Thursday, February 20, 2014

Disability Resources when moving to Wake CO.

One of the hardest things about moving to a new place with a child with special needs is trying to find the resources and support you need. Most of the resources are not found in one place. From my own experience, connecting with other parents who "have been there and done that" has been most helpful. Here is  a list of my top ten resources:
  1. Austim Society of North Carolina  Having a young son with autism ASNC has been a great resource. They have a yearly huge conference where they bring top notch speakers. The have local chapters throughout the state for more community/local support. They have an excellent bookstore. They hire parent advocates who are very knowledgeable.
  2. ECAC (Exceptional Children's Assistance Center) I used to work closely with them so I am a little biased but even before I worked with them, attending one of their workshops was one of the best educational resources in helping me become my son's best advocate. Every state is mandated to have a parent education center.
  3. Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy  One of the best workshops on the IDEA & advocacy educational resources out there.
  4. First in Families of NC They are the non profit that I tithe to and yes I used to work for them. They do community based grassroots support across the state of NC. They are consumer & family driven.
  5. Family Support Network of NC  They have a huge central directory of resources and they can hook you up with similar parent who have children with similar diagnosis.
  6. Disability Rights Center of NC Finally outside of state government where there were clearly conflicts of interests. They have the mission to ensure the rights of all NC citizens with disabilities through individual advocacy and system change.
  7. North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities  Their mission is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services and supports, as well as other assistance and opportunities, which promote inclusive communities.
  8. The Arc of NC They provide advocacy and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The  Arc believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have strengths, abilities and inherent value; are equal before the law; and must be treated with dignity and respect.
  9. Easter Seals UCP North Carolina Their mission is to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network. They strive to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in every facet of society — from the Web to the workplace, from the classroom to the community. 
  10. TASH  They stand for Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities. I have attended their nation conferences and been blown away by what I have experience and learned there. I would recommend it to any parent of a child with significant disabilities.
By no means is this a complete list of resources but it is a good start and hopefully will help a new parent moving to the Triangle area. 

Wishing you all the best in your advocacy journey, 

 More Disability Community Resources:
Alliance of Disability Advocates

Promotes independence and consumer control by people with disabilities and to advance civil rights of equal access and full participation in society.

ALS Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter

Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

Arts Access of Raleigh

A nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, NC, Art Access of Raleigh makes the Arts accessible to people with disabilities throughout the Triangle area of North Carolina. Specifically, they provide audio description for theatre patrons who are blind or have low vision, refer arts administrators to sign language interpreters, and provide accessibility training to arts organizations and arts accessibility information to the public.

Assistive Technology

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) is a state and federally funded program that provides assistive technology services statewide to people of all ages and abilities. These devices are designed to assist with everyday functions including mobility, learning, speech, hearing, vision and many others. NCATP allows people to demo these devices at their AT Centers. The centers have training seminars, demo and loan programs, and a trading post where people can exchange devices.

Brain Injury Association of North Carolina

833-9634 or 800.377.1464
The BIANC develops, supports, and/or administers programs, services, and activities that make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children and military and veterans who have been affected by the trauma of brain injury. Sadler has been an ongoing supporter of their annual walk-a-thon.

North Carolina Special Olympics

The Special Olympics organization provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

C.A.R.E.  (Council of Ageless Residential Environments) As part of the Wake County Home Builders Association this council is a primary resource for ageless design in home construction for HBA members, building industry professionals and the general public.

The Center for Universal Design

 The CUD is a national organization that provides information and technical assistance on universal design in housing, commercial and public facilities, outdoor environments, and products. It is in our back yard at NCSU!

CHART (Chapel Hill Area Resources and Tools)

CHART’s purpose is to connect families with the people, tools, and services that will help them to support their loved one with autism or a sensory processing disorder.  They have a wealth of information and resources.

Estate Planning & special needs trusts   Jeff

Jeffrey G. Marsocci is a life and estate planning attorney who has been helping couples, families and individuals with planning matters for more than a decade. He has worked on hundreds of cases to plan for the future while successfully avoiding hidden tax traps, unnecessary legal expenses, and burdensome red tape caused by the probate process.

The Miracle League of the Triangle

This is quite a special organization, whose sole mission is to provide opportunities to all children with special needs to play baseball regardless of their abilities. They have constructed special facilities that meet the unique needs of players and their families. My son has played on their teams before and the support is incredible.  If you have a child with special needs, or would like to participate in one of their game events, feel free to reach out. They can always use volunteers.

National MS Society Carolinas Chapter

The Carolinas Chapter serves nearly 17,000 people living with MS and their families in 97 counties of North Carolina and all of South Carolina.  There are three driving goals behind this change:
To offer more education, support, advocacy and services for people affected by MS
To raise more money and increase our commitment to MS research
To improve operating efficiencies so we can spend more time providing the superior programs, services and fundraising events that you have come to expect from us

UnitedHealth Care Children’s Foundation

The UnitedHealthCare Children’s foundation has grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to parents and legal guardians of disabled children for health care services and medical equipment inadequately covered by insurance.

Veteran Resources:

Project Healing Waters

Dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.

Senior Resources:

Gold Coalition

Gold Coalition is a public/private organization focused on Wake County Aging issues, including housing. One of their most important outreach missions includes arranging for home improvements and repairs for seniors in need on an as-needed basis. Volunteer programs can also assist with painting and other minor repairs. For more major repairs, loan and grant programs are available through the City of Raleigh, Wake County, and the USDA.

Resources for Seniors

Provides home and community-based services and information in the Wake County area so that they can maximize their choices for independence, comfort, safety, security and well-being. They provide information and support for decision-making, and also direct services such as home care, adult day care, senior centers.

