Supported Decision-Making-An Alternative to Guardianship

By Sammi Nuss (Co-Chair KASA) with a little help from one of my strongest supporters, my Mom, Ruth Nuss (Board President of PATH/FVCT)
Supported Decision-Making (SDM) agreements are something I am very excited about because they are a less restrictive alternative to Guardianship for people with disabilities who are able to make decisions for themselves, with guidance and help from people that they trust and have chosen as their supporters. Lots of people with disabilities need Guardianship because they are not able to make their own decisions and have limited life skills. There are also a lot of people (young, adult and elderly too) that CAN make decisions with just a little support, some of these currently have Guardianship, maybe because they don’t know there is an option and could be independent with an SDM.
Let me tell you my story:
When I was in my senior year of high school, I was nervous about graduating because I did not know what was going to happen after I left there. Our school had advised my Mom to apply for guardianship because they were worried about me and worried that my Mom would not be able to help me once I was an adult and had left school and I am sure they didn’t know there were other options.

PATH’s Fourth Annual Online Auction

PATH is gearing up for our fourth annual online auction, which will take place at the end of November, just in time to do your holiday shopping! We are actively seeking donations for the auction including gift baskets, gift certificates, products, or services.

Don’t have a business and still want to help? We’d gladly accept a gift basket donation of any kind for the auction. Popular baskets from last year include a pasta basket, a doggy basket, and a basket of homemade jams/jellies.

This auction is PATH’s main yearly fundraiser and we need your support. The money raised by this auction goes directly to the many programs of parent support, advocacy, and training offered by PATH to families of children with special needs. With major budget cuts in Connecticut, we need your help now more than ever.

If you have a something you’d like to donate to the auction, please contact Auction Coordinator Marni McNiff for details at



“Life After High School Transitions Topics Training Series

Fairfield Public School’s Community Partnership Program (CCP) and Transition Services would like to invite you to come and listen to parents of former FPS students discuss their experiences with their student’s transition to and their ongoing relationships with private and state, adult services agencies and the supports they provide. The transition from school district supports and services to state and private agency services can take parents and students by surprise.


Parents are often unaware of the differences between those two worlds. This presentation will help you understand those differences, be more informed on how to negotiate with those agencies for the supports that you believe your student will need to be successful and how you might want to plan for your student before they leave the services of the school district.


These parents represent a cross-section of young adults with disabilities and their experience and information is extremely valuable, you really do not want to miss what they has to share.

KASA Kickoff Meeting!

Join us for the KASA (Kids As Self-Advocates) kickoff meeting. The meeting is open to young adults ages 13-26 and their parents. A light lunch will be served.


The KASA (Kids As Self-Advocates) program models leadership and the power of self-advocacy. KASA active in our schools, communities, families and places of employment, and PATH is very exciting to be bringing KASA back to Connecticut. We share our message with other youth who have disabilities or chronic health conditions, as well as with our friends and peers.

Our activities will include:

  • Representing the voice of youth living with disabilities and chronic health conditions by speaking to policy makers at public events and hearings
  • Educating our communities, including students, teachers and administrators at our schools; medical students and physicians; and federally funded cafe and agencies and state programs
  • Serving as advisors to the over 40,000 members of Family Voices across the country and organizations and agencies interested in promoting youth involvement and leadership

PATH Online Auction


Are you a Connecticut restaurant or business that would like to help PATH?

Our Parent Support program best known as The Listener Program; provides support services critical to many Connecticut families who live with the sometimes unimaginable situation of raising a child with developmental disabilities or special health care needs. The program provides training, one-to-one parent matches, follow-up services and an inspirational and informational newsletter at no cost to families. Other critical programs include navigation of complex healthcare programs and services, resource research and advocacy, support and training for parents dealing with difficult issues at school or state agencies. (Please visit for a complete description of our programs).


Special Education Day at the Capitol

Join parents and families of special education students as we rally to support special education in Connecticut public schools!

Help us raise awareness about special education and its importance to the lives of thousands of children in Connecticut schools every day. Help us support special education and keep our system of specialeducation fair and accessible to parents of special education students.

Where: Old Judiciary Room, 3rd Floor, Connecticut State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford

When: Monday, March 16, 2015 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Registration: This free event is open to the public. Registration in advance is requested. It’s easy! Forward your name, town and the number of people in your group to

Questions? Email us at

Parking: Limited public parking is available in the parking garage next to the Legislative Office Building. The garage has a connector to the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol area at the roof level. Onstreet metered parking and commercial parking lots are also nearby.

Invite your legislators to attend too!

Sponsored by the Connecticut Special Education PTO Alliance

Important Health Care Update

To assist individuals through the tax season, Access Health CT announces the opening of a special enrollment period for individuals who did not have health insurance in 2014 and, as a result, paid a penalty on their federal income taxes.

The special enrollment, which will run from April 1 through midnight April 30, will allow the uninsured who sign up to limit penalties on their 2015 taxes.


Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services Chosen


Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced earlier this month that he is selecting Morna Murray of Glastonbury to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

Morna currently serves as the President and CEO of the Connecticut Community Providers Association (CCPA), a premiere trade association for community-based health and human service providers. In this role, she has been a leading advocate for children, adults, and families in the areas of developmental disabilities, health care, behavioral health, early childhood, and child and family well-being.


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