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The Official Newsletter of

Winter 2012-2013

Walkabout Abilities Raises Awareness and Funds for Abilities Network



Team My Buddy came in 2nd Place for Top Teams in Fu ndraising.

The 6th Annual Walkabout Abilities event to benefit Abilities Network took place on Sunday, September 30, 2012, at Goucher College in Towson, MD. This year’s event raised over $50,000! Nearly 300 people came out to support Abilities Network by participating or volunteering, and over 300 individuals and businesses supported the event by making some type of donation. “Each year the Walkabout Abilities event draws supporters old and new, to raise funds and create awareness for Abilities Network’s mission: ‘to challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities,’” said Abilities Network’s CEO Lee Ann Kingham. The event raised over $33,000 in corporate sponsorships, including top sponsors Campbell and Company, M&T Bank, Richard J. Pricinsky and Assoc., Rosedale Federal Savings and Loan, and The Whiting Turner Contracting Company. See page 2 for a complete list of sponsors. Tracy Pruitt, Abilities Network Board Member and Chair of the 6th Annual Walkabout Abilities event, knows the event comes together thanks to the hard work of participants and volunteers. “Without participants who want to walk and raise funds for their team, and without volunteers who want to help on the committee, recruit corporate sponsors, and assist on that day, the event simply could not happen,” Pruitt said. Participants of all ages enjoyed refreshments, entertainment and activities, as well as special guest appearances from the mascots of the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Ravens. See page 2 for complete list of event vendors/donors.

Kick Off Party On Thursday, Sept. 20,the Walkabout Abilities Kick-Off Party was held at Portside Tavern in Canton. Sponsored by Gernon Muth & Assoc, the event raised $1,000 from ticket and raffle proceeds!

Top Teams

1. Team Pepsi Mid Atlantic 2. My Buddy 3. Addielicious

Top Individuals

1. 2. 3. 4.

Paul Trinkoff Dan Ramsey Mary Markakis Monica Whipps

Thanks to everyone who supported the 6th Annual Walkabout Abilities event! Article continued on page 2. Are you looking for further resources offered from Abilities Network? Visit our Web site at Keep current with all of the trainings, events, and resources that Abilities Network has to offer! “Like” us on Facebook • Follow us on Twitter

Providing quality services since 1964


Annual 6th

Thanks to for donat Cosi Bagels ing b all of the agels for walkers.

Mary Markakis accepts her prize for 3rd place in individual fundraising with Abilities Network’s Board President Mike Harris, Walk Chair Tracy Pruitt, and CEO Lee Ann Kingham.

Thanks to Jack FM Media Sponsor for bein of the ev g Emcee ent.

Thank You 2012 Corporate Sponsors Silver Sponsors $2,500+ • Campbell & Company • M&T Bank • Richard J. Pricinsky & Associates • Rosedale Federal Savings and Loan • The Whiting Turner Contracting Co. Bronze Sponsors $1,000+ • Canby Motors • DS Pipe and Steel • First Call Office Products • Giant Foods • Gorfine & Schiller • Havtech • Johns Hopkins Medicine • McDonough Mechanical Services • Miles & Stockbridge Foundation • Next Day Medical, LLC • The Trexler Foundation • TMDG, LLC. • Trinkoff Family Friend Sponsors $500+ • Bruce Grau & Associates • Dunn Family • Hohman Family, LLC • IWIF • Maryland Glass & Mirror Co. • P. Flanagan & Sons • Payroll Network • Pepsi Beverages Co. • Peregrin Services Corp. • Playkeepers • St. John Properties • Susquehanna Bank.


Winter 2012-2013

Print Sponsor • Miller’s Minuteman Press Media Sponsors • 102.7 Jack FM • CITYpeek • Comcast • Corridor, Inc. • Downtown Diane • Jewish Times • Modern Babies & Children • My City 4 Her Media • Style Magazine • Wedding 411 • Yelp Refreshments Provided By: • Blakehurst • Cosi • Sysco Foods • Maxine Seidman • Mars Supermarkets • The Coleman Family/ Baskin Robbins • Pepsi Beverages Company.

