Proposed Changes to Delaware’s Special Education Funds – A Call To Action!

May 28, 2015

Do you have a child with disabilities attending a Delaware public school? Then you may want to take action now, before your child’s special educational needs are put in jeopardy.

Calling All Delaware Families of Children With Disabilities!

The Delaware General Assembly is considering action that could result in the diversion of funds currently used to educate children with disabilities in our public schools. Contact members of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee today and urge them not to take these funds away, so that the education of our children with disabilities is not jeopardized.

Delaware Special Education

Proposed Budget Change to Special Education Funding

The General Assembly’s proposed budget bill has language in its fine print that would allow some of the state’s school districts the “financial flexibility” to take money that is currently given to the districts for specific purposes, and instead use it for any purpose that the school district sees fit.

This is called Flexible Funding and could impact many Delaware public schools and the children with disabilities who attend these schools.

The Impact of Flexible Funding on Special Education

While some special education funds are protected from this Flexible Funding initiative, basic special education funds — the state special education dollars that are set aside for education of students with less severe disabilities — are included in the initiative and would be available for schools to allocate elsewhere.

The majority of students with disabilities in our public schools are educated with these basic special education funds.

Delaware Students With Disabilities

School districts receive these extra basic special education funds based on how many children with disabilities they report attending their schools. These extra funds were created by the state for the purpose of ensuring that students with disabilities, who are more expensive to educate, receive the educational resources necessary to help them fulfill their potential.

State budget approval of Flexible Funding will be detrimental for many students with disabilities!

Contact Your Delaware Representatives Today!

It is irresponsible, and ultimately harmful to children with disabilities, to allow schools to spend those dollars on other needs. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is considering the state’s budget bill right now, so we urge you to contact the members of the committee to let them know how important the preservation of special education funding is to you.

Delaware Special Education

When contacting a committee member, use the wording, Flexible Funding, to reference the special education funding in question.

The members of the Joint Finance Committee are listed below. Contact them today and voice your concerns.

Joint Finance Committee Chairs: 

Joint Finance Committee Members:

If you are concerned about the educational needs of students with disabilities, please send a letter and/or an email stating your disagreement to Flexible Funding to your representative NOW!

We Are Here To Help

Please contact Delaware Family Voices if you have any questions about the Flexible Funding issue, or would like guidance on how to have your voice heard. Our goal is to ensure the State hears all voices, and understands those issues vital to families of children with special needs.


Let’s Go Camping! Summer 2015 Edition

April 27, 2015

This is Part 2 of our Summer Camps series. Part 1 is Delaware Summer Camps for Special Needs – Summer 2015 Edition.


Choosing the “best fit” summer camp for your child with specialized needs or chronic medical issues can be a daunting task. Is the camp adequately prepared to successfully manage those specialized medical issues? Does the camp staff have the proper training to know how to react appropriately if your child has a melt down, or requires medication during camp?

Summer Camps for Special Needs

Delaware Family Voices understands a parent’s need to find a “best fit” summer camp for their child with specialized needs or chronic medical issues. We understand your desire to find a camp that provides a safe, nurturing environment, and we are here to help! Listed below are summer camps in the Delaware area that can accommodate highly specialized needs. Enroll early! Many camps fill up fast.


Asthma Camp

Asthma Camp is a week-long day program for Delaware children ages 7-11 with asthma. Supervision is provided by a full medical staff, including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. Activities include arts and crafts, outdoor activities, and nature explorations.

Asthma Camp DE is June 11-12 at Children’s Beach House, Lewes DE.

For Asthma Camps outside Delaware, check the Consortium on Children’s Asthma Camps.

Autism / Aspergers Spectrum Disorders

Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor

Camp Fairlee Manor offers multiple camp sessions for children ages 6-21 on the Autism Spectrum. Campers safely enjoy many activities including canoeing, swimming, high ropes course, rock wall climbing, camping, fishing, and horseback riding. Camp has a one-to-one counselor to camper ratio, is staffed 24/7 with a nurse, and includes a sensory room.

