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WHAT'S NEW (Older Articles)

Project: Communicate! We are THRILLED to announce Project: Communicate! This project is made possible through a generous grant from the Disability Communications Fund. The purpose of Project: Communicate is to provide communication options for persons with language impairments through hands-on access, assessments, training, support and recommendations.

For this project, we have contracted with Bernadette Kennard at Trivinity Consulting to provide these much-needed services to our families. Bernadette earned her MA from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. She is certified by the American Speech-Hearing Association and licensed by the state of California as a Speech Language Pathologist. She has specialized in developing augmentative and alternative communication systems for individuals with special needs for over 20 years, working closely with families and educational entities to help clients reach their maximum level of communication competence. In 2011, Bernadette created Trivinity Consulting, a company providing customized AAC assessments, therapeutic intervention for AAC users and training for them, their families, and professionals to develop quality support systems.

Through Project: Communicate, we will offer low/no cost AAC assessments, free one-hour AAC consultations, and hands-on access and trials of various dedicated communication devices and iPads with specialized communication apps. We will also be establishing a group for functional and social communication support and offering FREE AAC and communication workshops each quarter in all of TASK's major service regions. We are excited to be able to bring you this service! Visit our page on Project: Communicate!, and if you are interested in any of these services, please feel free to e-mail your questions to laurasm@taskca.org. Be sure to mention Project: Communicate!

In Memory of Joan Tellefsen

Joan Tellefsen, who worked at TASK for 25 years and served as our executive director until retiring in 2004, passed away in her sleep on Thursday, Feb. 20th, 2015. Having joined the board of directors in 1979, Joan helped preside over TASK’s expansion into a viable organization. Affectionately dubbed “Fearless Leader,” she was renowned by staff for her sense of humor as well as her ambition for our organization: “I’d like to see a [TASK] office in every city and a technology center in every office,” she said in a 2004 interview published in our newsletter. Among her many accomplishments, Joan helped steer the creation of our TECH Center and assistive technology program. She served on numerous national committees that helped strengthen and shape the work of the Parent Training and Information Centers as we know them today. TASK staff would like to thank Joan for helping to blaze the trail and making our organization what it is today.

Joan is survived by her husband Ed, daughters Bobbi and Cindy, and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, plants or sympathy cards, her family has requested that donations be made to TASK in her name.

Joan Tellefsen, former TASK executive director

TASK Is Proud to Announce the Winners of our Membership Drive

And the winners are...[drum roll, please]... The new TASK member that won a hundred dollar gift card of her choice is...Jeanette Picasso! Our winning employee, with a total of five memberships is...Elizabeth Ortega! Liz wins a half day off paid by TASK! Congratulations, ladies! 

WonderGrove Kids interviews TASK Deputy Director

Watch the WonderGrove Kids interview with TASK Deputy Director Brenda Smith and her son Tobi below!


Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez announces significant grant award for TASK

On September 13th, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez announced that TASK received two Parent Training and Information Center grants for a total of 4.3 million dollars over the next three years. These grants will enable us to continue our work with families helping their children with disabilities to grow and succeed in their education and their life. Click here to read the full press release from Congresswoman Sanchez's office.

Loretta Sanchez with TASK staff

TASK Videos
Now available for viewing on our website or on YouTube, TASK has produced a series of videos for families who are accessing special education for the first time, as well as those who may still have unanswered questions. Watch them on our videos page!

Changes to Educationally-Related Mental Health Services
Effective July 1st, 2011,
the California Legislature repealed Assembly Bill 3632 (AB 3632). Previously, under AB 3632, the state funded educationally-related mental health services to special education students through county mental health agencies. Under AB 3632, educationally-related mental health services included, among other services, case management, counselling, medication management, and residental placement and sometimes out-of-state residential placement. 

Now that AB 3632 has been repealed, California has returned responsibility for funding and providing educationally-related mental health services to school districts. For more information, visit Disability Rights California's collection of special education publications.

OSEP Spanish Glossary Project
The Office of Special Education Programs has relased a Spanish glossary of common, standardized terms related to special education and the IEP process. To learn more, visit the OSEP Spanish Glossary website.

"I'm a Yankee Doodle Advocate"

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the ADA and in advocacy for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) communication rights, a new song-with-lyrics video was released July 3, 2010 (Independence Day Eve) on YouTube.


"I'm a Yankee Doodle Advocate" is brought to you by the ISAAC 2010 International AAC Awareness Campaign, the TASH Communications Committee and Everyone Communicates. The computer-programmed voice is by Snoopi Botten, an expert at programming the computer voices that can make communication devices sing. The lyrics are by Judy Bailey, Project Director of Everyone Communicates and a member of ISAAC/USSAAC and TASH.

TASK Presents: The TECH Connection
TASK's TECH Center would like to introduce a NEW program called The TECH Connection. This program was developed to provide much needed services to the special needs community. One of the services offered will be a Social Skills Group Lab. This is a monthly group for children with developmental disabilities and their families. (Future dates and times will be determined through group consensus). During this time, we will feature software and low tech interventions geared toward each student's needs. These might include social skills, life skills, interpreting emotions, vocabulary building, language development, communication, and more. These two-hour sessions will give parents a chance to work with their children in a comfortable, fun environment while sharing helpful information with other parents. There will also be arts and crafts activities to help facilitate fine motor skills and opportunities for group interaction.

We are currently developing a workshop titled Assistive Technology for Students with Autism. In this workshop, we will be introducing parent and teacher tools including visual schedules, augmentative communication boards and other types of assistive technology.

We are thrilled to have Dynavox sponsor our TECH Connection kickoff event! Please download the flyer announcing our Holiday Party Event and RSVP if you can attend. More information on the monthly groups will be available soon. Please call with any questions or to RSVP (714) 533-8275.

View the latest TASK color brochure here!
Updated August 13, 2009 (.pdf file, 1.3MB)

TECH Center teams up with Blink Twice for Disneyland adventure! 
Several Camp TECHie campers teamed up with Blink Twice for a trip to Disneyland. Equipped with Tango! speech-generating devices, campers had a wonderful successful trip, complete with rides, shows, tons of energy, and some amazing breakthroughs.

Click here to watch videos of our trip or click here to read the complete article!
TASK thanks Josh Witt and Blink Twice for helping to make this event possible!

Click here to watch other videos of our trip!

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