September 17, 2020 | Michaela Evans; Stella Beard

Stella: Morning, everyone. Thank you for joining Kentucky SPIN today for our webinar on Starting and Maintaining Parent Support Groups. I’m Stella Beard, the Assistant Director for Kentucky SPIN and we’re so happy that you joined us for this great informative webinar today. I am going to go over a few things, a little housekeeping things for you all.

[00:00:21] First of all, you will see ...

Stella: Morning, everyone. Thank you for joining Kentucky SPIN today for our webinar on Starting and Maintaining Parent Support Groups. I’m Stella Beard, the Assistant Director for Kentucky SPIN and we’re so happy that you joined us for this great informative webinar today. I am going to go over a few things, a little housekeeping things for you all.

[00:00:21] First of all, you will see on your dashboard, a few places that I’d like for you to look at. One is the tab that says questions. And throughout the webinar today, if you have any questions, please type those in the question box. I will be monitoring those questions and we will answer them for you as time permits. But please feel free to type any questions in that question box.

[00:00:43] You will also see a tab that says handouts, in that tab, you are free to download the PowerPoint, and then we also have a great document in there for you on starting and maintaining also support groups. I was trying to pull it down so I could give you the exact title of it. It’s called, Starting and nurturing support groups. So that is a pretty big document, that you’re free to download if you choose. But I will also let you know, later this afternoon, I will be sending a follow-up email, which will also have those handouts available for you to have, so you don’t have to worry about downloading them right now if you choose not to.

[00:01:30] So I want to tell you just a little bit about Kentucky SPIN. Kentucky SPIN is a Special Parent Involvement Network. We are the parent training and information center for the State of Kentucky. And we are funded by the US Department of Education, which is also in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it’s a mandate in there. And we have been the parent training and information center in Kentucky since 1988. So that’s pretty amazing.

[00:01:58] We provide training, information, support for children and youth with all types of disabilities. And we work with families, parents, professionals, and lately, since March of this year, we have been providing weekly webinars to families and professionals geared around COVID-19 but also many, many other topics that we have included in our webinars.

[00:02:22] We’re usually doing two a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And on Tuesdays, we call them Tuesday Tips and you can find out all of our upcoming webinars on our website. And we’ll have that link for you in this PowerPoint and we’ll also give it to you at the end of the presentation today. So please feel free to go on there and look at any of our past webinars. And I think you’ll be very pleased with some of the information that we’ve been providing families.

[00:02:48] We do not act as attorneys. However we empower families to effectively advocate for their children and really we provide peer support to help families access needed information and resources. All of our staff, our consultants are parents who have a child with an intellectual, developmental disability, or they might have a sibling, or they might have a disability themselves. So I love that we bring that extra piece to the table when we are working with families. I think that is really, really good.

[00:03:19] I want to introduce to you our speaker today, it’s Michaela Evans. She is an educational specialist for Kentucky SPIN, and we’re very happy to have Michaela talk about this. Michaela is involved in a lot of different groups and so we thought she would be the perfect one to present on this topic today. So Michaela, can you hear me?

[00:03:40] Michaela: I can, yes.

[00:03:42] Stella: Awesome. I’m going to turn it over to you. And, if we have any questions throughout the webinar, I may stop or you may stop throughout the presentation and ask me. And we’ll kind of go from there, but thank you so much, Michaela. I’m turning it over to you.

[00:03:57] Michaela: Okay. Thank you, Stella. Alright. So starting a parent support group, can start from something as simple as like a Mommy and Me class. For families who have young children or babies with a health condition or have a diagnosis of a developmental disability, it doesn’t have to be a super hard, just something simple that people can connect with.

[00:04:35] And so, it can begin as an informal gathering, just to meet at a park, with introductions only, or, to plan to create a list of topics that interest everyone. I know right now virtual support groups, especially now are a great way for families to connect and share information.

