Friday, July 22, 2016

Life With Brain Injury Statewide Conference, July 22, 2016

Guess what time of year it is! It's time to register for our annual 
Life with Brain Injury Conference!

Please join us for the 2016 SC Statewide Life with Brain Injury Conference, hosted by the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina and South Carolina Brain Injury Leadership Council. You can register by going to our website and clicking on the conference picture on the homepage, or by going straight to the event website. You can also sign up or renew your BIASC membership on the site along with your conference registration. If you have any questions about the registration, please call us at (803)731-9823 or email us at

We are excited to offer a wide variety of sessions throughout the day. There truly will be something there for everyone! 

Topics Include:
-Why Medical Providers Need Not Be Afraid of Brain Injured Patients' Lawyers
-Low-Cost Assistive and Adaptive Technology for Everyday Use: What Professionals Need to Know
-Low-Cost Assistive and Adaptive Technology for Everyday Use: What Consumers Need to Know
-SSDI and SSI: What are the differences?
-Healing Powers of Yoga and Mindfulness
-The Invisible Disability (A Survivor's Story)
-The Family Systems After Brain Injury
-Brain Injury 101
-Music Therapy
-Nutrition for Brain Health
-Laughter Yoga
-Acting On Impulse

Thursday, June 02, 2016

PRO-Parents Workshops


PRO-Parents Workshops*                               

6/09/2016--9:00 am-12:00 pm--Orangeburg County DDSN Board--Transition In and IEP

6/14/2016--10:00 am-12:00 pm--Oconee County DDSN Board--Individual Healthcare Plan

6/16/2016--9:00 am-12:00 pm--Florence County DDSN Board--Transition Out and IEP

6/20/2016-- 12:00 pm-3:00 pm--Charleston County DDSN Board--Transition In and IEP

6/30/2016--10:00 am-1:00 pm--Dillon County DDSN Board--Transition Out and IEP

More workshops will be coming to Greenville, Cherokee and Fairfield soon!! Check our website for dates and times. 

* These workshops are free and are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  To learn more about PRO-Parents workshops and/or to register, go to call 1-800-759-4776 or 803-772-5688.


Friday, May 27, 2016

P&A and the South Carolina DisAbility Voting Coalition release a set of three new voting rights videos

These new voting rights videos are from SC Protection and Advocacy and The South Carolina DisAbility Voting Coalition.

Each video addresses a different voting topic to include how to register to vote, the different ways a person with a disability can vote, and accessibility challenges that may exist at polling places.

Free Assistive Technology Webinars

This is from the AT Coalition

Free Webinars - Post-Secondary, Adults & General

The Latest and Greatest in AT from Ability Tools
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Twitter Chat: Social Media and eRecruiting from Peatworks
Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern (30 min.)

Words of wisdom and helpful hints for those who are new to the field, from those who have worked with postsecondary students with disabilities from EASI
Thursday June 9, 2016 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

E-Learning Accessibility: What Does An Instructor Need to Know? from EASI
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

Social Media & Job Recruiting–Leveling the “Playing Fields” also from Peatworks
June 16, 2016 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern (30 min.)

The challenge of accessible publishing from EASI
Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern

AT for Vision and Hearing from Ability Tools
Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Talent Matters: Leveraging Disability-Inclusive Outreach and Recruitment Strategies from EARN
Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern (90 min.)

Free Webinars -  K-12 Educators & Parents

Build the Brain When it Counts: Cultivate Cognitive and Executive Function Skills from AbleNet
Thursday, June 7, 2016, 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern (45 min.)

MindMap Software- Note-taking, Reading, Writing and More from AbiltyTools
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern

Thursday, May 12, 2016

EdCeptional Kids at EdVenture

EdCeptional Kids at EdVenture

Be sure to visit the SC Assistive Technology Program’s exhibit during your Open House visit.

Open Houses

Dates: May 15 and Augusta 28, 2016
Time: 5:00-7:00 PM
Location: EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
EdVenture will open its doors for extended hours, free of charge to families of children with disabilities. Representatives of organizations who provide services to children with disabilities will be present to answer parents’ questions about available community resources.

