News from the Technical Assistance Center
In This Issue

600 W. Virginia Street Suite 501

Milwaukee, WI 53204


(877) 374-0511

Fax: (414) 374-4655




Region 4 TA Staff


Courtney Salzer 

Jan Serak


 Chris Stagge  
 Program Assistant

Nelsinia R. Wroblewski

 Multicultural Consultant

Don Rosin
 Multicultural Consultant

Carol Knutson 
 Financial Manager

Region 4 Website 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, OSEP, PTAC - H328RO80011. 


Project officer: 
 Lisa Gorove 

Views expressed are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of Education.




December 2011                                                          



Dear Friends:


We hope this holiday edition of the Region 4 Insider finds you ready for 2012! Whether visiting relatives, watching New Year's Day parades and football games (*) on TV, or watching fireworks, welcoming the New Year is usually a time of entertainment and celebration. Since this festival marks the beginning of the year, New Year's Day is also the time for making New Year's resolutions.


Region 4 Team's New Year's resolution is to continue provide Region 4 centers with high quality information and technical assistance. Our WI FACETS' parent center resolutions include: finishing unpacking boxes from our move in August, organizing our storeroom, updating our GuideStar report, and learning some new technology tools. What "resolutions" does your parent center have?


We thank everyone for completing the Region 4 Needs Assessment Survey. We will be reviewing the survey data in early January and using the results to guide our planning to meet Region 4 needs for technical assistance in 2012.


The 2012 Region 4 Parent Center Conference will be in Indianapolis this year, June 13-15th. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, with great shopping and restaurants nearby. The conference planning committee will begin meeting in January. We are really excited about our visit to the Hoosier State, home of IN*SOURCE.


As always, please feel free to contact us with your TA needs at any time. 


Jan Serak & Courtney Salzer

Region 4 PTAC Co-Directors


*Here in Wisconsin, we'll be watching UW-Madison play in the Rose Bowl!



                                      OCECD logo
by Courtney Salzer 


The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with disabilities (OCECD) is the PTI for both Ohio regions, and happens to be one of the network's most long standing parent centers. OCECD was organized in 1972 and awarded their non profit status in 1974. OCECD has been a PTI continuously since 1984. Similar to many other parent centers, OCECD began with a few dedicated individuals working and volunteering out of their homes with little funding, but a huge desire to help other families. Under the direction of Executive Director, Margaret Burley and Co-Director, Lee Ann Derugen, OCECD has experienced tremendous growth. They currently have 23 staff and 11 satellite offices throughout the state of Ohio. 


In November, OCECD put on the "9th Annual Partnering for Progress: Understanding and Promoting Social Skills and Positive Behavior for Children with Learning Challenges".  In attendance were 461 parents, special and regular education teachers, school administrators, medical/health staff and staff from other agencies.  This is an annual event, sponsored by OCECD and the Ohio Dept of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, which this year featured Rick Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed. Teachers say that they learned more from Rick Lavoie in one day than they had learned from any other professional development training they had ever attended in their whole career. 


Additionally, OCECD continues to increase their outreach to the Latino and Somali populations in Ohio.  They have three staff working with the Latino families in the state, as well as a staff member who works with Somali families in Central Ohio.


In addition to their PTI grant, OCECD also has funding from their state for several initiatives, including a SPDG contract, and funding for an on line lending library called State Parent Library Services. The Ohio Department of Education also funds OCECD to provide technical assistance to the Parent Mentors of Ohio, where they provide trainings and conferences for the parent mentors and their district representative.  ODE funds OCECD to conduct the annual Partnering for Progress and the annual Special Education Leadership conference for almost 2000 educators and administrators. Finally, OCECD also has funding from their state to work with parents of preschool children gathering information through meetings and on line surveys on the services that their children receive in order to improve service delivery.


When asked what about OCECD, Co-Director Lee Ann Derugen would like people to know, she responded, "We have a very dedicated, hard-working staff, which this work could never be done without all of them."


You can find out more about OCECD by visiting their recently re-designed website at




"Every year we sponsor the Very Special Arts Ohio awards to youth under 25 who showcase their talent. This gentleman had shoulder cancer and couldn't play sports anymore and was very devastated until he found his (hidden) talent for singing that he never knew he had and is now an opera singer!" - Lee Ann Derugen





                                 nonprofit management


Philanthropy Journal has examples of donation acknowledgment letters and what works best today. Check it out! 