[00:05:02] And so here’s a few resources that you can check if you’re looking to find a virtual support group. Yahoo groups is great, you can type in anything like heart attack, and find a category called you know heart diseases. And if you click on that, there’s over 60 support groups listed. Facebook groups, I have found are probably the easiest way for me to find and connect with other people. These are really easy to create. You can create your own Facebook group if you don’t find one in your area that interests you. And then you can invite people to your own group. you can also attach files and even live videos so it was very interactive with your audience.

[00:05:46] Google search engine. Is another great way, everybody Googles everything. So you can talk band autism support group and find a ton of support groups and information. And then, right now especially, Zoom has blown up since the beginning of the pandemic. And it’s such an easy platform for families to use. And that’s a great one as well.

[00:06:14] So when you’re talking about a meeting in person, you want to provide an inviting atmosphere. Something as simple as like snacks and drinks are a great way to make people feel kind of at home. And then even if you just ask any, if anyone’s available to help set up or stay and clean afterwards, that’s a great way to get off to a good start. And it can help you get to know a few members easily and start forming those connections within your group.

[00:06:50] And so, you also may want to invite speakers to give a short presentation and kind of answer questions from members of your group. They can speak on parenting strategies, child development, speech therapy, physical therapy, stress management, individualized education program or the IEP. Siblings of persons with a disability or experience educating children in the least restrictive environment. Speakers can also be invited to a virtual support group meeting as well.

[00:07:26] And so I think the easiest thing to do is kind of start within your own network. If you, you know, all of us are our parents and have a child with a disability. And so your child’s teachers or therapists that have been particularly helpful in your journey, that’s always a great place to start and see if they want to come speak on a topic. Or if they know anybody that would be a good speaker for your group.

[00:07:59] Isolation is a problem for all of us, in all families. And it’s never felt more keenly then when a family feels different. And I have a 13 year world with autism and I definitely can tell you I felt isolated at many times. Especially with the pandemic, it’s made it difficult for many families. I feel like we all feel kind of isolated during these difficult times. Even a virtual support group is a good way to bring people together and to help with that feeling of isolation. I know Zoom has been a wonderful platform. The Facebook support groups have been great for me and for my family.

[00:08:40] And it’s great for adults, but also it’s helped my son very greatly. He’s been getting on social skills groups on Zoom and things like that. So not only helping me as a parent to feel less isolated, but helping him as well.

[00:08:54] Stella: And Michaela I’ll interject there. One of the things that my son, who’s 24, has been doing during this time is he has been getting together with other young adults with disabilities on Zoom. And that has been wonderful. And of course it took someone to arrange that and get it set up. But in his, with his disability, which is called Williams syndrome, the people that have the Williams Syndrome Association decided, you know, there were so many young adults that were at home now not doing anything.

[00:09:30] And so what they did is they created a Zoom group and they meet every week and they get on there and each week they have a different topic that they talk about. And so like the topic this week was your favorite movie. So they did like a cool little I guess a poll to see what some of their favorite movies was. And so the one that won, so to speak, was the greatest showman. So they all had to watch it this week. And then when they meet on Thursday, they will have a conversation based around that. And how they do the platform, which I think is really cool, is they let everybody get on there at the beginning and they talk.

[00:10:14] And so they all are saying, hi, how are you doing? It’s just like a little crazy, chaotic moment because they’re all talking at the same time, but it’s wonderful. And then they break out into those smaller groups, which of course Zoom has that capability, which has been wonderful for me to watch how they do this.

[00:10:29] And then they break out in their little small groups and they talk about the movie. They talk about other things that are important to them. And then when they come back together, they share and so like one week they did a scavenger hunt, which was really cool. They had kind of like a leader in the group that was telling them things to go get around the house.

[00:10:48] So there are so many opportunities out there right now for people to just start something like that. And I think that’s good. So instead of waiting for someone else to start, just start yourself. So if you feel like, you know, your child is sitting at home isolated right now, create something like that. You can get a free Zoom account, you don’t want to pay for one. I think it’ll, you can do it up to 45 minutes, free. I’m not for sure, but I think that’s it. And just start something yourself.

