Video play button over top of image of girl sitting on floor holding a popsicle and using iPad with mom leaning over and watching. Text overlay on image includes title at the top_ _Maci uses an iPad to communicate_ and subtitle at the bottom_ _Maci uses her iPad to request popsicles for dessert__
Maci's Many Ways of Expressing Herself
When Maci's mom told us that Maci has a presence about her, she wasn't kidding. Maci enters Hershey Medical Center for a routine visit and nurses she's never worked with before light up and call out, "Hi Maci!" She's a social butterfly, and not moments after you've entered her home will she grab your hand and, grinning, pull you to her room to introduce you to Phil, her guinea pig. Maci is brimming with exuberance, a five-year-old clearly wanting to share her excitement about the world with others.

Maci has a rare chromosome translocation, a particular abnormality that has never been seen before, so Maci's parents and her doctors are learning about Maci as she grows. At six months old, Maci's first noticeable delay was in not being able to sit unassisted. Now, Maci is a physically active little girl, who's bright and social but currently non-verbal. While it is clear she understands what is being said to her, she is not able to verbally communicate back. "In my heart, I know her little voice is in there," says Lindsey, Maci's mom. "She does know some sign language and we know some of her verbal approximations for things, but she has to be very frustrated."

Watch a short video to see Maci and her iPad in action!

A father and two daughters with down syndrome doing homework. The girls are sitting at a table_ writing with pencils. Father is standing behind them with an open book in his hand.
Students with Disabilities Deserve Better Financial Education
Written by Hilary Hunt, Financial Education Consultant

Did you learn the basics of money management in school? Do you wish you had learned more?  Most adults report wishing they had learned more about money as a young person rather than through the proverbial "school of hard knocks" as adults. Some Pennsylvania high schools do offer courses in personal finance as part of their regular education curriculum and a small number ( about 15 percent ) even require these courses for graduation. These courses instill valuable life lessons in students including how to set financial goals, establish a budget, read a paycheck, understand credit, use financial services, and save for the future.

Some might wonder, "Isn't financial education for students with disabilities the same as it is for other students?" I would suggest that it both is and isn't. Certainly much of the terminology and fundamental concepts are universal. The differences between a debit card and a credit card do not vary by the user or his or her disability. However, other topics can - and often do - vary significantly. Students with disabilities may, for example, qualify or receive government benefits which often have specific asset limits. An individual who requires physical assistance may rely on a caregiver to handle their day-to-day financial transactions. And, there are special programs for which only individuals with disabilities may qualify such as Home and Community Based Waivers and Social Security Work Incentives.

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Community HealthChoices Coming to PA January 1, 2018
From Pennsylvania Health Law Project

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is Pennsylvania's plan for the delivery of longterm services and supports and the delivery of healthcare for individuals receiving both Medicare and Medicaid through a capitated managed care system. The state's goals for CHC are to improve quality, health outcomes and service delivery for persons with disabilities and seniors.

13 brochures fanned out with titles including Identity Theft_ SCAMS_ Confessions of a Scam Artist_ Banking Basics_ and Buying a Home.
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Financial Tips with Penny Pincher
PA Dept. of Banking and Securities Publishes Variety of Financial Brochures

We've just put our order in for several financial brochures from the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. Financial topics covered include: Banking Basics, Buying a Home, Credit Reports and Scores, Elder Financial Abuse Protection, and many more. 

Varias publicaciones están disponibles en español.
Upcoming Events

Senator Randy Vulakovich's Annual Senior Expo
2326 Duncan Avenue, Allison Park, PA - September 29 from 10am-1pm
The Expo will be host to a variety of informational booths geared toward senior citizens and their families or caregivers. Exhibitors include organizations that provide services affecting health, safety, and welfare of senior citizens. Light refreshments will be provided and the event is free. Visit for more information.

Luzerne County Senior Expo
Kingston Armory, Wilkes-Barre, PA - October 12 from 10am-1pm
The purpose of this expo is to provide local senior citizens and families an opportunity to learn more about the services and programs currently available to them. Featuring health-care screenings, educational opportunities, and refreshments.

Lackawanna & Wayne County Senior Expo
287 Owego Turnpike, Waymart, PA - October 26 from 9:30am-12:30pm
Free, devoted exclusively to adults 50+ and includes exhibitors, information, free health screenings, and free seminars.

Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel, King of Prussia, PA - October 28 from 10am-3pm
An educational conference designed for individuals living with a neuromuscular disease, their families and caregivers. There will be a keynote speaker followed by two breakout sessions featuring a variety of topics of interest related to clinical care and resources. Attendees will also have the  opportunity to browse the Resource Fair.

Homes Within Reach Conference
Harrisburg, PA - December 4-6
This year's theme is "Shining Our Light on Housing Solutions", where we envision a future together, working in partnership for a home within reach. The conference provides an opportunity for service providers, housing professionals, community builders and those passionately committed to ensuring a home for every Pennsylvanian to network, share ideas, and make new connections. Join us as we bring to scale what works and generate new strategies for our communities.
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Support us when you shop using and Amazon donates to Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation. 

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