Category Archives: Education

The latest YouTube video series interview is posted; this video interview is with APPRISE coordinators.

The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 partners’ network video interview series continues with this just-added interview with APPRISE coordinators from Berks County and Lebanon Counties. Lancaster County’s APPRISE coordinator was unavailable for this interview.

apprise logo

APPRISE Coordinators Rosa Velez from the Berks County program and Teresa Hilderbrandt, Coordinator for Lebanon County discuss the benefits of working with a certified APPRISE representative to discuss the most appropriate health insurance Medicare supplement program for your needs. In Lancaster County, the Coordinator is Kim Skinner. All three counties offer in-person and over the phone appointments addressing key elements to determine the plan best for your needs such as your yearly income, chronic diseases you may have and the prescription medications you are currently taking.

This interview series features Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Service Area 13 partners relaying information about partner agency’s / organization’s services and programs that are available for:

  • persons age 60 and over
  • persons with a disability
  • veterans
  • family members and
  • caregivers

located in either Berks, Lancaster or Lebanon Counties.

To contact the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources,

call 1-800-753-8827

Service Area partner agencies / organizations / entities with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources wishing to be included in this interview series may contact the Link coordinator for more information. Call/text: 717.380.9714 or email

“Two Team Photos, One Difference: The Cheerleader With Down Syndrome” – The New York Times

“A junior high cheerleading team took nearly identical photos with and without Morgyn Arnold. The school called the publication of the photo without her a mistake that is under investigation.”

cheerleader 3

by Amanda Morris

“Morgyn Arnold is a natural cheerleader. She grew up supporting her six older siblings at sporting events in Utah and followed in her father’s and sister’s footsteps by becoming a cheerleader herself.

“For Morgyn, who has Down syndrome, being on the Shoreline Junior High School cheer squad gave her a chance to make friends and feel included after transferring to the school last summer.

“But when the school yearbook came out a few weeks ago, Morgyn, 14, was not in the team’s photo or listed as part of the squad. The school has since apologized for what it called an ‘error,’ but Morgyn’s sister Jordyn Poll said she believed that the exclusion was intentional.’

Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times, click here.


PA Link Service Area 13 YouTube series interview: Pat Lally

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 13 launched its YouTube channel.

One facet of the initiative was to highlight and introduce Service Area 13 partner entities to educate viewers to the array of services and programs available for persons in Berks, Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.

“Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.

“How can the Link assist you and/or your family?

    • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
    • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
    • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
    • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community

“There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.”

Pat Lally

The first partner interview was conducted yesterday. Link project interviewer, Margie Pizarro, chatted with Pat Lally, Program Manager of the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources about the Aging and Disability Resource Center. Click here to see that interview.

If you are a Link partner agency/organization and would like to be a featured interview in this series, let us know.

Call or text: 717.380.9714 or email to get on the schedule.

Saturday webinars | Link Service Area 13’s second “Let’s get Tech Savvy” webinar video on Windows 10 is here.

baby steps webinar

“In the USA, only 59% of people over the age of 65 use the Internet daily, as opposed to 86% of all adults under 65.”

That’s the entire reason the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area  scheduled the Saturday morning (March 6 and March 27) webinars. These are the first two in a series of planned webinars that are designed to erase and lessen the fears that many people may have about using digital technology.

It’s tough trying to deliver taking training about how to use a smart phone, a tablet or a computer to persons who may not have the technology, the experience or the connectivity. It’s also tough to not have internet access and technological skills needed to find a Covid vaccination site. Or to file an online unemployment claim. Or to schedule a medical appointment.

But the intent of this series of webinars is to lessen the trepidation and the uncertainty of the technology in small bite-sized blocks of 30 to 40 minute online webinars. The Link coordinator hopes that caregivers, family members and agency resources who interact with persons with low or no digital savvy will share the webinar information with them.

Here are the video recordings of the first two Saturday’s “Baby Steps” Webinars:!Agtzmyc10ssBgxni4YdAzYOFpFiO?e=Sdb3wR

The next Webinar will be scheduled for Saturday morning, April 17 and will be announced at the Link Website and hopefully in local media. For more information about upcoming Webinars, send an email to or call / text: 717.308.9714.

Those who’ve ventured into owning a smart phone know “how many times a day your phone, computer, tablet, watch and other gadgets buzz or ding. It gets annoying and distracting.”

Upcoming webinars will deal with smart phone questions, but here’s a Kim Kommando column that’s especially topical: “How to stop junk text messages and spam for good.”

VA and Department of Labor releases high demand occupation list for the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program

va logo

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preparing to launch the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) as part of its continued effort to support Veterans seeking retraining and economic opportunities in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VA in partnership with the Department of Labor published a list of high-demand occupations. The list is available here and includes healthcare, education, media, engineering, and high tech opportunities.

The new program, part of the American Rescue Plan, will allow qualifying Veterans between the ages of 22 and 67 to receive up to 12 months of tuition and fee and monthly housing allowance payments, based on Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. VA will provide further information soon on how Veterans can apply for this program.

The week of April 4th, VA will release a participation agreement and begin to work with educational institutions interested in participating in VRRAP.  VA will require educational institutions to commit to a participation agreement that will outline VRRAP requirements and specify which training programs are covered under VRRAP. Once reviewed and approved by VA, a comprehensive list of VRRAP educational institutions and programs will be published and made available.

For a program of education to qualify for VRRAP, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Be approved for GI Bill or VET TEC
  • Not lead to a bachelors or graduate degree
  • Provide training for a high-demand occupation

The payment model for VRRAP tuition and fees (paid directly to the VRRAP education institution) is milestone based:

  • 50% when the Veteran begins the program
  • 25% when the Veteran completes the program
  • 25% when the Veteran finds employment in the field of study

The program is limited to a maximum of 17,250 participants and up to $386 million.