[00:11:17] Or like Michaela was saying that Facebook group is a great way. So invite some young people that you know. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be the adults get some younger folks that have a disability and start that group with them and then maybe get the parents involved to be, you know, kind of like the moderators of it.

[00:11:37] But I have found that that weekly Zoom group with those young adults has been wonderful and they so look forward to it. So, you know, I just encourage you, start something on your own, if nothing is going on in your area.

[00:11:50] Michaela: Absolutely Stella. That sounds like a wonderful, wonderful idea. I love that they’re doing that.

[00:11:57] And if anybody has any questions about how to start your own or how to get those connections, I can always contact us at Kentucky SPIN too, and we’d be glad to help, provide any resources or information that we have.

[00:12:08] And so when you’re talking about inviting new members, you want to begin to plan how you’re going to recruit new members for your first meeting. And you should always consider your location, your day and time, and you’re publ…, excuse me, publicity, or how you’re going to promote the meeting. Facebook and Instagram posts are a great way to share information. I feel like that’s probably the biggest platform right now. Almost everyone is on social media on Facebook or Instagram. And also other online groups that can help share information is another great way to get the word out.

[00:12:52] So an invitation letter and questionnaire. And you could even send this out to families via email or using Facebook or Instagram or whatever social media platform you prefer. Finding out what families want and what they need can help you determine the type of support group you want to start. So you need to think about if you want it to be informational and resource based, or if you want it to be more of just a place of support and sharing.

[00:13:25] Is great to get to know your target audience ahead of time, so you can better meet their needs instead of just guessing about what kind of experience or information you think they’re looking for.

[00:13:39] When you’re planning your first meeting, you want to arrange the meeting space, have a sign-in sheet and develop the meeting content. So you want to arrange your meeting space somewhere that’s kind of friendly, and informal. So people have a chance to get to know each other, and really kind of, you may want to wait until after your first meeting, you might have to adjust depending on the kind of group you have and what they’re looking for. But then you also want to have a sign-in sheet so that you know who’s there. And develop that meeting content, of course, decide, you know, if you want to give information or resources or if you want it to be just more about sharing and connecting with families.

[00:14:26] Tips for setting the tone. When you plan your group, you want to set the tone and create an atmosphere that is inviting. So you want to keep the three F’s in mind. That’s food, family and fun. That’s what we’re all looking for. Right?

[00:14:47] So some tips for your first meeting, of course smile. I know sometimes that can be kind of nerve wracking when you’re in front of a group of people you don’t know, how it is for me personally. But don’t move faster than the group. Also you want to just kind of slow down, and take time to answer questions and feel out the group and see if they’re really in tune with what you’re saying or participating.

[00:15:11] You want to give members something that they can take home, the new members, something they can take home. So it kind of keeps you on their mind. It’s always a great thing, it makes them feel welcome and special and lets them know you’re glad that they’re there.

[00:15:28] You want to tell people how they’ll be notified of the next meeting. So definitely, you know, having that mapped out ahead of time. Are you going to send out a Facebook notification in a group? Are you going to send texts to everyone? Do you have their contact information to send them texts or emails? Or how are you going to do that?

[00:15:47] And then also you want to make sure you end on a positive note. I know all of us that are parents of a child with disability we have a lot of burdens and it’s great to come sometimes, get together with other people and understand and just vent. And sometimes that can kind of kind of take over and put us in a really emotional space, and that’s totally fine. That’s great and with so many of us need, but you just want to make sure that if it goes in that direction, that you end on a positive note. So we’re not sending everybody home kind of sad and melancholy. That we want to end positively so they want to come back and express again.

[00:16:27] Stella: Michaela I think that’s a really good point because I think a lot of times, like you said, it might be the need that that parent has at that moment to share, you know, something that’s on their heart. That’s that is, you know, troubling them or something like that. But I also think that it is important that not only do we have that atmosphere where we can share like that but also, like you said, just always make sure that whatever, even if it’s, even if you’re doing something virtually, you know, we’re having a group or a Zoom call or something that you always do something positive.