Camp Fairlee Manor

Check Camp Fairlee Manor for specific camp dates.

The Explorer’s Club Summer Camp

The Explorer’s Club Summer Camp is designed for children ages 4-21 with ADHD, Austism Spectrum Disorder, PDD, and other behavior challenges. Behavior analysts and occupational therapists engage children in activities including arts and crafts, water play, horseback riding, yoga, music, cooking and more.

Explorer’s Club Camp is at The King’s Christian School, Cherry Hill, NJ. Three Monday to Friday sessions are offered in August.


Camp Possibilities

Camp Possibilities is a camp for children ages 8-15 who have diabetes. Campers can experience swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, sports and other activities in a safe environment.

Camp Possibilities is July 26-31 at Camp Ramblewood, Darlington, MD.

Camp Victory

Camp Victory is dedicated to providing a camp experience for children who live with chronic health problems, physical or mental disabilities, or the aftermath of catastrophic illness. Camp Victory is located in Millville PA.

Camp Victory’s Keystone Diabetic Kids’ Camp (KDKC) is dedicated to children with Type 1 Diabetes, ages 8-15. Click here for KDKC camp dates.

Kamp for Kids

Kamp For Kids: Diabetes and You is for children ages 4-14 with diabetes and their siblings and friends. The camp’s goal is to assist campers to better understand diabetes and to live a healthy life. Campers will learn about health and wellness through fun and exciting activities.

Kamp for Kids is July 27-31 at the University of Delaware’s McDowell Hall.

Down Syndrome

Camp PALS – Philadelphia & The Poconos

Camp PALS is for teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome. Each camper is paired with a counselor with whom they will room and travel with throughout the week. Camp focuses on fostering camper independence.


Camp PALS Philadelphia is June 21 – 27, ages 12-18 at Cabrini College.

Camp PALS Poconos is July 19-25, ages 16-21 at the University of Scranton.

Hearing Impaired

Deaf Camps Inc.

Deaf Camps Inc provide fun, communication-rich camps for deaf and hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

Deaf Camp (ages 7-19) and ASL Camp (ages 7-18) is August 2-7, 2015 at Manidokan Camping and Retreat Center, Knoxville, MD.

Speech and Language

Speech Clinic Camp

The Speech Clinic Summer Camp is for children ages 3-5 who have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having speech-language or social and/or pragmatic language needs.

Contact The Speech Clinic for 2015 Camp dates.

Spina Bifida

Camp Spifida

Camp Spifida offers exciting activities for children ages 6-18 with spina bifida. Campers will enjoy crafts, fishing, swimming, dancing, hayrides, paddleboats, campfires, woodworking, a challenge course, and a 26 foot high climbing wall. On-site medical staff is at camp throughout the week.

Spina Bifida Summer Camps

Camp Spifida 2015 is July 16 – 21 at Camp Victory, Millville PA.

Visually Impaired

Camp SunnyBrook

Camp SunnyBrook for The Blind is a six-week long summer day camp for blind and visually impaired children living in either New Castle or Kent Counties. Campers will experience swimming, arts and crafts, nature programs, music, field trips and more. All activities are adapted for blind and visually impaired children.

Contact Delaware Association for the Blind for 2015 camp dates and child eligibility.

Let’s Go To Summer Camp 2015!

There are many summer camps offered through out the area and across the country. Check Healthy Delawareans With Disabilities Camps for camps not mentioned here, or for camps in other geographic locations. Also check the Delaware Family Voices Summer Camps page for additional summer camp possibilities.

Camps for Kids with Special needs

Do you know of a summer camp that accommodates children with specialized needs that isn’t listed here? One that other Delaware families might be interested in? Please share it with us.


The Delaware Family Voices website includes links to other Internet and third party resources. These third party resources are for your consideration only. Their products and services are not intended to be considered an endorsement by Delaware Family Voices. 


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


Images from Camp Fairlee Manor, Camp PALS, and ClipArts (children).

Delaware Summer Camps for Special Needs – 2015 Edition!

April 23, 2015

Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part Summer Camps series.


