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Getting My Own Address news - February 2015
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Community Events


Friendship Club  

Autism Social 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

7-11 p.m.

St. Anastasia Activity Center 4571 John R Road 
Troy, Michigan 48085     


The Friendship Club Autism Social takes place almost every month. It is an opportunity for teens and young adults within the autism spectrum, including individuals with Asperger syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorders, to get together and have fun!


All types of activities including: DJ, video games, ping pong, basketball, floor hockey and board games.

The Friendship Club is run by volunteers. Parents and siblings are welcome. Siblings should be 12 years or older, please, as this event is geared for teens/young adults.


 autismsocial2@gmail.com    with questions. 


FAR's Fantastic  

Friday Night Parties


Catch the perfect combination of friends, food and fun at the Friday Night Parties! Monthly themed events include games, crafts, dancing, food and more.


 February 20, 2015 Snowball/Valentine


March 20, 2015



April 17, 2015



May 15, 2015

Talent show


June 19, 2015



All events are  

6:30-9 p.m.


Age 13 years and older


Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. If you would like to receive email invitations preceding each party, contact Sara Renke by email at srenke@FAR-therapy.org.


The cost of the parties is $10 and can be paid at the door.



New location:  

Knox Auditorium  

First Presbyterian Church

1669 W. Maple Road Birmingham, MI 



Avondale Activity Night


Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

7- 9:30 p.m.

This event is for people with any disability who are 18 - 40 years old. No need to RSVP, but if you have questions call 248-537-6440. You do not need to be an Avondale resident to attend.


If your last name begins with A - L please bring a snack to share (no peanut products please.) If your last name begins with M - Z please bring a 2-liter bottle of pop to share. No need to RSVP.  For questions call Annette McAvoy 248-537-6440.




After Hours Adult Social

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

6-9 p.m.


Lower Level of the Oakland Center (OU Campus) Lounge next to Bumpers Game Room.


This is a support group for those 18 years and over with Asperger's, HFA or PDD/NOS. Come join us for pizza, conversation, cards, billiards, and fun! We will meet on the lower level of the Oakland Center near the game room.


There is no cost to attend this group, however donations are welcome and appreciated. We have a donation box at the meeting.



Down Syndrome Guild of SE Michigan Club 21

Open Gym and Dance

Saturday, February 21, 2015



Cross of Christ Lutheran Church

1100 Lone Pine Road

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302


Open gym - arts & crafts, games, basketball, all the fun stuff and DJ David DeWitt Taylor.


We will divide the gym between younger than 12 years and older than 12 years.  Team GUTS GroundUpTraining.com will be here. We will also have a special art project facilitated by art therapists.


Bring your favorite chili recipe and we will have the first DSG competition. You must RSVP for this event. Siblings are welcome. Everyone is invited. Call 248-556-5341 or  info@dsgsemi.org 


$5 per person 12 and older. younger than 12, $3, and babies through age 2
get in free.  



Rochester PAC:  

Sensory Processing Treatment for Individuals with Challenging Behaviors with Marty Zonca Farrand

Thursday, February 19, 2015

7-8:30 p.m.

Rochester Community Schools  

Administration Building

501 W. University

Rochester, MI


Information about how three primary sensations (touch, proprioception and vestibular) can be used to calm and organize the nervous system leading to improved behavior and increased skill development. Examples of "sensory diets" will be provided and discussed. Participants will leave with practical tips and tools for how to incorporate sensory techniques to improve challenging behaviors.


This event is free of charge.


For more information see Rochester PAC.





Check out our new logo! The updated GMOA Overview presentation is now available. (More information is below.)  Please contact Linda Ronan Brown at Lbrown@chninc.net or 248-269-1346 to schedule a presentation or for other information on the GMOA program.
ABLE Act signed into law - What does that mean for you? 


In December 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama. It is now one step closer to becoming an available planning option for individuals with disabilities and their families. For the first time in public policy, there is recognition there are significant costs and expenses to living with a disability that are not being met by public benefit programs.


The ABLE Act amends the federal tax code to allow tax-free savings accounts, similar to Section 529 college savings accounts, to help pay disability-related expenses incurred for the benefit of an individual. "Qualified disability expenses" under ABLE include education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, health care, financial management, legal, and administrative services.


Each state will choose to create and operate an ABLE program, or to contract with another state and use their ABLE program. The Department of Treasury regulations, to be developed in 2015, will guide the states in detailing the information required to open an ABLE account, the documentation necessary to meet ABLE's disability eligibility requirements, and defining allowed disability expenses.


