Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities Association of University Centers on Disabilities  and  National Disability Rights Network  have partnered to launch a social media campaign to highlight the many ways in which people with and without developmental disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to their communities. Join the campaign by:
  • Sharing stories, videos, blogs, and toolkits from the 2017 resource guide on social media all month long.
  • Sharing your own "side-by-side" stories online and submitting resources to be added to the campaign's resource guide.
  • Using one of the "Life Side by Side" graphics on social media to promote awareness and spark conversation. Don't forget to use #DDAwareness17!
Anchor1Heartland AEA Evidence-Based Parent Networking Group

Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) is offering a networking opportunity for parents of students with autism The group will meet via videoconference on a weekly basis to discuss evidence-based practices for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and will be facilitated by Kristen Bloch, School Psychologist and Kate Boonstra, Family & Educator Partnership Coordinator, both of Heartland AEA. To accommodate parent schedules, a daytime group and an evening group will be offered. To sign up, go to http://bit.ly/AutismGroup.
Registration is open for #2017TWC -- sign up early and save!
Celebrate five years of Together We Can in Des Moines on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at our annual statewide conference for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the people who serve them.
The conference is FREE for  individuals with disabilities and their families, and $20  for professionals. Exhibitor opportunities are available at $50 for nonprofits and $75 for other organizations.  Early bird registration fees end April 10.

U.S. Department of Education Seeks Comments on New IDEA Website

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is seeking input from users of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) resource website,  IDEA.ed.gov  as part of their effort to provide updated, easy-to-navigate IDEA resources to children with disabilities and their families, teachers, administrators, advocates, and other stakeholders.  To help facilitate this effort, OSERS has posted a blog  for people to provide comments. 

OSERS appreciates support and suggestions as they continue efforts to improve their online resources as part of a commitment to ensure that infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families have the supports and services they are entitled to under IDEA.

Prepare for summer with our annual Iowa Summer Camp List, available at  www.askresource.org/resources/camp-list
Printed version available upon request; contact Ashley Gill at ASK Resource Center, ashley@askresource.org or (800) 450-8667.
Deaf Cultural Celebration April 21-23, 2017

Celebrate Deaf culture and American Sign Language (ASL) at a fun, no-cost weekend-long event at the Iowa School for the Deaf! This free celebration will be held Friday, April 21 through Sunday, April 23, 2017 on the Iowa Sch ool for the Deaf campus at  3501 Harry Langdon Blvd in  Council Bluffs.

Click above to access this information in ASL
Click to view in ASL
This event is free and open to the public, but sessions will especially appeal to families
 with young children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.  Professionals working in the field of deaf education are strongly encouraged to attend. R egistration is required. All meals will be provided, and limited financial assistance is available for families who need lodging. 


Des Moines Performing Arts is excited to announce a sensory friendly initiative as part of the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Family Series with two performances for spring 2017!  Sensory friendly performances are geared towards those on the autism spectrum or individuals with other sensory sensitivities and their families.
These dedicated performances will contain all the joy of a typical theater setting with a few adjustments to help those in attendance feel more comfortable. This will include alterations to light and sound, a variety of accessible seating options, an environment that will encourage movement and breaks when needed, ASL interpretation, and inclusive staff that will make guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive. Tickets are only $5.00!   For more information and to purchase tickets, go to  www.desmoinesperformingarts.org/sensory.
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Workshop in Des Moines
WRAP: Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Monday evenings, March 27-May 15
6:00-7:30 pm
NAMI Greater Des Moines, 511 E 6th St, Des Moines

WRAP is an evidence-based prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. WRAP helps participants to identify their personal resources and wellness tools, and use those resources to develop action plans to manage difficult situations. The workshop is taught by trained people with lived experience with mental illness. This workshop is  $35 but scholarships are available . Registration is required; contact Michele at (515) 850-1467 or email NAMIGDMdirector@gmail.com to sign up.
2017 Midwest Summer Institute: Inclusion and Communication for ALL

Mark your calendars for the  2017 Midwest Inclusion ConferenceJune 22-23 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Detailed information is available on the event website at  www.vpaf.uni.edu/events/inclusion.
The contents of this listserv email were partially funded by grants from the US Dept of Education, #H328M140017, Project Officer David Emenheiser, and the US Dept of Health & Human Services, #H84MC24065, Project Officer Andrea Williams, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. These contents do not necessarily represent the policy of those entities,  nor should one assume  endorsement by them. 

ASK Resource Center  serves as a Family Voices State Affiliate Organization, and is a member of the Parent to Parent USA Alliance.