In this Issue: 
President's Message 
Parent University: Announcing the 2020 Webinar Class Schedule!
Reminder: Tails for Life Holiday Fundraiser
Dental Students Will Soon Be Trained To Care For Those With Special Needs
Mom sought 4-year college program for learning disabled son, then helped A&M create one
This is Where We Will Be...

President's Message:

Dear Clients and Friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I've spent a little time these past few weeks reflecting back. I think a lot of us do that during this time of year. Do you?

It seems this time of year I miss my sister Marcia SOOO much. She is the reason I started Protected Tomorrows. And though she is no longer with me on a day-to-day basis, I still feel her presence in my life, and she gives me the passion to do what I do. 

Sometimes, just writing this is hard for me. I think about the great laugh she had during the holiday season, how everyone in the family searched to find her the perfect gift to make her happy, and how Mom and Dad and I would spend some free time during the holidays talking about their fears for her future. It were these discussions that helped me think about creating Protected Tomorrows. 

I sense Marcia knows in some way how I'm feeling this time of year. So Merry Christmas, Marcia! I miss you. Thank you for giving me my purpose. I love what I do, and it's all because of you.

I wish all of our clients, families and friends a very special holiday season!!!
Warmest regards,

Mary Anne Ehlert,
Founder & President

We are excited to announce our 2020 Parent University Webinar Class Schedule!  These classes are designed to help you and your loved one with a disability plan for the future.  Click here to view the entire 2020 Webinar Class Schedule.

Presented by Mary Anne Ehlert, all webinar classes will be held via Zoom and attendees are required to register:

     Our first webinar class, Kicking It Off... By Implementing a Life Plan, will be held on Thursday,
     January 16, 2020 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm.  Click here to register for this class.

     The second webinar class,  Building The Dream Team, will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2020
     from 7:00pm - 8:30pm.   Click here to register for this class.

     The third webinar class, Money, Money, Money... What It All Means, will be held on Thursday,
     March 19, 2020 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm.  Click here to register for this class.

We look forward to you joining us!

Tails for Life's mission is to empower children with disabilities to increase their independence and  enhance their quality of life. They are dedicated to training service dogs to service the needs of  children with medical and/or psychological disabilities. 

During this holiday season, Tails for Life is hoping to reach 5 children who are in need of a service dog.  To help make a difference in a child's life, click to view the Tails for Life Holiday Fundraiser form and
donate today.

by Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop

With a new shoe built from the ground up to be accessible for people with disabilities, Nike is working with a major professional athlete to prove that inclusive styles are meant for everyone.

The athletic-wear giant said it's rolling out the latest incarnation in its FlyEase lineup - which features easy entry and exit and other accessibility features - this fall. The shoe, called the Nike Air Zoom UNVRS, utilizes 
a new system to ensure that a broad base of people can independently take it on and off.  Click here to read more.

Dental Students Will Soon Be Trained To Care For Those With Special Needs
By Blythe Bernhard, Disability Scoop

Dental school students will soon be required to learn how to care for patients with disabilities under new guidelines from an accrediting body.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation approved new standards this summer requiring all U.S. dental schools to train students in the assessment and management of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, among other special needs populations.

The change means that by mid-2020, schools that offer degrees in dentistry, orthodontics, dental hygiene and dental assistant programs must include clinical training with a "special needs" population of patients in their graduation requirements or risk losing their accreditation. Click here to read more.

Mom sought 4-year college program for learning disabled son, then helped A&M create one
By  Mary Huber, Austin-American Statesman

On a recent Friday morning, Miguel Gonzalez sat on his living room sofa in West Austin with paperwork and information packets spread across the coffee table. Over the past few weeks, his mother, Vilma Luna, has been taking him to buy supplies - hangers, a trash can, cleaning supplies for his dorm room - like most kids headed into their freshman year of college.

Gonzalez, a 21-year-old with Down syndrome, will be part of the inaugural class of Aggie ACHIEVE students this fall at Texas A&M University in College Station. He'll participate in a four-year certificate program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which is the first of its kind in Texas.

He and four other students in the program will live in the dorms, take courses with their peers and have full access to after-school programs and activities. The goal is to get them integrated into meaningful jobs so they can live more independently.

Luna, Gonzalez's mom and a former state representative from Corpus Christi, helped establish the program at A&M with special education professor Carly Gilson after realizing Texas lacked programs that bridge the gap between high school and the workforce for people with disabilities. More than 1 million school-aged children in the United States receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, yet avenues for attending four-year colleges are few and far between. Click here to read more.

This is Where We Will Be...

Upcoming Speeches/Conferences/Events for 2019:

                Online Zoom Class

Jan 21      Charting the Journey
                 Palatine, IL

                 Wheaton, IL

Feb 5       Charting the Journey
                 Barrington, IL

                Online Zoom Class

                 Online Zoom Class

Apr 6       Charting the Journey
                 Barrington, IL

Apr 14     Charting the Journey
                 Plainfield, IL

                 Elkhart Lake, WI

Apr 18     Retiring for 3 Workshop
                 Hoffman Estates, IL

Apr 21     Charting the Journey - Private Event
                 Kimberly, WI

For more information on these  click here!
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