Disability Funders Foundation

Disability Funders Network connects programs and projects with potential funders – Their mission is to:

  • To increase the extent and effectiveness of grantmaking that benefits people with disabilities
  • To promote inclusion of people with disabilities in effective philanthropy

Today, I had a chance to hear Elaine Katz of the Kessler Foundation and Kevin Webb of theMitsubishi Electric America Foundation speak on the projects and programs each of their foundations support, what types of funding they offer and a few tips on submitting grant proposals. Excellent information and resources!!!

Here are a few the tips and strategies shared today regarding submission of grant funding proposals:

  • Know your funder (don’t just blind send, but find out who they are and what they support)
  • Read the funding guidelines before submitting
  • Build relationships (Don’t rely on cold call techniques, but really look to get to know who you are attempting to work with for funding)
  • Look at the core mission statements of the potential funders (again, get to know them and be sure your intent/mission aligns)

One key bit of info which I did not know prior to today is 85% of philanthropic monies are from individuals! Did you know this??? Don’t hesitiate to let your needs be known throughout your circles and networks…your greatest donor may be sitting next to you in the coffee shop or at the dinner table…



Hidden Disability – Support and care for mental illness


Hidden disabilities can’t be seen and very often are misunderstood. That misunderstanding can lead to negative stigma for both the individual and family. How do you support what you cannot see? NAMI provides resource and support for those living with mental illness, their friends and family. http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=nami_connection

Wounded Warrior Project

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are just two days out of the year where we stop to honor those who gave their lives and those who continue to serve. After the barbecues are put back behind the house, after the red, white, and blue banners are taken down, folded, and placed away, veterans and their families still live in the daily effects of war. Wounded Warrior Project provides support via free projects to nourish the individuals injured in the line of duty. Reengaging in community and with family, challenging new physical boundaries and building transferable skill sets to improve economic prosperity…just a few of the awesome things offered through the Wounded Warrior Project programs. Check out this great work and see if there is a volunteer role you could play to support our veterans.


Memorial Day – Taps

So this really isn’t a resource, but felt compelled to share on this Memorial Day.

Do you know the origin and meaning of Taps? I knew the words (thanks to high school choir), but was not fully aware of the origin and meaning. Upon researching today I came across this blog/website of Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva. Mr. Villanueva strives to keep the honor of Taps alive by sharing this historical military tradition.

Shadow Taps: Josh Boyles and Jessica Tavenner

I attended a Memorial Day service yesterday where Shadow Taps was played by two wonderfully talented young musicians (and friends of mine), Josh B. and Jessica T. (volume up for this link) Below are two additional stories of Taps. The exact origin may not be perfectly clear, but the long tradition of honoring our men and women who have died in service to God and Country is very clear. Thank you for keeping my freedoms free.

Verse 1:Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the lakes,
From the hills,
From the sky,
All is well,
Safely rest,
God is nigh.
Verse 2:Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star,
Gems the sky,
Gleaming bright,
From afar,
Drawing nigh,
Falls the night.

Verse 3:

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

The Story Behind “TAPS”:

It all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moan of a soldier who lay mortally wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach the gunfire, the captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The captain lit a lantern, suddenly he caught his breath and went white with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier, it was his own son.

The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, he enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was partially granted. The captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for the son at the funeral. That request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. Out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The father chose the bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of his dead son’s uniform. This wish was granted.

This music was the haunting melody we now know as “Taps” that is used at all military funerals. http://www.iboww.org/taps.htm

The following Version is from the
Military District of Washington, D.C. (archives):


During the Civil War, in July 1862 when the Army of the Potomac was in camp, Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield summoned Pvt. Oliver Wilcox Norton, his brigade bugler, to his tent. Butterfield, who disliked the colorless “extinguish lights” call then in use, whistled a new tune and asked the bugler to sound it for him. After repeated trials and changing the time of some notes which were scribbled on the back of an envelope, the call was finally arranged to suit Gen. Butterfield and used for the first time that night. Pvt. Norton, who on several occasions, had sounded numerous new calls composed by his commander, recalled his experience of the origin of “Taps” years later:

“One day in July 1862 when the Army of the Potomac was in camp at Harrison’s Landing on the James River, Virginia, resting and recruiting from its losses in the seven days of battle before Richmond. Gen. Butterfield summoned the writer to his tent, and whistling some new tune, asked the bugler to sound it for him. This was done, not quite to his satisfaction at first, but after repeated trials, changing the time of some of the notes, which were scribbled on the back of an envelope, the call was finally arranged to suit the general.

“He then ordered that it should be substituted in his brigade for the regulation “Taps” (extinguish lights) which was printed in the Tactics and used by the whole army. This was done for the first time that night. The next day buglers from nearby brigades came over to the camp of Butterfield’s brigade to ask the meaning of this new call. They liked it, and copying the music, returned to their camps, but it was not until some time later, when generals of other commands had heard its melodious notes, that orders were issued, or permission given, to substitute it throughout the Army of the Potomac for the time-honored call which came down from West Point.

In the western armies the regulation call was in use until the autumn of 1863. At that time the XI and XII Corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac and sent under command of Gen. Hooker to reinforce the Union Army at Chattanooga, Tenn. Through its use in these corps it became known in the western armies and was adopted by them. From that time, it became and remains to this day the official call for “Taps.” It is printed in the present Tactics and is used throughout the U.S. Army, the National Guard, and all organizations of veteran soldiers.

Gen. Butterfield, in composing this call and directing that it be used for “Taps” in his brigade, could not have foreseen its popularity and the use for another purpose into which it would grow.

Today, whenever a man is buried with military honors anywhere in the United States, the ceremony is concluded by firing three volleys of musketry over the grave, and sounding with the trumpet or bugle “Put out the lights. Go to sleep”…There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.” http://www.iboww.org/taps.ht

Creativity – UDL (Part 1 of many…)

I am a huge proponent of UDL, Universal Design for Learning. In a nutshell, UDL is utilizing multiple, flexible ways to engage the “what, how and why” of learning for all learners. Learn all you ever wanted to know about UDL HERE…But don’t read too much or you might blow some of my future posts! 😉

I am NOT a huge proponent of IQ testing. I understand the “need” for knowing, but we tend to get so bogged down in IQ scores without always taking into account other forms of intelligence. Most of us know someone who is incredibly book smart, but has difficulty safely crossing the street. Or maybe someone who regularly fails standardized tests, but can play Mozart by ear. We all learn differently. We think differently. We create differently.

How Creativity Works: It’s All In Your Imagination aired on NPR recently. Author Jonah Lehrer discussed the brain’s ability to create, to be creative and the many ways we can approach creativity. “The brain is just an endless knot of connections. And a creative thought is simply … a network that’s connecting itself in a new way.” Listen to the interview or read the Transcript …do you agree with Lehrer’s thoughts on creativity? One thought which jumped out at me was the idea of segregated classrooms in secondary education. If I agree with Lehrer that creativity is a network of seemingly old ideas, then how do students who are kept apart allowed to test and build their own creativity? What sparks them in a separate place? I know there is more to segregated classrooms and inclusion and that is for another discussion. Do we hinder or stifle learning by putting students in one classroom, group or another? What are your thoughts?

Supporting Military Families

In honor of Memorial Day and all of our serving families, today’s blog is dedicated to supporting military families. STOMP, Specialized Training Of Military Families serves both within the US and in foreign countries. STOMP specialists provide information, resources and supports through their website, face to face trainings, distributed materials and networking.


Support the families who support our freedom.

Career Builder

Career Builder – Disability

Check out Career Builder for jobs within the disability field! Education, Employment, Support Services…name your state/location and see what’s available!