Special Thanks To: • Phi Mu at Towson University • Pepsi Beverages Company • The Student Chapter of the National Art Education Assoc. at Towson University • Thomas Messenger • All of our volunteers! 2012 Walkabout Abilities Committee • Tracy Pruitt – Chair • Leete Garten • Andrew Hahn • Trish Kane • Janna Krizman • Maxine Seidman • Paul Trinkoff • Sam Coleman • Trent Stroup

Tote Bags Sponsored By: • IWIF Photo Credits: • Paul Friedlander • Khristina Hucik

Top Team in Fundraising, Team Pepsi Mid Atlantic, poses with Poe for a picture.

For more information on how you can get involved with the 7th Annual Walkabout Abilities event in 2013, please call Abilities Network’s Development Office at 410-828-7700x1229 or e-mail News

Project ACT’s Early Childhood Conference A Success! Over 100 people attended Abilities Network’s Project ACT program’s 3rd Annual Early Childhood Conference, Are You Talking to Me?, which was held on Saturday, Sept. 29. Special thanks to Terrie Spurrier and the ARC Baltimore’s Seton Business Park for providing the location for the conference. Also, Project ACT would like to thank all of our advisory board members, Abilities Network staff and all of our wonderful presenters who delivered resourceful information to all of our participants.

Building Communication Bridges: Parent to Teacher Healthy communication is found in respectful supportive relationships. So, how can parent build a sturdy communication bridge or relationship with their child’s teacher? Project ACT has a few ideas… 1. Respect time. Ask the teacher when he or she is available to discuss your child. This is different for every teacher. Many teachers use e-mail as a form of communication with parents/guardians. 2. Note your thought. Write a short note (hand written or e-mail) about your thoughts or concerns and ask the teacher to respond with their ideas or suggestions. 3. Patience. Due to teacher schedules and daily requirements, it may be difficult to respond immediately. It may be helpful to learn what the teacher’s practice is for communicating with parents (such as receiving a response within 24 to 48 hours). Many teachers are responsive to parent questions, it may take a little time. 4. Preparation. If you are meeting with the teacher in person, then be prepared. It may be helpful to write down your questions or thoughts, as it is easy to become distracted with other topics. Let the teacher know what resources or strategies you may be using that are successful at home or those that were not very useful. It is also valuable to discuss your child’s strengths and weaknesses as a team. Keep in mind that the school environment is different that the one at home; therefore, your child’s responses may also be different. 5. Data. If you have previous information or data that is relevant to your child, then share that with their teacher. Examples: Report Cards, IEP/IFSP, previous groupings, prior teacher concerns or outside assessments. 6. Thank you and follow up. As with any supportive relationship, it is valuable to share appreciation for an individual’s time and support. Say “Thank you.” Additionally, follow up with the teacher to let him or her know your perspective of your child’s progress and inquire about successes or challenges at school. Open communication in an ongoing activity and leads to building strong partnerships between parents and teachers. To learn more about Abilities Network’s Project ACT program, call 410-828-7700 or e-mailsince Providing quality services 1964

Disability Employment Awareness In October, Abilities Network promoted National Employment Disability Awareness Month by spreading awareness about hiring individuals with disabilities. Why should you hire a person with a disability? One of the services provided through Abilities Network Community and Employment Partners are Employment Services. Staff support individuals with a disability in locating competitive employment by creating matches between the unique skills, needs, interest of the job candidate, and the identified community business needs. However, you may be wondering, “what are the benefits for me when it comes to hiring a person with a disability?” They include: • Fill Business Needs: The individual will fill a specific need for your business with their unique skills and abilities. • Lower Costs – There is a reduction turnover, lower absenteeism, better than average safety records, Maryland disability employment tax credit. • Enhanced Corporate Image – Recognition leader in the forefront of awareness of individuals with disabilities.

se Manager, Jeff Henry,asCa a ividual on ind an works with just one is is Th . me su his re finding e th in s of the step that s employment proces yment plo Em d an Community th. wi Partners assists

• Increased Productivity and Service – An inclusive work environment boosts morale among staff, which in turn increases the quality of the service of product. A partnership with Abilities Network Employment Services can be very beneficial to your company. We provide on-the-job support and coaching, monitor the progress of the individual that is employed, and address any needs that may arise during their employment. All of these reasons and more are why employing people with disabilities is important.

