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Estate Planning Guide Available

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he Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council has published a comprehensive guide to help families plan for the future of children and adults with disabilities. According to Brian Cox, the Council’s executive director, “Planning Now: A Futures and Estate Planning Guide for Parents of Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities" offers a wealth of pertinent information designed to educate and motivate parents, particularly those who may have put off planning for the future. Visit the Council’s website at www.md-council.org to download the guide. Copies are also available for $10.00 each by calling the Council at 410-333-3688.

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ARC MISSION STATEMENT TO ENSURE THAT PERSONS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION HAVE MAXIMUM OPPORTUNITIES FOR FULL PARTICIPATION IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY AND TO OFFER PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT ASSIST AND SUPPORT THEM IN BECOMING AND BEING TRUE MEMBERS

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Advocate BARC

BARC PRESENTS... An Important Informational Meeting for Parents and Guardians of Children and Adults with Mental Retardation and other Developmental Disabilities

SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING: WILLS, TRUSTS, AND LEGAL PLANNING TOOLS with Mindy Morrell, Esq.

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A PUBLICATION OF BARC, THE BALTIMORE ASSOCIATION FOR RETARDED CITIZENS

Ms. Morrell brings a strong background to her discussion of Special Needs Trusts and related matters like guardianship, public benefit programs, etc. She has served as managing attorney for the Maryland Disability Law Center and then as executive director of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. Ms. Morrell is now in private practice with the firm Churchill and Morrell, LLC, focusing on the special legal needs of individuals/families with disabilities.

May 23, 2001 / 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BARC Community Resource Center / 7215 York Road (1/2 mile south of Towson University) RSVP to 410-296-2272 or e-mail:barc@baltimorearc.org. Please call for directions or more information.

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James Wilson, lot man at THE ADVOCATE IS PUBLISHED BY BARC, THE BALTIMORE ASSOCIATION FOR RETARDED CITIZENS, INC. 7215 YORK ROAD / BALTIMORE, MD 21212-4499 / (410) 296-2272 / WWW.BALTIMOREARC.ORG WILLIAM H. OLIVER, PRESIDENT STEPHEN H. MORGAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Home Depot in Owings Mills since 1998, received a

LISA SINGER, EDITOR SATER COMMUNICATIONS & DESIGN, GRAPHIC DESIGN

Consumer Recognition Award from the Maryland Association of Community Service Providers for

The Advocate The Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens 7215 York Road Baltimore, MD 21212-4499

REPLY SERVICE REQUESTED

NON-PROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID BALTIMORE, MD PERMIT NO. 2511

CSLA Supports Consumers’ Choices

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ver since they graduated from the Maryland School for the Blind (MSB), longtime friends Cassie Dittmann and Amanda Valentine imagined what it would be like to have a home of their own. Thanks to BARC’s Community Supported Living Arrangements (CSLA) program, Cassie and Amanda found out. "We call it the fun house," says Cassie of their home in the Villa Cresta area of Baltimore County. The young ladies’ live-in compan-

OF THE COMMUNITY.

Persons with Developmental Disabilities (MACS). The award is just one of James’ recent accomplishments: he also got his license and bought his own car. See page 3 for exciting news about some other hardworking BARC consumers.

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BARC services are provided without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, medical condition or handicap.

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Moving Day Is An Adjustment For Parents, Too From left: Since sons John and Mark moved out, family time is extra special to Mary and George Mojzisek.

longer he lives there, the more comfortable he is. He really seems to enjoy his roommates now. They’re very nice guys." Having Mark live nearby has played a big role in helping the Mojziseks adjust to his new living situation. "Even though he was moving out of our house, we wanted Mark to continue to be a big part of our lives. His living nearby makes it possible for him to stay with us each weekend and for me to take him to his many activities," explains Mrs. Mojzisek. "His brother, John, lives half a mile away, and he’s there to supervise or be with Mark on weekends when we’re out of town." Weekdays, Mark attends the Gribbin Center, a vocational program offered by Gallagher Services. His mom takes him to work each day; he takes the van home in the evening. She also takes him to weekly Boy Scout meetings and to a drama