[00:17:04] And even if it’s just ending with a real positive quote or something that you’ve prepared beforehand or a positive little story or something, I think that’s really, really good and a very key point in creating that atmosphere.

[00:17:20] Michaela: Absolutely Stella, that’s a great idea. And I also liked the idea of having like a highs and lows. And I know a lot of people have this during the conversation around the family dinner table, but even in a support group meeting, that would be a great thing. You know, you can start the meeting with, you know, what your struggles were that week, and then you can end with what was the best thing that happened this week? Or, you know, so that everybody kind of talks about the positive things that happen, they kind of keep  the hope there. Cause we all need, we don’t ever want to end it feeling hopeless.

[00:17:56] So quick reminders for the meeting facilitator. So you want to be positive, like we just talked about, set some ground rules, even if they seem kind of mundane or obvious. Just make sure everybody’s on the same page, you know, obviously that no one wants to speak down to everybody, be respectful of everyone’s opinions, you know, simple things like that, especially in today’s world.

[00:18:23] You want to engage everyone in the first five or 10 minutes. Make sure you really kind of catch their attention and make everybody feel welcome. A great way to do that would be, you know, introductions or an ice breaker. You want to have a beginning, a middle and an end to each meeting. So kind of plan that out ahead of time and be aware of yourself and others.

[00:18:49] Also when you’re talking about being aware of yourself and others, knowing that only 10% of our communication is verbal and 90% is non-verbal. So really check people’s facial expressions and their body language cause oftentimes that tells us a lot more than what people are actually saying.

[00:19:07] And then of course accept that conflict is normal. We’re all gonna have different opinions, but work through it and remain committed to the group process.

[00:19:18] Stella: That’s all exactly right Michaela. I’m going to share something just about the ground rules that I think is real, real important. Most people o, a lot of people are visual and so you want to be sure that you’re meeting everyone’s needs on how they receive communication. And so one of the things that I think is real important, that the meetings that I’ve been to, I think this has been really good is to set those ground rules, but to also make them visual at every meeting.

[00:19:43] So even if you’ve just written them on, you know, a white piece of paper with a Sharpie and you bring that back at every meeting so that everyone sees them, and that’s kind of how you start. So you start on that positive note with a fun story or something like that and then you immediately go over those ground rules. And put that visual up every single time. Even if it is a virtual meeting, you can still have that visual in a, you know, like a slide or something you’ve created and you’ve made it into a photo that you post up or something like that.

[00:20:13] And you know, one of the things that’s important on a ground rule is that you only share from your own personal experiences. You don’t talk about anybody else’s story or anything like that, but that it’s real important that you focus on your stories and your personal things instead of, you know, like mentioning other people’s names. Make sure you want to keep confidentiality, you know, very, very important.

[00:20:36] So those are things that I think that are created ahead of time and that written on a piece of paper and shown at every meeting so that people really remember that when they are participating in the meeting.

[00:20:47] Michaela: Absolutely Stella, that’s great. You want to have that fresh in everybody’s mind when you start. Do we have any questions at this time Stella?

[00:21:03] Stella: One up here, hang on just a second. Oh, yeah. Someone saying they’re having internet issues at home and their son is trying to attend class. So of course, you know, we know that. And you know, that’s something else that families are really struggling with right now is, you know, sharing the internet with their families that are home, you know, their kids that are home, you know, during the day now with schools meeting virtually. And so you might want to take that into consideration too, especially if you are starting an online group, even make sure that it’s at a time of day when that’s going to meet all the needs.

[00:21:43] And, you know, we started these webinars before, you know, kids were home virtually all the time. And so we have found that, you know, families are having a hard time hopping on during our scheduled time due to the fact that they are sharing their WIFI with their kids. And so that’s why we do make these recordings available. I think that’s a good time to share about that they are available. We post them usually three to four days up on our website.

