Welcome to What’s Trending?
A page on our site where you will find stories, photos, graphics and videos that showcase what we do, why we do it and many of the people who make it possible. Consistently, we are bridging support, actively serving, committed to growing and recognizing valuable partnerships. We will also showcase stories relating to community engagement and wellness. This is why we want to keep you up to date on what is trending at Community Crossroads, in the disability community and beyond.
Promoting, Supporting, and Advancing Local Area Agencies The Community Support Network, Inc. (CSNI) is an organization whose primary role is to represent all ten area agencies in New Hampshire. According to their website, CSNI’s mission is to “promote, support, and...read more
Studio of Performing Arts Grand Re-Opening Carnival Open House/Fundraiser
Join us on Saturday, August 28th from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for a day filled with games, face painting, raffle prizes, and ice cream. The dance studio located in our building (8 Commerce Drive, Atkinson, NH) decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to Community Crossroads since we were not able to have our annual Kids Carnival this year.
2022 Family Support Conference
SAVE THE DATE! The 2021 Family Support Conference will take place April 22-24, 2022. This is an opportunity for you to connect, learn, and recharge at the Omni Mount Washington Resort. Check out the Family Support Conference website: New Hampshire Family Support Conference, and follow on Facebook: @fsconh for updates in the coming months.
Getting Organized For a New School Year
School is back in session! This means new classes, new teachers, a new routine, and possibly even a new school. It also means IEP meetings that include your child’s case coordinator, teachers, and you. Often – there are many topics discussed in an IEP meeting and it is important to keep everything organized so that no topic is missed and your child gets the support they need and deserve.
Here are some ways to keep yourself organized:
- Purchase a 3-ring binder
- Purchase tab dividers
- Include folders in the binder to keep documents inside
- Use color-coded folders
- Organize any paperwork in chronological order
- Keep anything relating to your child’s IEP in the same place
It is important to remember that while this may seem time-consuming at first, once you are organized you will save a lot of time and stress finding paperwork before, and during meetings.
Reasons To Stay Organized
Having all your paperwork organized will allow you to track progress and patterns easily.
It helps you plan what you want to talk about – there is only so much time in a meeting and you don’t want to miss an important topic
If an educator does not follow guidelines regarding accommodations, you can show them the piece of paper that states why your child needs any given accommodation
2021 Legislative Session Summary
Despite the pandemic, the legislative session commenced from January through June 2021. NH legislators conducted their work via a hybrid model and held virtual public legislative hearings.
NH lawmakers passed a state budget that was signed into law by the Governor in June 2021 which fully funded Developmental Disability (DD) Services and the Waitlist. The legislature also passed just over two dozen bills.
One bill of interest this session, Senate Bill 150 which sought to establish an adult dental benefit under the state Medicaid program, was unanimously supported by the NH Senate. Senators opted to include funding for this benefit in the Senate version of the state budget but during Committee of Conference budget discussions NH House leaders had questions and ultimately removed it from the final state budget proposal that became law.
The NH House and Senate also retained/re-referred more than 200 bills. Committees will schedule meetings to review these bills later this month or in early fall.
Here are two retained bills that may be of interest to individuals/families:
1. House Bill 103-FN is legislation (similar to SB 150) that also seeks to establish a dental benefit under the state Medicaid program.
2. House Bill 540 is legislation that seeks to enact supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship.
The Executive Council unanimously approved the new two-year contracts with 10 Area Agencies.
The NH legislature also created about 20 study committees and commissions and will begin meeting sometime later this month or early fall.
A study committee consists only of NH legislators and typically includes one or two NH Senators and three to five NH House Representatives, however, the committee can request information and testimony from non-legislators. A study commission is made up of a few NH legislators and a number of non-legislators representing entities that have an interest in the topic.
Being a Caregiver For Your Spouse
September 12-18 is Home Care Provider/Direct Support Professional Recognition Week! It is important to showcase those who spend time on the front line and educate communities about what it is like to be a Direct Support Professional/Home Care Provider. Many times – one will need to support their own spouse at some point in their life. Whether the support given is a result of a lifelong disability, aging, an accident, or a virus – many need to step into a direct support role. Here are some tips for you if you are in a situation where you need to care for your own spouse:
Ask For Help – Often, those who spend most of their time caring for their spouse feel as though they cannot ask for help because it would make them seem like a failure. In reality, asking for help from family, friends, and neighbors will save the caregiver time, energy, and stress. Allowing oneself to be too stressed out will negatively impact the caregiver’s health.
Treat Each Other As Equals – In many cases, you may be caring for someone who was once in perfect or near perfect health. Some conditions get worse with age and it may feel as though you are losing the person you love. However, don’t forget that this is the same person they have always been – they just need more or different support than they did before and they are still able to offer you love, compassion, and friendship. Similarly, if you are dating or married to someone who has always had a certain condition – it is important not to treat them as if they are unable to do something just because of their condition.
Understand That Others Will Ask Questions – Unfortunately in our society – relationships between a person with a disability and without a disability are underrepresented. This leads to the ableist mindset that someone with a disability can’t date or marry someone who doesn’t have a disability. In many cases, this leads to family, friends, and even strangers asking questions about what it is like to be in a relationship with someone with a disability. If you can understand what questions are well-meaning and appropriate, it will help you educate others about the situation you are in.
Communication Is Key – Communicating your wants and needs with each other is important! A lack of communication will cause frustration on both the caregiver and the person who is being cared for. Having honest conversations will make life easier for both of you.
Jim Watson, Board of Directors Chairman
It is with mixed emotions that I make this announcement about a pending change in the leadership of Community Crossroads.