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easy one. ary Mojzisek says she "For me, the hardest part was wasn’t in a hurry for telling Mark that he wasn’t her son, Mark, to going to be livmove away from ▼ ing here anyhome. But when more. the Governor’s "Even though he was Fortunately, he’s Waiting List very flexible and Initiative was moving out of our adjusted to the announced, she house, we wanted idea that he was and her husband, going to have his George, decided Mark to continue to own house. the timing was "Meeting with right. be a big part of our his house coun"We were lives." selor, Damien afraid that if we Chukwu, was didn’t take —Mary Mojzisek, parent helpful. By the advantage of the time Mark opportunity, then moved, he considered Damien a the money wouldn’t be availfriend. That made the transition able when we were ready," easier on Mark and, as a result, she admits. easier on us. Two years passed before an "The same was true with appropriate living situation was Mark’s roommates. He didn’t found for Mark, 32. Although know them, so we got together the move last September a few times before the move. turned out to be the right deciMark was shy at first, but the sion, it wasn’t necessarily an

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Community Supported Living. Maryland was one of 14 states chosen to receive funds, and BARC was one of the first agencies to become licensed as a CSLA provider. Since the grant expired in 1994, funding has been provided through the Federal Medicaid waiver, State funding, or a combination of both. According to the Human Services Research Institute’s findings on "The Progress of Maryland’s CSLA Program," the vast majority of those who responded were very happy with the support they receive as well as with the people who support them. You can count Cassie and Amanda in that group. The ladies adore living with Margie, Jenny, and Josh. They’re looking forward to spending time on the beach in Ocean City this summer and—even more— to a Thanksgiving trip to Disney World, Amanda’s reward for having lost 50 pounds. Margie couldn’t be happier with the living arrangement, either. Since resigning from her job as volunteer coordinator at MSB to focus on Cassie and Amanda, she says she has never looked back. "I am completely committed to these ladies. As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t a job. I just feel like my family grew by two people."

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GOLFERS TEE OFF TO BENEFIT BARC On Friday, May 18, civic-minded golfers will take to the fairways at Rocky Point Golf Course for BARC’s 7th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament. The tournament is held in memory of A. Raymond Bevans, the father of three adult sons who have received supports from BARC. A well-known local attorney, Mr. Bevans also was an outstanding athlete, excelling in both baseball and golf despite having just one arm. Since 1995, the tournament has raised more than $75,000 for BARC programs and services, which help individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities participate as fully as possible in community life. Eagle sponsors for this year’s event are Clifton Gunderson LLP, Crown Central Petroleum, First Union, Provident Bank of Maryland, and Scientific Plant Service, Inc. Birdie sponsors include Advance Business Systems, Boyd’s Transportation, L.H. Cranston & Sons, Inc., Expressway Office Interiors, Metro Data Inc., and Waste Management of Maryland-Baltimore. Registration is $100 per golfer. Tee and green sponsorships, whereby a company can post a sign on a tee and/or green, are available for $100 each ($175 for both). For details, call Libby Bryant at 410-296-2272, ext. 5209, or e-mail her at lbryant@baltimorearc.org.

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Residential Staff Devoted To Consumers

