Getting Ready for the Age of Majority– Webinar from PACER Center


Age of majority is the age when children legally become adults. At this time, they gain the rights of adults, which include the right to vote, marry, apply for a credit card, make medical and financial decisions for themselves, sign contracts, live independently, and much more. In most states the age of majority is age 18.

This webinar discusses:

  • why age of majority is a critical issue for parents and youth with disabilities alike;
  • the importance of starting early and building young people’s decision-making skills;
  • resources, strategies, and tools for preparing youth for reaching their age of majority;
  • the valuable role that supported decision-making and person-centered planning can play in supporting the young person after he or she gains their majority; and
  • the part that Parent Centers can play in moving this message forward

Click below to view/listen to the webinar-


Handouts, and additional information for the webinar can be found here-

SPEAKS Fest was a SUCCESS!!!

On June 14th, SPEAKS Education, in collaboration with Pickford Township, held its first annual Summer fundraiser. Starting at 10 am, doors opened to the public with our crafters and vendors. We had almost 30 different participants, offering everything from purses and jewelry to home baked goods. We even had Tapawingo Farms attend and provide a petting zoo!! From 10 am to 1 pm, we had our motorcycle show. Once that was over, we sent our bikers off on a motorcycle run. This started in Pickford, and went as far as the Tahquahmenon Falls, and returned. There were cash prizes and medals to the winners. Once the riders returned, we then had our band BANNED play.

This was our first year having a fundraiser of this scale. And even though we didn’t have as many riders for our run, or bikes for our show, we were extremely happy with the support of the community, the hard work from our volunteers, and the collaboration of the Pickford Community. We are very excited to do it again next year, and have it continue to grow. Here is the link to read the local newspaper, Soo Evening News’ coverage of the event.



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Summer Festival for the WHOLE family!

 Motorcycle show, motorcycle run, crafters, vendors, food concessions, face painting, kids crafts and obstacle course, live band!!! We want you to come and visit us, have fun and enjoy the day. Admission is $1 per person, and all funds raised will benefit children with disabilities in our community. Come check us out!

Summer Festival flyer

Upcoming Webinars Through Michigan Alliance for Families

April 15th “Extended  School Year” with Kelly Orginski from Michigan Alliance for Families, noon to 1pm. This webinar will help parents/staff better understand the purpose of ESY, factors to consider, and ESY as part of the IEP Flyer-


April 17th- “Transition and the Law” with Mark McWilliams from Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, noon to 1pm. Almost all students in special education are entitled to prevocational, vocational and transition planning and services. The school should offer assessment and services to help your child prepare for life after school, including work and other community activities. The school must include transition goals and services in a student’s IEP.  Mark will explain the options, steps and timelines involved in transitioning from public schools.



April 22-  “Procedural Safeguards” with Kelly Orginski from Michigan Alliance for Families, noon to 1pm. This webinar will help parents/staff better understand the purpose of procedural safeguards, which is to inform parents about the rights and protections available under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. When you know your rights, you’re better able to be an equal participant in the Individualized Family Service Plan/Individualized Education Program (IFSP/IEP) process, and know how to disagree when something isn’t working. Flyer-


April 24th- “Rethinking Guardianship: Facilitating Life-Long Self Determination” (Part 1) with Dohn Hoyle, Executive Director of The Arc Michigan, noon to 1pm.  This presentation will provide participants with a long-term view of the consequences of establishing guardianship. It will cover alternative and empowering ways to address the barriers and circumstances which will inevitably face students with a cognitive or intellectual disability as well as those with communication difficulties as they move into the adult world.  This two hour presentation has been divided into 2 webinars.  This is part 1 of 2. Flyer


April 29th “Discipline/ Suspension/ Expulsion- Protections for Students with IEPs” with Mark McWilliams from Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, noon to 1pm.  This webinar will provide an overview of discipline issues related to students with disabilities, including suspension, expulsion, and manifestation determination review. Flyer-