No ABLE accounts can be established until the regulations are finalized following public comment on the proposed rules for program implementation and ABLE programs are established in states.  


Under current law, recipients of public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, can lose these benefits if their savings exceed $2,000. Under ABLE, the $2,000 cap is eliminated for funds in an ABLE account. SSI will not be affected until ABLE account savings exceed $100,000 and SSI would be suspended, not terminated, while the cap is exceeded. Medicaid will not be affected where funds in an ABLE account exceed $2,000 or $100,000.


Note: The current asset limits under SSI and Medicaid remain in affect for savings and assets that are not in an ABLE account or a valid special needs trust.


An ABLE account may have a balance up to $100,000 without affecting public benefits, but a maximum of $14,000 total/year (this amount will be adjusted annually for inflation) may be deposited from all sources (i.e. individual with disability, family, friends). Any funds left in an ABLE account after the account holder's death, regardless of who deposited the funds, would go back to "pay back" the state's Medicaid program to the extent Medicaid benefits were used by the account holder over their lifetime.


To be automatically eligible to open an ABLE account, an individual's disability must have occurred before age 26 (they can be currently younger than or older than age 26), and they must be receiving SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If the disability occurred before age 26, but SSI or SSDI are not being received, the person would still be eligible if they meet SSI criteria regarding significant functional limitations. The new Treasury regulations will further explain what will be needed to be eligible.


While ABLE accounts will offer more choice and control for the account holder, special needs trusts, both individual and pooled, will still have significant benefits for many individuals with disabilities. Determining which option is appropriate will depend on individual situations, but many families may find that an ABLE account is a helpful option, in addition to, and not instead of, a special needs trust.


New subscription list for GMOA Support Group Notices


In an effort to provide support group notices only to those individuals who specifically want them, and to avoid sending them to people on our email list who are outside the area served by the current support group, we have established two separate subscription groups. 


Current subscribers to the GMOA e-newsletter who do not want to receive GMOA support group notices do not need to do anything.


If you receive the GMOA e-newsletter and want to continue to receive notice of GMOA support group meeting dates and topics, please sign up for the GMOA support group notices here.
Housing vacancies


Oakland County

Community Housing Network has  vacancies in scattered-site, residential homes in Oakland County for single adult individuals with a qualifying disability who meet HUD income guidelines.


Macomb County

Community Housing Network also has vacancies in scattered-site, residential homes in Macomb County for single adult individuals with a qualifying disability who meet HUD income guidelines.


If you are interested in more information, please contact Karla Chambers at 248-269-1321 or kchambers@chninc.net

Getting My Own Address Support Group 

Upcoming GMOA Support Group topics

The Getting My Own Address support group meets the third Tuesday of each month, 6-8 p.m. at

Community Housing Network, 570 Kirts Blvd.,
Suite 231, Troy, MI 48084.



On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, Chuck Bratton, Community Housing Network Housing Resource manager, will discuss how to find affordable housing including apartments, subsidized apartments and obtaining a housing choice voucher (popularly know as Section 8). Renting is a great way to live interdependently in the community of your choice!  



Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - to be determined.    



Getting My Own Address Overview: Achieving housing for people with disabilities                                        

If you haven't attended a Getting My Own Address overview presentation, or if you attended one a year or more ago, plan to take advantage of the opportunity to view the updated presentation offered on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 during the regularly scheduled GMOA Support Group meeting. Linda Ronan Brown, Community Housing Network Housing consultant, will introduce the long-term housing planning process including new information on Michigan housing models, creating new housing models, and ABLE accounts. Give yourself a head start on creating and implementing a successful long-term housing plan!


Please plan to attend this free presentation that is open to individuals, parents, and professionals.

RSVP toLbrown@chninc.net  by April 20, 2015.


If you have any questions please contact Linda Ronan Brown at 248-269-1346 orLbrown@chninc.net 

Online transition resources


The following resources were developed in Oakland County, but contain good general information about the transition to adulthood - educational rights, public benefits, checklists for turning 18, etc.


Transition Planning: A Roadmap to Your Future provides definitions, things to consider and resources.


Transition Resource Navigator provides links to community agencies, organizations, and resources to assist with planning for transition from school to adult life. 

  With support from:

Community Housing Network | Lbrown@chninc.net | 248-928-0111  | http://www.communityhousingnetwork.org
570 Kirts Boulevard, Suite 231
Troy, MI 48084