Finding a summer camp for a child with special needs can be daunting for parents. Specific questions and concerns often need to be addressed before sending their child to camp. Questions like: Will the camp meet my child’s special needs? Will my child thrive at camp? Are camp counselors trained to handle my child’s special needs?

de summer camps

We are here to help! Delaware Family Voices understands how important it is to find the right summer camp for your  child, and have compiled a list of summer camps in the Delaware area for your consideration. Each camp is specially designed to meet the unique challenges of children with special needs.

Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor

Camp Fairlee Manor offers multiple programs for children and adults with physical disabilities and / or cognitive impairments as well as special weeks for children with Autism spectrum disorders. Located near Chestertown, Maryland, Camp Fairlee Manor is a fully accessible setting, ensuring children have full access to camp activities and programs.

Weekly Summer Camp: Camp activities include arts and crafts, sports, games, nature walks, swimming, fishing, ropes courses and canoeing.

Respite Weekends: A weekend-based year-round camp for children and adults with the most involved physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral disabilities, including medically-fragile individuals.

Residential Summer Camp: A traditional residential summer camp that includes activities like swimming, wall climbing, zip line, horseback riding, outdoor games, arts and crafts. Camp sessions available ages 6 to 21.

Daily Adventures: Activities include field trips to nearby places like the shore, state parks and zoos, Washington DC, Annapolis and Baltimore. The Youth Daily Adventure is for children ages 13-21.

Summer Camps for Special Needs


Refer to Easter Seals Camp Fairlee Manor for camp dates and details.

Camp Lee Mar

Camp Lee Mar is an overnight camp for children with mild to moderate learning and developmental challenges. Campers participate in traditional summer camp activities in a structured environment as well as speech and language therapy, adaptive athletic program, vocational training and therapeutic horseback riding.

Camp Lee Mar runs from June 24 to August 11, and is located in Lackawaxin, PA. Financial assistance might be available.

Camps Lenape And Manito

Camps Lenape and Manito, run by United Cerebral Palsey of Delaware, are open to children and young adults (ages 3-21) with orthopedic disabilities as well as children without disabilities. Both sites have paved walkways for easy access by wheelchair and a swimming pool with an accessible in-pool ramp. Through traditional camp activities like swimming, arts and crafts, music, nature and sports, camp counselors promote independence and self-esteem, helping to build self-confidence in campers with disabilities.

Both camps run from June 29 to August 7, 2015. Camp Manito serves New Castle County, and Camp Lenape serves Kent and Sussex Counties.

Camp Sequoia

Camp Sequoia is an overnight summer camp designed to assist boys ages 7-17 to further develop their social skills. The camp’s innovative program integrates Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking framework to help campers build their social thinking skills through an active, traditional camp program. Many campers are diagnosed with ADHD. Campers also include boys with social anxiety, learning differences which affect social skills development, as well as boys who may not have a formal diagnosis yet present with social learning needs.

Camp Sequoia runs from June 28 to August 8 at The Perkioman School, Pennsburg PA.

Camp Victory

Camp Victory  provides camp experiences for children living with chronic health problems, physical or mental disabilities, or the aftermath of catastrophic illness. Children attending Camp Victory have many and diverse special needs, including complex medical treatments. Camp Victory is planned and built to support all such needs.

Camp Victory


Refer to Camp Victory  for specific camp offerings and dates. Camp Victory is in Millville PA.

Children’s Beach House

Children’s Beach House Summer Camps, located on the Delaware Bay, provide a unique experience for children with special needs. Campers’ activities include swimming, sailing, kayaking, arts and crafts, nature, and more. Camp staff modifies activities to encourage all campers to participate at some level of success, thereby building self-confidence.

Contact Children’s Beach House for specific camp dates.

DragonFly Forest Summer Camp

DragonFly Forest Summer Camps provide overnight camp experiences for children with Autism and complex medical needs. Campers enjoy a wide variety of camp activities in an environment that is equipped to address a variety of physical, medical and psychological needs. Sessions include Autism, Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion, Respiratory and Asthma, and Sickle Cell Disease. DragonFly Forest summer camps are located in Phoenixville PA.