Sensory Sundays

Date: Every Sunday
Time: 11:00-12:00 PM
Location: EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201
This is an exclusive time for families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs to visit the museum. This time will allow children to enjoy the museum in a calmer and more comfortable environment without all the extra stimuli. During the hour on Sensory Sundays, there will be a less crowded environment, light and sound reduction, designated quiet rooms, assistive devices and enhanced signage.

More information:

How to Use Speech Recognition for Writing

This is from Don Johnston

How to Use Speech Recognition for Writing

Friday, May 20, 2016

1:00pm - 2:00pm Eastern


Daniel Cochrane, AT specialist/coordinator for Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton and Warrenville, IL.
Kelly Key, AT Coordinator, Barrington Community School District 220 in Barrington, IL.

Speech Recognition—it's now accessible in a variety of devices and apps including Co:Writer. But, how do we leverage it with students? In this webinar you'll learn how to consider, try, assess, and implement speech recognition. You'll also learn how to assess effectiveness.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Assistive Technology for People who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf

This week is Deaf Awareness Week.

People with hearing loss often benefit from an assistant listening device. The SC Assistive Technology Program provides one-month loans of assistive listening devices and two-week loans for iPads with apps. For more information go to: .

Personal Sound Amplification Products
-The user wears headphones or ear buds connected to a small receiver with built-in microphone. The receiver boosts the level of sound in the environment for the listener. There are versions of this that amplify the television

FM Systems
-A frequency modulated (FM) system can be used by an individual or a classroom or other large area. The speaker wears a transmitter with built-in microphone and the user wears a receiver with headphones. The receiver boosts the level of the speaker’s voice for the listener.

Check out these apps for people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf:

Transcribes telephone calls in real time.

Uses the device’s microphone and amplifies surrounding sounds.

Uses the device’s microphone and amplifies surrounding sounds.

Uses the device’s microphone and amplifies surrounding sounds.

A sign language keyboard.

Translates sentences up to five words in length into American Sign Language.

Voice recognition software that presents the spoken word as a text or e-mail.

These companies have notably increased their use of closed captioning:

YouTube lets you make your own videos closed captioned.

Need more information about resources for people who are deaf? Contact the SC Commission for the Deaf at: .

Free Daily Living Aids

Free Daily Living Aids

Daily living aids assist in managing our daily functional activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and toileting.  The daily living aids listed below are all available for free through our reuse program.  Each item is linked to a website that provides additional details.

If you have questions or want to pick up an item, please contact me, Jacqueline Wynter, at or call 803-935-5273.

Title: Bedpan - Description: Gray bedpan

Title: Emesis Basin - Description: Gray emesis basin

Title: wash basin - Description: Gray wash basin

Title: 3-in-1 commode - Description: 3-in-1 commode

Picture from Invacare website.  Assembly required.

Title: Invacare Semi-electric Hospital Bed - Description: Invacare Semi-electric Hospital Bed.  Picture from Invacare website.  Assembly required.

No picture available.  Base not included. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

T.E.K. Quest 2016

T.E.K. Quest 2016
2016 Registration Now Open!
Thursday July 14, 2016
Morning Camp              9:00 A M until 12:30 P M
Afternoon Camp           2:30 P M until 6:00 P M
T.E.K. Quest is a half-day camp designed to expose children and parents to different technologies available to help overcome obstacles faced in everyday life.
- For Children 8 to 12 years old with ANY disability
- Open to anyone in the C S R A in Georgia or South Carolina
- Two camp times to choose from – morning and afternoon
- Learn about technologies that give independence
- Create lasting memories and make new friends
Space is limited, so register today online ( is the blind accessible site), by emailing, or contact Walton Options for Independent Living for more details on 706-724-6262.
Join us on Thursday July 14, 2016 at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901
T.E.K. Quest is powered by Walton Options for Independent Living. There are two C S R A offices of Walton Options: 948 Walton Way, Augusta, Georgia and 514 West Avenue, North Augusta, South Carolina.
T.E.K. Quest is presented in conjunction with the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services (GLASS), Tools for Life, and the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

$50 Computers

$50 Computers from Computers for the Blind

Computers for the Blind (CFTB) has received a grant from Delta Gamma Foundation to provide 85 consumers with fully accessible desktop computers & monitors for $50.  Consumers must send award letter showing that they are on SSI, not SSDI to be eligible.  Previous grant recipients are not eligible. 