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embers of BARC’s the organization named Lynette "Employee of the Year" for 2000. residential staff come to the It’s no wonder. Talk to Lynette for just a few minutes and her association via different gift for dealing with people quickly becomes clear. So, too, does paths and for a variety of her ability—as she puts it—"to advocate big time for my guys." reasons. One thing they Lynette recalls advocating for the right of one of the residents, who share in common, was terminally ill, to however, is a comdie at home. "It felt so mitment to enhancgood to know that he ing the indepenpassed the way he dence of conwanted to: at home, sumers. in familiar surroundLynette Shoates, ings," she says. a full-time residenAfter his death, tial counselor for Lynette helped the ten and a half other residents years, lives in a through the mourning ranch house in process. Being able to Parkville with three do so is just one of men she lovingly the reasons she finds refers to as "my the job so gratifying. guys." She is "Being there for responsible for runthe consumers is ning the household rewarding. They may and overseeing resinot always know how dents’ programs. to express their "I used to be a thanks, but you can nutritionist at the feel it. Kennedy Institute," "I remember how explains Lynette, one of the men want"but I wanted a ed to take his girlchange. I always friend on a date one loved people, so night. As much as he coming to BARC wanted to go, that’s Lynette Shoates took time out from her hectic schedule to pose for a glamour shot. seemed like the how much I wanted right choice." to stay home. I was Apparently, members of tired and didn’t feel like providing transportation, but I did it anythe Maryland Association of way. The three of us went to see a play at the Sights and Sound Community Service Theatre in Pennsylvania. To see Van clapping and enjoying himself Providers for Persons with was so wonderful, and it felt good to know I can be there for my Developmental Disabilities guys, even when I might not feel up to it." (MACS) agree. During its Lynette cites the "awesome support" she receives from BARC as annual conference in March, one of the keys to her success. "There is no me without BARC,"

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Not having Lynette insists. She gives back to the agency by providing “We know each other to do that peer training for new house counselors and, sometimes, myself frees co-residents. She guides them through the paperwork really well, and we’re me up to process, explains program details, and serves as their menthere for each other concentrate tor. In keeping with her generous nature, Lynette’s door is on working always open to them, even after training. through good times with them "I like working with people hands-on; I don’t do well in on their an office setting," she laughs. Happily, Lynette has found and bad times.” independent her niche at BARC. "Her guys," her supervisor, and associa—Chris Atkinson, BARC co-resident living skills." tion staff couldn’t be happier. Chris’s For Chris Atkinson, becoming a BARC co-resident was organizational skills have all about family. When he took the job, he had recently separated also proven handy in his job from his wife and needed a second income to help support his as a BARC landscape coordifive children. As a landscape supervisor with BARC, he was nator, where he’s responsialready familiar with the association, so he readily accepted a job ble for scheduling and qualas co-resident in an Owings Mills apartment for three consumers ity control for the departranging in age from 49 to 70 years old. ment’s ground maintenance "I was able to move into this situation and do the same thing operations. for these guys that I’d always done for my own family. Basically, Juggling two jobs and that just involved being responsible for people. caring for his two families "Pretty soon, they became like family to me. We know each would be enough to throw other really well, and we’re there for each other through good most people over the edge. times and bad times," Chris says. For Chris, it’s all in a day’s From the start, Chris’s family blended easily with his new famiwork. ly. "When I first started, my own kids were young. They’d spend a lot of nights and weekends here, and we’d do things together." These days, three of Chris’s kids are grown and out on their own. (His son, Aaron, works for BARC as a CSLA coordinator.) Not surprisingly, they earned money for college by working for BARC’s landscape program during summers. "Growing up along side of my housemates gave my kids a familiarity with people who have disabilities. They were able to take that familiarity and put it to good use," he notes. As one can imagine, managing two families and two jobs was, initially, pretty challenging. "Fortunately, I’m extremely well organized," claims Chris. "I realized early on that if I wanted a personal life and time for my own kids, I’d have to be. "BARC has a resource person who provides recreational Chris Atkinson (in back), at home with his opportunities for my residents. They do things like go to roommates (from left) Clark Hilton, Bernard car shows, dances, Blast games, and other events together. Kryst, and Keith Hornberger.

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and from Bible study classes, dances, theatre performances, ion, Margie DeLong, echoes bowling, Special Olympics Cassie’s sentiments. events, movies and—lately— "We enjoy everything we do, Mandy’s rehearsals for an MSB even if it’s just being at home, alumni opera. having a good When Cassie ▼ time and being and Amanda ‘giddy’," she began to considCurrently, the CSLA laughs. er buying a The truth is, house, they Program is making it Cassie and knew they would possible for 151 people Amanda are way need a full-time, too busy to live-in companto live in homes of spend much ion. Margie, who time just hanging had been their their own choosing. out. Both work houseparent at part-time at MSB, was their UniFirst Laundry; both are unanimous choice. As luck active volunteers. Cassie works would have it, Margie was lookone-to-one with a student ing for a place to live with her involved in MSB’s Magical adopted daughter, Jenny, and Experience Arts Company; Jenny’s 5-year-old son, Josh. A Mandy visits patients at the year ago, they all moved into a Manor Care nursing home and spacious, three-story house. lends a hand at the YMCA. BARC helped make it hapMargie describes the ladies’ pen. Marre Fanning, director of schedules as "hectic" and "filled BARC support services, says the with social engagements." She agency’s CSLA program is good-naturedly shuttles them to designed to support the resi-

