Thursday, July 28, 2011

$ PuzzleBuilder with Celebrities Mitchell Musso and Miley Cyrus!

Hi5! '$ PuzzleBuilder with Celebrities Mitchell Musso and Miley Cyrus!' It's been about a year since we made our Autism'>">Autism Speaks  digital photos gallery with Puzzlebuilder! Great way to raise Autism Awareness and an awesome FUNdraiser, too!
Here's a vid link for Autism Speaks Celebrity PuzzleBuilder for Actor/Musician  Mitchell Musso featuring Miley Cyrus! By the way, Autism Speaks intermingles families'>">families and supporters touched by Autism Puzzle Galleries with Celebrity'>">Celebrity PuzzleBuilder!   Many international celebs signed up to support Autism Awareness and Research, including Jeff Gordan, Toni Braxton, Alex Ovechkin, Sergio Garcia, Emmanuella Chriqui, Payton Manning, Emily Blunt, Vera Wang, the cast of WICKED!, Al Roker, Maria Sharapova, Drake, David Beckham, C.C. Chapman, Holly Robinson Peete, Steve Carell, Joe Mantegna, Allysa Milano, Brian Williams, Jimmy Conrad, Elton John, Seth Godin, Leslie David Baker, John McEnroe, Quinton Aaron, Natalie Gulbis, Rozie O, Jamie McMurray, Nelly Furtado, Kristine Bell, Ezra Susser, Jodie Picoult, Michael Boley, Chris Gorman, Brian J. White, Chuck Scarborough, Dar Williams,Eric Courchesne, Anna Ivanovic, Andy Brody and Steve, Gretchen and Brian of Fox & name a few! OMG! Star Struck! Ok, now go make your puzzle">puzzle> and/or select Celebrity'>">Celebrity Puzzle and donate'>">donate some $, mucho dinero, l'argent, wonger, C-Note, moolah, euros, Benjamins, dayang!

  Kbj'>">Kbj Cosse'  "Understanding fosters Appreciation - Appreciation garners Support - Support leads to Unity. " God Bless! ENJOY! References & Resources OUR MISSION AT AUTISM SPEAKSTM At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Kbj'>">Kbj Cosse' Autism Speaks PuzzleBuilder digital Photo Gallery
Christina Mendez
Mitchell Musso
Autism Speaks U (college students)
Bob & Suzanne Wright, Autism Speakers Co-Founders
at Autism Speaks Walk Now in Nantucket
AS2YP - Autism Speaks to Young Professionals
raise awareness at the New York Stock Exchange

DynaVox---helping Military & Special Needs Families Communicate


'DynaVox-- helping Military & Special Needs Families Communicate'

Kbj Cosse' An associates says her son who has Autism enjoys using his DynaVox Speech and Communication Device at school. [Facebook 29/7/2011]

EnjoyHi5Autism (YouTube Channel) favorited a video - Justin Hindley is a husband, father and military veteran. He is also living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. He chose to secure a DynaVox Vmax while he is still able to talk so that he can record his voice as a lasting legacy for his three young daughters. Check out his inspirational story.

Sharing DynaVox Mayer-Johnson products on EnjoyHi5Autism social networking sites on Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. [Vimeo 29/7/2011]
51. Mayer-Johnson - Autism - 5 Point Scale
4 months ago

BoardMaker software Family - Mayer-Johnson is affiliated with the DynaVox communication system. 
Curriculum Companions are adapted activities designed to enhance your curriculum, helping students strengthen their reading and writing skills with exciting and engaging science and social studies activities. Each Curriculum Companion includes activities focused on instruction, practice and assessment for each theme, while building reading and writing skills with prompting support at adjustable levels to suit each students individual needs and goals. Healthy Choices introduces the food pyramid highlighting healthy choices from each food group. The importance of physical activity and exercise will be emphasized. - share activities, groups in Boardmaker Share Community

Hi5! Sharing Mayer-Johnson DynaVoxVideos on EnjoyHi5Autism social networking sites! [YouTube 29/7/2011]
DynaVoxVideos uploaded a new video (4 weeks ago)
 The Smart Toss™ Math Sports Game
DynaVoxVideos uploaded a new video (4 weeks ago)
DynaVoxVideos uploaded a new video (1 month ago)
DynaVoxVideos uploaded a new video (1 month ago)
Introduce early measurement skills with Feet by the Foot, a set of fun, foam feet. This early measurement set has each foot printed with inches and ...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Craig Blackburn - A Home of My Own


Craig Blackburn - A Home of My Own

So excited can barely blog!
It's been a year since we met Craig Blackburn during our graduation from the Partners in Policymaking Program, an initiative of the LA Developmental Disabilities Council.  Mr. Blackburn came with his mother, a trailblazing Partners Grad, too! 

