WHAT WE DO

SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY
 

  • Assist with getting identified for services

  • Adjust and enforce existing IEPs, 504s, or service plans

  • Additional and related services:

  • Attend meetings

  • Facilitate communication between families and schools

  • Provide consultative observations

  • File complaints when other options have been exhausted

  • Provide education and information on disabilities and disability-related issues for students, educators, and providers
     

WHAT WE DO

TRANSITION SERVICES
 

  • Explore vocational or college programs 

  • Work successfully with college disability services

  • Build resumes

  • Apply for paid or volunteer positions 

  • Provide job accommodation guidance 

WHAT WE DO

COMMUNITY & BENEFITS ACCESS
 

  • Prepare Social Security applications and appeals 

  • Assist in Board of Developmental Disabilities eligibility assistance

  • Provide guidance on Medicare, Medicaid, ,guardianship and POA

  • Provide Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidance 

  • Advocate for clients in daycare and other community programs

  • Link to benefits, provider options, and housing and transportation

WHO WE ARE

OUR MISSION & ROOTS
 

Bright Horizons'  mission is to provide high quality affordable advocacy services so  people with disabilities reach their full potential and participate in their communities.

Bright Horizons was founded in 2013 by Jennifer Kirby and her colleague Victoria Watts, when the agency at which they provided special education advocacy took a different path.  From both personal and professional experience, they saw an ongoing need for individual and  family support and advocacy, as did the United Way of Greater Toledo, which helped support development of a new agency. Bright Horizons became a Board-directed non-profit in 2016.

Today, our team includes:

Jennifer Kirby, who has cerebral palsy, has a certificate in autism intervention,  and Masters  degrees in Library Science and Organizational Leadership.  Despite rumors to the contrary,  Jennifer is not an attorney.  She briefly attended law school, but was unable to finish while working full time.  She is however, well versed in  negotiating  with lawyers. Jennifer and her husband David (see below) have four cats, and enjoy travel and food. They split their time between Toledo and Dayton.

Victoria Watts, who has a degree in Psychology, and has been a lifelong advocate for her brother, as well as a professional advocate for ten years. Victoria loves traveling Michigan with her husband and two energetic kids.

Medgine Lautzenheiser, who was a Master  level math teacher  for many years before starting a coaching business for families and youth.  Upon meeting our team, Medgine found a natural outlet for her passion to improve lives and outcomes of youth and families..  Medgine is also a  mom of two teens who are her delight.

Patricia Sanchez, who has a background in international business,  and speaks fluent Spanish. Patricia is a devoted special needs mom to her son , and she shares her caring and energy with our families.

David Kirby, who serves as our driver and jack of all trades.  David is trained as an aviation mechanic and is an expert in aviation history.  In addition to doing whatever we need, David is always willing to talk to families from the perspective of a person with autism. In his spare time, he enjoys giving tours of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Our team is proud to bring over 40 years of experience to the table to help you and your family. While it is impossible to guarantee any outcome, we are recognized as experts in the region.  We can promise you we will give an honest assessment of possible outcomes based on our experience, and that we will get to know you and give you our best effort.

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"We had been asking (and then fighting) for sign language access for years. It was one excuse or outright lie after another from the Director of Disability Services. This year, we finally reached out to Bright Horizon advocates for help. Not only did they provide us with useful information, but their mere presence at the IEP meeting helped turn the tables. No longer was the district saying they couldn’t “legally” provide interpretation services; they switched to a different approach. Thanks to feedback from the teachers and advocates, we were finally able to get visual sign language access added to our child’s IEP. Thank you!"

SECURE CLIENT PORTAL
 

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