Delaware Family Voices Launches New Website!

June 13, 2013

It’s a whole new look for Delaware Family Voices online. Check it out!

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A New Design, A Valuable Resource

The Delaware Family Voices redesigned website has made it’s debut. This new and improved website is a treasure trove of information and resources on a wide variety of topics important to you and your family. Find helpful links, valuable resources, and tips of all kinds, all right at your fingertips. Website pages include:

The new website also includes dedicated online request for information options for each of our Programs, making it even easier for you to contact us with your specific needs.

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Bookmark the website, then check back frequently for fresh, new and relevant information.

Helpful information is all around us. If you have a resource you think we should consider including on the website, let us know. Help us help others!

We are confident you will find the new Delaware Family Voices website a valuable resource, but if you do find an error or a link that doesn’t work, please let us know. Launching a brand new website is lots of work, and we are still tweaking and fine-tuning the website.

So come on over, stop by, check out the new website, and get to know this valuable resource.

Our Website Is Your Website

Would you like to share your story about how Delaware Family Voices helped you? Let us know! The website includes a whole new feature dedicated to our families. Leave us a message if you would like to take part in a photo or video display that will be featured on the website. More details will follow shortly about this exciting volunteer activity.

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We encourage family involvement in all our projects, including the website. And remember – Delaware Family Voices is here to help you with your medically complex child’s health care and behavioral health needs. Call us with your questions.

So what do you think? Do you like our new online home? Let us know in the Comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

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Delaware Family Voices is a 501 C3 Non-profit organization. Consider Donating to our organization and help support Delaware families in need.

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Register Now For LIFE Conference XV

December 6, 2012

Would you like to learn more about available services and assistance programs for persons with disabilities? Perhaps you’d like to learn about new and innovative assistive technology that could possibly enhance their lives?

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Do you have a family member with disabilities or work with persons with disabilities, and would like to learn more about how to help them lead their best lives?

Then join Delaware Family Voices and many others this January at the fifteenth annual Delaware LIFE Conference.

What is LIFE Conference XV?

LIFE Conference XV is a joint effort of many Delaware organizations whose primary purpose is to assist and enhance the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. Their definition of LIFE says it all:

LIFE = Liberty and Independence For Everyone.

LIFE = Legislation, Independence, Families and Education

LIFE Conference XV brings together a broad assortment of information designed to serve persons with disabilities and their families, and to provide resources and knowledge to further help them live LIFE to the fullest.

The LIFE Conference XV Agenda:

The conference’s goal is to support, provide information, and educate it’s attendees in each of the following four areas:

  • Legislation – Learn more about state legislation and how advocacy can implement change, as well as how to access community-based long-term care services.
  • Independence through Assistive Technology (AT) –  Explore the latest applications and mobile devices, methods to increase accessibility in the home, and how to access and secure AT services.
  • Family – Find out how to better access medical services, why emergency preparedness is important, and about employment challenges and issues.
  • Education – Learn more about student to adult transition options, how to address bullying issues, and developing better behavioral assessment and intervention plans.

While at the conference, you will be able to:

  • Visit exhibitors dedicated to persons with disabilities and their families.
  • Listen to keynote speaker Aaron Bishop, Executive Director of the National Council on Disability.
  • Attend three different workshops from each of the four conference topics – Legislation, Independence Through AT, Family and Education.

For complete details of LIFE Conference XV, click on LIFE Conference XV agenda.

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LIFE Conference XV Event Details:

LIFE Conference XV event and registration details are as follows:

When: Thursday, January 13, 2013

Where: Sheraton Dover Hotel

Time: 8:00am to 3:45pm

Registration Fee: $45 through January 2nd; $75 after this date.

How to Register for LIFE XV: Online at LIFE Event Registration or via hard copy (paper) Event Registration form. Note that you will need to mail a paper registration form to event organizers if you choose the paper registration method.

Don’t forget! Early bird registration rates end on January 2, 2013. After January 2nd, the registration fee increases to $75.

Questions: Contact Leslie Kosek at Best Buddies, 302-691-3187, or at LeslieKosek@bestbuddies.org.

Delaware Family Voices At LIFE Conference XV

We hope to see you there! Stop by the Delaware Family Voices exhibit and learn more about how we can help you.

Listen to Delaware Family Voices director, Ann Phillips, as she shares her wealth of knowledge. She will be a member of The Diamond State Health Plan Plus (DSHP Plus) panel, which will focus on program improvements, direct consumer impacts and common issues identified since the implementation of DSHP Plus, a Medicaid initiative.

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Will you be attending LIFE Conference XV? Have you attended prior LIFE conferences? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.

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Images from LIFE Conference XV website.


An Apple Event for Kids With Autism

November 11, 2012

Do you or someone you know have a child or adolescent on the autism spectrum? Would you like to explore how an Apple touch screen device might benefit someone with autism?

Do you already own an Apple iPad or iPod? Would you like to learn more about applications that could help a child or adolescent with autism?

Are you confused by the number of Apple products and apps that can assist someone with autism? Would you like to talk directly with an expert who can help guide you to what might best fit you and your child’s needs?

Are you a teacher or therapist working with children on the autism spectrum? Would you like to learn more about how Apple devices and apps could benefit your classroom or therapy sessions?

Is your child on the autism spectrum easily overwhelmed by crowds? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring your child into the Apple store when it was closed to the general public?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps we can help!

