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    Lone Star Abilities Network

    same passion, new name

  • Our Pillars

     

    Empower

    individuals, familes, communities, & businesses

    Include

    Everyone can participate in some way!

    Advocate

    supportive & positive

    Educate

    awareness at home & in the community

    Connect

    to self, one another, and resources

  • What We Do

     

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    Diverse Abilities School Program

     

     

    Our Diverse Abilities School Program provides kits to Frisco and Prosper ISD schools to allow students to experience what it might be like to live with a diverse ability. This popular program has been used in Frisco ISD schools for over 10 years and has been very sucessful at promoting understanding, compassion, and empathy while celebrating differing abiliites.

     

    Frisco ISD schools can reserve stations, at no charge, for one week each school year on a first come, first served basis. Please talk to your school administration about dates and stations desired before officially scheduling. Questions? Email melanie@friscosage.org for more information! Prosper ISD schools can contact the Prosper ISD Family Resource Center to reserve.

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    Presentations & Programs

    Schedule a presentation at your school, corporation, small business, organization or church. Our presentation are customized to your audience, needs and time allowances and can be between an hour and a full day. We have continuing education options, new hire training options, customer service options and educational options. Let us do the work and provide an engaging and hands-on presentation to your group that is filled with awareness, collaboration opportunities and opportunities to create a more inclusive environment.

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    Diverse Abilities Corporate Kits

     

    Thanks to several corproate partnerships we have developed a Diverse Abilities Corporate Program geared towards a workplace audience. These kits allow participants to see the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and provide experiential activities that foster understanding of diverse abilities in the workplace.

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    Family Nights

     

    Come and go family dinner nights at local restaurants. A great relaxing way to socialize with other families in your community. You can relax...you and your family are amongst friends when you join us!

     

    Check out our social media or community calendar below for dates and locations.

  • Inclusive Schools Recognition

    Inclusive Campus Recognition for those who have used our Diverse Abilities Day Programto educate students & families on disabilites and what it means to be inclusive.  This program gives those who often have less of a voice of self-advocacy a community that stands with them. It ensures that EVERY child does indeed have a voice. It not only teaches students HOW to be inclusive, the students take the lead on teaching the adults around them.  It Is the MOST popular free campus program in Frisco for 15+ years running. Get your signup dates in early for next year by clicking on the link In the section above.

    2023-24 Campus Participants

    Thank you for helping make Frisco a Disability Welcoming City!

    Ashley Elementary

    Bledsoe Elementary

    Boals Elementary

    Corbell Elementary

    Fisher Elementary

    Hosp Elementary

    Liscano Elementary

    Nichols Elementary

    Pink Elementary

    Purefoy Elementary

    Shawnee Trail Elementary

    Tadlock Elementary

    Taylor Elementary

    Vaughn Elementary

    Nelson Middle School

    Pearson Middle School

    Emerson High School

     

    Campus Heroes

    These campuses have participated multiple times in the past 5 years.

    Ashley Elementary - 4+ years

    Bledsoe Elementary - 4+ years

    Boals Elementary - 4+ years

    Corbell Elementary - 2 years

    Fisher Elementary - 4+ years

    Hosp Elementary - 4+ years

    Liscano Elementary - 4+ years

    Nichols Elementary - 2 years

    Pink Elementary - 4+ years

    Purefoy Elementary - 4+ years

    Shawnee Trail Elementary - 2 years

    Tadlock Elementary - 3 years

    Taylor Elementary - 3 years

    Vaughn Elementary - 4+ years

    Nelson Middle School - 3 years

    Pearson Middle School - 2 years

    Emerson High School - 2 years

     

  • Come Join Us!

    We are expanding our services & programs! We are a dynamic board with a variety of options for service, both long and short term.

