TACA Hawaii & Hawaii Autism Foundation Family Scholarship Program: FAQ
January 27, 2011
The Application Deadline for 2015 is March 1st
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We have created these answers to your frequently asked questions about the TACA Hawaii & Hawaii Autism Foundation Scholarship Program for your convenience and review:
- How do I qualify for a Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii Family Scholarship?
- How do I become a TACA Member?
- TACA membership: Do I have to pay dues or subscription?
- Why do you impose a “Membership” requirement, and what will TACA membership do for me?
- What if I’m already a mentor, or I’m very knowledgeable about biomed, do I still need to get a mentor to apply for a Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs doctor visit?
- Why do I need to attend the Autism Journey Seminar on February 21 to apply for a Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs doctor visit?
- What if I went to the seminar last year, do I need to go again?
- I don’t live on Oahu where the seminar is being held, what can I do?
- I don’t think it’s possible for me to attend personally can I send somebody as my family representative?
- Does Lisa Ackerman, TACA Executive Director, vote on the Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii Family Scholarship applications?
- How soon will I hear something about my application?
- How does funding happen if my family is selected?
- May I speak directly to the committee members regarding my application?
- To whom may I speak regarding questions about my application?
- Why do I have to find the vendor and provide a proposal, including the costs?
- What if the doctor I want to see isn’t an MAPS doctor?
- Do Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA ever recommend treatments?
- Why are Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA only funding MAPS doctors? What if I want to pursue other treatments?
- Will Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii’s Family Scholarship Program help with bills for services already performed?
- How much scholarship money may I request?
- Why aren’t the scholarships available for larger amounts or ongoing services?
- 22. What if I want to see two different MAPS doctors? Can I do that?
- If I don’t qualify for a Family Scholarship, what else can TACA do for me?
- Why doesn’t TACA send the check directly to a family?
- What information does the Family Scholarship committee need regarding my family?
- Can a family member or friend make a donation to Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA’s Hawaii Family Scholarship Program for my family (and receive a tax donation acknowledgement)?
- Be a TACA member (sign up online, it’s FREE!)
- Live in Hawaii
- Attend the mandatory seminar on February 21, 2015 at Easter Seals Napuakea, 92-461 Makakilo Drive, in Kapolei, HI 96707 (Click Here for Details) OR send a family representative. If you don’t live on Oahu you can contact Moira Giammatteo to find out your next steps.
- Number of volunteer hours served in the year prior including the autism organization you volunteered for and the organization’s contact information.
- Be working with a Parent Mentor for at least 2 months – Parent Mentors are available in person, on the phone or via email. Have a combined annual household income of less than $85,000. (Applicants with higher household incomes will be considered, but priority will be given to those below $85,000)
Just sign up online!
3. TACA Membership: Do I have to pay dues or subscription?
TACA requires membership so we can demonstrate to donors the total number of families we serve.
TACA helps to strengthen the autism community by connecting families and professionals who can help them, allowing them to share stories and information to help people with autism to be the best they can be. By becoming a TACA Member, you will receive national and regional e-newsletters with latest news, events, and activities about autism and TACA. We also sometimes include our favorite GFCFSF recipes and family stories to help keep you and your family motivated on your autism journey.
TACA is about empowering families with the tools they need to speed up the cycle time to effective treatments and achieve best possible outcomes. What are these tools? Educational meetings, one-on-one mentoring, Journey Guide and DVDs, updated website & communications, new parent orientation and the ongoing support they need.
5. What if I’m already a mentor, or I’m very knowledgeable about biomed, do I still need to get a mentor to apply for a Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs doctor visit?
Yes. Even if you are mentoring other families the committee has found that there is still value in having a mentor yourself. For example, if you are very good at biomed, but you are not as strong in the subject of advocating for services from the school district, a mentor with knowledge of advocacy could help you navigate the legal side of things which may free up other resources for your family.
6. Why do I need to attend the Autism Journey Seminar on February 21 to apply for a Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs doctor visit?
Attending this seminar will be critical to helping you manage your child’s treatment protocol. There is so much to be learned and these seminars were created so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. There are short cuts and budget saving tips that can be learned from this seminar as well as ways for you to determine what treatment you will need to pursue for your child. Remember, you can always send a family representative if you can’t personally attend.
Yes. As parents we at TACA have discovered that attending lectures, even if on a topic you have heard about before, can be very informative. Our children’s needs change all the time and what seemed important at one point is no longer a concern at another. Also, as our children’s needs change so does our focus on the direction of treatment. It is always good to review where you have been and where you are going with your child’s treatment and this seminar will provide you with the opportunity to do just that.