BoardStar: On Being Board is a free podcast series of inspiring conversations with nonprofit leaders about matters of interest to nonprofit board directors. BoardStar is a nonprofit organization, located in Milwaukee, WI, with a mission to increase individual involvement in nonprofit board services and strengthen the capability of the boards of nonprofit organizations. These podcasts are short, and can be easily shared at a board meeting as board training. Two new podcasts are described below. Visit the BoardStar website for these and many other archived podcasts. 


Conflict of Interest 9:54 In this time of increasing calls for accountability and transparency in the nonprofit sector, more attention is being paid to issues of Conflict of Interest. Sometimes it's easy to tell when there is a conflict, but at other times there is a legitimate question about conflict. Justice Janine Geske, Marquette University Law School (also retired WI Supreme Court Justice), has a candid conversation about it.


Donor Relations 9:06 We all know that fundraising is one of the critical responsibilities of a Board. We also know that donor relations are one of the most important parts of fundraising. Jean Kenney Dole, Assistant VP of University Advancement at Marquette University, talks about how a Board can become involved in this important job.


Fall 2011 Nonprofit Fundraising Study The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) conducted an online in October 2011 about fundraising results from January through September 2011 compared with the same period in 2010and about plans for 2012. There were 875 respondents. The report was published in December 2011. Download a free copy of the report.This is good information to share with your Board.


GuideStar and Charting Impact GuideStar reports are Web pages displaying information on a single nonprofit organization. The amount of information available on these pages depends on each organization's participation level. The most active nonprofits provide information for their reports, upload documents, and post pictures and video - all for free.  Once you are registered on Guidestar, you can also use Charting Impact , a tool that encourages strategic thinking about your work and creates a concise, standardized report about your plans and progress that you can share with people looking to invest their money, time and attention. ( 11/23/11)


2012 Fundraising Calendar - Gail Perry offers a free month-by-month game plan for getting the most out of your fundraising efforts next year.


Accounting Procedures Manual Template - Has "Create an Accounting Procedures Manual" been on your To Do list for several months now? For several years? You aren't alone. We often stumble on this task for two, curiously contradictory reasons:

  • Creating an Accounting Procedures Manual seems like too huge a task to get started on.
  • An Accounting Procedures Manual is one of those things that takes a year to do.

So here's a template to download.This is a Word document and everything you need to fill is in red. So you can probably do a draft of the whole thing in 30 minutes.


*Deborah Cooper & Meredith Clark, CA Association of Nonprofits, & Steve Zimmerman, C.P.A., created the template. (Blue Avocado, 10/12/11 by Deborah Conner)








What in the Heck Does Copyright Have to do with us?

 By Courtney Salzer 


Did you know that non-profit organizations can copyright their original works? It's true! Nonprofits can copyright "Original works of authorship, fixed in some tangible medium of expression such as a writing or piece of music". Title 17, U.S. Code. Additionally, a nonprofit owns a copyright under any of the following circumstances: (1) An employee creates the copyrighted work in the scope of his/her employment; or (2) The nonprofit subcontracts for a work to be produced by a third party; or (3) A copyright owner assigns the work to the nonprofit. It is important to remember that if a nonprofit is using an employee to create the product - the corporation is the owner of the copyright, not the employee.  


As the copyright owner, you can control:

● whether the item can be copied;

● whether the item may be modified;

● Whether the item can be distributed and/or displayed.


Obtaining a copyright is incredibly easy. A copyright actually begins automatically by creating an expression. You can put others on notice that you own the copyright by adding to the original work the following phrase: 


                  Copyright (agency name), (year). All rights reserved.


You may also register the copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, but unless you are interested in having the right to sue for copyright infringement, this isn't necessary.


One final note on copyrights: There is a common misperception that nonprofits can copy and disseminate the copyrighted work of others as long as they are not benefitting financially from using it. This is NOT true. Even though nonprofits generally have a charitable purpose, they may NOT disregard copyright ownership of someone else's work.  


