This past week, there was a meeting at CP with a representative from D2E and OSNPC to discuss what would be best for these two groups after the Arc/CP merger. Pros and cons were listed as to what might occur if these two groups (D2E & OSNPC) were to also merge together. The pros clearly outweighed the cons. After much discussion, it was decided that D2E and OSNPC will merge together as one group on January 1st, 2012, to follow the same effective date as the Arc/CP merger. The merged group will continue with the name DOWN to Earth, but instead of the marketing information reading “A support group for parents of children with Down syndrome,” it will read “A support group for parents of children with Down syndrome and other special needs.”
This is going to be a very exciting and beneficial merge. It seemed that both groups were working on the same sort of meeting topics and speakers, and now they can both collaborate and work more effectively and efficiently as a team. CP has offered to provide childcare at not cost to the parent(s) at all of the meetings where childcare is needed. Our first collaborative meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at the Downtown YMCA Primetime Center (324 Washington Avenue in Oshkosh) at 6:30PM. Families are welcome and invited to bring their children along to play in the Primetime Center. The YMCA has offered us the use of their Primetime Facility at no charge, and you do not need to be a Y member to attend this meeting. The children can play in a relaxed, safe setting while the parents take time to visit and get to know each other.
Our February meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1st at 6:30PM in the lower level of the Hooper Building, 36 Broad Street in Oshkosh, which is also where the CP office is located. Kim Brown, Assistant Director of Special Education in the Oshkosh Area School District, will be coming to update us on what is happening in regards to special education in the Oshkosh school district. Childcare will be provided at this meeting, but you must let CP know if you will be needing childcare services by Monday, January 30th, so they can be sure to have enough childcare providers. You can contact Tracey Wroblewski, RN, Respite/ILOP Coordinator at 920-424-4073 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This exciting merger information will soon be included on the DOWN to Earth website.
You can also check the website for meeting information and many other helpful resources. There is even a page where you can share your child’s or your family’s unique story. If you are interested in doing this, please send a typed word document (and picture if you’d like to include one) to Ann Freid, email@example.com or Victor Alatorre, Victor.Alatorre@gmail.com, and they will make sure your story gets posted on the website. Please be aware, though, that the DOWN to Earth website is a public site, so we urge you to be cautious about including any personal contact information.
Thank you for your past participation in D2E and OSNPC. We hope you will continue to take part in our monthly meetings and that you will welcome this merger. We would also hope that you would continue to support that Arc-Winnebago County Disability Association, Inc. and Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin, Inc. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call Judy Britton, Executive Director, or Lorraine Yarbrough, Assistant Executive Director, of Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin, Inc. 920-424-4071.