dential choices of people like Cassie and Amanda. Currently, the program is making it possible for 151 people to live in homes of their own choosing. Community living options are based on the principles of self-determination and choice. With the help of BARC staff, consumers design living arrangements that complement their preferences. Some people chose to live alone in their own apartment; others choose to live with a roommate in an apartment or a house, or to live with family members. Consumers also choose the neighborhoods and communities in which they want to live. BARC staff members tailor support programs that uphold those choices. Support is available on a part-time, drop-in basis or around the clock, on a live-in basis. Consumers can choose to receive in-home training and assistance with life skills, transportation, medical appointments, recreational activities, cooking, banking, budgeting, From left: and shopping. Case Margie DeLong, management, respite care, nursCassie Dittman, ing, psychological and Amanda services, and information and referral Valentine are all services are also smiles anticipatavailable. BARC has been ing their trip to involved with CSLA Disney World. since 1992, through a Federal Demonstration Grant for

CSLA Supports continued from page 1

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program offered by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. On Saturdays, the Mojziseks are part of a carpool that transports consumers from the YMCA’s Discovery Program to a bowling league. "Being able to see Mark regularly makes me feel better. I like knowing he’s okay and that if there’s a problem, I’ll be aware of it," Mrs. Mojzisek admits. When problems do arise, Mrs. Mojzisek readily turns to Damien, with whom she says she feels very comfortable sharing concerns. For example, Mrs. Mojzisek recalls noticing that Mark was extremely tired when she’d pick him up to take him to work. She says Damien figured out that one of Mark’s roommates liked to wake up very early and that Mark would

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keep him company. Then, Damien devised a creative solution to the problem. "Mark doesn’t have much language, so Damien works hard at anticipating his needs, and that’s reassuring to me." Mrs. Mojzisek knows how difficult it can be for a parent of an adult child with disabilities to "let go" and says she wishes she had some words of wisdom to help parents through the process. "All I can say is that it’s very difficult, but it has to be done. For us, it was the right time for Mark to learn to live away from home. It’s something he’d have to learn anyway if something happened to us, and I feel more comfortable being able to watch him do it." And—by all accounts—succeeding.

KUDOS FOR JOBS WELL DONE The Sheraton International Hotel at BWI Airport is just one of many employers impressed with the work of BARC consumers and staff. Case in point: the following excerpt from a letter sent by Cindy Baucom, director of housekeeping at the Hotel: “Cleopatra Horne and her crew are a great asset to our organization. Ms. Horne works well with both our staff and guests. Each morning she is smiling, and she’s still smiling each afternoon. The [housekeeping] work performed by her team is very satisfactory. She not only supervises their work quality but on numerous occasions, I also find her helping them with their everyday skills, e.g., colors, counting, manners, etc. I am glad to have Ms. Horne as a part of our Sheraton Team.” Another hotel, The Holiday Inn in Timonium, recently presented John Byrd with its White Glove Award. The award—and a generous bonus—were presented at a luncheon held in John’s honor. We congratulate John for a job well done and thank his job coach, Ann Marie Angarita, for her excellent support.

Residential consumer Howard Purnell, (center) received an "Employee of the Year Award" at the Rosewood Center, where he works in the Central Services Building. Howard, who used to live at Rosewood, has been employed there since 1975. Shown with Howard at the presentation ceremony are (left) Michael Edukat, Rosewood Center’s director of facilities, and James Anzalone (right), deputy director of facilities.

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Advocate_Spring 2001  

the sprind advocte for 2001 is based on a staff member being devoted to costumers,a moving day is hard for parents and clients, special need...

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