Vocational Rehabilitation – School to Work Transition Programs with Milton Moss

Vocational Rehabilitation-School To Work Transition!!

Milton Moss, Area Supervisor for Hillsborough, Hernando, and Pasco Counties for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation – FL Dept. of Education, and Kate Saksefski a Supervisor for Adult and Student Customers explain what Vocational Rehabilitation is; and the new STAR Program for students 15 to 21 years old that helps students train for a job, continue their education and / or work after leaving high school.

Pictured: Milton Moss, Area Supervisor for Hillsborough, Hernando, and Pasco Counties for the
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation – FL Dept. of Education, Kate Saksefski a Supervisor for Adult
and Student Customers, Julie Ames, SNFH,

September 30th Disability and Your Church Symposium with Sally DePalma & Deana Troyer

Sally DePalma and Deana Troyer!

This week’s show features Sally DePalmaThe One Roof Initiative and Deana Troyer, Idlewild Church Special Needs Ministry .

Sally and Deana discuss the September 30, 2017 Disability and Your Church Symposium A Training and Equipping Event! Idlewild Church, Special Needs Ministry & The One Roof Initiative are bringing together speakers, trainers and ministry leaders to equip church staff and volunteers to reach, teach and serve individuals with disabilities and developmental delays.

Experts and those on front-line adaptive ministry share wisdom, insights and practical knowledge on a host of topics via a broad itinerary of workshops.  This year will feature Pastor Track Workshops that speak directly to Senior and Associate Pastors about the need and value of having disability ministries in our congregations, without ignoring considerations of risk management.  There will be various Breakout Topics for churches wanting to start or grow special needs ministries and for those well-established.

Pictured: Sally DePalma, The One Roof Initiative & Deana Troyer, Idlewild Church and Julie Ames, SNFH

Keynote Speaker Emily Colson will capture your heart with tenderness and encouragement gained through her own experience raising a son with autism and struggling to find their place within the church.

Time: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Location: Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd., Lutz, FL 33548
**Cost: $30 (lunch is included)

**Early bird registration of $20 is available until June 15.** Register at: www.idlewild.org/disability

Celebration of Mother’s Day & a New Community Resource Guide the Disability Resource Hub

Rori Becker and Phyllis Guthman join us for our Mother’s Day Show & We’re Celebrating Two Years On The Air!

Today we have Phyllis Guthman of Disability Resource Hub and Rori Becker of the Bright Feats Directory. We will be discussing women of influence, also known by those who love them as “Mother” and a new resource available in our community, the Disability Resource Hub Directory.

Rori, after her first child was born premature, managed her complex medical and educational care while learning about the services available throughout the local special needs community. Co-founding the Bright Feats Directory, she looks forward to expanding the scope of Bright Feats with Employment and Internship Opportunities, for our talented young adults with disabilities, to share in the mission to serve local families.

Phyllis has provided disability information, resources and communications for Special Needs Ministries, Special Needs Sports, Therapy, Recreation and Art Organizations, as well as Statewide and Local Disability Agencies for 18 years. She launched Disability Resource Hub as a vehicle to disseminate resources.  Disability Resource Hub and Bright Feats are collaborating to produce a resource directory for the Tampa Bay Area!

Pictured: Rori Becker, Bright Feats & Phyllis Guthman, Disability Resource Hub and Julie Ames, SNFH

2 Year Anniversary of Special Needs Family Hour

2 Year Anniversary of Special Needs Family HourThis Sunday is Mother’s Day and we have a lot to celebrate. First and foremost we want to celebrate all the moms, dads, teachers, and caregivers who day in and day out support kids with special needs. Raising children with special needs is rewarding but also comes with its own unique challenges. Taking a day to recognize the sacrifice and commitment that goes into taking care of these very special people is important. So if you are supporting a special needs family give yourself a pat on the back, you are doing a great job. If you know someone who is a caregiver for someone with special needs please encourage them and remind them that what they are doing makes a difference.

Julie Ames is proud to be recognized for Excellence in Media at the Mayor’s Alliance Awards Luncheon for People with Disabilities

This Sunday also marks the 2 year anniversary of Special Needs Family Hour Radio Show. Our first show aired on May 10th, Mother’s Day of 2015. It is a weekly show heard every Sunday afternoon 1-2 pm and Saturday 4-5 pm on AM 860 “The Answer”. Our station reaches seven counties with a potential listening audience of 3.2 million people. Our goal is to help and inspire those parents and caregivers who are caring for special people. On the show we cover all things related to special needs to include medical, educational and legal issues. Through these 2 years we have created fifty unique shows featuring advocates, authors, officers, Miss America, Ms. Wheel Chair America, and even a therapy dog. Julie Ames was recognized for Excellence in Media at the Mayor’s Alliance Awards Luncheon for People with Disabilities and officially achieved 501c3 status. We are proud to have achieved these milestones and excited to continue to serve the special needs community by providing the resources and answers that they need to be successful.