During our June board meeting, we were informed that Dennis Powers will be retiring as our President and CEO upon completion of his contract on June 30, 2022. Dennis has served this board and agency for more than half of its forty two year existence.
Dennis first came to New Hampshire from Virginia in 1990 to serve as Executive Director of (then) Region Ten Community Support Services. From 2002 to 2011 he left us to work in Concord, first as Director of the NH Division of Developmental Services, and later as Executive Director of the Community Support Network. He returned to us in 2011 in the newly created position of President/CEO. Since then he has worked with all of you to broaden the mission of the agency to become a true community resource.
Ordinarily a change of this magnitude would result in a period of uncertainty and turmoil for the organization but the board several years ago incorporated succession planning into our strategic plan in order to assure a smooth transition in leadership.
As a result, it is my pleasure to announce that the board is entering into a contract with Cynthia Mahar, effective this July 1st to serve as Executive Vice President of Community Crossroads. In this role, Cynthia will work closely with the Board of Directors and Dennis Powers over the next 12 months to transfer the knowledge of the CEO so that she will be ready to fully assume those responsibilities on July 1, 2022.
Cynthia has worked for this agency since 1985 serving as a Case Manager, Vocational Supervisor, and Director of Community Support. From 2009 to 2011 she left to become Director of Special Projects in Concord for the Community Support Network (CSNI) but returned to Community Crossroads in 2011 to serve as Executive Director. She is a lifelong learner and earned her MBA from Franklin Pierce while working full time for the agency. She is a graduate of the National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities and has worked throughout the country as a certified SIS interviewer for AAIDD.
I hope that you will join me in wishing Dennis well as he makes the transition into retirement over the next year after a 49 year career in human services. At the same time, I want to congratulate Cynthia on her new position and assure you that the board will be working diligently over the next year to make this a seamless transfer of leadership.
President, Board of Directors
Recognizing Valuable Partnerships
Our 32nd Annual Golf Challenge Sponsors
Pentucket Bank – Premier Corporate Sponsor
Friends of ServiceLink
Leone, McDonnell & Roberts
CGI Business Solutions
GSG Supply Inc.
Small Business Benefits Solutions
Chloe’s Shred Shed
David S. Brown, Colliander & Brown P.A.
Alliance Home Health
Insure New England
Coldwell Banker Classic Reality
Darcie’s Bookkeeping Service
Nutrition in Motion
Cohen Investment Advisors
Pivot Creative/Spark Offices
Spindel Eye Associates
Check our our Facebook photo album where we recognize all sponsors for this year’s Golf Challenge: (1) Facebook.
Participate In Adaptive Sports
Are you looking for fun activities and sports to participate in? If so – check out the following websites where you can learn about adaptive sports happening now all across the state of New Hampshire!
|AbilityPLUS, Inc. – Paralympic Sport New Hampshire||www.abilityplus.org|
|Northeast Passage – Paralympic Sport Southern New Hampshire||http://www.nepassage.org|
|New England Disabled Sports – Paralympic Sport New Hampshire||www.nedisabledsports.org|
|New England Healing Sports Association – Paralympic Sport Central New Hampshire||www.nehsa.org|
|Granite State Adaptive – Paralympic Sport New Hampshire||www.gsadaptivesports.org|
|Concord Fencing Club||concordfencingclub.org|
|Team River Runner Newbury NH||http://www.teamriverrunner.org/?q=node/1308|
|Lakes Region Disabled Sports at Gunstock||www.gunstockadaptive.org|
|Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and Sports – Paralympic Sport New Hampshire||https://crotchedmountain.org/programs-and-services/accessible-recreation/|
|Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports||www.watervilleadaptive.com|
Summer may be coming to an end, but there is still time to enjoy all the fun activities in our community during this time of the year! Also – be the first to know about activities in your area this fall!
Visit Carriage Shack Farm (Londonderry, NH). If you like animals – this could be a fun place for you and your family to visit. Learn more about Carriage Shack Farm HERE: Welcome – Carriage Shack Farm – Petting Farm, Pony Rides, Birthday Parties, Field Trips, Traveling Petting Farm.
Listen to live music at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom! We have all missed seeing our favorite artists perform live throughout COVID. Live shows are making their return – visit Casino Ballroom to see who is coming to the venue this summer!
Go to Story Land (Bartlett, NH – only opened during the weekend), or Santa’s Village (Jefferson, NH – only opened during the weekend). Your entire family will have a great day at either of these two places. Learn more about Story Land HERE: Best Family Amusement Park in New Hampshire | Story Land (storylandnh.com), and Santa’s Village HERE: Pure Joy. Family Style. | Santa’s Village (santasvillage.com).
Go on the Conway Scenic Railroad (North Conway, NH). On this ride – passengers will be sent back in time when passenger train connected towns and cities across the region. Learn more HERE: Conway Scenic Railroad | Heritage Railway in North Conway, NH.
Go to Jay Gee’s Ice Cream and Fun Center (Salem, NH & Methuen, MA). If you want to have a fun-filled summer day – this is the place to be! Ice cream, go-karts, mini golf, and more will make this a fun experience. Learn more HERE: Home – Jay Gee’s Ice Cream & Fun Center (jaygees.com).
Ice cream hopping! Do you enjoy eating ice cream on a sunny, summer day? If so – ice cream hopping could be an activity that you and your family find fun. Go to a bunch of ice cream places throughout the summer (or in one day) and try some different flavors of ice cream. Most ice cream places will have unique and fun flavors during the summer!
Something to Put a Smile On Your Face
Partners in Health sponsored these two boys to attend Lego camp!