For $10 a state agency or consumer can also obtain the license key to obtain Talking Typing Teacher (TTT) from MarvelSoft.  Note: $10 offer is only good for license keys to be installed on CFTB computers. PO's accepted for TTT.

Basic training is available for free at Lighthouses for the Blind in Texas and may be available at similar facilities throughout the US if the consumer does not qualify for state funded training. 

For details go to our recent enhancements or contact Computers for the Blind at:

Free Webinar

Tuesday, May 17 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm EST

Free Webinar

With the new Every Student Succeeds Act, federal K-12 education law now defines and endorses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a scientifically-based approach for personalizing learning.  What does ESSA say about UDL? What are the implications for education practitioners and researchers? Join this webinar for a presentation and discussion. 

Lindsay E. Jones, Esq. is the vice president, chief policy & advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). She leads a team that designs and implements NCLD’s legislative strategy in Washington, DC, aimed at advancing government policies that support the success of individuals with learning and attention issues in school, at work and in life. She also develops advocacy campaigns and works closely with NCLD’s grassroots network of committed parents. She has worked with the National UDL Task Force, a network of 45+ education and civil-rights organizations, to raise awareness about UDL among policy makers. 

Laura A. Schifter, Ed.D. is a research consultant working with states and advocacy organizations to analyze data on the identification, placement, and performance of students with disabilities. She holds a doctorate from Harvard’s Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice Program. Schifter previously worked as a senior education and disability advisor for Rep. George Miller (D-CA) on the Committee on Education and the Workforce. She is the co-editor of A Policy Reader in Universal Design for Learning (Harvard Education Press, 2009). 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Midlands Coffee Talk For Caregivers

Midlands Coffee Talk
Thursday, May 5, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Midlands Coffee Talk takes place on the first Thursday of every month at our West Columbia office from 9:30 to 11:30. It's a great way to visit and share resources with other families advocating for individuals with ASD. Children are always welcomed, but childcare is not provided. We hope that you will register so we will know how many to expect, but "drop-ins" are always welcome.  Click here to register now!
Please note that this is a parent and caregiver support format. Businesses, organizations, and providers are welcome to send or drop materials for us to distribute. Thank you for respecting the needs of our families!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Organizational Tools for the School and Home Environment

Organizational Tools for the School and Home Environment

May 11, 2016

9:30am – 11:30am

Midlands Center
8301 Farrow Road 
Columbia, SC  29203

Are your students struggling with organization skills, getting started on homework/projects, keeping up with belongings and their own schedule? This workshop will explore options to address Executive Functioning skills, and will introduce practical concepts, techniques and resources to help your student be successful across environments. Additional resources on how to organize and manage a digital classroom will also be provided.

About the Speaker:
Madalina Tudora is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the SC Department of Education. She supports school districts in building capacity for assistive technology by providing guidance, resources and training for local assistive technology teams in SC. She also conducts workshops for teachers, therapists, administrators, and parents on various assistive technology topics. Her undergraduate degree is in Special Education, and her graduate degree is in Psychology. She is nationally certified as an Assistive Technology Professional through RESNA.

For questions about registration, call Lydia Durham at (803) 935-5263 or 800-915-4522 or e-mail at For questions regarding content, contact Madalina Tudora at

EdCeptional Kids Open Houses at EdVenture Museum

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week Rally

Save the Date
Wednesday, May 4th
11:00 am
SC Statehouse
North steps (facing Gervais St.)

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week Rally

Join the Federation of Families of SC is recognizing this year's theme: "Healthy Families, Resilient Children: Mental Health is a Family Affair!" 

1 in 5 young people have one or more mental, emotional, or behavioral challenges. Help us create awareness around the importance of prevention, early intervention, and treatment of mental health challenges. We will also underscore the importance of meaningful family engagement in the care and treatment of their children.

Please contact the Federation of Families of SC for more information or support at 866.779.0402! Visit us at or like our Facebook pages at !

