Tag Archives: California

Children with Special Health Care Needs in California: A Profile of Key Issues

A report on services in California compared to the rest of the country, from the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health…

> Read & watch


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Hello.  Well it seems that, even though I’ve been quiet, folks out there are still using the blog as a resource, which is great!

To be honest, I have been considering shutting down this blog, as I can’t seem to carve out the time and energy to post.  Special needs parents will understand the scarcity of extra time in our lives, and that, when that time opens up, we don’t always want to spread ourselves thinner and focus on the challenges we juggle.

In that same vein, I stepped down from my role as Co-Chair of Inclusive Schools Week (ISW) for SF Unified School District this year.  I hope that parents with fresh energy will get involved, to continue the work of building inclusive school communities at all levels – elementary, middle and high school.

2012 ISW is December 3-7!  SF parents interested in participating should contact Regina Piper at SFUSD soon, and get the ball rollling.

I will be continuing to lead a robust ISW program at our school…we’re already planning!

Take care!

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California Childrens Services

from the San Francisco Chronicle, May 28, 2012


This article is just one expression of the terribly unjust situation we special needs families find ourselves facing in California.  The means cutoff Governor Brown is proposing for California Childrens Services medical therapies is laughable, and will leave thousands of middle and lower class children without the professional guidance and resources they need to flourish as independent members of society, and their families without alternatives for helping their children succeed.

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5/2 Webinar: California Childrens Services Medical Therapy Program Means Test – The Pros and Cons

from Family Voices of California

“Please join us for a webinar regarding the Governor’s proposal to establish a CCS Medical Therapy Program means test.  We will be joined by Robert Dimand, Chief Medical Officer, CCS and Laurie Soman Director, CRISS Project/Director, Alameda County Medical Home Project/Senior Policy Analyst, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to discuss the pros and cons of the proposal.”

When:  Wednesday 5/2, 12noon-1PM PST


Registration Web Link > https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/139312002 

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Critical Advocacy for California Childrens Services Needed NOW


  • California families of children with disabilities and special health care needs
  • Californians who care about a child with a disability and/or special health care need
  • anyone and everyone!

California Childrens Services (CCS)—our statewide agency supporting children with special medical needs—is at great risk under Governor Brown’s proposed budget cuts.  There is no time to lose, as I understand that the legislature may consider these cuts as early as March 8th.

Us families of children with special needs are mostly exhausted and overwhelmed by the additional support we give our kids throughout the days, and the hoops we have to jump through to have them included in basic societal norms, but we must find a reserve of energy to begin advocating in an organized, rigorous fashion…or we’ll be more exhausted and overwhelmed having lost our external services and supports.

Please do two things now:

Sign the petition > http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/SaveCCS-therapy/

Distribute a personal letter See steps for letter-writing advocacy below:

  1. Write a letter, or modify and personalize highlighted portions of attached letter by a Santa Clara parent/advocate. Explain how the budget cuts will affect you, someone you care about, societal values, etc.’
  2. If relevant, include a picture of your child on or with the letter.
  3. Send and/or fax the letter to:
    1. all members of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (see attached contact list of addresses and fax #s)
    2. all members of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services (see attached contact list of addresses and fax #s)
    3. your state assemblymember and state senator (to find out names and contact info, type in your zip code at votesmart.org)
  4. Make a version of your letter that California friends and family can send on your family’s behalf.  (Make it easy for them by providing addressed stamped envelopes, or offering to pick-up and fax for them.)
  5. If your child can write his/her own letter, and/or has a sibling who can do so, that would be very effective.

For those unfamiliar with CCS, it is a state agency that provides essential, quality therapy,  health care, medical equipment and clinical oversight to children with certain diseases, physical limitations, and chronic medical problems.

The proposed drastic budget reduction to the medical therapy program will result in cutting at least 30% of the children who receive services, based on family income, and accordingly about 50% of CCS staff.  These cuts will not result in budget savings for the state, it will just shift the burden to other underfunded state agencies and leave some children out in the cold.  Regardless of income level, CCS services are a vital piece of enabling these children to succeed, thrive and fully participate in our communities.

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Register for 3/3 Information & Resource Conference: “Knowledge is Power”

…I love this year’s theme for the Support for Families of Children with Disabilities annual conference, “Knowledge is Power”.  So true, and so necessary to advocate and provide for our kids.

Saturday, March 3

Families, professionals, caregivers, service providers…everyone is welcome!

> Info
> Pre-Registration Required (Free) 
> Download PDF Brochure

This annual conference is fabulous…if you’re going to be anywhere near San Francisco on Saturday, and it’s relevant to your family or profession, I highly recommend attending.  Even if you choose not to attend the sessions, there are a number of informative exhibitors on the floor to wander through and chat with.

For SF public school families, this year’s keynote features SF Unified School District‘s new Assistant Superintendent of Special Education—Dr. Elizabeth Blanco—the first chance most of us will have to hear from her and meet her.  Welcome Dr. Blanco!  We look forward to working with you.  It’s my understanding that Dr. Blanco comes to us from Pasadena Unified, where she was Executive Director of Special Education since May 2010.

Regina Piper, SFUSD Supervisor of Elementary Special Education Services and my c0-chair of our district’s annual Inclusive Schools Week, will be leading a panel on inclusive schools with Deirdre Hayden from Support for Families.  Thank you Regina and Dee!

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5th Annual Development Disabilities Public Policy Conference

Join The Arc of California and United Cerebral Palsy on Monday, February 27th in Sacramento for their 2012 conference!

More info/Register > http://www.thearcca.org/55.html

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