Getting reaved up just thinking about all that positive energy Craig Blackburn exudes!  That firecracker just moves towards you nestled in an 'I gotcha' smile. 

Craig reminds us of a sparkling firecracker!  You know the kind that spins real fast once it gets going.  Then, it let's off a mesmerizing spectrum of spirals of brightly-colored flairs that fascinate you at first glance... and keeps you watching for more.   Once you've lit one of these firecrackers, you anxiously grab for another!  Yep, tha'st how Craig makes you feel when you are experiencing one of his inspiring speeches about living life to the fullest, even when you have a developmental disability.  That's right, Craig leaves you craving for another firecracker of advocacy.  AND, he encourages us to light up the world with our own display of  eclectic, bold, productive,  and highly sought-after firecrackers! 

Tearing up recalling how several of us Parents shared how Mr. Blackburn encouraged us to see that our kids with developmental disabilities can achieve their dreams, can reach their goals, and can inspire someone with their lives.

If we hadn't realized it before, we did now... Graduating after 6 months of training is just the beginning.  The saying is 'Partners will change your life.' So true!  Having Mr. Craig Blackburn as our Graduation Speaker was the rocket booster that launched us into our future disability advocacy endeavors!  Just got a visual... rocket boosters let off massive firecracker-like huge flairs!

So glad to hear more good things are happening in the life of someone who inspires so many.  Craig Blackburn has proven again that '"Success Comes in Trying".
A Home of My Own program helps Craig Blackburn live Independently

Thanking fellow Partner in Policymaking C/O 2011 Grad Stephanie G.  for pointing out this article!  We agree, Craig Blackburn is one of the best motivational speakers we have ever heard! 


References & Resources

Craig Blackburn -Self Advocate & Motivational Speaker

Craig’s Mission: To promote self-advocacy through demonstration of what each person is capable of through inclusion, self-determination, a belief ...

Sheila Stroup's column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in Living. Contact her at or 985.898.4831.

A Home of My Own, which started in the early ’90s, has helped around 40 developmentally disabled people buy a home in Jefferson Parish.  Across the U.S., only about one percent of developmentally disabled people own a home.  A Home of My Own, a collaborative effort between Jefferson Parish Community Development and the Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority, helps people with developmental disabilities buy their first home. Through HUD, the program provides financial assistance of up to $50,000 for the down payment and closing costs on a house and reduces the mortgage to make home ownership affordable for people with special needs. [Liz Ruth 504-736-6267]

Stephanie Guidry - wife, mom, special needs inclusion advocate, entrepreneur and blogger:

Do you have your TICKET TO WORK?

'Do you have your TICKET TO WORK?'

The Social Security Administration Choose to Work Ticket to Work  Program Beneficiary Access and Support Services  WISE Webinars. 

Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar
Access Information

Dear ,

You are receiving this email because you have registered for the national WISE webinar, Ticket to Work: Support Services for People Who Live with a Disability and Want to Work. This free webinar is scheduled for:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
3:00 - 4:30 PM (ET)

(2-3:30 PM CT; 1-2:30 PM MT; 12-1:30 PM PT)

Below is the connection information you will need to enter the online webinar. You do not need a microphone to participate, but you will need sound and volume to listen to the presenters. If your computer does not have sound, you can call 1-312-878-0511 and enter the access code 389832719 to listen to the webinar. You can also download the presentation and further instructions for connecting to the webinar using the link under "Presentation Materials and Instructions" below.

Connecting to the Webinar

Click on the webinar link provided below 30 minutes before the webinar begins. Please fill out the fields on the login screen and click the ‘Login’ button. This step is required to log into the meeting and identify your attendance. Please use your first and last name to login.

Link to Webinar: <>

A window may pop up prompting whether to allow or run the webinar software; click ‘Yes’ or ‘Ok’ to proceed.

Phone Information

If you prefer to dial in by phone, use the following phone number and access code:

Phone Number: 1-312-878-0511
Access Code: 389-832-719

Presentation Materials and Instructions

Please use the link below to download the presentation as a PDF along with further instructions for connecting to the presentation.

Link to Presentation Materials and Instructions: <>


Captioning will appear in the webinar login window after the session begins.

Captioning: <>
Confirmation #: 1761050

If you cannot participate or wish to review the webinar at a later time, an archive of this presentation will be available within two weeks at the link below:

Link to Webinar Archive: <>

If you have any questions about the upcoming webinar please feel free to email or call 866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967(TTY).

Thank you for registering and we look forward to your participation in the webinar!

WISE Administrator

You are receiving this email because you registered for the July 27th, 2011 Work Incentive Seminar Event Webinar from Social Security.