[00:22:09] So if you weren’t able to stay on the whole time, or if you think this will be good for someone else to hear later on, please feel free to share the video out. It will be on our YouTube channel and it’s real easy to share even on social media for that. So that’s something that’s a good thing interject right now. But that was all the questions.

[00:22:30] Michaela: Okay. Yeah, absolutely. And I think right now, especially because everyone’s sharing the internet, evenings and weekends, I think are probably working better for people, at least technical wise when you’re talking about being able to get on the internet. But then again, evenings and weekends sometimes can be kind of hectic for people, you know, they’ve already done work in school. They’re trying to get dinner made and get kids ready for bed. That’s another reason why it’s great to kind of feel out your audience ahead of time. And just sent out a questionnaire or a survey and maybe see what time works best for them. So that way you figure out exactly what they want and also what time works for them.

[00:23:12] So when we’re talking about evaluating the success of your first meeting, your leadership circle [coughs], excuse me, should take time to evaluate the success of your first meeting and use the information to help plan for future meetings. So before the end of the meeting asked the group these two questions:

[00:23:33] what have you worked for? Oh I’m sorry. What worked for you? And what could we do better?

[00:23:41] I think a great way to do that, I mean, you could have them share their answers publicly, of course, or have them write them down. I don’t think if you have a survey, you know, prepared ahead of time or have those questions written down/ that way they can do it anonymously and everybody can turn them in together. And I think people are more honest and open that way. Instead of, especially if you have like more negative or critical feedback, you don’t necessarily want to raise your hand in front of everybody and tell them that, and you don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I don’t know, I don’t personally, I think anonymous surveys or just anonymous piece of paper you can fill out those two questions works really well in that situation. And I think you get more honest feedback that way. If you have those prepared ahead of time and just pass them out at the end and have everybody leave them by the door as they leave. I think that’s a great way to do that.

[00:24:32] Stella: That’s a great idea, Michaela. And the one thing that we’ve, you know, we really, you have to remember is you don’t take it personal. Because you know, we have a survey after all of our webinars and we get great feedback, but we get, you know, feedback that we have looked at and talked together on it and said, you know, we need to change that, we need to make that better. And so, you know, those are just things that really, really help you make the next meeting even better than it was before. So don’t take them personally, but take it as a way that you can grow and learn from all those suggestions and make your meeting even better.

[00:25:11] Michaela: Exactly. It’s just going to help you be that much more successful.

[00:25:17] When you were developing the group identity and activities, the planning process really involves these four major steps. You want to clarify your identity, you know, what is the purpose of your meeting or your group? You want to build a foundation. And you want to choose activities, and developing a work plan based around  the need  of your group. And that may change from time to time. You may have to adapt that as you go and as the needs of the group change.

[00:25:51] But you also want to track your progress. And kind of, keep in mind, you know, how you’re doing. Are you meeting the needs of your group? Is everybody feeling involved? And participating, and those sorts of things?

[00:26:10] There are several types of groups. So there’s the, you know, frustration, venting group. And so  the reason for those is parents have a problem with the child welfare system, for example. And it enables parents to kind of air their problems, share frustrations and meet their needs kind of more short term.

[00:26:37] The programs and services are, you know, discussing what is wrong with the system and how it affects the family. And then the structure for that type of group would be, you know, informal, no officers. Few, defined activities, parents often involved for only a short time. So you know, that may not be the type of way that you’re looking to go.

[00:27:01] Or you could do like a mutual support group. Parents need advice and resources from one another. We all know that. So that would be the reason for that group. The purpose would be to help families address adoption issues or child special needs, provide long-term emotional support. I think that’s probably the best purpose for a support group, as long-term engagement and long-term support.

[00:27:26] Programs and services, you would talk about social events, brainstorming solutions to challenges and problems that families are facing. And of course sharing emotional support and validating, you know, say the adoption experience if that’s what the group is for. And then the structure would be semiformal. So that group is going to have, it may have a couple officers, but not likely to be incorporated and has limited, you know, funding.