For more information on this program, and hiring a person with a disability, contact Joe Hughes, Employment Services Director, at 410-828-7700x1209 or e-mail


NOVEMBER — National Epilepsy Awareness Month Approximately 1 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy at some point in his/her lifetime. November is National Epilepsy Awareness month, and Abilities Network/Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region (EFCR) is spreading the awareness about epilepsy.

How can Abilities Network/EFCR help? Abilities Network/EFCR’s Epilepsy Services program assists individuals and their families through:

What is Epilepsy? Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by two or more unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy sometimes is also referred to as a seizure disorder. A seizure is a temporary change in a person’s movements, sensations, or consciousness caused by an abnormal electrical discharge of the nerve cells in the brain. A seizure can take many forms depending on where in the brain it starts and where it spreads.

• Financial assistance programs • Support groups • School advocacy • Finding community based resources • Scholarship opportunities • Educational services

? Did You Know?

For more information on epilepsy and/or Abilities Network/EFCR’s Epilepsy Services program, visit our Web site at or call 410-828-7700.

• More than 2 million Americans have epilepsy • 150,000 annual new cases in the U.S.

• 1 in 10 people have had a seizure • 65 million people have epilepsy worldwide

Kids on the Block A program geared for students grades 3-5 to understand and accept those individuals with disabilities. This education puppet presentation teaches the student understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. The star puppet, Brian McDaniel, is a 12-year-old boy who has epilepsy. Scripts with lively dialogue and situations involving Brian and his other puppet friends explain epilepsy and proper seizure first aid. Interested in having Kids on the Block come to your school? Call 410-828-7700 or e-mail

ilepsy Mary Wontrop, ep nator, di or co education , program on ps om Th and Anisha a Kids director, present show et on the Block pupp at s er to 3rd grad Scho ol nville Elementary so ck Ja

Some information in this article taken from the National Epilepsy Foundation’s Web site at


Winter 2012-2013


Autism Services News Abilities Network is excited to announce two new autism programs that enable children with autism to function as meaningfully and independently as possible in their homes and communities. • Autism Inclusion Project – Abilities Network Project ACT recently announced the launch of the Autism Inclusion Project which supports children (birth to age 12) who are being evaluated for, or have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and who are attending child care or out of school-time programs in Baltimore County or Baltimore City. Children may be referred for FREE supportive services by their child care program, parent, or guardian. With parent permission, our Inclusion Specialists will design individual support plans and work with program staff to help support and fully include children with an autism diagnosis in their child care setting. For more information, or to make a referral, about the Autism Inclusion project, call 410-828-7700 ext. 1274 or e-mail • After School Therapeutic Integration – Designed to meet the recreational and social needs of children who receive autism waiver services, after school care, in Frederick County, will be provided to students 5 to 16 years of age with opportunities to develop social skills in a group setting with their developing peers. For more information about After School Therapeutic Integration, call 410-828-7700 ext. 1292 or e-mail

For more information about all of Abilities Network’s Autism Services, visit our Web site at or call 410-828-7700.

Providing quality services since 1964

Healthy Families Encourages Tummy Time Tummy Time is an activity that Abilities Network’s Healthy Families programs uses with new parents and their babies. This is one of the many activities that Healthy Families uses with new mothers and fathers to develop supportive, enriching parenting practices that help their children and families grow to realize their fullest potential. Why Do This Activity • To encourage upper body muscle development • To prepare babies for rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking How to Do This Activity 1. Put your baby on his/her tummy on the floor using a blanket or mat. 2. Lay in front of him or her, face to face. 3. Call your baby’s name until he/she moves his/her head moves her head to look at you. 4. Next, sing your baby’s favorite song or shake a rattle until he/she moves his/her head to look. 5. Say something such as: “You are working so hard to make your neck strong, aren’t you?” “You are so strong!” 6. Continue to play with your baby for 5-10 minutes, noticing what she is doing to communicate with you. For more information about Abilities Network’s Healthy Families program, call 410-828-7700x1257 or e-mail Taken from: Growing Great Kids (trademarked symbol) Written by: Linda K. Elliot, ACSW & Kathryn Flanagan, MSW

Congratulations to our Recent Graduates! Healthy Families Baltimore County recently celebrated those families who have successfully graduated from the program! Healthy Families works with new mothers and families to develop supportive and enriching parenting practices that help their children and families reach their fullest potential. Services are provided through age 5. Congratulations on your achievement!