     

    The application window is open for the following:

    student volunteers

    student interns

    ad-hoc committees

    standing committees

    committee chairs

    board membership

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    Dear Regular Education Teacher, Today I received my sons final evaluation from the school district. It’s kind of a big deal because this is the one we need to ensure that his IQ and functioning levels are documented so we can be granted guardianship of him when he turns 18. What this means is...
    2023年2月4日
    Y'all. These ice holidays have gotten the best of all of us lately. From Monday midday to Friday midday, we were stuck inside without even a snowy landscape to enjoy. This was NOT fun. So today we met up with some of our other teens and moms of teens with disabilities and set out to explore! ...
    Staci Henderson, M.S.CCC-SLP As a pediatric feeding therapist, I have many families who seek my services when they are at the end of their rope with their child’s picky eating. Often the families are frustrated that the mealtime has become a source of frustration, anxiety and not enjoyable for...
    Thank you to our 2021 student volunteers who have contributed over 95 hours (and counting) hours this year! Cobb Middle School  Sarah Jackson Griffin Middle School Elyse  Odland                    Perryn Cote Lone Star High School   Victoria Rott                        Kassidy Smith  ...
    My journey like any other mother with a special needs child is a journey and a story in itself – unique as each person involved.   I read the word autism sixteen years ago for the first time when I looked up speech delay for my struggling almost 3-year old son, Hamza. A year before that my...
    I never win contests.  Let me rephrase that: I never win contests for myself.  But if I enter a contest with someone else in mind, it is uncanny how often I win!  It became a challenge that my family supported wholeheartedly when we realized how much we could benefit those who work with special...
    Several years ago, our board members were made aware of a project that had been taken on by Amy Coolidge to provide homecoming mums and garters to students in centralized programs at her children's schools.  If you have lived in Texas for very long, you know that this is no small feat!  They say...
    Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Frisco SAGE helped make dreams come true.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves as we were just the helpers in a much larger dream..... Grace Jensen was a senior at Reedy High School in 2019 and had dreamed of hosting a sensory-friendly prom for...
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    Better Together!

    Scroll through the list of organizations that are part of our collaboration team to help make our world a more inclusive place for those with disabilities!

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    Frisco Chamber of Commerce Member

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    GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

    We have achieved the highest rating level, putting our organization at the top 0.1% of charities nationally in terms of transparency. 

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    North Texas Disability Chamber Member

  • Our Board of Directors

    Our board is made up of parents of children with disabilities with a wide variety of skills and volunteer experience. We desire to help families connect to, collaborate with and provide and seek support from families with similar needs. Watch for updates as we are adding new board members & committee leads currently. See board application if you have an interest in joining us in making a difference for the disability community in Frisco and surrounding areas!

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    Melanie Neystel

    Melanie lives In the State of Reality, or Texas as the rest of us would say. Her current zoo includes her husband, a daughter, a son, and their dog and cat.

     

    Her connection to the world of special needs is her amazing daughter who has Cerebral Palsy, but she also has experience as a former Special Education teacher in Frisco ISD. As if this is not already an amazing resume, Melanie is also a former federal agent and, in her own words, "a breast cancer surviving."

    Melanie's first connection to SAGE was through the PTA SAGE connection at her campus level as well becoming involved at the district level. The part of being a Frisco SAGE board member she most enjoys is learning of new resources that can help her family and also be passed along to others families navigating a life with special needs. She enjoy the Diverse Abilities program and the way it spreads awareness and understanding to the community.

     

    She continues to help expand the program to the new corporate level program and has most recently arranged the distribution of hundreds of pairs of adaptive shoes through a connection with the Steve Madden shoe brand. Assisting with Special Olympics and Brant's Grants has also been areas where her leadership has been key.

     

    When asked what positive impact being part of the special needs community has had on her own family, she says, "We’ve met many amazing people we would never have met. We appreciate that our daughter has been able to share her personality and change some people’s perspective on different abilities."

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    Cindy Badon

    Cindy lives in with her husband Patrick and 2 sons, Chance and Reagan. She is a former inclusion teacher prior to becoming a mom to one child with autism and another child who is twice exceptional (2E). She now looks back at her time in the classroom as HER education on disabilities, inclusion and her future role as a mom with a child with autism. "Little did I know that those students with special needs were not only helping me teach the other students, they were also preparing me for being a parent of a child with autism."

