile Laurino hopes his concept for a new charter school will go to the head of the class. Families are looking for a different approach to education for their children with developmental disabilities, according to an "action plan" for the charter school. " They want something different than the traditional classroom," Laurino explained in the statement. "Once they graduate from school they want to go to work; they want to provide service and help others; they want to be an integral part of their community."
Laurino, the chief executive officer for the Center for Independence in Hudson, believes such a school could cater to teens and young adults with developmental disabilities ages 16 to 22. "Young adults preparing themselves to go out into the world of work" is how Laurino sums up the mission of the proposed educational facility "I'm hearing more and more" the need exists to fill this educational void", Laurino said.

"If enough people show an interest, the Center for Independence would work toward setting up the specialized school as a separate nonprofit corporation with its own board of directors," Laurino said. As a charter institution, the Center's school would be privately operated, but would be under the supervision of the Pasco County School District. Laurino, his staff and board members of the Center for Independence already belong to many community groups, including Seven Springs Rotary Club and Chambers of Commerce. So they might be able to draw upon local resources.
The charter school motto could become "Everyone Has the Right to Know All They Can Know and Be All They Can Be," the action plan concludes.
What do you think?