If this is your first time visiting this site we are glad you are here! Check out some of our amazing programs listed below. If you are a long time listener thanks for your support and feel free to use this list to listen to your favorites again.

List of Shows:

  1. Julie’s Story/Child Find & Early Childhood Council
  2. Julie’s Story/ Early Steps at USF
  3. Julie’s Story/ Parent Liaison Project
  4.  Individual Education Plan (IEP) for Special Needs Child/Organizational tips
  5.  Guardianship Part 1, Attorney Jay Hemness
  6.  Guardianship Part 2, Pepin Academies Special Needs Nurse
  7.  Special Needs Ministries, One Roof Initiative, Young Life Capernaum
  8. Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Part 1
  9. Artistas Café Training & Employment Program
  10. Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Part 2 – Crises Counselor Answering listeners questions.
  11. Autism Friendly Business Initiative with the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF with Dr. Karen Berkman and The Florida Aquarium, as well as The Learning Academy at USF
  12.  Buddy Baseball – a non-competitive recreational league for individuals with special needs.
  13.  Rotary Camp Florida – a camping facility for children and adults with disabilities.
  14.  Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community Tampa Bay & Organizing Your Medical Files
  15. “Working with Your Local School to Get the Help Your Child Needs” by Hillsborough County Schools, Exceptional Student
  16.  Dr. Nicole Johnson (Miss America)Executive Director/ Founder Bringing Science Home to Students with Diabetes
  17.  Transition to Adulthood for Individuals with Development Disabilities.
  18. Vocational Rehabilitation – School to Work Transition Program with Milton Moss
  19. Ms. Wheelchair America 2014, Jennifer Lynn Adams
  20. Shriner’s Hospital – Tampa with Jamie Lynn Santillo
  21. The Pepin Academies with Dr. Craig Butz and Celeste Kellar
  22. Pepin Transitional Job Training Program with Dr. Butz / Pepin Nurse Diane McCurdy
  23. Lawyer’s Autism Awareness Foundation (known for “Sensory Friendly Santa” event for children w/autism) with Luis E. Viera.
  24. Ava’s Law with Anna Bullard – Insurance Coverage for Autism/ Tips on medical record organization!
  25. Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income with Liz Montefu of Montefu Consulting
  26. Success 4 Kids & Families – Services for kids w/problems at school, home, or the law.
  27.  USF’s Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Hot Docs Program – Dr. Kathi Armstrong & Dr. Carrie Adams
  28.  A Special Thanksgiving Message with the award winning author of “I Choose”, Suzin Carr
  29. Benefits of Drama Therapy with Loretta Gallo-Lopez, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  30. Equine-Assisted Therapies with Dr. Edie Dopkling, Executive Director of Quantum Leap Farms
  31.  Jack Kosik’s Villages at Noah’s Landing– $15 Million Dollar community for those w/ intellectual disabilities completed 2016.
  32. A Special Christmas Message with the author of Sweetie Pie/ Tips for Holiday Travel with individuals with Special Needs.
  33. Healthy Transitions Program for those 16 to 25 years experiencing Mental Health Challenges.
  34.  Julie Ames with Tips on Raising Children with Special Needs
  35.  Pharmacist Sally DePalma Discusses Tips on Working with Your Family Pharmacist.
  36. MacDonald’s Training Center has Supported Living, Employment, and Community Living.
  37. Discuss Mary Lee’s House, a State of the Art Child Protection and Child Advocacy Center
  38.  Hart’s Travel Trainer Program for Those with Special Needs Who Desire to Ride the Bus Independently.
  39. Hillsborough County’s Public School Training Programs for Adults with Disabilities 18 yrs of age and older w/Keensha Parham
  40. Discuss “Finding Mathew” with Author Donna Kirk. It’s a Story of Hope and Encouragement.
  41. Emma Hemness Attorney at Law Discusses Long Term Care, SSI, Trusts, and ABLE Accounts.
  42. The Founders of Speech and Language Discuss Speech & Language Therapy
  43. Emmy Award Nominated Reality Show “Born This Way” follows seven young adults with Down Syndrome – Interview with Sean’s mother Sandra McElwee
  44. Keeping Your Child Safe-Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division Internet Predator Unit with Detective Heaverin
  45. Quinn Bradlee’s Founder of Friends of Quinn – online Community of those w/Learning Disabilities
  46. Interview with Tahni Cullen about “Josiah’s Fire “
  47. Ric Edelman, NY Times Best Selling Author, discuses planning for your retirement and for your child with special needs.
  48. Chronic-Complex Clinic For Children At St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
  49. Healthy Sexuality for Adolescents & Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities
  50. Update on Rotary Camp Florida – a camping facility for children and adults with special needs.

