If you haven’t heard, Families Speaking Up has rebranded as A-Team Delaware. We are excited to be taking the grass-roots work we’ve been doing for the last several years statewide, with one chapter that meets in New Castle County and one that meets on the border between Kent and Sussex Counties. As one of the newest A-Teams in the United States, we have become a part of the national movement for choice in day and residential services. We would encourage you to visit ATeamUSA.net for more information about the other states that have joined this movement. Although our name has changed, our goals remain the same — to ensure that all voices are heard when policies are being made that affect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
OUR NEXT A-Team/FSU MEETING: TBA
Apology Letter From Pat Maichle
In July 2015, 35 members of Families Speaking Up (including persons with IDD, parents, siblings and friends) attended the ADA 25th Anniversary celebration in Dover anticipating the opportunity to publically celebrate this important event with others in the disability community. As you are likely aware by now, this was not what transpired. The events of the day were chronicled in the News Journal (July 19, 2015), and many of you voiced your feelings with follow-up letters-to-the-editor in the News Journal.
Concerned about the events of the day, Lanny and Micki Edelsohn filed a complaint with the Delaware Attorney General’s office of Civil Rights and Public Trust. We are pleased to report that as a result of the efforts of Deputy Attorney General Allison Reardon and her staff at the Civil Rights division, we have received the following letter of apology from Ms. Pat Maichle, Senior Administrator of the Delaware Disabilities Council:
With a disability population as diverse as the general population, FSU holds firm to the tenet that all voices should be heard. We would like to publicly accept Ms. Maichle’s apology and thank her for her commitment to open and direct communication. We are delighted that she will be joining us at our October 17, 2016 FSU meeting at Easter Seals (map) to hold an honest and respectful discussion that will help lay a foundation for future collaboration on important issues facing the disabilities population.
Remembering our friend, Charlie Cawley
The entire disability community mourns the passing of our dear friend and advocate, Charles M. Cawley, former CEO of MBNA Bank.
Under his leadership, Support Services at MBNA was born, providing meaningful, challenging and stimulating full time jobs with benefits for 330 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, he was a major supporter of Homes For Life Foundation contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars during its infancy and giving credibility in the Delaware community to Homes For Life’s efforts to provide safe and comfortable homes for those with IDD. Without Charlie’s support there would be no Homes For Life or its offspring Families Speaking UP.
Charlie’s kind and generous spirit will live on in our hearts. We ask that everyone keep Charlie’s wife, Julie, and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
-Micki and Lanny