Volume 1 Issue 7
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The Director's Corner

Summer!  A time for relaxation doesn’t mean learning has to stop!!  In fact, learning outside the classroom is as important as inside.  We’re never too old to learn, and have fun while doing it!

Check out your local library.  They often have lots of summer activities including reading and technology programs!

Visit your local recreation center and park.  Taking care of your body is just as important as taking care of your mind.  Beat the heat with swimming, work out on exercise equipment or even join a ‘fun run’! 

Do you have a competitive spirit?  Rec centers often have tournaments and pick-up games in a variety of sports and games.

Speak with your elders.  Each of us has a unique story.  Spend some time with your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and others who can share your history and story.

Check out local museums.  Have fun learning about geology, history, prehistoric creatures, cultures, pioneers and more.  Local museums often have a very small cost and may even have ‘free’ days to visit.

National Parks and more.  A free, lifetime Access Pass is available to anyone who has a permanent disability.  Access over 2,000 sites managed by five federal agencies.  It’s just $10 to apply and it lasts a lifetime. http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

There’s so much to learn about yourself, your family, community and country.

Carol Ruddell
ASPIRE Project Director

July 15, 2015

In This Issue:

The Director's Corner

ASPIRE Enrollment Update

25 years of the ADA


North Dakota
South Dakota
Formative Evaluation Team

Staff Highlight - Frank Carcellero
Staff Highlight - Cathy Chambless

ASPIRE Website

Follow ASPIRE on Facebook

"Include Us in YOUR Newsletter!"

ASPIRE Partners

Contact Us

State Updates:

Arizona has been gaining momentum as summer heats up, with a total of 229 enrollments so far. Tucson Case Manager, Marianne Marts, started recruiting in June, and Ramona Meda will begin in Yuma this month. Our newest addition, Claudia Lopez, is tackling her trainings, for an anticipated first mailing in August.

Our staff has been busy with intakes and case management, as well as promotions across the state, including meetings with Tribal Institutional Review Boards and Tribal Councils. We are starting the referral process for our parent training intervention through Raising Special Kids, and are finalizing our financial education and benefits counseling through A Bridge to Independent Living. We are still working on the self-determination piece, but have some great leads. We had another successful advisory board meeting in June, and continue to be impressed by our members’ investment in ASPIRE.

ASPIRE Colorado continues to recruit and enroll youth and families across the State! We have now expanded into Moffat, Fremont, Alamosa, Jefferson and Rio Blanco counties.

Ability Connections Colorado has begun to accept ASPIRE referrals for Benefits Counseling. Several ASPIRE youth and families have met with Certified Benefits Counselors to understand the financial impacts of working, and how earnings may affect their benefits.

ASPIRE Colorado had our third ASPIRE State Advisory Committee in June. Our intervention awardees described their agency’s mission and how that mission co-mingles with the ASPIRE consortium’s goals. Our members are excited to see the positive impacts to Colorado youth and their families that stem from ASPIRE intervention.

Montana is continuing recruitment and enrollment this month in Cascade, Missoula and Ravalli Counties. In addition, we will be adding Yellowstone County to the list in our continued efforts to reach across the entire state to reach our goal of 130 youth and families. To date Montana has enrolled 32 youth into the study.

The Montana ASPIRE Advisory Committee met in June and discussed strategies for recruitment and enrollment The ASPIRE staff received valuable feedback from the committee on Montana’s Resource List that is provided to all youth enrolled in the study. The committee also heard from the ASPIRE Project Director, Carol Ruddell, who thanked the committee for their guidance with recruitment and enrollment in Montana.

ASPIRE Montana met with the Salish and Kootenai Confederated Tribes during their recent Tribal Council meeting. We anticipate receiving permission in the near future to recruit and enroll on the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana.

ASPIRE Montana has three case managers working on the project in Montana. Their offices are located in Helena, Billings and Polson. They are excited to work with eligible youth and families in Montana. If you would like more information on ASPIRE Montana, please contact us toll free at (844) 442-3167.

North Dakota
ASPIRE North Dakota officially has reached the half-way point in our efforts to enroll 50 North Dakota youth.

Recruitment and enrollment of youth has slowed down a bit due to the summer break. Second informational letters were mailed to youth and families living in the Minot, Bismarck, and Grand Forks areas in an effort to contact families we have not been able to reach. Staff are following up with phone calls and scheduling meetings. In addition, later this month the next wave of letters are sent out to the Fargo area. The ND staff will travel to Fargo on July 20th for promotional activities to various agencies in the area. On July 20th staff will be presenting at South East Human Service Center to the Development Disabilities Division staff and again at the Job Service office in Fargo at 1:00 pm. All are invited to attend the presentation at 1:00 pm at Job Service, if interested please RSVP by contacting 800-233-1737 as space is limited. Please invite others who may be interested. During our stop in Fargo we will also be dropping off ASPIRE information to local high schools. While visiting Fargo, staff will also be on the lookout for suitable enrollment meeting locations equipped with free Wi-Fi. If your agency has a potential meeting room ASPIRE staff might occasionally use, please let us know.

This summer, among other things, Case Managers are working with youth on initiating volunteer opportunities in their communities. “We are continuing to strengthen our relationships with youth and their families through community-based Case Management activities. As these relationships continue to grow, I find that families are increasingly open to various ASPIRE services and community resources.”- Becky Daigneault, ND Case Manager.

