COVID-19 Testing: What You Need to Know

As more people are exposed to COVID-19, questions about testing availability and effectiveness are creating some confusion for individuals. The best way to prevent and slow the transmission of COVID-19 is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads and take the necessary precautions in the case of exposure and/or a positive test result.


The Pandemic Is Tough on Caregivers

This post was authored by Margaret A. Graham, Esq., of Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman & Sale, PC,  Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She focuses her practice on special needs and elder law, and is caregiver to a child with special needs. Caregiving is hard work, even in normal times. During the pandemic, stress levels can soar.  With kids doing schoolwork [...]



During the pandemic, families have been separated for months on end from loved ones in residential communities, group homes, and nursing homes. For the professionals who run these homes, making the decision to close a campus to family members and loved ones was done after long days of research and discussion about this new and [...]


The Pitfalls of Paying Family Members to Provide Care

This article for The Voice® was written by Courtney L. Fletcher, Esq., of Springfield, Missouri. Courtney is an attorney in the Estate Planning Practice Group of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, P.C. and has been practicing law since 1995. Her practice area include special needs planning, estate planning and administration, probate, trust and elder law, guardianships/conservatorships and Veteran’s benefits. Courtney is a member of the Missouri Bar, past president of the Greene County Estate Planning Council, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a VA accredited attorney. She is a past director of the Missouri Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a past chairman of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association Probate & Trust Committee. She currently serves on the Elder Law Committee of the Missouri Bar and is also a member of the Estate, Trust and Elder Law Institute Planning Committee. Please visit her at

2024-05-07T14:04:47-04:00Tags: |

Nursing Home Visitation Guidelines Cause Concern

This post was authored by Kim Dayton, Esq., Professor Emerita at the William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota. Her areas of interest include disability rights, parenting an adult child on the autism spectrum, and end-of-life decision-making. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a federal agency with [...]


Mediation Promotes Relationships, Dignity and Choice

ROXANNE J. CHANG, JD, MS LLP, is an attorney specializing in elder and special needs law. She is also a Limited Licensed Psychologist, with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology. Ms. Chang has experience in consultation and advocacy for persons with dementia, developmental disabilities, and other individuals with special needs. She also provides conflict resolution services, including mediation and conflict coaching. Ms. Chang has a solo private practice in Plymouth, Michigan.


“Wings for All” Activists Make a Dream Come True

(From left) Job Coach Kathy Walters and self-advocate Angela Campbell with the “boarding pass” for their round-trip flight to San Francisco. Angela Campbell, of Madison, Wisconsin, has a can-do attitude that touched the hearts of Wings for All sponsors and volunteers, inspiring them to make a dream come true. “I’m saving my money [...]


Letter of Intent Gives Valuable Advice to Future Caregivers

By Glynis A. Ritchie, Esq. Parents of children with special needs have lots on their plates. When it comes to estate planning, the tasks at hand can be complicated, and the choices parents have to make – how to provide for their child’s needs when they are not around and whom to name as fiduciaries [...]

2024-05-21T16:27:21-04:00Tags: |

Preparing for Dementia

By Sally L. Schoffstall, CELA Dementia is on the rise with the aging of baby boomers. Nearly six million individuals in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, while others deal with cognitive decline related to Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Downs Syndrome or other medical conditions. The changes are often wrenching, as parents become vulnerable and adult children grieve [...]


Five Activities to Improve Your Child’s Communication Skills

By Lisa Orlando, Invo-Progressus Communication is such a fundamental part of who we are that we can take for granted how often we use these skills. Speaking, listening, questioning and responding are all a part of our daily lives. That is why so much emphasis is placed on communication regarding your child with special needs. [...]


In Case You Missed This: Choosing Summer Camp for Kids with Disabilities

The summer camp experience can benefit a child with special needs and parents alike, but they’re likely to feel anxious ahead of time. For kids, it’s fear of the unfamiliar. For parents, it’s worries about having someone who doesn’t really know their child suddenly take charge. But if properly researched, spending time at a day [...]


Travelers with Special Needs Learn Ins and Outs of Airports

Travel can be especially stressful for individuals with disabilities…or it can open doors. During October, members of the Special Needs Alliance participated in programs in Chicago, Houston and Phoenix that were designed to introduce those with special needs to the airport experience. The Houston and Phoenix events were part of a nationwide program, Wings for [...]


Roundup: Inheritances/Caregivers/Court Filings

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. The grandparents of my child with special needs left him an inheritance. What do we do? Without special needs planning, a well-intentioned inheritance can leave someone ineligible [...]


New Rule Would Ban Required Arbitration in Nursing Home Disputes

By Shirley B. Whitenack, Esq. New regulations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), scheduled to become effective November 28, 2016, prohibit federally funded nursing homes from requiring applicants to agree to binding arbitration in the event of future disputes. The regulations, however, are currently on hold due to an injunction entered by [...]


Finding the Right In-Home Aide

By Paula Peaden, Esq. In-home services are often the key to keeping individuals with disabilities of all ages living in the mainstream community. But hiring and working with aides in the family home can be an emotion-fraught experience. Here are some tips. Think Through Needs Carefully consider exactly what services your loved one requires. These [...]


Building Lyn’s Future Plan: Through the Lockes’ Eyes

By Taylor Woodard, MPAff & MSSW, Program Associate, The Arc Janet Locke tossed her books down on the counter and got up her nerve. "Hey, Mom, there is something Lyn and I want to discuss with you and Dad. You two have done so much for Lyn all these years, making sure she had every [...]


I Just Want to Raise My Child:

Discrimination Against Parents with Disabilities By Robert L. McClelland, CELA The National Center on Parents with Disabilities estimates that at least 4.1 million Americans with children under 18 (6.2 percent) have disabilities of their own. Every day, in countless ways, those moms and dads battle deep-rooted stereotypes as they take on that toughest of jobs [...]


Roundup: Family Case Study/Modified Curriculums/Paying Home Care Workers

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Family Case Study Planning for the long-term needs of a loved one with disabilities is a big job. Check out this case study about [...]