Forward this email to a friend

Our mailing address is:
Social Security Administration Ticket to Work Program Beneficiary Access and Support Services
6401 Security Blvd # 900

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

da Vinci Awards® - Accessibility & Universal Design


The da Vinci Awards® for Accessibility and Universal Design

Since their inception, the yearly (10) International da Vinci Awards® has become a prestigious international symbol of recognition. The awards honor individuals, organizations, and corporations in the engineering, construction, and technical fields for innovative developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies. Along with innovative assistive and adaptive technologies, the principle of Universal Design is a key in the development of products that can benefit all people, regardless of ability.

AWARD CATEGORIES The 2011 da Vinci Awards will be accepting nominees in five categories:
1.Communication/Educational Aids
2.Environmental Adaptation/Daily Living or Work Aids
4.Transportation and Mobility
5.Recreation and Leisure

JUDGING Submissions are evaluated by a highly qualified, impartial panel of judges representing the technology and disability communities. Nominations accepted until July 31, 2011 at

The best student submission across all categories will be recognized with the Student of da Vinci Award.  Student submissions will also be considered for the top prize in their respective category, the prestigious da Vinci Award.
Proceeds from the da Vinci Awards® benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. For tickets, to Donate and/or to Support The da Vinci Awards®, visit

"People's Choice Awards" will also be given to those Finalists receiving the highest number of video views (or votes) on YouTube. View The da Vinci Awards® YouTube Channel sharing highlights of past festivies and finalists!
"Science Hall of Fame" Winner (2007) The da Vinci Awards® YouTube Channel sharing highlights of past festivies and finalists!    
2011 The da Vinci Awards®

the Ergonomical BackTpack 2010 Entry
The da Vinci Awards®

GreatGrips Environmental Adaptation Winner (2010)-
The da Vinci Awards®

 Originally aired 1/4/2004
The da Vinci Awards®

NeuroStep implantable assistive system for walking (hemipleglia impairments) -
The da Vinci Awards®

VMI Virtual Music Instrument -
The da Vinci Awards®

Freedom Kayaks demo - Recreation and Leisure
The da Vinci Awards®

Spirit of da Vinci -
The da Vinci Awards®

2005 AAC voice output -
The da Vinci Awards®

VI Fit Recreation & Leisure Category -
The da Vinci Awards®

Diana Tremblay 2010 Leadership Chair - General Motors
The da Vinci Awards®

References & Resources

Your event, The da Vinci Awards® for Accessibility and Universal Design, has been created.View all

White House Disability Group Call & Tech Announcement, ADA, Rehab Act Section 508


White House Disability, Tech Announcement, ADA, Rehab Act Section 508

Technology Announcement on the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Tue, July 26, 2011 8:23:45 AM
From: White House Disability Group
If you did not receive this email yourself and you’d like to receive updates on disability issues from the White House, send us an email at and we will sign you up.

Please circulate. You will hear more about the below announcement on Section 508 on tomorrow's disability monthly call. As a reminder, that call (which is off the record and not for press purposes) takes place on Wednesday, July 27, at 1:00 Eastern. The dial in number is (866) 298-7926 and the title/code is White House Disability Call. And, for captioning (only for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and need captioning), the link is


Office of the Press Secretary

July 26, 2011

On (the) Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Obama Administration Recommits to Enforcing and Protecting the Civil Rights of All

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. That landmark civil rights legislation reaffirmed the idea that all our citizens, regardless of disability, are entitled to the same privileges, pursuits, and opportunities as everyone else. As the Obama Administration marks that anniversary, there still remain many steps we must take together to ensure that the spirit and letter of that law are upheld.

“The promise of the ADA was that all Americans should have equal access and equal opportunity, including Americans with disabilities,” said President Obama. “The ADA was about independence and the freedom to make of our lives what we will. We celebrate that today, and we recommit ourselves to ending discrimination in all its forms.”

Since its enactment, the ADA has opened many doors and sought to level the playing field for employment of Americans with disabilities. Still, however, the unemployment rate for persons with disabilities remains high. Last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order to make the federal government a model employer for individuals with disabilities.

Today, following on other steps already taken, the Obama Administration announced new efforts that will continue to support increased employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and will also help make the government more open and accessible to all citizens. Specifically, the administration is working to release a draft comprehensive strategic plan to improve compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 508 requires that federal agencies' electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities, both inside and outside the government. 12 years after this law was enacted, many technological barriers still exist, limiting the ability of persons with disabilities when they try to interact with the federal government, whether as an employee or as a citizen seeking information or services.

 Making electronic and information technology, such as websites, 508 compliant will ensure that applicants have equal access to apply for job opportunities. 508 compliance also will promote increased retention, as federal employees will be able to successfully utilize the technology - whether it be computers, telephones, fax machines, websites and many other technological tools - necessary to perform their duties. Moreover, it will make the government more open and accessible as people with disabilities will be able to better access all the information the federal government has placed online.