[00:27:56] A service group is also a great type of group. Parents see ways to fill in gaps in family’s services, and the purpose is to provide helpful support to families and children in the community,  looking for ways that you can kind of offer help for those families. And so in doing that you would want to offer workshops, printed resources. I we’re talking about, you know, adoption, post adoption services is an example. Recruiting prospective adopters, and then the structure would be formal because that group would have bylaws, nonprofit status, seeking grants or contracts to keep it going, that sort of thing.

[00:28:40] And then an advocacy group. That kind of exists where, so parents can see problems in the child will system, child welfare system, and identify possible solutions. Now, when we say child welfare system or adoption, these are just like an example of the types of groups related to that specific category. Of course you would adapt that to, you know, whatever type of disability or service you are gearing towards. But, in that one you would, you know, the purpose would be to try and change the system and make it better. And to better serve families in their local region or State.

[00:29:23] And then of course, if you’re doing an advocacy group, you want to work for things like policy and practice changes at local and State level. You could even go, you know, National levels and educating policy makers about the needs of the families. And then the structure of that would be more formal, as well. It has a broader, probably membership and board representation, then adoptive parents.

[00:29:50] So those are just kind of some examples based around adoption and the welfare system that where you could create your own group of what you kind of want that to look like.

[00:30:00] [coughs] Excuse me. So the evolution of groups over time of course some groups evolve in a linear fashion, like shown below. Starting as a frustration of a meeting group and eventually becoming an advocacy group. So you know it may start as people just getting together and venting those frustrations. And that turns into mutual support as you keep meeting and people are sharing resources and being there for one of  each other and kind of experiencing that connection. And eventually that can evolve into service and going out and helping other families in those situations. And then eventually advocacy. Where are you bringing that to policy makers and making a difference on a bigger level. So it’s okay to start with something small and move in that direction.

[00:30:51] Other groups don’t always move in that linear way. Some groups may remain in a mutual support group for their entire existence, if that’s your goal. And that’s okay too. Every group decides what its purpose is and how it’s going to serve families. Just kind of decide, you know, what is best for you, and for your target audience.

[00:31:18] And of course, Stella do we have any other questions at this time?

[00:31:22] Stella: No, but I wanted to share about, you know, when like the example that I was giving earlier about just starting a Zoom meeting, you know, where you can get people together and stuff like that. Of course none of that has to be the formal part. It can just be something that you want to do to cause that, you know, isolation to not be so much anymore. And I think that is kind of where people are right now is just, you know, it might just be just starting that little Facebook group or something and getting some people together and having conversations back and forth.

[00:31:57] And you know, like you were saying in that one model, it could grow to something else and that’s okay too. I know with the group that my son is involved in, you know, they’ve evolved as far as some of the topics that they’re talking about. And the kids now are making suggestions of things that they want to talk about. And so I think that is wonderful. So that evolving into something different can definitely happen, but you have to start somewhere.

[00:32:24] So sometimes it’s just taking that initiative to begin something and then watching it grow into something different that maybe everyone else wants it to be. And so I think that that is, really, really cool.

[00:32:39] We do have a question. One of them says, how many people do you think a mutual support group should start with? I mean, Michaela, you’re free to chime in. I think you just start with what you have and you start from there and you can begin to invite people and see the interest and then kind of watch it grow. If you are disability specific, in your support group, of course, you’re going to reach out to those certain people that are, you know, for example, like my son’s group is for young adults with Williams syndrome. So that’s a very specific group and you’re going to reach out to specific people. If you’re not going to be disability specific, so to speak, you just, you know, kind of put a post out and find some feelers and see what people are interested in.

[00:33:27] And I think that’s real important too. Again, like Michaela said at the beginning, you have to find your purpose, your target audience, who you’re really wanting to include. So that you can begin to reach out to the right folks. Michaela, did you have anything to add in with that?