Refer to Dragonfly Forest Summer Camp for specific camp dates.

Mary Campbell Center Summer Camp

The Mary Campbell Center offers two week camp sessions from June to August for children with special needs between the ages of 3-21 and their siblings. Activities include field trips, swimming, games, arts and crafts, and cooking. Teamwork is stressed throughout every activity. All camps are at the Mary Campbell Center in Wilmington DE.

Refer to the Mary Campbell Center website for summer program dates.

Special Olympics Delaware Camp Barnes

Special Olympics Camp Barnes is a three-day, two-night camp featuring sports training and traditional camp activities. Campers also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of traditional SODE sports throughout the three days. Camp is offered to all registered Special Olympics Delaware athletes.

Camp Barnes 2015 is scheduled for August 8-10 and August 16-18.

Traditional Summer Camp Programs

Traditional summer camp programs such as the Boys & Girls clubs, YMCA, local county/city recreational programs, and boy/girl scout camps may also accommodate children with certain special needs. These programs might be an opportunity for social inclusion for your special needs child. Prior to committing to a program, thoroughly discuss your child’s special needs as well as your expectations of the camp. This will help ensure your child has the best overall possible camp experience.

Summer Camp Season Is Almost Here!

There are many summer camps offered through out the area and across the country. Check the Healthy Delawareans With Disabilities Camps page for other camps not mentioned here, or for camps in other geographic locations. Also check the Summer Camps page of the Delaware Family Voices website for additional summer camp possibilities.

camps in delaware

Do you know of a summer camp that accommodates children with special needs that isn’t listed here? Please share it with us.


The Delaware Family Voices website includes links to other Internet and third party resources. These third party resources are for your consideration only. Their products and services are not intended to be considered an endorsement by Delaware Family Voices. 


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

Join Us At LIFE Conference 2015!

December 16, 2014

Do you have a family member with disabilities or work with persons with disabilities? Would you like to learn more on how you can help family, friends or co-workers with disabilities lead their best lives?

LIFE Conference

Then join Delaware Family Voices and many others on Thursday, January 15th, for the 17th annual Delaware LIFE Conference.

What Is LIFE Conference?

LIFE Conference is Delaware’s largest conference devoted to issues faced by children and adults with disabilities. It’s primary goal is to support persons with disabilities, provide relevant information, and educate conference attendees in each of the following four areas:

Legislation: Join in an interactive panel with federal and state policy makers. Learn more about Delaware’s 2015 Policy priorities, and how DART is working on a Transit redesign

Independence Through Assistive Technology (AT): Learn why pediatric based Movement and Mobility related Assistive Technology (MMAT) is the next step for children with disabilities. Learn how to maximize overall accessibility in the community setting, and why access to assistive technology for young children is vital.

Family: Better understand opioid abuse and its treatment options. Learn how to become an empowered self-advocate. Hear about the STAND – Stop The Abuse Now Delaware – initiative.

Education: Learn about state plans to improve results for children with disabilities. Understand how schools are addressing the impact of childhood trauma in the classrooms. Listen to an overview of the DelAWARE DisABILITY Hub.

This one day event brings together a broad assortment of information designed to serve persons with disabilities and their families, as well as resources and knowledge to further help them live LIFE to the fullest.

LIFE Conference Delaware

LIFE Conference is made possible through a joint effort of many Delaware organizations whose primary purpose is to assist and enhance the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.

The LIFE Conference 2015 Agenda

LIFE Conference 2015 attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Listen to Keynote Speaker Michael Gamel-McCormick, Associate Executive Director for Research and Policy at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and the Director of the Promise Grant Technical Assistance project.
  • Attend sessions on relevant topics in Legislation, Independence, Family and Education.
  • Hear from a host of speakers and panel members knowledgeable in a wide variety of disabilities needs.
  • Visit exhibitors dedicated to persons with disabilities and their families.
  • Enjoy a lunch full of networking opportunities.