A Message from Family Connection

Family Connection of South Carolina, Inc.

Friends and Partners:
Without doubt, anyone who has worked with Family Connection in the last 16 years has most likely come to know and love WC Hoecke, his own story and his family. With mixed emotions, we are saying goodbye and good luck to him as he carves out time to pursue other interests. However, we are not letting him go entirely. You will still see him involved in various ways, just not as a full-time employee.
Join me as we bid a fond farewell to WC and sincerely thank him for his tireless service and unwavering commitment to helping the families throughout our state.

Amy Holbert
Executive Director, Family Connection
A message from WC Hoecke
It is with a truly thankful heart, mixed with sincere sadness that I announce my retirement from Family Connection of South Carolina as of April 30. I've had the privilege and the pleasure of working and collaborating with some of South Carolina's finest. I do look forward to continuing my working with Family Connection in a different capacity.
Over the past 16 years, I've seen the staff of Family Connection, the professional partners, sister organizations and state agencies develop some very creative initiatives to improve the lives of children and youth in our state - even creating models used nationally. The best part of this job, by far, has been working with courageous and dedicated parents across this state and even the globe. You have inspired me to see the best in people and to expect the best from and for our children. I am truly a rich man for the honor of having you all as fellow workers and friends. This has always been a ministry for me. I thank God for allowing me the privilege of being one of the "shepherds" of such a great flock. My prayer for all of you is that we can find still waters and green pastures to allow our children to grow and flourish and ultimately to change their world.
I will remain with Family Connection as a senior consultant, leading a few trainings per month.  I am also available to lead other trainings. My "daily work" will shift to a business I started with my business partner three years ago. We do furniture repair and cabinet restoration, and I am finding it to be very therapeutic. 
Ultimately, this also affords me time to focus on my own vision, which many of you may have heard me mention. My hope is to build a community model of assisted living and retirement for families caring for adults with special healthcare needs. I hope to see you all at the "Farm" some day. Please know that this is not goodbye. I am still in Columbia. However, please do make the following changes in your contact files:  
  • For programing training and support about Family Connection, contact me through 
  • For council, friendly talk, consulting or leading trainings or workshops outside of Family Connection (or for furniture repair) contact me
In Royal Service,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strides for Autism 2016

Midlands Strides for Autism is this Saturday!!  
This newsletter contains the event details, and how you can get involved!

Sign up today and start your team at




Saturday, April 30, 2016

8:30 am registration
9:00 am event kick off
Honorary Chair:  Christen Weidner, LHS
Emcee:  Kelly Nash

Click here for Registration


Family Activities

Video Game Truck, Park Train, Decorate Your Wheels Contest, Columbia Fireflies Mascot and other Costumed Characters, Live Music, Zumba, First Responders, Field Games, Food & Drink (extra fee), Splash Pad (extra fee)

Resource Fair

Current Exhibitors include:  Autism Academy of South Carolina, Camp T.A.L.K., Caring Inc., Carolina ABA Solutions, LLC, Davis Orthodontics, Early Autism Project, Easter Seals, Key Changes, Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Autism Interventions, Prudential Financial, SC State Credit Union, Springbrook Behavioral Health, TALK Services, Team Therapy, The Shape of Behavior



Strides for Autism is the South Carolina Autism Society’s signature fund-raising and awareness walk. Sign up to Participate in an event, Create a Team, and ask your friends, family, and coworkers to Donate to your team!  Click here for a quick tutorial on the new registration process!  Click here for a Sample Strides Team Fundraising letter.
Monies raised for South Carolina Autism Society stay in South Carolina and go towards individual and family supports, education, advocacy, and training. According to the South Carolina Secretary of State, the South Carolina Autism Society devoted nearly 90% of its total expenses to program services.


• Raise the awareness of autism spectrum disorders. The better understanding our society has about autism, the better the quality of life for those on the spectrum will be.
• Raise funds for the South Carolina Autism Society.


 Sign up today and start your team at

Additional information for Strides for Autism, along with information about autism and SCAS is available online at  or by calling the Columbia SCAS office at 1-800-438-4790.