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Making Connections North Tarrant

Saturday, March 4, 2023 |
 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Northwest ISD Administration Building
2001 Texan Drive, Justin 76247

10 A.M.

Exhibitor Hall Opens

Visit with a variety of Exhibitors providing services and resources for people with disabilities and their families.

9:30 - 10:30

Breakout Session 1 
Breakout descriptions

Choose to attend a breakout session on:

  • Guardianship and Alternatives: What is Best for My Child?

  • Help Me Grow / Help Me Thrive

10:45 - 11:45

Breakout Session 2
Breakout descriptions

Choose to attend a breakout session on:

  •  Medicaid Waiver Programs and Financial Planning

  •  Basic Behavior Management Techniques 

12:00 - 1:00

Breakout Session 3
Breakout descriptions

Attend a breakout session on:

  • Post Secondary Options for People with Disabilities

1:00 P.M.

Exhibitor Hall Closes


Schedule of Events

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English  en Español

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Breakout Sessions NT
Breakout Sessions:

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Guardianship and Alternatives: What is Best for My Child?

An overview of the laws applicable to guardianship in Texas, the evidence and standard of proof needed to obtain a guardianship and the many alternatives to guardianship. By  Judge Chris Ponder, Tarrant County Probate 1 Court.

Basic Behavior Management Techniques

Many families with children with disabilities encounter behavior concerns in the home and community, such as not following directions and aggression. Parents and caregivers will obtain information and the understanding of why children engage in behaviors of concern and how to respond to these behaviors. Problem solving examples and strategies that can be implemented in the home will be discussed. By Megan Thompson, PBS Corp.


12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

The ABLE Account

An ABLE Account is a tax-advantaged savings account to help individuals with disabilities save money. Learn how Texans with disabilities can to save up to $15,000 per year for disability-related expenses without losing eligibility under SSI, SSDI, Medicaid and other means-tested public benefits.  By Anna Mallett, ABLE Outreach Specialist, Texas Comptrollers Office

SSI, Medicaid Waiver Programs, Trusts and Wills

Waiver programs, SSI, wills and trusts discussed. By Michael Deguchi, Life Planning for Families of Special Needs

About our Presenters

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Michael Deguchi

For Families of Special Needs

Michael joined Income by Design and Life Planning for Families of Special Needs in March of 2007 to pursue his career as an independent life planner. Prior to the move, he spent nine years with Lincoln Financial Advisors a nationally recognized advisory firm, honing his planning skills. He has developed specialization in helping clients accumulate, conserve and transfer wealth utilizing a multitude of strategies. Michael holds the series 7 and series 63 securities registrations along with the general insurance license allowing him to provide a wide spectrum of solutions for his client's needs.

Michael believes in building long-term relationships with clients that are based on a partnership of trust and integrity. He understands the importance of building and monitoring a long-term strategic life plan. The plans are based on each clients’ unique circumstances, goals and objectives. He educates the clients about the different factors that affect their plans. He strives to provide the best solutions available for each by growing this knowledge base through educational seminars, research and utilization of multiple resources offering new solutions.

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Anna Mallett

Texas Comptroller's Office

Anna Mallett has worked the Texas Comptroller's Office for nine years and currently serves as the Outreach Specialist for the state’s new Texas ABLE® Program. She previously worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, the state’s prepaid 529 plan. Anna has over 19 years of service with the State of Texas including serving as Grant Program Manager for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Relations Manager at the Texas Department of Transportation.

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Judge Chris Ponder

Tarrant County Probate Court #1

Judge Ponder was elected as Tarrant County Probate Court Judge in 2019. As one of the two Probate Courts in Tarrant County, he establishes guardianships for incapacitated persons and minors; handles civil mental health commitments; hears cases related to family and charitable trusts and responsible for maintaining contact with every person under a guardianship each year.  Prior to election, Chris served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office.  Always in the Civil Division of the District Attorney’s Office, Chris spent much of his time as the Chief of the DA’s Mental Health Division.  Chris received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Texas at Arlington prior to earning his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2003. Throughout his career, Chris has been a frequent speaker on mental health law to the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association.  Chris has also been honored with induction into the exclusive Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court.

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Megan Thompson, BCBA

Positive Behavior Supports Corp.

Ms. Thompson lives in Haslet, TX with her dog and close to her immediate family. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and the Regional Clinical Training Coordinator for Positive Behavior Supports in the DFW area. She has worked as a therapist in a clinic and in Italy, supervising other therapists and learning the culture. She has also worked as a BCBA in both the home and in public education, working with individuals from ages 3 to 22 years old with developmental disabilities. M. Thompson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington and her Master of Science degree in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas.

Presenter Bios
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