Disabilities Conference

For complete details, check out the LIFE Conference 2015 Agenda and the detailed session topics.

LIFE Conference 2015 Event Details

LIFE Conference 2015 event and registration details are:

When: Thursday, January 15, 2015

Where: Dover Downs Hotel, 1131 North DuPont Highway, Dover DE

Time: 8:00 am to 3:45 pm

General Registration Fees: $50 by January 1, 2015; $75 after January 1st.

Student/Consumer Registration Fees are $25.

Sponsorships are available for select attendees. See below for details

Complete the LIFE Conference 2015 Registration form to reserve a spot.

Got questions about LIFE Conference 2015? Contact LIFE Conference directly at (302) 691-3187.

Announcing DE Family Voices Parent Sponsorships!

Delaware Family Voices is pleased to announce a limited number of sponsorships for families who want to attend the Life Conference, but can not afford it. Travel reimbursement is also available for recipients from New Castle and Sussex Counties. Please contact Erica Schetter at (302) 669-3033 or for more information.

DE Family Voices At LIFE Conference 2015

We hope to see you at LIFE Conference 2015! Be sure to stop by the Delaware Family Voices exhibit and see how we can help you. Learn about upcoming training sessions and support groups, and how they might benefit you and your family.

Delaware Family Voices

Will you be attending LIFE Conference 2015? Have you attended prior LIFE conferences? Share your experiences with us!

LIFE = Legislation Independence Family Education


Delaware Family Voices is a 501 C3 Non-profit organization. A Donation to our organization helps support Delaware families in need.

Images from LIFE Conference 2015 and Delaware Family Voices.

Join Us! October Parent Respite Co-Op Meet & Greets

October 6, 2014

Delaware Family Voices is hosting two special Parent Respite Co-Op opportunities this October.

What is the Parent Respite Co-Op?

The parent-run Respite Co-Op is a free child care exchange for parents of children with special health care needs in New Castle County.

Respite Co-Ops

Join us at one, or both, of our October meetings to learn more about this Respite Co-Op opportunity and the unique way you can receive respite care.

October Respite Co-Op Meeting Details

The Parent Respite Care Exchange Co-op is hosting two October Meet and Greet events. Don’t miss this opportunity for a night of networking with other parents, meeting the children, refreshments, and fun.

1. When: Monday, October 13 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Where: Easter Seals Blg – Large Conference Room, 61 Corporate Circle, New Castle DE 19720

2. When: Saturday, October 18 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 525 Polly Drummond Rd.,  Newark, DE 19711

RSVP required to Peggy Prygon at 302-669-3032, or via email at

Link to event flyer, Parent Respite Co-Op Meet & Greets.

Hope To See You There!

Join us this October for the opportunity to connect with other families with similar needs, and a chance for the kids with hang out with other kids.

See you soon!

Join Us For Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends Event

October 1, 2014

How would you like to save 25% off your purchase at Boscov’s and help Delaware Family Voices, all at the same time? You can, on October 21st, 2014, during the Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends shopping day.

What is Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends?

Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends is a special day filled with shopping, fun, and fundraising, all designed to benefit area non-profit organizations. Last year, the Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends events raised over $500,000 for local non-profit organizations.

Friends Helping Friends

And this year, Delaware Family Voices is joining the fun and participating in the 2014 Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends Day.

Will you consider participating too? Will you help us, help you? Here’s how you can enjoy a fun-filled shopping day, and help Delaware Family Voices.

How You Can Help Delaware Family Voices

Do you enjoy shopping? Would you also like to support Delaware Family Voices? Boscov’s makes it easy with their Friends Helping Friends event.

For only $5, purchase a 25% off shopping pass from Delaware Family Voices. Then, on Tuesday, October 21, shop at any Boscov’s store between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm, and upon checkout, present your 25% off shopping pass. That’s all there is to it! Your $5 purchase turns into 25% off your Boscov’s purchase during this special one-day only event.

Boscov's Events

Best of all, your entire $5 purchase price for the shopping pass will directly benefit Delaware Family Voices.