References & Resources

Official website for Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act.
@Disabilitygov USA
The Official U.S. Government Website for Information on Disability-Related Programs, Services, Laws & Benefits (RT and/or Following Do Not Imply Endorsement.)

OSEP Leadership Mega Conference


'OSEP Leadership Mega Conference'

{Just click on the highlighted words to go to these links.}

I appreciate the assistance Nolan Simon and Jeff Coles,Susan Maclean, Catherine Fowler, Christina M. Kasprzak, Kerry Jo Johnson and Mironda Shepard provided me with last year's Registration and iLinc Webcast Attendance. I am the Attendee who submitted the first webcast Question. I heard it read and saw our state Parent Training & Information Project Director smile as she recognized my name. Later, she texted me that she shared with Assistant Secretary Posny that she was proud to have Parents and stakeholders at the conference and an accessible webcast and teleconference options. I let her know that we appreciated being able to hear, see and contribute. This approach made us feel connected, especially because the webcast showed our names and photos from across our state and country. Also, I connected with a former Member who's mother had worked for our Families Helping Families! We had never met but the webcast provided an ample introduction as we enjoyed the conference.
I was so inspired by the 2010 conference and am grateful that NPTAC via LaPTIC (Cindy Arceneuax., Project Director) had shared OSEP LMIC info. on their Facebook page. As a result of participating in these webcasts, I became more invested in our Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council(LADDC). Mr. Simon, as you may recall from my Aug. 2, 2010 correspondence, when I initially participated in OSEP's 2010 MLC, I had just graduated from the Partners in Policymaking 6 months training and started serving on the Board of Northshore Families Helping Families--both are initiaives of LADDC. Thus, an appointment by LA Governor Bobby Jindal and confirmation by the State Senate to serve as a Parent Advocate for the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council is an overall achievement from inspired by my collaborative networking with OSEP LMC, LaPTICactivities and trainings and LADDC initiatives . This appointmenta and confirmation was timely in that it afforded me the opportunity to collaborate and advocate during the LADDC State Five Year Plan with fellow Parents, state agencies, and community program leaders who comprise the LADDC. Additionally, I participate in the monthly White House Disability Group Call with Kareem Dale, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement & Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy.
Again, I am proud to join the Office of Special Education (OSEP-USDOE) in collaborating with various federal, regional and state leaders and agency heads and other stakeholders. OSEP Leadership Mega Conference strategically addresses the national education and parent interests and community inclusion with Integration and Universal Design broad-scale implications. Whether attending on-sight or via webcast, Participants gain a better understanding of OSEP's vision. Also, we network and are given opportunities for Q & A about current implementation trends,as well as, methods to improve a 'world-class' Inclusive education for America's Students receiving Special Education Services and integrated Disability Policies and Programs for People With Disabilities.
Now, I am ready for this year's conference to participate again as a Parent via wbcast sessions, classes. I went to the TA&D site, to OSEP LMC site and viewed the Agenda and Instructions for joining webcast sessions. Then, I realized we are using Adobe Connect this year!     OSEP LMC has truly streamlined the webcast Registration process with Adobe Connect! It seems there is no longer a need for Confirmation emails to link to the webcasts or teleconferences.  I am definitely sharing these webcasts links and related info.  with other Parents, Advocates, Community Leaders and Educators who support an inclusive  Education and integrated Disability Policies.
I have blocked out my week (Aug. 1-3) to enjoy another informative, relevant, diverse, well-organized and accessible Office of Special Education Programs- Leadership Mega Conference!   Although I am an off-site Attendee, I still enjoy participating via webcast and Call-In features.  It's great to meet up with Parents, fellow Advocates and agency leaders in the Chat windows!
As I was last year, I am excited to view the presentation by Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary, OSERS, ED, DC. 
Likewise, I am interested in hearing from Melody Musgrove, Director, OSEP, ED , DC;  Larry Wexler, Division Director, OSEP, ED , DC; Denise Forte, Deputy Assistant Secretary, OPEPD, ED, DC.
You have to join me for the White House Domestic Policy Presentations, as well as, the Congressional Representatives reports. 
On Tuesday, go to the conference link to find out why I will be wearing my state emblem shirt and having lunch at an authentic creole cajun cuisine-style restaurant!  Will you join me for a crawfish pie, jambalaya, shrimp etoufee and a creole-cream praline cheesecake!  But, we gotta only about an hour to enjoy our delightful delectables because we must make it back to our computers and phone lines for the afternoon sessions!
I am pariticularly interested in several webcasts and will highlight them on this blog and our other social and business networks.
Check back on Friday to see which webcasts and Powerpoints we are interested in for the Office of Special Education Programs 2011 Leadership Mega Conference.
References & Resources:
EnjoyHi5Autism likes #osepmega11 on our Vimeo blog at