Abilities N Staff Meetwork mber Denise pictured Retkowski, wit graduatin h a recent g family.


Support Abilities Network’s Annual Fund Support Abilities Network’s mission: “to challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities.” Please consider Abilities Network when making your year-end contributions. Donations to Abilities Network support our quality services and programs in communities. Your donation to Abilities Network is 100% tax-deductible. Here is how you can contribute: • Send a check made payable to Abilities Network in the enclosed envelope. • Donate online at • Donate over the phone by calling 410-828-7700. Interested in getting involved? Call our Development Office at 410-828-7700x1229 to learn about volunteer and fundraising opportunities that you can get involved with in support of Abilities Network.

Thank you for your support this year and have a safe, healthy holiday season!

Grants News Abilities Network would like to highlight and acknowledge several grants that have recently been awarded in support of enhancing the lives of the individuals and families we serve. • The Allegis Group, Inc. awarded a $10,000 grant to Healthy Families Baltimore County through the Maryland tax Credit Program. • The Epilepsy Foundation of America (EFA) awarded a $5,000 grant to the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region (EFCR) for Community Forums for Parent/Family Networks of Children and Youth Living with Epilepsy. This funding allows EFCR to host a series of community forums on epilepsy throughout the state. • Baltimore County awarded a $23,750.00 grant to Abilities Network’s Project ACT program to fund the Positive Solutions for Families program. • Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)’s Division of Early Childhood Health granted Abilities Network’s Project ACT program a $141,000 continuation grant to provide Early Mental Health Consultation for Children Birth – Five. • MSDE granted Abilities Network’s Project ACT program with a $75,000 grant to fund the Special Needs Training and Technical Assistance for Caregivers services.


Winter 2012-2013

2012 Epilepsy Medical Symposium The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region (EFCR) held their biennial medical symposium titled “An Update on Brain Injury and Epilepsy” on Friday, Oct. 19. We would like to acknowledge the following companies and organizations for their contributions to help make this event a success: • UCB, Inc. • Cyberonics, Inc. • VA Health Care • The Epilepsy Center of Excellence-Northeast • Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council • Allergan, Inc. • Cadwell Laboratories, Inc. • Kennedy Krieger Institute • Lundbeck, Inc. • Natus Medical, Inc. • The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute.

Thank You!


Charles County 3825 Leonardtown Road, Suite 4 Waldorf, Maryland 20601 Phone: 301.396.3955 Toll Free: 866.323.7615 Fax: 301.396.4166

Who We Are To promote more inclusive communities, these services are provided through six main programs: Autism Services – Autism Services enables children with autism to function as meaningfully and independently as possible in their homes and community, while providing their families with the strategies and resources necessary to assist their children in reaching their maximum potential. Autism Services provides family training, transition planning into adult services, and after school therapeutic integration programming. Community & Employment Partners The Community and Employment Partner’s program is designed to support adults with disabilities to live and work as independently as possible in their communities. Community and Employment Partners supports individuals interested in living independently to gain the life skills essential for finding and maintaining a job that fits their individual needs and skills, maintaining a home, budget, health, and happiness. Epilepsy Services – The Epilepsy Services program serves individuals, families, and the greater community with epilepsy education, information and referral services, assistance with medical issues, advocacy, support groups, and scholarship support.

Eastern Shore P.O. Box 1692 Berlin, Maryland 21811 Phone/Fax: 410.641.8605

Healthy Families – Healthy Families Baltimore County offers in-home support to expectant families and new parents. Services are designed to assist families with developing supportive, enriching parenting practices that will help children grow to realize their fullest potential.

Garrett & Allegany Counties 317 Beall Street Cumberland, Maryland 21502 Phone: 301.777.2895 Toll Free: 866.513.5757 Fax: 301.777.2897

Project ACT – Project ACT means All Children Together. The goal of Project ACT is to make it possible for families, child care professionals, and other education and service agencies, to collaborate in successfully including children of all abilities in community settings.

