Special Needs

Special Olympics Michigan: State Winter Games underway in Traverse City

Feb 1, 2019

Over 900 athletes will participate in this year’s Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games, and for Kent County resident Kayla Cornell, this year marks the 17th year she will compete. She says, not only does the State Winter Games allow for people with intellectual disabilities to compete in a variety of Olympic-type sports, but it also gives athletes a sense of belonging.

“For a lot of these athletes, this is their place they can come and be themselves. No one judges them and they can just be themselves and relax and have fun.”

Changes in Medicaid distributions worry school districts

May 15, 2017

School districts are worried about how proposed changes in Medicaid distributions will affect their funding. Administrators say any reduction in the estimated $4 billion schools receive in annual Medicaid reimbursements would be hard to absorb. Such cutbacks would come after years of reduced state funding and a weakened tax base. 

Family Hope Foundation

We talk about the 5th annual Special Families Fun Fest, for families of those with Special needs. Proceeds help support Family Hope Foundation's scholarship program.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley speaks on the Capitol steps about special education reforms at an October rally.
Courtesy photo / Michigan Governor's Office

While most of the rallies these days are focused on presidential candidates, a different kind of rally took place on the State Capitol lawn. 

Parents, lawmakers and advocates gathered on Wednesday to raise awareness for the needs of special education students.

A recent package of bills banning the use of restraint and seclusion in classrooms except in cases of an emergency is making its way through the legislature.

This legislation came from a recommendation by the Special Education Reform Task Force.

school desks
Public Domain Images | CC BY 2.0 / public-domain-image.com

Michigan schools need to spend more money helping students with special needs. 

That’s the finding of a study commissioned by the state legislature in 2015.

The findings were presented to the Board of Education Tuesday, the same day the Board discussed a statewide initiative to make Michigan a Top 10 performing state within the next 10 years.

John Austin is the president of the State Board of Education. He says the legislature and governor need to step up to make changes in the school financial system.

Family Hope Foundation

Family Hope Foundation is an organization to help families with special needs children to get therapies not paid for by insurance. A fundraiser  is taking place Thursday. We speak with one sharing her services for the cause, Christine Gribble with Christine Photographic Art.