August - September 2021
CRAAG Newsletter
In This Issue!

  • Zoom link for the August 25th CRAAG Meeting
  • Highlight of August 25th CRAAG meeting: Dr. Rose Nevill, from the UVA STAR initiative, presents an overview of the results from CRAAG's 2021 Housing Survey
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • Links to new CRAAG publications
  • CRAAG's Advocacy Alerts!
  • Notes from the June 23, 2021 CRAAG Meeting
  • Connect, Engage, Learn, Change
  • Most Read Article in June - July 2021 CRAAG Newsletter
  • Spotlight on Our Stomping Ground

Plan to Attend the CRAAG
August 25th Zoom Meeting
from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Save this Zoom link to your calendar!

Meeting ID: 892 5538 5924
Passcode: 19203

Highlight of the
August 25th
CRAAG Meeting

"Housing, Supports, and Service
Needs of Adults with
Developmental Disabilities:
State of Need In Central Virginia"

What to Expect
  • If you or a family member have a developmental disability or if you work with this population, you'll be interested in the results of CRAAG's 2021 Housing Survey conducted earlier this year. The survey asked respondents about current housing status, funding status through the DD Waiver system, support needs, and concerns they have about their family member's current and future housing opportunities.

  • The UVA STAR team is assisting CRAAG with an in-depth analysis and formal report of the data. An overview of the formal report will be previewed by Rose Nevill, PhD, BCBA-D, at the August 25 CRAAG Meeting. Dr. Nevill directs the UVA STAR Autism Research Core.

  • The final report will land in your inbox by September 1st.

August and September
Virtual Meeting Dates
  • 24/7 Supports Work Group the Chairperson will send Zoom link before the meeting!

  • Maximizing Independence Work Group the Chairperson will send Zoom link before the meeting!

  • Preparing for Life After High School Work Group the Chairperson will send Zoom link before the meeting!

  • Save the Date CRAAG Public Meeting Save Zoom Link Above!
August 18th
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

August 9th and Sept. 13th
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

September 16th
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Aug. 25th - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Interested Joining a Work Group? Email CRAAG
Questions or Suggestions? Email CRAAG

Links to CRAAG's
New Publications
Compiled by the Preparing for Life After High School Work Group – 2021

Compiled by parent advocate Cheryl Ribando - Summer 2021

Updated in June 2021

New member recruitment flyer!

CRAAG's Urgent Advocacy Alerts!
  • Save Virginia's DD System from collapse - The conceivable post-pandemic collapse of the DD Waiver system based on acute staff shortages; the forced exit of people with DD from their homes because they can't get services (includes group homes and individual homes); and the draining effect of the year-long lack of services for families and individuals.

  • Statewide Candidates Forum for Virginia Governor, Lt. Governor and the Attorney General on August 12th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • The underutilization of Supported Living Waiver Services

Notes from the
June 23rd CRAAG Meeting
Many thanks to the 22 family members, 10 professionals, and one young adult with ASD who attended the morning Zoom meeting. The following organizations were represented: The Arc of the Piedmont, CA Human Services, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Faison Center, and Region Ten CSB.

Reports from Work Groups as of June 23rd

24/7 Supports
Greg Hagen (parent) and Matt Osborne (professional – Faison Center in Richmond) lead this group. At the initial meeting on June 2nd, 15 participants were in attendance.

The group discussed these issues:
  • Caregiver concerns
  • An overview of waiver services, BI, FIS and CL
  • Challenging issues
  • Issues to address
Connect Engage
Learn & Change
We're making a change. We will switch back and forth between A - Z and Z - A order. Always click to read through to the end to find important calendar events and information.

Partner Updates Z - A

VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF AUTISM (VIA) announces these events:
  • Save the Date for VIA’s Grand Opening Celebration of the new Center for Adolescent and Adult Autism Services (CAAAS) on Tuesday, September 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. This purpose-built space located at 491 Hillsdale Drive in Charlottesville will serve students and adults as they transition from adolescence to adulthood, focusing on job training and life skills. The facility also serves as the home for their Administrative Offices. Interested in attending? Register by September 24th!
  • VIA and CHARLOTTESVILLE PARKS AND RECREATION are holding the Sibling Support Program on Saturday, September 25th from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This peer support event is for siblings (ages 7 and up) of children with disabilities. For more information, email Hilary Nagel, MSW, LCSW, or call her at 434-923-8252 x210. Or email Sarah Blech, Charlottesville Parks and Recreation, or call her at 434-970-3260. Register here.

Most Read Article in June - July 2021
CRAAG Newsletter
CRAAG is now tracking the most read article in each newsletter. Here is the link to the June - July 2021 winner, Updates from the April 28th CRAAG meetings.
Spotlight on
Housing, Supports
and Service Needs
Thanks to a parent member of CRAAG's Maximizing Independence Work Group for sharing a link on the steps to accessing independent housing from Our Stomping Ground (OSG). While OSG serves Northern Virginia, much of the information on their website also applies to other regions in the Commonwealth. The link provides high level information on four topics:
  • How to get started
  • Financial Resources
  • Getting Support
  • Resources
According to OSG, "The process can seem overwhelming and scary as you think about all the issues. What type of housing is best? How will we pay for it? What supports will be in place? How do I make this all happen? Our Stomping Ground is here to educate you on the process. We have found that taking it one step at a time and enlisting the help of the right people, makes the whole process easier."

CRAAG began in 2010 in collaboration with CA Human Services (formerly Commonwealth Autism). CRAAG’s mission is to raise awareness and enhance the quality of life for people with autism, developmental disabilities, and their families in Charlottesville City, Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson counties. We are a volunteer action group for families, self-advocates, and professionals who are interested in all age groups and levels of need. The daily concerns of CRAAG's active volunteers inform our focus on the needs of students transitioning out of high school, adults throughout the lifespan, and their families. Our advocacy is person-centered aimed at maximizing independent living with supports; meaningful employment; social connectivity; and community engagement. CRAAG's 2021 Housing survey initiated a years-long initiative in our region to expand the number of housing options, supports and services available to meet the needs of adults with developmental disabilities.