[00:33:45] Michaela: Oh, absolutely. I agree with all of that, for sure. But also I think you started with as many as you can get.  And I want to encourage people not to be disheartened in the beginning if you can’t be there. I know that Kentucky SPIN, we helped some parents start a support group, for a person locally in their community. And we only have two people show up to the meeting. But I know that they continued with it had the Facebook group and it has grown, and now I think they have several hundred members. And they’re all coming on there virtually, getting that information, and with COVID, it’s impacted a little bit of their meeting times and things. But I think when we, if we ever kind of get back to normal and meeting in-person, I think they’ll have a lot more success because the woman that started that she stuck with it and she didn’t get ,disheartened. And I think it’s okay.

[00:34:42] You know, start small and with whatever you have. If you just have two people, that’s okay. If those two people continue to come back, they’re going to eventually invite friends. You know, they’re going to tell people they’ve had a good experience and that’s how you gain more members. It’s kind of by word of mouth and you know other people having positive experiences. So I think that’s important to keep in mind.

[00:35:04] And then also like Stella, said there’s a lot of things that are gonna affect the number of members that you have. If you’re doing disability specific, it’s not, you may have fewer members, depending on how many people are around you that have that specific disability, or you may have more. You know, something like Williams syndrome is pretty rare. And so I know Stella’s son, they’re doing this virtual and they have a much broader, geographical range that they can reach. You know, but if they were to do just people with Williams syndrome and their local County, they may not have as many.

[00:35:42] So you want to look at your location too, and how broad you want to be with that. If you’re meeting in person, obviously it’s a little harder to be super broad with that area. People aren’t going to be able to travel really far. But especially if you’re being virtual, you know, that may allow you to be a lot bigger. So you want to keep those types of things in mind.

[00:36:04] Stella: That’s a great point. I loved that. And that’s so true. So it really. just depends, you know, if you start virtually and you have, you know, a lot of folks involved, you might want to stay virtual, you know. And then maybe branch out into smaller groups, in local communities, as things pick up, people getting back to meeting face-to-face .And goodness I sure hope one day we are going to be able to meet face-to-face again cause I miss people interaction for sure.

[00:36:33] So I don’t see any more questions right now, but I wanted to show everyone on this slide here, you see our website, which is You can go on there, we have wonderful resources about education and COVID-19. And also, we have some wonderful resources about all other topics, disability related. And you can find our YouTube channel, which has all of our videos on there, and webinars that we have been doing the last few months. And so we’re real excited about the content that we have been able to have available for families on our website.

[00:37:15] And we do have some upcoming events. So please get on there and check our website. We usually are having webinars every Tuesday and every Thursday. And there’s registration links on there where you can register for them. And then like next Tuesday, we are going to be at 11:00 AM, same time as this one started. We are going to be talking about remote learning for students with IEPs and the school reentry process. So that is going to be a wonderful webinar for you to hop onto, because as of September 28th, as far as we know right now, schools can go back to meeting in-person. But how is that going to look for our families? And especially, how’s it going to look for families who have kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are on an IEP?

[00:38:03] So, our Executive Director Rhonda Logsdon, will be talking about that and she is wonderful on providing those resources for families. So I encourage you to attend that webinar if that’s something that is going to be of interest to you.

[00:38:19] We will have this webinar available on our website also, so you can share it out. As I said, we will be sending an email out this afternoon, that we’ll have all the handouts for you to download if you didn’t get a chance to download them while you’re on the webinar today.

[00:38:37] So, also at the end of the webinar, you will be prompted to complete our evaluation. If you could please do that. As we were talking about, as Michaela was talking about it in the session today that, you know, this really helps us also plan for future. Let us know what we’re doing, that could be better for you and maybe even some topics that you would like to see on our Tuesday Tips webinars, or our Thursday content webinars. So please, please feel free to complete that evaluation for us.

[00:39:10] So Michaela, did you have anything else you wanted to share before we end today?

[00:39:16] Michaela: I think thats it Stella, I think I’ve pretty much covered everything I had in mind.

[00:39:21] Stella: All right. Great. Well, thank you so much and thank you all for joining us. And again, please take our evaluation when you’re prompted.

[00:39:29] Thanks so much and have a wonderful Thursday.