Harford County 401 Market Street, Suite 100 Aberdeen, Maryland 21001 Phone: 410.272.3712 Toll Free: 866.454.9677 Fax: 410.272.3892 PG/Montgomery County 1738 Elton Road, Suite 205 Silver Spring, Maryland 20903 Phone: 301.431.7740 Toll Free: 800.808.1682 Fax: 301.431.7742

Senior Services – The Senior Services program provides a variety of supports to individuals in the community. The Senior Services program offers a Speaker Series which includes a range of educational topics related to the health and well being of seniors. In addition, our Move Management Services is a fee-based program which assists seniors as they navigate their way into and through retirement living options and choices, from identifying a community that meets their needs, to completely organizing, packing, and resettling into their new home.

Southern Maryland 132 Holiday Court, Suite 211 Annapolis, Maryland 21401 Phone: 410.266.7941 Toll Free: 800.966.7940 Fax: 410.841.2476 Western Maryland 5104 Pegasus Court, Suite E Frederick, Maryland 21704 Phone: 301.695.9505 Toll Free: 800.394.9504 Fax: 301.695.3340 Maryland Relay 711 in Maryland (TTY/ Voice) 1.800.735.2258 from anywhere (TTY/ Voice)

Our Mission To challenge the community to acknowledge the value and equality of people of all abilities.

2012-2013 Board of Directors President Michael S. Harris

Past President Matthew T. Murnane

Vice President Kim West

At Large Mark V. Dyer

Secretary Paul Trinkoff

Jennifer Hopp, MD Chair, MD. PAB

Treasurer Tracy L. Pruitt

Sam Coleman Mona Criswell Leete A. Garten Andrew Hahn Trish Kane

Professional Advisory Board Chair Jennifer Hopp, M.D.

Providing quality services since 1964

William Kessler Eric H.W. Kossoff, MD Michael W. Lochte, CPA Chris McBride Ryan M. McConnell Clement K. Miller, CFA Paul F. Obrecht, III David R. Paulson Diane Peters Dan Ramsey Maxine Seidman Trent Stroup Ramsay M. Whitworth

Administrative Team Lee Ann Kingham, MBA, LCSW Chief Executive Officer

Kathy Naviasky, M.S. Director of Program Administration

Sonya Bajwa, CPA Director of Finance

Joan Rumenap, MBA Director of Special Projects

Lauren Dunn Director of Development Lyn Elliott Director of Human Resources

Betsy Weaving Director of Program Services


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit #5954 Baltimore, MD

8503 LaSalle Road Towson, Maryland 21286 Return Service Requested Phone: 410.828.7700 Toll Free: 1.800.492.2523 Fax: 410.828.7708

Support Abilities Network’s Annual Fund See page 6

Senior Services

Move Management Services

Abilities Network’s Move Management Services provides personalized relocation services to support your transition into a new home by planning, de-cluttering, coordinating, and re-settling your items into your new space.

What People Are Saying! “Thank you for being tremendously nice, efficient, capable, thoughtful, and all around fantastic!” – Pat P., Parkville, MD “Thank you for all that Abilities Network did to make my move into my new home the most enjoyable move I have ever had. I have moved many times in my 75 years, but none [were as] smooth and easy as this one.” – Laverne B., Ellicott City, MD “My mother is extremely happy with her new place: it is bright, cheerful, and it looks like she has been there for 3 months! I applaud all who assisted in the process.” – Gail G., Pikesville, MD

Would you like to be on our e-mail list?

Heather M Managemen urphy, director of Move t Servi Mrs. P, a ces, pictured with recent clie nt.

For more information and/or your FREE in-home consultation, please call 410-828-7700 ext.1271 or e-mail

We are currently sending out legislative alerts, event updates, services information, and other informational updates through e-mail! If you would like to be on our e-mail list, please send your e-mail address to

Network News Fall/Winter 2012 Edition  

Abilities Network's newsletter for fall/winter 2012

Network News Fall/Winter 2012 Edition  

Abilities Network's newsletter for fall/winter 2012