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Delaware County Office
of Mental Retardation

Under a contract with the Delaware County Office of Mental Retardation (located in Upper Darby, PA), Networks is pleased to offer again this year Training and Technical Assistance activities to further their Self-Determination initiative:

  • Support the further development of Delaware County's chapter of Speaking for Ourselves by providing requested training topics to consumers, families, and staff before and during Chapter meetings. This training is known as the Person to Person Series:

    - Coming Together Celebration! September 18, 2003
    - Job Searching & Finding Employment October 16, 2003
    - Reducing Everyday Stress Through Massage & Music November 20, 2003
    - How Self-Defense Can Save Your Life! December 18, 2003
    - Innovative Ways to Budget Your Money! January 15, 2004
    - Understanding Self-Advocacy, Politics, & Exercising Your Rights February 19, 2004
    - Developing Relationships and Getting Intimate! March 18, 2004
    - Stopping and Preventing Abuse April 22, 2004
    - Let's Talk: Strategies and Methods to Support Open Communication May 20, 2004
    - Planning for 2004-2005! June 17, 2004

Northumberland County Office
of Mental Retardation

In our fourth year contracting with the Northumberland County Office of Mental Health and Retardation, Networks will offer several activities specifically to increase the communication options of local people with disabilities. A particular initiative this year will focus on building 'local capacity' and expertise to directly support the growth and availability of alternative communication in this area of North Central PA.

  • Direct Communication Support
    Continue to provide monthly consultation & assistance to people throughout Northumberland County who use/could use Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) for fuller expression. This assistance will be coordinated in conjunction with Northumberland County and be provided by Networks' staff, local Communication Mentors (both current and gradually adding in FY04 Mentors), and/or Mark Reeves (a local AAC user and expert).

  • Introduction to Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)
    Half-day sessions for a general audience to provide basic information about various methods and means of communication people use when verbal language is not their strength

    September 18, 2003, 5:00-8:00pm
    November 6, 2003, 1:00-4:00pm
    March TBA, 9:00am-12:00pm
    June TBA, 9:00am-12:00pm

  • AAC Social Group
    An informal get-together by and for people in Northumberland County who use AAC.

    • September 23, 2003, 12:00pm-3:00pm
      November 19, 2003, 12:00pm-3:00pm
      January 21, 2003, 12:00pm-3:00pm
      March 24, 2003, 12:00pm-3:00pm
      June 9, 2003, 12:00pm-3:00pm
  • Getting Started with FC: A Team-Based Training
    An interactive course for teams to explore together the many ways facilitation is used to increase efficiency and effectiveness in movement, common tasks, and communication

    October 23, 2004, 10:00am-3:00pm

  • Introduction to Facilitated Communication (FC)
    A two-day course providing comprehensive information regarding FC.

June 23 & 24, 2004, 9:00am-4:00pm

  • Communication Mentors' Course
    An intensive course for experienced communication supporters to broaden their understanding, knowledge, and skills regarding possible options available to others via Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)-with a goal of developing participants into locally-based Communication Mentors to assist others to find and expand the use of AAC in Northumberland County.
  • Will meet from 9:00am-4:00pm:
    November 5, 2003
    *December 17, 2003 (Martha Leary, CCC-SLP, REG.
    January 7, 2004
    February 4, 2004
    March 3, 2004
    April 7, 2004
    *May 24 & 25, 2004
    (Bill Stillman)
    June 9, 2004

    *Required for those not previously attending these sessions

  • Advanced Mentors' Follow-Up & Support
    An informal forum for previous participants of the "Communication Mentors' Course" to:

    - Catch-up with one another and our work,
    - Pull in, switch help, and/or gain assistance from others,
    - Problem-solve and solution-share,
    - Inform and teach one another regarding new strategies, techniques, and products, and
    - Further develop communication support in Northumberland County

    • Will meet from 9:00am-12:00pm:
      July 10, 2003
      October 9, 2003
      January 8, 2004
      April 8, 2004

  • "King Reeves", the Video
    Assist Mark Reeves and his circle of support in the design, production, and distribution of a video to help those in supportive roles (staff, family, and community members) to better understand:

    - Who he really is,
    - The issues he regularly deals with in doing daily tasks,
    - The conflicting roles he finds himself caught in (i.e. the nationally known presenter and the "retarded boy"), and
    - The assistance he needs that makes the real difference.

  • TASH Conference
    Coordinate the design, implementation, and logistics for Northumberland County's conference presentation regarding the "Communication Mentors' Course."

    December 10-13, 2003, Chicago, IL

Additional Complementary Project

  • Independent Communication Project
    A six month project focusing on increasing the independent communication skills of four local long-term users of Facilitated Communication (FC) and one identified facilitator each. This activity is based upon an agreed commitment of service between Networks and the involved individuals (six days of consultation by Networks' experienced staff offered in exchange for six future presentations by the individual and their facilitator each). This project is being added to these proposed activities for Northumberland County free of charge to stress the increasing need for all those involved in the teaching and supporting of the use of FC to be focused upon "best practices", to be always attentive to the ongoing debate in the use of FC, and to secure local representatives who can demonstrate a commitment to working towards their independence from facilitation.

The Lonesome Doves

The Lonesome Doves is a self-advocacy group of people who all use Facilitated Communication. They come together on a monthly basis to support one another, plan training and other events, and strategize how to push the communication rights of everyone. Networks has proudly provided administrative oversight to the founding and continuation of the group.

For more information e-mail Mark Reeves, President of the Lonesome Doves.

Meeting Dates:
September 21, 2003
October 19, 2003
November 9, 2003
December 7, 2003

For a detailed description of current events, including other event dates, times, training presenters, and additional training opportunities, please look for our updated listings soon!

Other Activities September 2003 Calendar

Other Activities October 2003 Calendar

Other Activities November 2003 Calendar



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