5 Reasons to Consider a Special Needs Trust

BY Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor Here are 5 common reasons for establishing a special needs trust that applies to your family member with a disability. In my last article, I outlined the benefits of ABLE accounts. For many families, ABLE accounts sufficiently meet their desire to provide assets for special needs family members. In higher net worth families, ABLE accounts are the first step in structuring a long-term financial plan […]

How ABLE Accounts Support Special-Needs Children and Their Families

BY Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor ABLE accounts are an important planning tool alongside more-traditional techniques such as special-needs trusts. One financial challenge that many families with special-needs children confront is funding the ever-growing expenses that their child may need over their lifetime. With additional costs of important medical and support care often reaching over $100,000 per year for a special-needs child, many families look to special government programs to fill […]

Overview of Understanding Guardianship for Adults with Special Needs

Guardianship is a valuable tool which can be used to protect individuals who no longer possess the ability to make appropriate personal or financial decisions for themselves.  The guardian assumes the duty of caring for the person with disabilities and/or their assets, and the court maintains oversight to reduce the risk of exploitation or abuse by the guardian. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning guardianship. It is […]

Disability Etiquette

Introduction The United States Census Bureau reports that approximately 56.7 million Americans have a disability. This report is for anyone—with or without a disability—who wants to interact more effectively with people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was conceived with the goal of integrating people with disabilities into all aspects of life, particularly the workplace and the marketplace. Sensitivity toward people with disabilities is not only in the spirit of the ADA, […]

Development of Eating Skills for Children with Multiple Disabilities

Learning to eat and drink can be a challenge for many children who have multiple disabilities including a visual impairment. The way your child responds to food can be affected by factors such as his medical conditions, physical abilities, or resistance to trying new foods because of the texture or taste. Members of your child’s educational team will often have important information and suggestions for how you can work together on specific goals that will […]

Mobility Devices for Young Children

What are Kiddie Canes, Pre-Canes, and Alternative Mobility Devices? The long cane used by some people with visual impairments has a white shaft, a black handle, and is red near the bottom. The long cane provides a traveler with information about the ground in front of him as he moves. There are several alternative types of mobility devices that children with visual impairments who are very young or who have additional disabilities can utilize. These […]

Higher Education Policy Changes Take Center Stage

Students With Disabilities May Be Collateral Damage in College Admissions Scandal Earlier this month, Americans were made aware of a number of wealthy families allegedly abusing the college admissions process by faking disabilities, cheating on admissions tests, and bribing college officials. The alleged scheme is incredibly discouraging and does a serious disservice to students who have real disabilities and rely on accommodations in school. Many disabilities rights advocates, including some who advocated on behalf of […]

A Tale of Two Schools: Inclusive Culture Created With Purpose

It can be difficult to educate students with disabilities in an innovative and effective way. But NCLD recently visited two very different schools that were doing just that. These schools serve two very different populations, in two different parts of the country. We found an important commonality, though: an inclusive culture that was created with purpose. NCLD has been working to identify promising 21st-century learning practices in schools. We’re focused on how these practices serve […]

Varied State Criteria May Contribute to Differences in Percentages of Children Served

What GAO Found Differences in states’ eligibility criteria and the difficulty of identifying and evaluating some children suspected of having disabilities may contribute to differences in the percentages of children receiving special education services across states. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the primary federal special education law, requires states to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in the state who need special education services are […]

What Hope Looks Like

by Maria Spencer In my daughter Olivia’s sixteen years, I have seen many hope-filled days. I have seen her improve in areas at school that we never dreamed of, have seen her run track and always, always defy the odds that were given to her as a baby. But in the past several months, I have seen her do something that is beyond my wildest dreams or imaginations. Just when I think she has reached a […]