CAPS  (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) contractors:

Blue Ribbon Residential Construction

Blue Ribbon™ Residential Construction is a fully-licensed award winning residential contracting company in Raleigh, NC that provides a full-range of remodeling services that can improve your current space — from original designs to complete construction. They are very versed in accessibility & working with seniors

Sadler Construction

Sadler Construction is the Triangle’s only CAPS certified home builder that is focused exclusively on designing, renovating and constructing barrier-free/accessible  homes and remodels. Owned and operated by Lewis Sadler, Lewis believes that we all deserve to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Stanton Homes

Stanton Homes builds exceptional living experiences in the Raleigh/Triangle area. Featuring extras like accessible homes, military programs, green building techniques, and lots of unique features.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Carolina Preserve: Another good "Aging in Place" community

     If you are a senior looking to relocated to the Triangle area the Carolina Preserve maybe the community for you. This is an age restricted community which is part of Amberly (which is not age restricted). It is the perfect "aging in place community" with over 500 homes. It is located in the western part of Cary, NC.

What I like most of about the homes in the Preserve are:

  1.  They have lever handle on the doors
  2.  They all are ranch style homes with some basements 
  3. Their bath designs are wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair if needed
  4. The doors are wider
  5. They have many open floor plans
  6. The community is built around an HUGE club house where neighbors can meet , take classes, attend clubs, ect. 
Every one I have talked to really loves is out there. The lifestyle is what they move there for and the club house is a BIG focus for that. There is a huge indoor pool with a graduated ramp for those with accessibility concerns.
Perfect for lap swimming of water aerobic classes (my favorite)!

The Olympic size pool has an easy access ramp & a hot tub to sooth soar muscles.

The homes range from 1300-4000 sq ft  and the price go from $250,000 to over $500,000.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Every October: NC State Fair

Crisp apples, brisk fall air, the leaves are starting to turn...these are the things of FALL. One of the great things to do every fall in the Triangle area is go to the State Fair. I grew up in NH and was raised on an annual agricultural fair. Every Labor Day week my grandparent's home town hosted a big agricultural fair that brought tons of folks to their sleepy town.  I have fond memories of my 
grandparents entering their roses 
and winning ribbons.

 Now my family has started it's own tradition and there is hardly a fall that passes that we don't get on down to the State fair.
The NC State Fair pulls 800,000 attendees during the 10 days it is open.  It has been going on for almost 150 yrs.

 I love the garden competitions.

 The FOOD!!!!!!
Every year it seem that there is a contest for the grossest combination

 & the smells!



So what is it about the NC State Fair that pulls so many people? Is it the rides? Is it the food? The animals or the smells? Or is it the people watching? Personally I love it ALL!

NC State Fair

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let's talk about the market

My co-worker Stacie Dye just did a really good post about what's going on in our present market.
I'm reposting here.

Let's talk about the Market...

The Triangle Multiple Listing Services just released the January statistics. Take a look at the video below and read my take on what is happening.

What does this mean for Sellers? It means that the market is the healthiest it has been for some time. It also means that the inventory is low so if you are considering putting your home on the market, NOW is the right time. 

What does this mean for Buyers? Our office has been writing offers like crazy and we are seeing Multiple Offer situations again so you may not have as much negotiating room as you would like and need to make solid offers and get homes under contract as soon as possible. 

What is the financing situation? Lenders are requiring more paperwork and its up to you to get the documents completed in a timely manner. You need to be pre-qualified before looking at homes. There is still 100% Financing Options and the popular FHA with putting down 3.5% Down. If you need a referral let me know.

Thanks Stacie for a great post!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Helping the WHOLE disability community & the "aging in place" community with their real estate needs

Ten reasons why I love my niche:

  1. It feels good helping people 
  2. The Deaf community appreciates a Realtor who can communicate in ASL 
  3. I like being unique
  4. It's were my heart and values are
  5. It's real...in other words it is where my life experiences have led me 
  6. I do a good job & people appreciate my work & help (Please read) 
  7.  It was cool having an article written about me in our local Cary paper (to read the article)
  8. There is a real NEED for my expertise
  9. It's cool being a maverick
  10. I enjoy being part of this community! Life is a circle and with my success I give back to this community as well.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

C.A.R.E (Council for Ageless Residential Environments) doing a fundraiser to support the Sassafras accessible playground in Raleigh

 The newly formed CARE (Council for Ageless Residential Environments)  of the Raleigh/Wake County Homebuilders Association is planning a fundraiser on March 15th at NeuWave Systems from 5:00 – 8:00pm.  A $25 ticket gets you BBQ, beer tastings from local breweries and participation in an auction being held that evening.  Part of the proceeds will go to  Sassafras,  a planned accessible playground in Raleigh. Please watch the video to learn more.

Sassafras: accessible playground

 Please call me 919 931-1939 or text or email me Karen@AccessHomesNC.com for more information or to buy tickets.

Homes that work for ALL: Builders please listen

I have written before about how hard it is to find an accessible home. It is tough but it can be done. I'd like to share  this video of the clients perspective on the process.

I am part of the C.A.R.E. (Council for Ageless Residential Environments) through our local Home Builders Association and we are trying to make a difference in the way that builders build homes in the Triangle area. If builders stepped back and looked at our society's demographics, they would see the huge tsunami of baby boomers that are coming into the market. The longer we live and the more chance we will have a disability. This is not being dark and foreboding, this is being proactive

We need to build homes that will take care of ALL people, no matter where they are in their life cyle or what their physical abilities.