Healthy Sexuality for Adolescents & Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Healthy Sexuality for Adolescents

Loretta Gallo-Lopez and Julie Ames

Our guest is Loretta Gallo-Lopez, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and we discuss Healthy Sexuality for Adolescents and Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

Loretta has over 25 years of experience working with adolescents and their parents. She is a Registered Drama Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and she is the Clinical Director & a Founding Board Member of the Focus Academy in Temple Terrace, FL.

View the Power Point on Healthy Sexuality for Adolescents & Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Guest Bio: Loretta Gallo-Lopez, MA Clinical Director of Focus Academy

Loretta began her professional career as an ESE teacher and has been in private practice in Tampa for over 20 years. Loretta is a nationally recognized speaker, a published author of both books and articles about her work and is co-director of the ACT Project – a drama therapy and performance based social skills program.
You can Like Focus Academy on Facebook


Special Needs Family Hour Granted 501(c)(3) Non-Profit status

Official 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Status


Special Needs Family Hour is proud to announce that we have been approved for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Our mission has always been dedicated to helping special needs families and educate the public and this non-profit status makes it easier for our donors and sponsors to give with confidence knowing that their gifts and support are tax deductible. Contributions donated to Special Needs Family Hour are fully tax-deductible retroactive to the founding of the organization. Special Needs Family Hour is also now eligible to apply for government and foundation grants, which will further broaden its access to resources and strengthen its ability to serve families with special needs in the Tampa Bay area.

New Opportunities to Continue Our Mission

We’ve worked hard over the last year and a half to provide all the proper documentation and set it up properly. We are excited that our non-profit status is now official. Obtaining 501(c)(3) status is a major milestone for Special Needs Family Hour. This opens many doors for us to expand fundraising activities and fully realize our goal as a charitable organization to provide a place where special needs families can find the answers they need to be successful.

Special Needs Family hour has produced radio shows and podcast broadcasts that educate listeners on resources and development opportunities available to special needs families. Guests on the show include attorneys, authors, advocates, job placement specialists, educators, and more. Being a non-profit helps us to continue to provide these valuable shows to our listeners.


How you can Help:

Thanks for your continued support as listeners, donors, and sponsors. Your continued patronage is what makes it possible to continue to provide educational material for Tampa and beyond to special needs families. 100% of donations received will go toward providing quality programming and helping other special needs families in Florida.

The IRS letter granting Special Needs Family Hour its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is available upon request. Contact us to see how to donate or sponsor Special Needs Family Hour.

Crisis Center of Tampa Bay Part 1


Julie Ames with Ken Gibson and Sunny Hall of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

Part I: Ken Gibson, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, and Sunny Hall,
Vice President of Client Services explains the many ways the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay helps people in our area.


Part II: We will be back with Part 2 on October 23rd with the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the answers to your questions.

Julie’s Bio, USF Bay Area Early Steps – Getting Help for Your Child 0 to 3 Years Old

We welcome Alex DeMolina from USF Early Steps and will discuss getting help for your child birth to 3 years old.

Save The Dates!
Our next two shows will continue the theme of getting help for your child,
birth to 22 years of age:

May 29: Julie’s Story / The FDLRS Parent Liaison Project
May 31: Individual Education Plan (IEP) for Special Needs  / Organizational Tips

Alex DeMolina, USF Early Steps with her daughter.

Alex DeMolina, USF Early Steps with her daughter.

USF Bay Area Early Steps Program
Early Steps is Florida’s early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers (birth to thirty-six months) with significant delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay. Early Intervention is provided to support families and caregivers in developing the competence and confidence to help their child learn and develop.
Alex DeMolina
Family Resource Specialist
Phone: (813) 974-0674
Website and Facebook

Download Family Resource Specialist Brochure – Hillsborough County (Alex DeMolina)

Julie’s Story/Child Find & Early Childhood Council Discuss Getting Help for Your Child

Special Needs Family Hour Radio Show is Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary!
We started broadcasting the show on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015.

We have a great show for you – listen here! Julie will be telling her story. Then we will have representatives from the Early Childhood Council and Child Find to discuss helping your child 5 years old and younger.

Save The Dates!
Our next three shows will continue the theme of getting help for your child,
birth to 22 years of age:

May 22: Julie’s Story / Early Steps at USF
May 29: Julie’s Story / The FDLRS Parent Liaison Project
May 31: Individual Education Plan (IEP) for Special Needs Child / Organizational Tips

Julie Ames, SNFH, and Jennifer Broughton, Early Childhood Council and Dr. Emily Cimino, Child Find.

Julie Ames, SNFH, and Jennifer Broughton, Early Childhood Council
and Dr. Emily Cimino, Child Find.

Child FindA service within the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS). Child Find, a free service, assists parents and schools with the early identification of children, birth through age 21, who have, or are at risk of, a disability. Every child grows mentally and physically at his or her own pace. However, some children experience disabilities that can hinder their potential progress. Child Find offers parents services to help in identifying these children.
Visit Website