June 13-15, 2012
Conrad Indianapolis


Midwestern warmth resonates in the Conrad Indianapolis luxury hotel, the site of our 2012 Region 4 conference. The hotel features the Evan Todd Salon, Conrad Fitness, and unique wine and dining experiences, while the skybridge provides a gateway to Artsgarden and Circle Center Mall.


For information on all there is to do in Downtown Indianapolis, check out The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association website.


We will be having our first planning committee call with Parent Centers on January 25, 2012. If you have not already indicated interest in participating on the committee (just a few phone meetings) and would like to be included, please send an email and let us know!




PREZI - The Zooming Presentation Editor


Prezi allows you to place ideas and images onto an open canvas, resize and move these images around so you can show their relative importance. You can also group concepts together and then zoom out to show the big picture.


Presenting ideas in a visually engaging way will keep your audience awake! Images, videos, YouTube videos, pdf's, or other media can be inserted to make your prezi highly visual.


Prezi Meeting makes it easy to co-develop a presentation with team members in multiple locations. You can collaborate in real time, whether across the room or in different time zones.


And yes, there is an app for this! Visit the PREZI website



       Spanish Transition Guide         


 Life Journey Through Autism: A Guide for Transition to Adulthood 


 Spanish Translation Now Available!


By  Nelsinia Wroblewski



Are you looking for high quality materials about transition in Spanish? The "Life Journey through Autism: A Guide for transition to Adulthood" is an outstanding publication that provides critical information about transition planning for students with autism spectrum disorders. The booklet created in 2006 by the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) has been recently translated into Spanish. All of the information offered is specifically designed to provide parents, teachers, and other education professionals a meaningful start to the transition process. The guide is very appealing and it consists of 7 chapters that include legal background on IDEA, Section 504, ADA and relevant materials on post-secondary education, life skills and future planning. Moreover, the booklet also offers ideas on potential jobs and employment skills to develop specially in youth with ASD.


This 78-page booklet includes over 15 samples and easy-to-use templates of worksheets in Spanish.The worksheets and templates are appropriate to use with any type of disability. Some examples of those charts and/or tables may include: personal leadership plans, person centered-plan, self-advocacy plan, disclosing the disability, job ideas and accommodations and, keeping track of income and expenses, among many others. If you have not already done so, consider adding this resource to your list of materials for dissemination.


The publication in Spanish is available for free download on the OAR website.



nsttac logo 

Transition Team Leader Sustainability Toolkit

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) developed this Transition Team Leader Sustainability Toolkit to assist state and local transition planning team leaders in effectively building teams and implementing their yearly transition team plans. Many transition teams are faced with high rates of turnover, and often new team leaders must start over as documents and team history are lost. The Transition Team Leader Sustainability Toolkit is a collaborative effort to assist in sustaining team effort.


The Transition Team Leader Sustainability Toolkit Appendices provides downloadable documents that can be edited for the user's convenience. These documents include the following sections and respective items:


Section Two - Team Plan and Implementation Assessment;


Section Three - Self Assessment -- Transition Services, Self Assessment -- Professional Development Practices, Professional Development Needs Target Audiences, Professional Development Planning Form - 2008, Self Assessment -- Practices Transition Content;


Section Four - Calendar Template;


Section Five - List of Available Data Sources, List of Available Resources, List of Online Resources ;


Section Six - Local Agencies, Local Business , Others Who May Be Helpful to your Transition Planning Team;


Section Seven - Documentation of Professional Development, Transition Team Planning History, Transition Council History; and


Section Eight - Transition Team Plan Information; and


Section Ten - Taxonomy for Transition Planning.


For more information visit the nsttac website



                                                       important dates-desk calendar 


January 25

Region 4 Conference Planning Committee 10-11 am CST


February 17

OSEP SAP/ICC Webinar: Public Communication, 2-3 pm CST


June 13-15 

Region 4 PTAC Conference - Conrad Hotel, Indianapolis, IN 


July 11-13 

National PTAC Institute, Minneapolis, MN (attendance is optional)


July 30-August 2 

OSEP Leadership Conference, Washington, DC (attendance is mandatory)


September 19-21 

National PTAC Institute, Minneapolis, MN (attendance is optional)

OSEP SAP/ICC Webinar: Public Communication, 2-3 pm CST