We have also scheduled more Youth Self-Determination and Parent Trainings which will be offered to ASPIRE youth and families in July and August. Please contact your ASPIRE Case Manager for more information.

As always, if you would like more information or to request a presentation to your group or agency please contact ASPIRE ND at 800-233-1737.

South Dakota
ASPIRE South Dakota has enrolled 79 youth to date. Enrollments are continuing on both the Standing Rock Reservation and the Pine Ridge Reservation. An advertisement to promote ASPIRE was placed in the Lakota Country Times newspaper which is a newspaper for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Rosebud Sioux Tribe. ASPIRE public service announcements were put on radio stations on both reservations. The next area for recruitment and enrollment will be the east central area of South Dakota.

A second successful Self Determination Class was held in Rapid City for ASPIRE youth. The sessions will continue to be provided in areas of South Dakota where ASPIRE youth reside so that all ASPIRE youth have an opportunity to attend the sessions.

In addition to the Self Determination sessions, there are other ASPIRE Interventions that are being utilized by families and youth. The other interventions are Parent Training Sessions, Financial Literacy Training, and Benefits Specialist Services. All ASPIRE families have opportunities to participate in these interventions.

This month we’re excited to introduce our newest case manager Anjanae Merida. Anjanae is originally from Manti, Utah, but has lived in St George for some time where she has more than 12 years of experience working in social services. She speaks fluent Spanish and has strong connections with community organizations that can offer valuable resources for ASPIRE youth and families. We’re fortunate to have her join our team.

Recently, in conversation with Rachel Anderson, the transition coordinator for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), the Utah ASPIRE team learned that youth as young as 14 years of age may now apply for VR services. Moreover, ASPIRE case managers were invited to collaborate with VR counselors to better understand VR resources and services for their youth. We recognize and appreciate the tremendous benefit VR services can provide ASPIRE youth. Thanks Utah VR!

As many of our Newsletter readers will know, on July 1 the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) took effect. Youth with disabilities will be able to receive extensive pre-employment transition services to obtain and retain competitive integrated employment. The current challenge is to learn what policy changes and updates occurred and how best to implement WIOA with ASPIRE youth. Consequently, one of our more important opportunities for training this month will be with Kimber Burks, the State Program Specialist with the WIOA Youth Program.

For more information visit www.aspirewest.org or call ASPIRE Utah at (844) 880-9171 toll free.

ASPIRE Enrollment Update

As of July 15, 2015, ASPIRE has enrolled 908 youth and their families in the ASPIRE study.

Enrollment by State

Arizona .............................................229
North Dakota .....................................27
South Dakota .....................................79

25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States offer an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit for use by the public and the media through the www.ADAanniversary.org.

ASPIRE Website - www.aspirewest.org
The ASPIRE website is a great place to find resources for youth and their families in your area, as well as contact information for all six of the ASPIRE states, and information about ASPIRE and the PROMISE Initiative. If you received this newsletter from a friend or colleafue and would like to be on our mailing list, click on the "Subscribe" link to sign up for our newsletter.

Staff Highlight - Frank Carcellero

Frank Carcellero

Frank Carcellero is a case manager for the ASPIRE Colorado team. He works out of the Greeley office of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and covers Weld county, which is in northeast Colorado. Frank is originally from Rye, Colorado and moved to Greeley in 2006 to attend the University of Northern Colorado. He has a bachelors degree in Psychology and a masters degree in rehab counseling. Prior to ASPIRE he was a DVR intern in the Greeley office. He also has a background in mental health and substance abuse from working at North Range Behavioral Health. This facility treats individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. He also has an interest in adolescent psychopathology and orientation and mobility.

"I enjoy cycling and going to concerts on my free time. In the future I would like to move back to the mountains to be closer to hiking and mountain biking. I have a cat and a dog and recently paid off my house."

Frank Carcellero
Case Manager

Staff Highlight - Cathy Chambless

Cathy ChamblessCathy Chambless, PhD, MPA, CRC, is a research associate at the Center for Public Policy & Administration and teaches Disability Studies at the University of Utah. She has worked on two previous disability and employment projects funded by Social Security Administration. Cathy was project director for Utah’s Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOPD) project, and a site liaison with the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project. Cathy was project director for Utah’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) and early Supported Employment program. Cathy served as executive director of Utah Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities where she advocated for community-based services for people with disabilities at the state and national levels, managed a competitive grant program, and conducted evaluations of grant projects. She was a Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for the state of Utah for 15 years.

Cathy’s family consists of her husband Tim, son, daughter in law, granddaughter (3 months) and 2 crazy Dachshunds who live in Salt Lake City, and a daughter and son-in-law who were married on July 4, and live in New York City.

Cathy Chambless

Include Us in YOUR Newsletter!

Do you connect with youth and their families through a newsletter, or know of an agency that does? Let us know if you would like information about ASPIRE or PROMISE to include in your newsletter. We will gladly provide you with a brief article and additional information. Simply email us at aspire@aspirewest.org or call 1-844-880-9712.


ASPIRE on Facebook:

For links to articles and information to help youth and families, follow us on Facebook.


ASPIRE Partners

ASPIRE is excited to partner with the following agencies:

If you would like to be included in our next newsletter, email us at aspire@aspirewest.org or call 1-844-880-9172.