Please contact Moira Giammatteo, Scholarship Program Manager for information about your next steps.
9. I don’t think it’s possible for me to attend personally can I send somebody as my family representative?
Yes. We understand that sometimes it just isn’t possible for the parent to attend. It is ideal if you can attend, but please feel free to send a friend, grandparent, or other family representative to take notes for you. Although we would love for the parent to attend personally, having a family representative attend for you may be helpful since you will have another knowledgeable person on your child’s team.
10. Does Lisa Ackerman, TACA Executive Director, vote on the Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii Family Scholarship applications?
No. There is a separate committee that reviews and decides on the applications. Lisa Ackerman is not involved in the process of reviewing applications or making recommendations.
11. How soon will I hear something about my application?
We try to notify applicants of the outcome within 2 weeks of receiving a completed application. The committee cannot consider an application that is incomplete. The Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Family Hawaii Scholarship program manager will let you know via email that we have received your application. Our review timeline is within two weeks of receipt of a completed application. Please make sure when applying that the doctor’s appointment is at least 3 weeks away to allow time for review and notification on the outcome of your application.
12. How does funding happen if my family is selected?
No, as our committee members must remain anonymous. Our Family Scholarship Program committee members are TACA members as well as volunteers and we respect their time and efforts. If you have any questions regarding your application or the Family Scholarship Program process, please contact Moira Giammatteo or 949-640-4401, ext 107
14. To whom may I speak regarding questions about my application?
You may send a message to the TACA Family Scholarship Program Manager or call 949-640-4401, ext 107.
15. Why do I have to find the vendor and provide a proposal, including the costs?
Because of liability issues, as well as personal preferences, we feel it is best if you research and decide upon your child’s doctor. Ultimately, you know your child better than anyone else. Who better to decide which doctor to choose to treat your child than you? Please be sure to verify that the vendor you chose is accepting new patients or clients and obtain information on their fees. Also verify that they will accept a third-party check if the scholarship is funded.
16. What if the doctor I want to see isn’t an MAPS doctor?
No, we do not. We do recommend that you consult your MAPS-trained doctor regarding treatments.
18. Why are Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA only funding MAPS doctors? What if I want to pursue other treatments?
Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA have chosen to focus on doctors who have been trained by MAPS because it is part of the Standard Best Practices.
19. Will Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii’s Family Scholarship Program help with bills for services already performed?/strong>
We understand that the need in the community is great, but Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA are small, nonprofit organizations. With our limited resources we are trying to help the greatest number of families possible.
Yes, but you will have to make a note of that in the application form and the funds will be split 50/50 between the two doctors chosen. This cannot be changed.
TACA provides free mentorship and guidance to aid families in their quest for services from their school district, state agency or insurance. TACA is always searching for alternate sources of funding and other programs of assistance for our families. Information on non-TACA programs for families in need is available on our website.
By sending a check directly to the doctor (or vendor), families are relieved of any potential tax liability that may be caused by a check made payable in the family’s name which would then be viewed by the IRS as “income.” In some cases TACA has negotiated lower rates for many commonly used products and services.
You will need to answer all the questions on the online application form and be prepared to provide back up documentation if needed.
Keep in mind, your electronic signature on the online application form acts as an affidavit, or legal acknowledgement that what you have stated is true.
The following items do not need to be included in your online application form, but documentation may be requested at a later date:
- Proof of Diagnosis (Need not be the entire evaluation, just the page with the child’s name that confirms diagnosis.)
- Copy of a utility bill to prove Hawaii residency
- Financial Information – last year’s tax return or current paycheck stub for all household wage earners
This information below will need to be provided when you fill out the online application form.
- Name, and date you started with your TACA Parent Mentor.
- Completed summary of current level of services and treatments and how they are being funded
- Contact information for vendor of choice
- Cost breakdown: Doctor’s visit, lab costs, etc.
- Explanation of Goals for this doctor visit
- Explanation of how you plan to fund ongoing treatment.
Unfortunately, no. TACA has received this question often from families looking for help and reach out to their family or friends. Based on legal advice, and current foundation laws, TACA cannot provide this as an option to members. Donations received can be earmarked for specific funds and projects (like the Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii Family Scholarship Program) but we cannot save funds for specific families while offering a tax write-off to the donor.
Any individual or group that provides a donation to any of TACA’s programs or general funds will receive a tax write-off for their donation amount per the IRS guidelines.
After reading the Hawaii Autism Foundation & TACA Hawaii Scholarship Program Overview and FAQ above, if you still have questions about the Hawaii Autism Foundation and TACA Hawaii Family Scholarship Program, please contact the TACA Family Scholarship Program Manager or call 949-640-4401, ext 107.