If you are aware of any GI Bill Beneficiaries who require assistance, please have them contact the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday to speak with a representative.

To learn more about the program and for updates, go to our website, or visit our Facebook page.

“Rewild your kids: why playing outside should be a post-pandemic priority” – The Conversation

play outside

by John J. Reilly and Mark S. Tremblay

“This generation of children will face a range of challenges, including the impacts of climate change, increasing globalisation, and the consequences of rapid technological change. They will need to become habitually physically active in order to grow into healthy, resilient adults who can survive and thrive in a changing world.

T”he Global Matrix initiative on physical activity

“As nurseries and schools begin to reopen across the UK, there is much concern about the impact of this very difficult year on children. One aspect of normal childhood which many have missed out on in the last 12 months is the simple fun of playing outside. England’s Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield believes we should prioritise youngsters’ wellbeing as part of our recovery from COVID-19.

“Our latest research suggests that during lockdown most children spent less time outdoors, became less physically active and spent more time in front of screens. As a result, this may now be the least fit generation of children in history. In England, children have even been scolded by police for playing outdoors. And school and nursery closures have inevitably reduced opportunities to play with friends.

“Our behaviours are formed and reinforced by habit. Some children may have lost the habit of playing outside over the past year, replacing it with sedentary screen time, while others might not have had the opportunity to develop the habit at all.”

Click here to read this article at The Conversation in its entirety

Online learning and connecting | several articles for digital users of all levels

fatigue - connectionThe Internet and meeting platforms as Zoom have provided exceptional ways for people to stay connected over the past year. Perhaps going forward, digital conferencing computer applications and programs will be the connection of choice for so many reasons.

On March 6, the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Link partners’ network will be offering this free Webinar that’s geared for persons who may need a little boost and confidence building in getting started on digital highway.

March 06 – A webinar especially for seniors and others who may be a little skeptical about digital devices and the Internet: “BABY STEPS #1: Let’s Get Tech Savvvy!

Here are a few articles that may be of interest for you:

“Vaccine Signups Cater to the Tech-Savvy, Leaving Out Many” – Stateline

tech savvy vaccinations“Mary Christian, 71, spent hours on both her cellphone and iPad trying to arrange an appointment online for a COVID-19 vaccination through the Mississippi State Department of Health website and on its listed registration phone line. Older adults across the country who can’t easily navigate online technology are finding it difficult to sign up for appointments.” Rogelio V. SolisThe Associated Press

by Jenni Bergal

“Like millions of older adults across the country, Allan Potter and his wife, Vicki, are eager to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The Potters, who live in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, are prime candidates. They’re both 73. He suffers from a neuromuscular disorder. She has multiple myeloma. They hoped to sign up for the shots and get them quickly.

“But they don’t have a computer or a smartphone. And, as in many states and counties, that’s a problem because most of the registration and appointment-setting is being done online.

“’Not all of us have a computer or are on the internet,’ Allan Potter said. ‘We’re old-school. We’ve got a landline and that’s it. It’s very frustrating.’

“While many older adults have access to the internet and are tech-savvy, others are not. And even some of those who are used to going online are having a hard time navigating complicated registration websites. Others who are being left out include low-income residents who may not have the technology and people in rural areas with poor internet connections.

“Many older people are turning to adult children, other family members or friends to help them. Others are just left out.”

Continue reading this article at Pew Trusts, click here.

Click here to register for a Special Link Webinar: 

“BABY STEPS #1: Let’s Get Tech Savvvy!”



Download Black Disabled History Month Lessons here.

black disabled History month

Disability Equality in Education (DEE) Black History Month Lesson

This month DEE is celebrating Black Disabled history in America by providing schools and educators with a collection of projects and lessons for Black History Month. Our Black Disabled History collection includes 2 lessons about important historical figures in America that are a part of Black Disabled history. The collection also includes 2 projects that can be assigned to students to have them research an important black and disabled historical figure or artist. The goal of these lessons is to bring disabled representation into your Black History Curriculum. These lessons and projects are best suited for students in grade 8 or above and can be done in a classroom or adapted to be done virtually. All 4 of our lessons can be found by downloading the “DEE Black History Month Collection” by following this link: DEE Black History Month Collection Download Link.

Disability Equality in Education Website

webinars: Understanding Decisional Capacities of Older Adults and Exploring Male Caregiving for People Living with Dementia


Understanding Decisional Capacities of Older Adults

Capacity assessments of older adults is steeped in the fundamental tensions between two core ethical principles: autonomy (self-determination) and protection (beneficence). Adult Protective Services caseworkers must often consider the impact of cognitive functioning on a person’s risk for elder abuse, exploitation, and neglect.

In this webinar hosted by ACL’s Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center, Dr. Sheri Gibson of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs will address the very complex topic of decisional capacities in older adults, which involves knowledge of medical and psychological syndromes, clinical assessment, ethics, and the law. Attendees will learn a conceptual framework used by psychologists to assess a person’s ability to make decisions or perform tasks as they pertain to legal standards, and methods to enhance the referral process for a formal capacity evaluation.

This webinar will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.


Exploring Male Caregiving for People Living with Dementia

Effective Alzheimer’s disease and dementia caregiving requires skills and understanding that are not entirely intuitive. For many men, these challenges are heightened because they are not socialized to be caregivers. This does not mean that males aren’t eager to be caregivers. However, because of the ever-changing nature of dementia disease, caregiving cannot be approached as a problem to be solved. This webinar will discuss burdens specific to male caregivers, including skill-building, asking for and receiving help, and self-care. A male caregiver will join the presenter to provide a first-person perspective.

This webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.