    When it became clear that her younger child had significant delays and needed early and involved intervention, she left the classroom to ensure that she was available to supervise his therapies and appointments, which was a full time job! The family relocated to the north Texas area because of the many resources available, the education provided by the school districts, and the opportunities for involvement.

    Her history with SAGE goes back to attending a meeting one week after moving to Frisco in the summer of 2009. She became involved with SAGE at various campuses and at a district level, helping to add to the offerings as opportunities presented themselves. She is proud to pay it forward by helping others make connections and find the joy in their journeys as well.

     

    Cindy's favorite board duties are those involving community and professional education opportunities. "The best thing about having a family member with a disability, in my opinion, is becoming part of a community of people who are truly accepting and have embraced the gift of seeing life through a different lens."

  • Share Your Knowledge!

    Recommend providers / caretakers / community programs that have experience and expertise with our kids! Parents want to know about your experiences. Want access to the list of recommendations? Sign up for VIP Access! You'll have the list at your fingertips anytime you need information.

  • Social Feed

    Social Media Updates for Lone Star Abilities Network

  • How You Can Help Us Help Others

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    Donate

    Help support our existing programs! Earmark donations for a particular program if you wish.

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    Event Sponsorship

    Families, groups and businesses can sponsor events! Find out about this option here!

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    Wishlists

    See a list of items needed for our existing and / or upcoming programs, classrooms or events.

  • Connect With Us

    Thank you for your patience as we transition our social media platforms from Frisco SAGE to

    Lone Star Abilities Network!

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    Instagram
    LinkedIn
  • Who's Ready for an Epic Dance Party?

    To register for this free event please click here.

    Honored Guests (8th grade through adults), Peer Buddies, and Adult Volunteers welcomed and must register/apply. To keep this event sensory-friendly Peer Buddies and Adult Volunteers will be notified if they're approved subsequent to the registration of our honored guests. Thank you!

    THURSDAY APRIL 27th, 6-9 p.m., VERONA VILLA

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  • Career & Techical Education Center Tour - March 21, 2023

    Parents of students in special education can tour the CTE with our group to see what there is to offer & decide whether any of the programs may be of interest or appropriate for your 9th-12th grade student.

  • May 2024 Election Information

    As advocates for the disability community, we ask that you exercise your right to vote! Voting sends a message to those making decisions for the city goverment and the school district Board of Trustees that citizens with disabilities want and deserve access to community resources! Your vote is your voice of advocacy!

     

    Early voting has ended. Last chance to use your vote as your voice is

    Election Day - Saturday, May 4, 2024!

     

    For voting specific voting locations and hours, please visit the link below:

    https://www.friscotexas.gov/1272/Voting-Dates-Hours-Locations

     

    We sent questionnaires to all candidates for City Council and Frisco ISD Board of Trustees. Their responses are printed exactly as they responded below in the order of their response. We will update as we receive responses as well.

     

    To respect their time constraints during campaign season, candidates could respond to any 5 questions, but could opt to answer more. You can view the complete list of questions for Frisco ISD Board of Trustees HERE and the complete list of questions for City Council and Mayoral Candidates HERE.

     

    As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) we cannot and will not endorse any candidate, but we do ask that you read their responses and contact the candidates directly with any questions you may have.

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    Mark Piland  

    City Council Place 1

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    John Keating

    City Council Place 1

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    John Redmond

    City Council Place 3

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    Angelia Pelham

    City Council Place 3

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    Fred Kaiser

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 6

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    Sherrie Salas

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 6

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    Melanie Barrios-Jones

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 7

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    Keith Maddox

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 7

  • XFL Arlington Renegades

    Thank you to NBA Star Thaddeus Young and Resource Ventures for donating 50 free tickets to the XFL Arlington Renegades vs San Antonio Brahmas game!

    Sunday, March 26th at 2 p.m.

    Choctaw Stadium in Arlington