Join Delaware Family Voices, Autism Delaware and The Apple Store for a Special Event

Delaware Family Voices and Autism Delaware have partnered with the Apple Store in Christiana Mall to create a store event dedicated to children and youth on the Autism Spectrum.

During this special event:

  • The Apple Store will be open exclusively to children with autism and their parents.
  • The store will be closed to the general public for the duration of the event.
  • Only those who have pre-registered for the event will be in the store.
  • Trained Apple Experts will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate products and apps.
  • You and your child will be able to explore Apple products in a safe and quiet environment, no crowds, minimal noise.

Learn how Apple touch screen devices and apps can benefit children on the autism spectrum, including meeting communication, sequencing, social skills and other autism spectrum needs.

Teachers and therapists are also invited to the event. Explore how Apple devices may be viable tools in the academic environment.

Event Details:

Where: The Apple Store, Christiana Mall, Delaware

When: Tuesday, November 20th

Time: 8:00am-9:30am,

Note: Pre-registration is required.

This is a sensory friendly event. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.  Please contact Delaware Family Voices at 302-221-5362 or familysupport@defv.org to register or to learn more about this event.

Come join us Tuesday, Nov. 20th. Learn how an Apple touch screen device can benefit a child or adolescent on the autism spectrum.

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Apple iPad images from Apple.com.


Delaware’s DART Releases New Mobile Website

October 23, 2012

The Delaware Transit Corporation (DART) has announced the release of it’s new mobile website, designed with smartphones in mind. Keep on top of all your Delaware public transportation needs right from your smartphone with this phone-friendly website. Access schedules, rider alerts, and more whenever you are on the go.

The mobile website includes the following informational links:

  • Rider Alerts – Know before you go if a particular stop is closed, and for how long.
  • Trip Planner – Use the DART Google Transit Planner to determine point-to-point transportation options.
  • Routes and Schedules – Find routes and schedules by County and by inter-county, then link to the full detail about a particular route.
  • DART News – Learn when a line or track might be shut down for construction, and other helpful DART news.
  • Contact DART – Need to speak with DART in person? Have easy and quick access to DART contact information.
  • Link to the Full Website – Don’t find what you need at the mobile site? Link back to the full website.

If you use the DART transportation system and have a smartphone, be sure to bookmark or add to your home screen, the DART mobile site for easier on-the-go access.

Using DART Trip Planner by Google Transit:

Powered by Google Transit, the DART Trip Planner helps you identify and map options for arriving at your next destination. Easily determine the path of that next DART trip whether at home or on the go. Access the DART Trip Planner through either the DART mobile website or through the full website.

Here’s step-by-step instructions on using the DART Google Transit Trip Planner:

1. Enter a start point. This could be your home, work, a local store, or wherever you are beginning your journey.

2. Enter a destination. Where do you want to go?

3. Enter the date and time you need the trip information for.

4. Enter a Plan By. Decide whether you want to search schedules by Departure or Arrival Time.

5. Click on Get Directions. A Google map will show path options to take you from your starting point to your final destination.

6. Click on the Bus icon. The Bus icon is located in the upper left screen of the Google map display. Note: Unless otherwise specified, Google Maps will initially display driving directions. You will need to change the display via the Bus icon to receive public transportation options.

You should now have a detailed step-by-step transportation plan, complete with maps as well as written instructions on how to get to the nearest bus stop, which bus to take, as well as whether or not connections are needed. The map also provides how long each step will take to complete.

That’s it. You are now ready to depart. It’s pretty easy to access detailed point-to-point bus line information with the DART Trip Planner.

To learn more about using DART transportation, check out DART’s Getting There Starts Here page.

Do you use the DART trip planning feature or other features of the DART transportation website? Do you plan to use the DART mobile website? Do you already use the mobile website? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.


SPEAKall! An App for Autism And Severe Communication Disorders

July 23, 2012

Enhancing communication skills for children with severe communication disorders.

Students in the EPICS Department at Purdue University have developed a new application for Apple’s iPad that helps children with severe autism learn how to communicate. The app, SPEAKall!, is designed specifically to help children with special needs learn the process of constructing sentences. Children with severe communication disorders who need intervention in the areas of augmentative and alternative communications (AAC) can especially benefit from the SPEAKall! app.

The app is fully customizable to each child’s specific needs. You can record voice and add whatever pictures you want to the app, creating a one-of-a-kind audio/image library from which a child can create his/her own sentences.

The app enables anyone with severe speech impediments to form sentences simply by dragging and dropping images into a bar along the bottom of the screen.

 

The app also helps children with autism to learn how to talk. Once a sentence is constructed, the app “speaks” the sentence, allowing the listener to hear it, which in turn helps build additional verbal skills. When an image is touched, the app will also “speak” that image, further reinforcing verbal skills.

Children with Down Syndrome and delayed speech development or more severe speech and language difficulties can also benefit from the SPEAKall! app.

This free app is only available for iPad devices. Click here to download the iPad app through iTunes.

Learn more about how to download and use the SPEAKall! app with this YouTube video:

Read more about the Purdue SPEAKall! app.


The May Issue of The Voice Is Here!

June 2, 2012

The May 2012 edition of our quarterly newsletter, The Voice, is now available. Featured articles include:

  • The Able Act
  • Meet Senator Carper
  • Medicaid and Managed Care Questions?
  • Parent to Parent
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) App
  • Rec4 All
  • Get The Facts
  • In Memorium – Katie Beckett

Check it out today!

Want to learn more? Let us here your voice in the Comments section below.