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 March  2013

 Miss MontanaFirst Miss America Contestant with Autism
Alexis Wineman, (Miss Montana) made history this year by becoming the first Miss America contestant to have autism. In addition, she made it to semi-finals by winning the America's choice vote.  Learn more about her story and the national headlines she captured by going here.
Extra-Curricular Activities for Students with Disabilities
For many years, in many parts of the country students with disabilities have never been afforded the opportunity to participate in school-sponsored extra-curricular activities. Last month the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil and Legal Rights issued  guidance to school districts stating that students with disabilities must be afforded an opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as athletics.  Learn more here.
Lifespan Respite Caregiver Retreat
For many families, Respite is a critical service needed by parents and caregivers of individuals with disabilities who just need a break.  The Nebraska State Respite Network is one of the sponsors of the Caregiver Retreat that will be held April 26th and 27th at Mahoney State Park in Ashland, Nebraska.  This event is geared to both families and professionals.  Scholarships are available. Professionals can earn 7 CEU's.  For more information and to register, click on the brochure.
Accommodations for a Nebraska College Student
Individuals with disabilities who, want to attend college are, are afforded legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Higher Education Act, and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  So, when Disability Rights Nebraska, a Protection and Advocacy Organization, received a call from a college student who was being denied accommodations that he needed to hear and communicate, find out what happened by clicking here.
PTI Nebraska
Nina Baker from PTI-Nebraska is hosting an informational webinar on "Disability Supports in Post-Secondary Education" March 19th.  Meribeth Jackson from UNO's office for Disability Services will be the featured speaker. She will focus on the difference between high school and post-secondary education, common documentation requirements and commonly provided accommodations.  To register for this webinar go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTIWebinarRegistration
 ARC  Leadership and Service Awards Given
During their anGary Wiessnual Senatorial Dinner recently held on February 4th, The Arc of Nebraska awarded Assistant Legislative Ombudsman, Gary Weiss (featured at right) the Legislative Advocacy Award. This award recognizes individuals strongly involved in the legislative advocacy process who have assisted in communicating with legislators about the issues people with developmental disabilities and families face.  In addition, the Harold Sieck Award went to Senator Jeremy Nordquist (below) for his 2012 legislative work which restored cuts to the Medicaid program which many advocates believed would have adversely affected individuals with disabilities.  The Harold SieckSenator Nordquist Public Official of the Year recognizes statewide elected public officials, who have had a positive influence on the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families through public policy services.The Arc of Nebraska is an advocacy organization committed to working to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  Learn more about their organization by going to their website at http://www.arc-nebraska.org
         Mark Your Calendars

The Community Outreach and Family Support Program staff have several trainings available including:  


Family Leadership Training for the Early Development Network (EDN).

Learn more about the Nebraska's Early Intervention System and how families can become involved in leadership roles in the EDN. Funds are available to support time, travel and lodging of participants. For more information about the two upcoming trainings click on the flyer or the registration links below.

Disability Supports and Resources

On Saturday, April 27th LEND Family trainee, Kim Falk and MMI Community Outreach and Family Support Specialist, Sarah Swanson will be holding an informational session for families that are wanting to network with other families and also make certain that they are knowledgeable about services that are available to them.  The session will be held at MMI from 9:45-11:45 in room 3046.  To register, contact Sarah Swanson at 402-559-4573 or Kim Falk at 402-559-4951.

 For Help Navigating Systems and Information: 

 Contact our family support coordinators:


Mark Smith

402-559-5744 or



Sarah Swanson

Sarah Swanson

402-559-4573 or


The Munroe-Meyer Institute is a University Center of Excellence committed to unlocking the potential of children and adults with developmental disabilities and genetic disorders through exceptional patient care, education and research.  
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