Call Now For Your 25% Off Shopping Pass

It’s a great deal, and it helps support Delaware Family Voices. Here’s how you can purchase your own 25% shopping pass and support Delaware Family Voices at the same time:

  1. Before October 21st – Contact Delaware Family Voices directly at 302-669-3030 or via email at
  2. On October 21st – Come to Boscov’s at Concord Mall between 9:00 am and 11:00 pm. Look for the Delaware Family Voices table to purchase your 25% off shopping pass and learn more about how Delaware Family Voices can assist you and your child with special needs.

Then shop away on October 21st! And while you are at Boscov’s enjoying your 25% off shopping spree, don’t forget to also enjoy free refreshments and register to win prizes including:

      • $500 shopping spree
      • $100 shopping spree
      • Door prizes
      • Store merchandise

Anyone who purchases a 25% off shopping pass is eligible to win prizes during the in-store event. Prizes and refreshments provided by Boscov’s.

Friends Helping Friends Event Details

The Boscov’s Friends Helping Friends special event is one-day only, and is available at all Boscov’s stores.

When: Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Where: Any Boscov’s Store

Note: Delaware Family Voices will be at The Concord Mall, 4737 Concord Pike, Wilmington DE 19803

Time: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.

Please note that this special offer is only valid for in-store purchases. It is not valid for phone or online purchases. It also cannot be combined with other discounts and promotions. Some merchandise items are excluded from the 25% discount, and some items are only eligible for either 15% or 10% discounts. Your 25% off shopping pass has a list of exclusions.

Hope to see you on Tuesday, October 21st!

We fully appreciate your continued support of Delaware Family Voices. Looking forward to talking and shopping with you on Tuesday, October 21st.

Friends Helping Friends

Happy Shopping! And thanks for stopping by to see us at Boscov’s in The Concord Mall. Go to Boscov’s Store Locator for other store locations.


Images from Boscov’s, and M.Kalasnik via Flickr (Sign with arrow).

Join Us for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day!

April 30, 2014

Thursday, May 8th, is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day!

In recognition of all children and their families who struggle with mental health issues, Delaware Family Voices is hosting an awareness event this Thursday, May 8th at Bellevue State Park.

Childrens Mental Health Awareness

Our purpose is to spread awareness and to provide support for families with children experiencing any type of severe emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs.

So join us on May 8th as we put the spotlight on children’s mental health issues. Come on down to Bellevue State Park for an afternoon of fun activities and informative discussions.

Spotlight on Bullying

Delaware Family Voices is taking on the subject of bullying. During the event, listen to speakers tackle this issue, providing valuable information on how parents can best help their children deal with bullying.

Stop Bullying

Bullying, whether at home, school, or in the community, can have devastating effects on the mental health of children and teens. Our goal is to provide parents and their children with the opportunity to learn more about how to effectively fight back against bullying, as well as provide a safe avenue to ask your most pressing questions about bullying.

Other Discussion Opportunities

A representative from the State Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services will also be on hand to discuss suicide prevention.

Additionally, the event will include other therapy and behavioral health agencies, ready to provide families with the information they need to help their children with mental health concerns.

Fun For The Whole Family!

Bring the kids! While parents listen and discuss their questions and concerns about children’s mental health issues, the kids will be entertained with fun activities and snacks.

Paws for PeopleChildren’s activities will include:

  • Reading books to therapy dogs from Paws for People
  • Art activity station to create their own “masterpiece”
  • Learning relaxation techniques from a trained mental health therapist

The event also provides parents the opportunity to talk with mental health care suppliers. Gather information about therapy options and health related services available in Delaware.

Supporting Children’s Mental Health Issues

We hope to see you at this ground breaking event. Event details are:

Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Where: Bellevue State Park, Pavillion #2

When: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

RSVP: Wanda Ford at (302) 669-3034, or at

NOTE: Bellevue State Park charges a $3.00/car admission fee. Delaware Family Voices will pay the admission fee for the first 50 families to RSVP.

The event is Rain or Shine! See you on May 8th!

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day, May 8, 2014


Link – Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Flyer