Family Members

Children with disabilities have special needs, which require special skills and solutions. Navigating the educational system can often be an overwhelming task for many parents. Finding appropriate day care and recreational opportunities for children with disabilities is also often a challenge.

 

Being the parent, grandparent or sibling of an adult with disabilities brings its own unique perspective and concerns. The Arc of Western Wayne County understands the dynamics of these very personal relationships and is ready to help address the needs and questions that come with caring for your family member. 

 

Educational advocacy

The Arc of Western Wayne County offers free educational advocacy to families living within our catchment areas of Wayne, Westland, Inkster, Romulus, Belleville and Garden City. An Arc advocate will generally provide information and referral pertaining to Special Education related questions. Advocates are also available to attend school meetings with families to ensure that each child is getting all of the services needed from the school. Please contact us at 734.729.9100 to speak with an advocate today!

 

Learning opportunities

Along with direct advocacy, we offer a number of learning opportunities for families, which can empower them to advocate for their child. As part of our collaboration with the Michigan Alliance for Families, we offer informational meetings specific to Special Education.

 

Topics that are presented in these meetings include: Individualized education programs (IEPs), Mediation and facilitated IEPs, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Positive behavioral supports, Parent/professional collaboration, Rights and responsibilities and Assistive technology. 

 

Information and referral

The Arc of Western Wayne County can offer a wide array of information and referral services on topics such as recreational opportunities, summer camps, mental health services and Medicaid eligibility.

 

Futures planning

The Arc of Western Wayne County, through our After I’m Gone program, offers a series of learning opportunities for family members on such topics as Estate Planning, Financial Planning, Mental Health Services, Person Centered Planning and Self Determination, Social Security and Medicaid and Creative Housing Options. For more information, see the 2017-2018 After I’m Gone program brochure.

We also offer individualized assistance for families to create a plan so that their vision for their family member can be shared with other important family members who will be responsible for care when they are no longer here. Contact our office at 734.729.9100 to schedule an appointment with an advocate today!

 

Advocacy

The Arc of Western Wayne County can offer individual advocacy to assist families through the maze of securing benefits and services for their family member with a disability. We can assist with applying for and maintaining benefits from The Social Security Administration, applying for Medicaid and/or other services available through the Michigan Department of Human Services, and in applying for, securing and maintaining appropriate services through the Detroit Wayne County Community Mental Health Authority.

 

Contact our office at 734.729.9100 to speak with our Systems Navigator.

 

Alternatives to guardianship

The Arc of Western Wayne County, through partnership with The Arc of Northwest Wayne County, offers information and assistance with the many alternatives to guardianship available to families who have a member with a disability.The Guardianship Alternatives Information Network (GAIN) program offers training sessions to professionals and families on the importance of investigating alternatives to guardianship for people with disabilities. The GAIN program also offers one-on-one help from an attorney in developing and executing appropriate alternatives for each person seeking assistance.

 

For additional information, see the GAIN program or call 866.365.3231.

 

Sibling group

The Arc of Western Wayne County believes it is important to recognize the role of siblings in efforts to support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Adult siblings of people with disabilities continue to be an extraordinarily overlooked population. The Arc believes agencies, including schools, community agencies and health care providers, should reach out to siblings and other family members to provide them with the support and information that will address their concerns and help them to make appropriate decisions.